After Netflix resurrected Arrested Development, another cult 2000s comedy, HBO‘s The Comeback, is eyeing a comeback. I’ve learned that HBO is in discussions with the series creators/executive producers Michael Partick King, who also served as director, and Lisa Kudrow, who toplined the show, about doing a new installment almost a decade after the first season. I hear it is being envisioned as a limited/event series. Comeback, which debuted in June 2005, was a docu-style single-camera comedy starring Kudrow as washed-up sitcom actress Valerie Cherish, who gets a reality show documenting her attempt at a career comeback with a role on a new sitcom. The series, whose cast included Malin Akerman, didn’t go beyond the 13-episode first season, which earned three Emmy nominations, including a lead actress nom for Kudrow and a directing nom for King. Like Fox’s single-camera comedy Arrested Development, which aired at the same time, Comeback was considered to be ahead of its time. While it didn’t get a lot of traction during its original run, Comeback quickly achieved cult status, with fans still buzzing about it. The Comeback, which King and Kudrow executive produce with Kudrow’s producing partner at Is or Isn’t Entertainment Dan Bucatinsky, also has earned posthumous critical praise, landing on a number of lists of the best/most underrated comedy series of the last decade. Viewers are far more used to the style and pace of shows like The Comeback and Arrested Development now with a slew of series that also include another TV industry satire toplined by a former Friends star, Matt LeBlanc’s Showtime comedy Episodes.
Like the show’s fans, King and Kudrow — each busy with work (King is running his CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, Kudrow has her Showtime series Web Therapy and has been recurring on ABC’s Scandal) — too had not forgotten The Comeback, often discussing a possible new chapter. “Every time we get together for lunch, we’re talking about, ‘OK, so what would happen next?’,” Kudrow told Bravo talk show host Andy Cohen last summer. Where do they envision Valerie a decade later? “Taking classes at the Actor’s Studio. Just because,” Kudrow told Cohen. “We really want her to be on a Bravo show.” Wouldn’t she be perfect for the Real Housewives franchise!” At the time, Kudrow was asked about doing a Kickstarter campaign to bring back the show, the way Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell were able to resurrect their cult series with a feature. She didn’t rule out that route at the time. Now, a much better scenario is presenting itself if deals can be closed, with The Comeback making a comeback at the place where it started, HBO.