Judd Apatow did a couple of critically praised but short-lived broadcast series, including NBC’s Freaks & Geeks and Fox’s Undeclared, before he broke into features with hit comedies The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. As his film career has flourished, he also has kept his toe in TV as executive producer of HBO’s Girls and the upcoming Crashing and co-creator/executive producer of Netflix’s Love. Would he ever consider doing another broadcast series?
“I’m not interested in broadcast networks because I feel their shows are too short, I do not like the commercial interruptions, and I do not like the waiting on ratings to determine whether you are going to survive,” Apatow said Saturday at TCA, where he was to promote Crashing, starring Pete Holmes. “There is limitations on content, and I hated the idea that they waited to get the ratings the next day, and if they are bad, they might pull the plug. I’ve been canceled midseason three times, and I’ve had enough of it. I like it at places like HBO where you get your season; I feel like the streaming services have created a world where there is a creative incentive to do amazing original work, and I don’t think the (broadcast) networks for all sorts of reasons could do it in a way that some other networks and streaming services can.”
What about revisiting 1999 cult favorite Freaks & Geeks — created by Paul Feig — for a reboot, possibly on a streaming service, like Gilmore Girls and Arrested Development?
“I don’t want to do more Freaks & Geeks because we liked how it ended, so I feel it’s unwrapping something and seeing if you can not screw it up; I don’t think we would do that,” Apatow said. “Also, the world has changed so much. Back then in 1999, we were talking about the pre-computer and cellphone age that was before YouTube, Google, Snapchat. I don’t close the door on anything but my inclination is that we said all we had to say.”