A&E announced Thursday the reality-based program — which chronicles ex-Scientology members Remini and Mike Rinder as they interview former parishioners about the alleged abuses at the hands of the controversial religion — will end on Monday, Aug. 26 after three seasons and 36 episodes. (See the bottom of this post for the church’s response to such allegations).
The show will conclude with a two-hour series finale special filmed in front of a live studio audience, featuring King of Queens actress Remini and Rinder, a former high-ranking official in the church, exploring stories about how Scientology’s allegedly harmful practices, including hindering “members from reporting instances of abuse and sexual assault to the authorities,” per a synopsis.
A team of legal, psychological, and law-enforcement experts will also appear on the program to provide insight on how ex-Scientology followers can seek justice and impact change in the future.
“Mike and I will always be grateful to A&E for giving us a platform to expose Scientology and give the victims a chance to be heard. Without the A&E team’s support The Aftermath wouldn’t be what we intended. We recognized it was time to move on to the next chapter and help people in new ways,” Remini said in a press statement. “We thank our viewers for caring in the way that you do. It means everything to us. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t have people stop us with a ‘thank you for doing what you guys are doing’ and it’s your support that gives us our strength to carry on. And carry on, we will.”
Since its 2016 debut, Scientology and the Aftermath has delved into the church’s tax-exempt status, the alleged disappearance of Shelly Miscavige (wife of church head David Miscavige, whom Remini reported as a missing person in 2013), claims that the church stalks and harasses those who leave the church, and even included an episode dedicated to interviewing former Jehovah’s Witnesses about similar topics.
The series picked up its first Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series or Special in 2017. It received two follow-up nominations: One in 2018, and another this year.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will air its series finale on Monday, Aug. 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET on A&E.
Scientology previously told EW that “the Church earned its [tax] exemption” after a rigorous examination by the IRS. They deride Remini’s charge of “bullying” as “farcical.” The Miscaviges’ lawyer asserts that the Los Angeles Police Department concluded that Shelly Miscavige was not missing “and that Ms. Remini’s false ‘missing person’ report was ‘un-founded.’” The Church denies the allegations of fomenting religious divisions and accuses Remini of spreading “vitriolic religious hate and bigotry” that risks instigating violence. The Church also states it has, along with “individual Scientologists,” exercised its “First Amendment rights by complaining to advertisers about their support of this disgustingly bigoted show which spreads lies and incites violent” and will “continue to do so as long as A&E and Disney turn a blind eye to their effort to profit by spreading lies and religious hate.” In a July 2018 letter to EW, the church’s lawyers further said the church has not followed Ms. Remini, nor does it harass former members. Scientology points viewers to www.scientology.tv for more information.