MADtv: FOX Cancels Comedy TV Series, Producer Says Show Will Go On

MADtvAfter 14 years on the air, FOX is pulling the plug on its late-night Saturday TV show, MADtv. Though the sketch series has had a very respectable run on the network, producers aren’t ready to give up on the show just yet.

FOX’s answer to NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL), MADtv began airing on October 14, 1995. The show features topical sketch comedy as well as popular musical performances. Taking its initial inspiration from the long-running MAD magazine, the series’ material includes movie and TV show parodies, music video spoofs and, early on, animated Spy vs Spy segments.

MADtv’s ensemble of comedy players has included performers like Michael McDonald, Debra Wilson, Aries Spears, Mo Collins, Bobby Lee, Nicole Sullivan, Alex Borstein, Will Sasso, Stephnie Weir, Frank Caliendo, Phil LaMarr, Ike Barinholtz, Nicole Parker, Keegan Michael Key, and Jordan Peele.

The series is currently a production of QDE, a joint venture of David Salzman and music legend Quincy Jones

While SNL has been heavily promoted by NBC, MADtv has enjoyed very little promotion by its network. The series has always run in the 11pm Staurday night timeslot but many FOX viewers are unaware the show is still on the air or that it has ever existed at all.

MADtv received only a reduced episode order this season and the cast and crew are set to film the last one in December. The network wanted to give producers advance notice of the cancellation so that they could make plans to end the show in a big way.

Ultimately it’s fate became a question of dollars and cents. Executive producer and co-creator Salzman says, “They said it was too expensive for a daypart where dollars have been shrinking. Their thought was, the show is what the show is, and that essence needs to be maintained — but it’s hard to produce as big and ambitious a show as ours for less money than they’re paying now.” MADtv has averaged 2.6 million viewers so far this season, a modest drop of 6% from the previous cycle.

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Salzman believes that the show can continue and maintains that the show is the biggest success in FOX’s 20+ year history. He says that the show’s budget could be trimmed to make it affordable to a cable channel.

“There’s a long list of parties that have called us, including a few very recently, and we’re going to start conversations with them very shortly,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “I think we can change it without it really being noticeable. We’ve learned over the years how to do things on an efficient basis.”

The timing of the cancellation is actually fortuitous since Comedy Central’s deal to air repeats is expiring in a couple months. QDE can offer outlets the vast library of reruns, new episodes, or a combination of the two.

One way or the other Salzman isn’t ready to throw in the towel. He said, “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, we’re appreciative of what FOX has done and we don’t think it should be over yet.

Unless another outlet picks it up, the final and 326th episode MADtv is expected to air in May on FOX. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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18 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Darius says

    I enjoyed MAdTV’s early years, the first one at least, when MadTV still has the MAD magazine Spy vs Spy and segmanets that were like taken off from MAD magazine articles. Thatwas made MadTV differnet from other variety shows on TV.
    But then they departed away from that format and just became another variety show without any guest celebrity or guest musical band. No way it could have last like SNL.

  2. old school cast says

    I have to say that im a fan of the originals like alex,michael,deborah and so many more!.I did think at one point that this show was better than snl,but snl has been on for so many years FOR A REASON!!!,they have not only spent good money on its cast but have ensured that they keep bringing in the celebreties to host.Even though i turn the tv on and it makes me sick to see different faces I dont want it to be off the air.Please BRING EVERYONE BACK… SPEND THE MONEY! AND SEE THAT THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. (BRING BACK THE ORIGINALS)

  3. Nicole Sullivan looks so good in leather pants says

    I laugh at all the fanboys who think this show is still awesome. Truth of the matter is Mad TV started going downhill when Artie Lange got fired near the end of season 2 and Bryan Callen & Orlando Jones left after the season ended and then David Herman left a couple of episodes into season 3! That’s half of the original cast right there people! Mary Scheer would follow in the others footsteps at the end of season 3 but the biggest blow would be that producers Fax Bahr and Adam Small also followed in Mary’s footsteps as well and that is when Mad TV went downhill. Fax and Adam were the real masterminds behind the show, they were the ones that made sure that Mad TV stayed true to the magazine (which you fanboys seem to forget) and the stuff they produced were awesome! David Salzman is a pile of garbage! When he took full control after Fax and Adam left, the show started to be more like Saturday Night Live (original recurring characters like Rusty and Stuart would start appearing more frequently than they should) instead of the magazine that made Mad TV famous in the first place. (this is especially true when you get to season 7, the first of many seasons with horrible Don Pardo rip-offs that the show didn’t need, In Living Color never did) Man I miss those old Spy vs. Spy cartoons and they should have done Melvin and Jenkin (parody of Highlights magazine’s Goofus and Gallant comics) cartoons! That I would pay to see! So you see I feel that once Mad started to become less like the magazine it went downhill and never recovered and that is when Mad TV jumped the shark in my book.

    And if you so called Mad fans love the show so much than you will purchase the Mad magazine DVD-Rom to see the true essence of Mad!

    And I’m proud of Nicole Sullivan for lending her voice to the Secret Saturdays cartoon, it’s a great show and I suggest you check it out!

    And if David Salzman needs a “job”, I hear that Saturday Night Live is looking for a new janitor and David fits the bill pretty nicely!

  4. Lisa says

    This show should have been pulled ages ago. Just as SNL should be pulled. While it had several really great seasons, it couldn’t figure out when to cut somebody loose. Bobby Lee in his underwear. It seems like he’s either playing a stereotypical Asian or he’s in his underwear. He’s not funny. He’s never been funny. Keegan Key as the semi-bald coach with long, boring pep talks in his take-off-on-Reno911!-shorts. Michael McDonald as Stuart.. they got old fast. Losing Stephanie Weir was the beginning of the opening of a crucial artery, losing Alex Borstein and Will Sasso further opened the artery and the producers seemed to not care. Rotate out the old cast and rotate in new cast and keep the anchor comedians that keep people coming back. Won’t miss it.

  5. says

    i love mad tv, i honestly do but if youve been watching this show for a while (like I have) you will notice that it got worse and worse over time in the 90’s and early millenium it was way better than snl by far. But then it lost all of its originallity when micheal mcdonald and jordan peele left, i was embarrased to watch it.

  6. Jared says

    ….I didn’t even now people liked this show….i was searching on HOW this show actually has been on for so long…..Honestly i have avoided this show for the past 13 years…so whats another 5…i was pissed though when it took a syndication spot from kids in the hall on comedy central

  7. sean says

    mad tv is so much funnier..i dont even think snl is funny at all it hasnt been for the last 10 years or longer.. but mad should go back to the format they had during there 10th season though still love it.

  8. Nicole says

    MADtv is soooo much better than SNL. I love it Saturday nights and I love it on re-runs. Please keep this hilarious show on the air!!!

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