‘All American: Homecoming’ Creator Had to Change ‘Maybe One Line’ to Make Season 3 Finale Feel ‘Like a Satisfying End’

When showrunner, creator and executive producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll learned that “All American: Homecoming” wouldn’t be renewed for a fourth season, she only had to change one line to make the Season 3 finale feel “like a satisfying end.”

“I think literally I lifted maybe one line in the final episode, because we were still finishing up post,” Carroll told TheWrap. “So it all worked out very conveniently.”

A spin-off of the CW drama “All American,” “Homecoming” first premiered in 2022. The sports drama followed the story of Simone Hicks (Geffri Maya), a young woman who attends the historically Black college of Bringston University to pursue her dreams of becoming a pro tennis player. Along the way, the series also centered on a freshman basketball player who rejected the MLB draft, Damon Sims (Peyton Alex Smith), highlighting the sacrifice and passion required of college athletes.

This isn’t to say that Carroll is happy that the third season of Simone’s story, premiering Monday, will be her last. The showrunner, who learned about the ending of her show “around the time it was announced,” noted that she has many more stories to tell, both about Simone and HBCU life. “My poor kids, I’ll probably make them reenact the scripts in my head in my house,” Carroll joked.

“When I’m creating the shows, it’s always because I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can tell these stories forever.’ The HBCU culture is so rich and so dense and so unexplored of late. We’ve had ‘A Different World,’ we’ve had ‘The Quad.’ But for the most part, in the history of television, those are predominantly the only shows that really delved in any real way into the HBCU culture,” Carroll said. “There were seasons worth of storylines and the continuation of HBCU culture with these characters, with new characters coming in that I’ve always envisioned for the show.”

But in the midst of an industry in flux, Carroll has learned to prepare for every possibility at every turn. That means creating seasons that can work both as series finales and as continuations in a potential 12-season plan.

All American: Homecoming
Sabrina Revelle as Coach Loni and Geffri Maya as Simone Hicks in “All American: Homecoming” (Photo Credit: CW)

“The industry is going through its own contraction right now,” Carroll said. “Creatively, I look at all shows as ‘OK, I want to make sure I’m not leaving anything on a crazy cliffhanger. I want to make sure that it feels complete in some sense, while also giving us sort of exciting cliffhangers to make people excited about where it’s going for the next season.’ That’s always been my design across the board.”

Season 3 will be a particularly emotional one for the CW series to mark as its ending. Without giving away any spoilers, Carroll revealed that Simone’s arc this season was “very important to, not just me, but a number of other people involved with the show.” The main crux of this season won’t kick in for a few episodes, but when it does, it will prove to be a “defining” year for Simone as a young woman, an athlete and a Black woman who is learning how to advocate for herself.

“It was a very personal season for a lot of people and such a source of pride for us in the way the story shaped out. God bless Geffri Maya for the phenomenal performance she gave with this storyline,” Carroll said.

Though “Homecoming” is ending, the show is wrapping up at possibly the most relevant time for a project highlighting women’s collegiate sports. For Carroll, “All American: Homecoming” was always her way of celebrating stars such as Venus and Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, who appeared as herself on in Season 2.

“I wanted them to get their flowers while they were alive and could hear it and see it,” Carroll said. “Then, organically, the way our stories are being told really ended up lining up with the world waking up to, specifically, women’s basketball at the college level and realizing those are some of the most popular games watched on TV. For us, we’ve always been yelling from the rooftops, ‘Female athletes! Female college athletes are the real deal and we need to be given them their respect!’ I’m just glad that the world is also finally getting in line.”

“All American: Homecoming” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

The post ‘All American: Homecoming’ Creator Had to Change ‘Maybe One Line’ to Make Season 3 Finale Feel ‘Like a Satisfying End’ appeared first on TheWrap.