Recently, fans of HBO’s The Life & Times of Tim were surprised to hear that HBO had cancelled the animated TV show after two seasons. The show’s creator, Steve Dildarian, was just as surprised when he got the news a couple months ago but, as far as he’s concerned, Tim’s story is far from over.
The Life & Times of Tim follows Tim (Dildarian), a self-conscious and unassuming guy who works for a big corporation. Unfortunately, he often finds himself caught in the middle of bizarre and embarrassing situations. His friends are Stu (Nick Kroll) and Rodney (Matt Johnson) and he works under “The Boss” (Peter Giles), an egotistical and uncaring employer. At home, Tim lives with his type-A girlfriend, Amy (MJ Otto), and is friends with an aging prostitute (Bob Morrow), the one person who truly understands him. Other voice actors include Edie McClurg, Julianne Grossman, Tony Hale, Kari Wahlgren, Jennifer Coolidge, and Andrew Daly.
A former copywriter who worked on some of the more memorable Budweiser commercials, Dildarian has always been interested in television but ended up working in advertising instead. The show isn’t particularly autobiographical (he hopes) but some small part of Tim’s crazy situations do come from his work experiences. Of Tim’s overbearing employer, Dildarian said, “I think we’ve all had a boss like that.”
Tim is the first animated series for HBO since 1997’s Spawn and Spicy City. Representatives for the pay-for-view channel have said publicly how proud they were to have the series. That’s why the show’s cancellation came as such a surprise. Dildarian tells us that he got the call midway through the airing of season two.
He told us, “We had no idea when we were making [season two] and definitely wouldn’t have ended the show that way. I don’t know what we would have done differently because that wasn’t even on our radar.” He’s not sure exactly why HBO dropped the series but doesn’t hold any ill will for the channel and said that “obviously the business model just wasn’t a good fit.”
Though HBO cancelled Tim, the producers are working on finding another channel to continue the show for the long term. Dildarian said that there are several possibilities and noted, “HBO still has a minor stake in the series so they’ll make some money if it keeps going but they don’t have a say in the show’s future.”
The show occasionally uses profanity but Dildarian doesn’t feel like that will be an impediment to finding a new channel. He doesn’t think that it’s really important to the series and doesn’t think anyone would notice or really care if it was dropped. As is the case with the show’s limited animation, he feels, “It’s the stories that are really important and that connect with the audience.”
Dildarian wants to continue Tim’s misadventures as a series but is open to continuing them in another form if that doesn’t work out. How about a web series or made-for-DVD movies?
He said, “It’s funny, when we first got the news, we talked about that stuff. We might do a movie or something, just to keep it out there and get new product out for the fans. I don’t really think a web series would work though. I mean, the show looks like it’s cheap to produce but there’s a lot of people that work on it and as far as I know, I don’t think the web model would really work. We want to continue the show and maybe that means a series of movies, I’m not sure. We have a lot of ideas.”
If the series is picked up by another channel or if Tim returns in another format, Dildarian gave some hints about what the future would hold. At least the first half of the third season would revolve around Tim writing his book, “his first chance to really do something creative.” At some point though Tim would end up back at his old workplace. Dildarian noted, “We’ve got all these great characters there. We wouldn’t want to give them up so we have a couple of ideas on how to get him back there.”
When it’s time for Tim’s story to close, Dildarian isn’t sure about how to end his character’s story. Should he finally get a happy ending, unlike Charles Schulz’s long-suffering Charlie Brown? He said, “I haven’t really thought about that. I mean, I don’t see the show as this depressing thing. It’s just this guy and these crazy things just happen, just like in life sometimes. This is his first job out of school and he’s got a girlfriend so it’s really early in his life. I’m not sure how I’d like him to end up. We’ve got so much more that we want to do with him.”
To support the show, fans can join the official “Save The Life & Times of Tim” Facebook page. Dildarian told us, “Support of the fans counts a lot more than people realize.”
What do you think? Would you follow Tim’s adventures in other formats? Would you like to see a movie or is Tim best suited for 15 minute stories?
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The Life & Times of Tim
Apr 20, 2012