Austin & Ally was hands down a fan-favorite TV show when it was airing, thanks to all of its epic laughs, iconic musical numbers, and of course, the adorable romance between Austin Moon and Ally Dawson. But unfortunately, every good show has to eventually come to an end and we were all pretty heartbroken to see it go. Now, almost seven years after its premiere, we’ve just uncovered the real reason why the epic Disney Channel show concluded. But first, let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?

What was the show about?

For those of you that maybe forgot, the show starred Ross Lynch, Laura Marano, Raini Rodriguez, and Calum Worthy. Ally — played by Laura — was a shy songwriter who suffered from major stage fright while Austin — played by Ross — was a confident singer, but together they made a perfect pair. Their magical relationship all started when, without Ally’s knowledge, Austin went ahead and stole one of the songs she wrote. And after he made a music video for it and posted it on the internet, Austin became an overnight sensation. But when Ally wanted to let people know that she actually wrote the song, Austin begged her to instead have them work together on music. Eventually, she agreed, and that’s how the iconic duo started! The show documented their journey together as they tried to handle Austin’s newfound fame, along with their best friends Trish and Dez, and eventually, they fell for each other along the way.

When did Austin & Ally first start and when did it end?

The first episode premiered on Dec. 2, 2011, almost seven whole years ago! It’s crazy how time flies isn’t it? The final episode aired on Jan. 10, 2016, and it was a bittersweet day for Austin & Ally fans. In total, there were four seasons and 87 episodes.

How did Austin & Ally end?

Austin and Ally were an on-and-off couple throughout the entire show. And in the finale, we finally got the happy ending we all wanted for the pair! After they decided to go their separate ways so that Ally could attend college at Harvard, fans were super worried that they wouldn’t end up together. But in then, we see that the two reunited and decided to become an official singing duo. And we even got a look into their future together when the final episode flashed forward 10 years.In the future, the couple is happily married with two adorable kids. Fans absolutely loved the ending, and Laura herself was all about it too!

“I’m really happy with the way it ended,” she told TVLine. “It couldn’t have ended in a more complete way.”

So why did Austin & Ally end?

Disney Channel shows rarely ever run for more than four seasons and it was no different for Austin & Ally. The series was actually supposed to end after the third season, but after its major success, it was renewed for a fourth. But at that point, the network knew it was going to be the last.

“We would have loved to continue the show forever. Our dream when we started the show was to hit a hundred episodes and we came pretty close. We still had a lot of stories we wanted to tell, but the average Disney show usually only goes three or four seasons,” the co-creators Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert explained to Variety. “In fact, our show was as good as done after season three, but we worked really hard to get those last episodes. It was interesting because we had to write the end of season three as if it was going to be the last. When we did the season four finale, we knew we were done.”

It’s hard to really say what caused the show to conclude besides the fact that naturally, TV shows just come to an end. And it’s completely understandable for the actors to want to move onto something else in their careers. Laura admitted at the time that although she loved being in Austin & Ally, she was ready to focus more on her music career.

“I’m really excited about the future,” she told TVLine. “I’m going to be pursuing music — I’m going to have an album coming out this year — but it’s really sad because I love my cast members and the crew we work with. I know I really want to focus on music, and that’s sometimes hard when you’re on a series,” she continued. “I also want to continue onto college; I graduated high school last year, which was very stressful. But there’s a definite excitement for me to pursue music right now.”

What was the last day on set like?

“Very emotional,” the co-creators said. “The whole season was very emotional because we knew the show was ending. The last few weeks, everybody was constantly crying and hugging. Every day there was a ‘last’ something — ‘Oh, this is the last time Ross and Laura will be sitting at a piano together,’ ‘this is the last performance,’ ‘this is the last time we’ll be in the practice room,’ etc. By the time we finished shooting on the last day, nobody wanted to leave. We hung out for hours afterwards.” Ugh, that’s literally heartbreaking. Laura admitted in an interview with TVLine that for her, it was bittersweet.

“It’s bittersweet. We always kind of compare it to our senior year of high school. We’re moving on from these friendships, these really kind of family relationships that we have gained through the years, but it’s like, ‘We’re moving onto college,'” she explained.

As for what they were going to miss the most, the creators told Variety at the time that it will definitely be “the cast and crew.”

“It was a very special set. Anytime anyone would visit, they would marvel at what a harmonious and positive environment we’d created. It was truly a family,” they said.

Does the cast still keep in touch?

The cast members have actually all stayed friends and have even reunited multiple times since the show ended! Laura recently went to Calum’s movie premiere, and last February, the four stars hung out and shared an epic group photo together, bringing back all the feels.

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Sunday funday w/ the OG’s

A post shared by Raini Rodriguez (@rainydaychatter) on

“We still talk to the cast all the time, and our greatest takeaway from the whole experience is the lifelong friendships we gained,” the creators told Variety. They even admitted they all have a group text together!

“We have an ongoing group text with the cast, and we try to see them whenever we can,” they said.

Will Austin & Ally ever come back?

Ross actually revealed that it might be coming back for the 10 year anniversary, in a bit of a different way.

“We had this joke for a long time on Austin & Ally where we wanted to do like maybe 10 years later, an HBO special where it’s gone completely explicit,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “But we’ll see. Honestly, I would be totally down to do that. I really love all those people, they’re all really good people. That was like a joke when we were filming but anything’s possible at this point.”

If this were to happen, we’ve only got a few more years to go people! And Laura is down for it too.

“I’m always open,” she told TVLine.

The co-creators even admitted they’re considered making a movie out of the series! “We will never say never,” they told Variety. “We have lots of ideas for one, and we’d love nothing more than to work with the cast again, either as their Austin & Ally characters, or otherwise.”

What are the actors doing now?

As J-14 readers know, the stars of Austin & Ally have gone on to act in some epic movies and shows ever since the show came to an end. Ross Lynch starred in two Teen Beach Movie DCOMs and My Friend Dahmer, before landing the role of Harvey Kinkle in The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. Laura did end up pursuing her music career too. She’s released a few songs, but then recently revealed that she wrote and recorded tons more, and wasn’t able to release them yet because of a contract problem with her label. She’s getting ready to drop them now though and we are so excited! She’s also starred in four movies since Austin & Ally – Lady BirdI’ll Be Next Door for ChristmasSaving Zoë (along with her sister Vanessa Marano), and The War With Grandpa, in which she stars alongside Robert De Niro.

Raini and Calum have both been busy too. Raini’s has acted in a few TV shows, including Mutt & Stuff and Vampirina, and Calum is gearing up to star in a new rom-com alongside Joey King!

So there you have it folks, everything we know about the finale of Austin & Ally. BRB, going to watch the series on repeat.

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