The once popular My Name Is Earl sitcom was cancelled last month. After four seasons on NBC, the show’s executive producer, Greg Garcia, was informed early in the morning, just 30 minutes before the news was given to the press.
While being dumped by the peacock network didn’t come as a huge surprise, Garcia wasn’t ready for the show to end. He told the LA Times, “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.”
It was largely presumed that the FOX network would take on Earl since the sitcom’s produced by a sister company, 20th Century Fox Television. Execs at the network apparently downplayed the possibility and, when the time came, decided to pass.
Ethan Suplee, “Randy” on the show, broke the news to fans, writing, “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.”
Now, TBS is apparently interested in keeping Earl going. The cable channel has been airing the show in syndication and expressed some interest in picking up the show at the May upfronts.
Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, told Company Town that the network likes to develop original programming but that new episodes of an established show like Earl would be an asset in drawing viewers to sample them. At the time, Koonin hadn’t been approached by 20th Century Fox but said, “Tell them to give me a call. We’re in the book.”
The discussions for 13 new episodes of Earl are still in the early stages and there are a some major hurdles that would need to be overcome before they could become a reality. The actors and writers have all been released from their contracts and they’d have to be renegotiated. Also, the show is an expensive single-camera comedy and the overall budget would be an issue as well.
On the positive side however, the show is already in syndication and more episodes would mean additional rerun money for years to come. With that in mind, the studio and participating talent will likely want to make the deal work if at all possible.
While Earl’s return is still considered a longshot, the fact that there are discussions to revive the series is certainly a good sign. What do you think?
Image courtesy 20th Century Fox.