“It was hard to find a stable audience.”
This was NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke’s response today to a TCA reporter’s query about the network’s struggle to find footing for the critically acclaimed comedy, The Carmichael Show which announced its cancellation back in June.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt added that it was notable for a comedy series in this current era on NBC to find its way to three seasons, so Carmichael had a good run. “Superstore is getting a third season, and we cancelled six or seven of these (comedy) shows in their earlier life,” said Greenblatt.
The Carmichael Show was an NBC Universal production with Fox as the leading studio. Last year the comedy series scored a last minute third season renewal in the 11th hour.
Said Salke, “We loved the show and the cast and Jerrod from the start. It’s been a labor of love. Everyone was hoping the show would perform and grow. We saw a great stable audience slowly building with critical attention, but it remained in a challenging situation. We looked at the show with Jerrod, (and asked) what’s the long term plan? Is there a chance for real big success? Maybe it’s best to let the show end.”
The Carmichael Show would tackle timely issues, read one episode focused on the N-word and whether white people can say it on the heels of the controversy surrounding comedian Bill Maher’s use of the word on his HBO show. Another episode dealt with a mass shooting as it fell on a day of two real-life mass shootings in the U.S. — including the one at a congressional GOP baseball practice. NBC postponed the episode’s airing to late June. The network’s decision to push the episode was publicly criticized by Carmichael at the time who called it “criminal”.
Deadline’s Senior Editor Dominic Patten wrote this morning that last night’s 9 PM air of The Carmichael Show (0.7/3) was +17% in the key demo over the last week facing CBS’ Salvation and Fox’s The F Word in the time slot.