To little surprise, Comedy Central has cancelled The Sarah Silverman Program after three seasons on the air.
The Sarah Silverman Program revolves around a fictionalized version of comic Sarah Silverman. Unemployed and immature, she depends on her sister Laura (Laura Silverman) to take care of her. Their friends include a pair of gay neighbors (Brian Posehn and Steve Agee) and dim-witted Officer Jay McPherson (Jay Johnston). Recurring characters have been played by Rob Schrab, Tig Notaro, Eddie Pepitone, Justin Roiland, Mike Ivy, Murray Gershenz, Armen Weitzman, Johnnie Walker, Eric Marseglia, Mark Cohen, Lindsey Stoddart, Ron Lynch, and Scott Chernoff.
The offbeat sitcom debuted in February 2007 and attracted 1.8 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That was one of Comedy Central’s biggest premieres to date and prompted a season two renewal soonafter.
The second season was split into two parts, airing over Fall 2007 and Fall 2008. According to Comedy Central, the season’s episodes averaged 1.5 million viewers and regularly won its timeslot.
The Silverman Program was renewed for a third season in March 2009 and, as part of the deal, MTV’s Logo channel got the rights to rerun the episodes. “We love Sarah and we love this show — we’re thrilled it’s returning for a third season,” said Lauren Corrao, president, original programming and development. “The Sarah Silverman Program is truly a brand-builder for our network and by using the synergy within the MTV Networks, the second window deal with Logo allows us to broaden the show to an audience that will only expand the popularity of this hit series. We are excited to see what trouble Sarah and her friends get into in the next season.” Silverman added, “Yay!”
Behind the scenes, things weren’t quite as rosey. After season two, executive producers Sarah Silverman, Dan Sterling, and Rob Schrab all threatened to quit when Comedy Central asked them to cut the TV show’s budget by 20%. It was only because of the Logo deal that the series was renewed.
It took a year for the TV show to return and it was no longer a big success for the cable channel. Midway through the run, Comedy Central bumped it from 10:30pm to midnight. Many suspected this was the end of the series but they’ve now made it official; the Silverman Program has been cancelled.
The news certainly isn’t a surprise to the cast. Last month, Posehn told TV Squad they thought season three was the end, saying, “We felt that kind of going in. Just because it was so tough to get them to give us the money to do the third season, we had to jump through so many hoops… I feel like we’re lucky to have done what we’ve done, and I would be very happy to come back and do a season four. But I’d also be completely surprised if it happened.”
What do you think? Are you sorry to see The Sarah Silverman Program go or would you have liked to see season four?
Image courtesy Comedy Central.