'Shōgun': What to Know About the Acclaimed New FX Show

The biggest show of the year so far comes to an end on Tuesday, April 23 at 10 p.m. ET.

If you follow TV news, you've probably heard a lot of good things about Shōgun this season, even if you haven't tuned in yet. The new historical drama premiered in February, and the series finale premieres on Tuesday, April 23. Here's everything you need to know about this acclaimed miniseries – and all the reasons you should check it out while it's still fresh.

Shōgun is based on a novel by James Clavell, and was created for TV by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks. It is set in Japan in the early 1600s, and stars Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga and Cosmo Jarvis as Pilot-Major John Blackthorne. Blackthorne is an ambitious and daring English sailor who hopes to establish trade with Japan. While there he meets Toranaga, a powerful daimyo with ambitions of his own. The show depicts the development of their personal relationship as well as the clash of cultural, economic and political forces.

Shōgun had a special two-episode premiere on Feb. 27, 2024 on FX and FX on Hulu. Since then, one new episode has premiered each week, each one building the audience and anticipation. Availability on both cable and streaming has definitely helped this show reach such a ubiquitous crowd, and it has become a social media sensation as well. The show has a staggering 99 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, with an average score of 8.5 out of 10. Notably, it is acclaimed in Japan as well where critics praise its thorough depiction of the culture of this time.

The massive cast has also helped Shōgun stand out. In addition to Sanada and Jarvis, the show stars Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige, Takehiro Hira as Ishido Kazunari, Tommy Bastow as Father Martin Alvito and Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba no Kata. Supporting actors include Néstor Carbonell as Vasco Rodrigues, Tokuma Nishioka as Toda "Iron Fist" Hiromatsu, Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, Yasunari Takeshima as Tonomoto Akinao, Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, Yuki Kura as Yoshii Nagakado and Ako as Lady Iyo.

While this series and the book it is based on are both historical fiction, they are accurate in some of the most important ways as far as the general audience is concerned. The depiction of Japanese politics in this era is historically accurate, as is the cultural and economic clash between European missionaries and Japanese natives. This may be a part of history that many viewers never learned this much detail on, and it's interesting to consider how this aggressive spread of Catholicism has echoed throughout time. Many discussions about the show online raise questions of colonialism and religious freedom – heavy topics in a time when entertainment is trending toward escapism in many ways.

The Shōgun series finale premieres on Tuesday, April 23 at 10 p.m. ET on FX and FX on Hulu. Previous episodes of the series are streaming now on Hulu.