With the rumors today, according to the AV Club, that FX has cancelled the show "The Comedians".
I want to take my time today to complain about networks giving up on shows way too soon. I understand that, especially in the please me now, I can't wait culture that we live in, you have to make decisions without really having any time to think. Thankfully the higher ups that made decisions on shows in the 90's and early 2000's had more time. If shows like "Seinfeld", "ER", or even "The Simpsons" premiered now a days, they might not make it to a second season. Those are three classic TV shows, and in the case of "The Simpsons", it's still on TV. "Seinfeld" was almost cancelled after it's first season, but some very smart executive said let's give it one more try. Thank goodness the people listened to him, because "Seinfeld" is one of the best shows to ever be on TV and without it, we may have never gotten "Curb Your Enthusiasm" or "Veep". But, like I said, we have a please me now and immediately culture that is pretty much my generation, the millennials, fault.
A large percentage of millennials have very short attention spans and if you don't catch our attention in the first few episodes of a show, you might as well go ahead and cancel it. Unfortunately, not every show has great, ingenious writers like say a "Breaking Bad" or "Game of Thrones" has. "Game of Thrones" already had a template with all the books. It's very rare now a days that we get a show that captures the country's attention like "Breaking Bad" did. That show was perfection and will go down in history as one of the greatest shows ever. But, I digress.
Back to shows that never really got a chance. As I said before, "The Comedians" got, reportedly, cancelled. This is a bummer for me. The show did start kind of slow, but I found something funny in each episode. Josh Gad was great on this show. It was nice to see him on a raunchier type sitcom, since most people know him as the voice of Olaf in "Frozen", or have seen him in some pretty terrible movies like "The Rocker" or "The Internship". A lot of people don't know that he really hit the big time playing Elder Cunningham in Broadway's first run of the hilarious "Book of Mormon". That play is about as raunchy as it gets. Billy Crystal was pretty great on the show too. He was funny and took a lot of shots at himself. Go back and watch the episode of "The Comedians" were Josh and Billy get stoned and go grocery shopping. It's a 30 minute piece of comedy gold. The final couple of episodes of the first, and apparently only season, started to really come together and the show looked to be getting good. That was not enough for the people at FX. It's a big loss for them, since they take chances on different types of shows, and I think they should have stuck with this one for at least one more season. They could have reaped the benefits.
"Hannibal" on NBC has been cancelled after this, it's third season, ends. I have not watched this show, and my wife watched the first season, but stopped because it was too gory for her taste. But, if you read any reviews by critics or fans, this show is genius. From what I've seen online, the acting, writing, and directing is top notch. Apparently, some of the shots in this show are so beautiful, viewers don't seem to care about the gore. Netflix and Hulu have passed on making more seasons, so fans will have to be happy with three short seasons.
One of my favorite shows, "Better Off Ted" got only two seasons. The show was about a science based company manager having to deal with scientists and fellow employees. The show was very goofy and off the wall. I had never seen anything like it on TV before and that was a good thing. But, the people at ABC found it to be a bit too kooky, so they pulled it. They didn't care about my demographic watching it and that sucks, because I'm in that prime 18-49 demographic. ABC should have stuck with "Better Off Ted", because they had a brilliant show on their network. One final show I'd like to talk about is one of my all time favorite TV shows.
"Undeclared" was way before it's time and pulled off the air after only one season, just like "The Comedians". "Undeclared" was about a group of freshman at college and the show talked about everything that young college kids go through. They had episodes where one of the students dad moves in the dorm with him after he and his wife break up. They talked about pledging for a fraternity and how horrible of a process that can be. They had kids losing their virginity and the fall out that comes from losing your virginity to a girl that has a crazed boyfriend. "Undeclared" falls in the same category as "Freaks and Geeks", both created by Judd Apatow, but a lot more people know about "Freaks and Geeks", not so many have seen "Undeclared".
I guess, it just bums me out that crappy, hackneyed shows like "The Big Bang Theory" or "Glee" got many more seasons, and just churn out the same joke over and over. Nothing is new or innovative on these shows, but they're safe and the "older" viewers of TV find comfort in routine. I will keep watching new shows though. So far I've liked "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll", "Why? With Hannibal Buress" and the "Jim Gaffigan Show" and hope that the networks they're on will give them space to find their voice and keep these shows on air for two or more seasons.
Give these shows a fighting chance, don't just drop them after one season.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the co-host of The X-Millennial Man Podcast. He is forever grateful that The Simpsons have discovered the antidote to weak network executives. Follow him on twitter @tykulik