HBO announced today that “Big Love’s” Season 5 premier is set for Jan. 16. That’s great news. They also threw in a little upsetting tidbit: It’ll be the acclaimed show’s final season.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer on this unique and provocative series, and I’m happy that they will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned,” noted HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo. “We look forward with great anticipation to collaborating with Mark and Will on their next venture.”

“‘Big Love’ has been our all-consuming labor of love for the past eight years,” said Olsen and Scheffer. “We are very grateful for HBO’s continuing support and for the collaborative effort of our partners at Playtone, our producers, our fine cast and our fellow craftsmen and crew for making this show the exceptional and joyful experience that it’s been. This coming January, we look forward to presenting our audience with the most vibrant and satisfying final season of a television series that we can produce.”

I’m completely bummed by the new. But the show has run its course I guess. I thought it had at least six seasons in it. Six is normally HBO’s magic number (think “Oz” and “Sex and the City”). I just hope they treat the final season with love and smarts, unlike Season 4.

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