The Fosters, the Freeform drama about two lesbian moms and their mix of five biological and adopted children, will end its run after five years on our screens—but like all good parents, they’re sending their children into the world to have adventures of their own.
Season Five of the GLAAD Media Award-winning show premieres January 9 and will run for 10 episodes, ending with a two-hour 100th episode. That will be followed by a three-night limited series finale next summer, according to the network.
At an unspecified date after that, the spin-off will follow the Adams Fosters’ two daughters, Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez), “as they embark on the next phase of their young adult lives.” Although the show is still in development, Deadline reports that “Callie and Mariana move out and move to a new city, Los Angeles. While living together, they take two very different paths and explore the different sides of the city — Mariana will be involved in the tech world, possibly in Silicon Beach, while Callie will continue the kind of social work she’s done.” Creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, who executive produce The Fosters along with Joanna Johnson (herself a lesbian mom), “are shepherding the project.”
I am saddened that we will soon no longer have moms Lena and Stef gracing our screens, even though Freeform’s executive Karey Burke told Deadline they will make guest appearances on the new show. Not only did The Fosters star two queer moms, but it showed them raising older children, a rarity on television. Stef and Lena gave us perfectly imperfect role models of two moms encountering the joys and challenges of parenting and managing their own relationship. The show also broke new ground with the youngest-ever same-sex kiss on TV and storylines about two very different transgender boys/young men, along with thoughtful arcs about sexual health and education, the foster care system, teen drug use, and undocumented immigration, among other topics.
Still, I suspect that with Paige, Bredeweg, and Johnson’s involvement, the spin-off will continue to explore social issues along with the interpersonal dramas that made the show entertaining as well as informative. And I can’t complain if we now have a show starring characters who are the grown children of two moms. Not every episode will likely reflect back on their upbringing, nor should it—but when it becomes relevant, I’m guessing they’ll convey to us how their moms helped shape them.
As Paige, Bredeweg, and Johnson said in the announcement:
Now that the kids are growing up, it’s time to take them out into the world, to see them make their way into adulthood, continuing their search for identity and love, and the pursuit of their dreams and purpose in this ever-changing world.
That’s as much as any parent could hope to do.