SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details about the Season 4 finale of ABC’s A Million Little Things.
In a typical A Million Little Things fashion, the most recent fourth season ended with a cliffhanger and once again, someone’s life is in danger. This time, it was not an incident — or an accident — but a revelation that Gary’s cancer has returned.
He and Maggie had been keeping his diagnosis secret but Rome stumbled upon it when he checked the memory card of his camera ahead of filming Tyrell’s graduation ceremony. Gary had borrowed the camera to record video messages for his and Maggie’s unborn child as the two were going through an infertility treatment. Gary returned the camera to Rome when he and Maggie thought that they had lost the baby. That turned out not to be the case, so Maggie is still pregnant but Gary’s secret is out.
In a brief Q&A with Deadline, AMLT creator, executive producer and co-showrunner DJ Nash reflects on the finale shocker and what the future holds for Gary and the rest of the group of friends. He also teases other Season 5 developments, including a major character possibly coming back, and addresses the prospect of next season being the series’ last. AMLT is slated to return for Season 5, which is rumored to be its final chapter, in midseason.
DEADLINE: What can you say about Gary’s prognosis?
DJ NASH: We knew we always wanted Gary’s cancer to return. And we knew we wanted it to be right after Rome’s depression returned. Both of these friends have diseases that are recurring and challenge their futures. We love the idea of Maggie being there for Gary the way he was there for her. For all the good and the bad. And we are excited to see how these two will be there for each other as they welcome a baby into the world, doing everything they can to live life on their terms, for ads long as they can.
DEADLINE: How will Gary’s illness impact the group of friends?
NASH: Rome and Regina have stumbled on huge information they’re not supposed to know. Information Gary doesn’t want them to know. They’re in a real dilemma. Their instincts are to run to their friends and say, “We know. How can we help?” But at the same time, Rome who has recently dealt with the return of his own disease is aware first-hand that sometimes a bunch of people – even if well-intentioned – asking how you’re doing, doesn’t always help. Ultimately, we are going to watch this group of friends be there for the person who has been there for everyone. The same person who finds it so hard to ask for help. And we’re going to see Maggie pregnant, hoping she can have the father of her child meet their baby. I won’t say what happens. But hopefully it will feel as real as life.
DEADLINE: What else can you tease about Season 5?
NASH: We’re really excited to see Maggie pregnant. To see Rome and Regina as empty-nesters. To see Katherine have to navigate not being too involved in Eddie’s life and whatever fallout happens from what Anna has done as Katherine tries to deepen her relationship with Greta. Which will be challenging because we saw how upset Katherine got at game night when all Anna did was break a wine glass. This is so much more. We’re also excited to hopefully have Delilah return for a few episodes. Stephanie has said she would love to come back, and we’ve missed her. So we’re excited to see the next chapter in that story.
DEADLINE: Are you approaching it as the final season?
NASH: We know that, despite setting a network record for delayed viewing this season, our live ratings aren’t huge. It’s hard when you’re a drama following a night of comedy. We went to the network earlier this season and offered to close up the story and they adamantly didn’t want us to do that. They asked us to build to tonight’s cliffhanger. We are so grateful that we are not ending the story where we did at the end of Season 4. I am excited about the stories we will tell in Season 5 and I am going to have some more conversations with [ABC Entertainment President] Craig [Erwich] as soon as we lay out the first half of the season about when the best time would be to end the series. We have put together an incredible family on our show. Four seasons later, the actors still love each other. We have an incredible crew that made 20 episodes during covid without shutting down for even one day. The writers room is the best creative space I have ever been a part of. So [co-showrunner] TC and I are going to take a couple weeks vacation and then we will have a long conversation and make sure we’re only continuing to tell stories while we know we can capture the authenticity we and the fans love about our show.