The third season of The Handmaid’s Tale came to a satisfying — yet heartbreaking — conclusion. But June’s (Elisabeth Moss) journey isn’t done just yet. After hitting Gilead where it hurts the most, the new season will continue the fight and hopefully, answer some questions lingering from the finale. But how many episodes is The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4? The episode count for the upcoming season is shorter than fans are used to — but for good reason.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 episode count
After The Handmaid’s Tale debuted its first season with 10 episodes, Hulu released the second and third seasons with 13 episodes each. But now, the upcoming season will return with a shorter episode count.
According to Indiewire on Jan. 8, The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 will be 10 episodes long. That said, the reduced episode count doesn’t mean the drama is in any danger of cancellation. Rather, the decision was “100 percent creative” and backed by both Hulu and MGM.
“Some storylines just seem to shake out as a 10-episode story, in my eyes,” showrunner Bruce Miller said. “I feel like it gives us a little more freedom because you can rely more on one propulsive element.”
Nevertheless, the 10 episodes in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 will bring the total episode count of the Hulu series to 46.
When will ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 be released on Hulu?
Unfortunately, Hulu has yet to announce The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 release date. The first two seasons started airing in April. Then the third season made its debut in June. However, at the Television Critics Association press tour in January, executive producer Warren Littlefield revealed the drama series will premiere in the fall of 2020.
“Season 4 will be in the fall,” Littlefield said, per The Wrap. “So we’ll start principal photography March 2nd and we’ll be on in the fall.”
Meanwhile, the fourth season will end filming in early August in Toronto.
How many episodes of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ are left until the Hulu series ends?
The late start date and shorter episode count may sound alarming to The Handmaid’s Tale fans. But don’t fret — there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In September 2019, Hulu and MGM acquired the rights to develop a Handmaid’s Tale sequel based on Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. Then at the TCA press tour, Littlefield confirmed The Handmaid’s Tale will not end after season 4.
“We have not planned Season 4 to be the end, but we also look to Margaret [Atwood]’s book The Testaments and know that that story takes us 15 years into the future,” Littlefield said, per TV Guide. “We don’t see ending it in [Season 4], and I can honestly say to you, we don’t have a definitive out.”
He continued: “But I think we want to keep the bar high, and it would not be a bad thing to leave the audience wanting more and then we could ideally shift into The Testaments.”
“June is now a changed person. She’s had a great success at a great cost,” the showrunner said. “She is now at a crossroads. Will she try for another success or save herself and Hannah?”
But even so, in the above interview with Indiewire, Miller hinted fans will just have to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
“Don’t try to guess what happens,” Miller said. “That’s a fool’s errand. You will not be able to know what happens. That’s the beauty of the show.”