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My Name Is Earl: FOX Passes, Sitcom Cancelled for Good?

My Name Is EarlIf you’ve been following the ratings and cancellation predictions, you’ve known that the Jason Lee sitcom had been “on the bubble” for a few months.

Last week, NBC announced that they weren’t going to pick up My Name Is Earl for a fifth year. Interestingly, the show’s creator found out about the cancellation just 30 minutes before the network released its schedule.

Greg Garcia told the LA Times, “They woke me up at 7:30 to let me know. I e-mailed Jeff Zucker [president and chief executive of NBC Universal] on Sunday, and I never got a response. But this is show business. The writing was on the wall. When you go to bed the night before the schedule is out, and no one has spoken to you, you know what’s happening. You get somewhat frustrated with how it’s being handled, but that’s the business we work in. I’ve never fooled myself that it’s a fair or friendly business.”

To add insult to injury, during a conference call with reporters, Ben Silverman dissed both Earl and also-cancelled Medium. The co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios said that the network decided to cancel the series because neither the fans nor the advertisers had waged a campaign to save them — unlike the outpouring of support for Chuck.

Should an ending for Earl be filmed?

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Garcia took it in stride, responding, “If that’s how they’re running their network, good luck to them… I don’t believe that for one second, but if that’s true, if that’s how they’re deciding what shows to pick up, wow.” Garcia also noted, “It’s hard to be too upset about being thrown off the Titanic,” referring to NBC’s ongoing ratings struggles.

Though NBC cancelled it, Lee has said that he’d like to continue doing the show. Garcia and the show’s studio, 20th Century Fox Television, agreed to try to sell Earl to another network. Both FOX and ABC have been interested in the past and TBS, who airs the show in syndication, also expressed said they’d be open to picking it up (presumably with a lower budget).

Having already sold the show into syndication, finding a way to add to the episode count makes sense financially. Garcia notes, “There’s a lot of reasons the show would work well on another network, and I think we’d do very well with some promotion. We certainly feel like we have more stories to tell. That’s why we left the show on season four on a cliffhanger. And I know we’ve got at least another season in us and a lot of great ideas. So if another network wants to put us on, fantastic. Nothing that would make me happier.”

Since 20th Century Fox Television produces the show, it was assumed that FOX would most likely pick it up. Still, the odds of one network taking another network’s cast-offs are never very good and FOX execs downplayed the possibility. After all, the network has already committed other sitcoms, including the low-rated ‘Til Death.

The possibility of the show continuing was apparently put to rest over the weekend. Ethan Suplee, the actor who plays Randy on the show, broke the cancellation news to fans via Twitter last week. On Saturday, he communicated that the show was indeed over.

He wrote, “Thanks for the effort guys, we appreciate it. It seems that Earl is actually dead. Fox has passed. The mustache will live on in our hearts.”

There’s no word on the state of other prospects for the sitcom but it sounds like the show is over.

Are you disappointed or had Earl already overstayed his welcome? Should an ending be filmed to wrap everything up?

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike May 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

all good things must come to an end, but this isn’t even an ending. At least nbc could come up with a made for tv movie or soemething. You know to tie it all together. Just not a 10 years later thing, that would be gay.


bella May 10, 2010 at 8:12 am

so are they going to make a season 5


admin May 10, 2010 at 8:47 am

@bella: No, sorry.


matt calise April 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm

if anyone cares about this amazing show there is a petition on i dont know if it will actually help but i signed it because id rather have a little hope than none there goal is 100,000 hits but it started in july of 09 and theres less then 1500 so i dont know if people just dont know or really dont care but i do and im trying to spread word if you loved the show please show support it only takes a few minuets


mick April 3, 2010 at 6:53 am

come on do season 5 then end it you cant end it like this i love my name is earl fun is hell i need to know how it end’s


I Miss Earl :( March 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

“Do good things, and good things will happen”
Earl was a good thing, and I find it hard to believe that another station would not consider picking it up. I plan on directing all the good Karma I can at Earl (and all the bad at NBC, not that they need any more after the way they handled the cancelling). Keep your fingers crossed and your good deeds up!


Rachel March 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

My name is Earl will be comming back. They are filming right n0w, my friend is starring in it this season. So dont freak out! It’s comming back!


admin March 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

@Rachel: Unfortunately the production company, studio and network don’t know about it.


anthonylg March 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I really hope a network picks up the show ,cause it was one of my favorite things to watch every week.


dave tidwell March 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

how bout if the BBC picks up the show like US networks have done with so many sitcoms like “Life on Mars” , “Threes Company” and “Sanford and Son” that were originally created as English sit-coms ?


james warrent January 25, 2010 at 3:36 am

I love my name is earl every single character. I finally got my family and my fiance family to start watching it along with my friends its still many fans save the show plzzz


A Spanish fan November 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

I’m very dissappointed My name is Earl has been cancelled, but even worst the way how they did it. What amazes me most of many USA TV series is the way how they are managed. Some of them are elongated to death (X-Files, 24, Heroes, to put some examples) and others simply stopped without ending. To me it shows how good or bad bussinessmen are running the TV channels in their top positions. Loyalty to the viewers? None. Economic reasons? Fine, choose the best written episodes of what Season 5 could have been, wrapped them up as the BBC does when they don’t want to compromise quality and give a proper ending to the show. Pack of the series on DVD and sales increase. I won’t buy an unfinished series.


chris gonsalves November 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

i cannot believe nbc cancelled this show. this has became my favorite show. i wish they would bring my name is earl back. nbc is so stupid it makes me never want to watch nbc again


LM November 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I know that I am late in realizing that Earl is not still on the air (I thought it would be back this fall – having a toddler kind of keeps you out of the loop on things) but am really disappointed in NBC. This makes me really want to stop watching the other show that I watch on NBC. They should at least make a concluding episode that would tie up the loose ends. Or maybe Lee should just write a concluding blog of his own! Instead we are left hanging. Maybe we shouldn’t get into tv shows too much (it seems that every time I find something that interests me it gets canceled).


sara October 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Boy those network guys at NBC are knuckleheads.To cancel Earl and keep Parks and Recreation is the height of stupidity.


Cheryl September 26, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Very upset that you cancelled Without a Trace.


jenny September 12, 2009 at 5:03 pm

i am very upset they cancelled,it was the only show on nbc i really liked,it was different and reminded me a little of my family, and they decided to keep parks and recreation,that show is terrible,i have totally not watched nbc since,not even my local news,i have switched to fox and tbs


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