The Mystery Shack is closing its doors.
Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch announced today that the popular Disney XD animated series will air its last episode at the upcoming end of its sophomore season. Hirsch stressed on his Tumblr site that Disney was not canceling the series, which can best be described as an X-Files for the tween set (and their parents). Instead, he’s ending it gracefully, following through on his original intent to give it a beginning, middle, and an end as it chronicled a single summer in the lives of brother and sister duo Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal) Pines.
“There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are cancelled before they ever get a chance to payoff,” Hirsch wrote. “I know that hits are rare in this business, and its hard to let one of them go, so I’m so grateful that [Disney] has had the vision to let me start (and end) the show the way I always wanted to.”
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) November 20, 2015
While the declaration is a bit of a surprise given the series’s blossoming popularity, it’s not entirely shocking given the dramatic recent episodes – the three part “Weirdmageddon” – in which main bad guy Bill Cipher (voiced by Hirsch) opened a rift between the human world and his bizarro world. The second chapter in the 3-part arc airs Monday, November 23. “Weirdmageddon III” has yet to receive an air date.
“…Gravity Falls was never meant to be a series that goes on and on forever. It’s meant to be an exploration of the experience of summer, and in a larger sense a story about childhood itself. The fact that childhood ends is exactly what makes it so precious- and why you should cherish it while it lasts,” Hirsch wrote.
Gravity Falls premiered on June 15, 2012, with a preview episode to build buzz. Its 20-episode first season ran through the summer of 2013. Season Two kicked off last summer and continues to run its critically acclaimed course. It most recently won the Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children’s Audience at the 42nd Annual Annie Awards.