Despite finally airing the delayed mass shooting episode this week, NBC’s acclaimed The Carmichael Show remained in a state of limbo. Created by stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael, the traditional sitcom previously faced an eleventh hour decision on its third season renewal last year, but this time NBC waited right up until the last minute to pull the plug. All of sudden, both Carmichael and the network issued their own statements regarding the program’s future — and neither looked or sounded all that good.
In a short statement issued to Deadline, Carmichael said, “[f]or three seasons (okay 2.5), I got to make a show that I love with my friends. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 13. Now, I’m excited to go make other things that I love. Thank you to every person who worked on or watched The Carmichael Show.” The trade publication concluded at the time that the show’s future was “in limbo” since cast options expired on Friday, but a subsequent Hollywood Reporter article indicated otherwise.
“The Carmichael Show was such a wonderful show that we choose to focus today not on its loss but on the three incredible seasons we had the pleasure to produce,” 20th Century Television told the outlet in its own statement. “We are thankful to the brilliant Jerrod Carmichael and his talented cast, and to showrunner Danielle Sanchez-Witzell, our fantastic writers and devoted production team. It’s a rarity that a comedy series tackles the social and political issues of the day in such a clever and hilariously funny way. This show was special, and we will miss it.”
Whether or not the feelings truly are mutual between Carmichael, NBC and 20th Century Television remains to be seen. For aside from repeated struggles to renew the series for its second and third seasons, producers and distributors evidently quarreled with Carmichael behind the scenes, as when NBC decided to delay the mass shooting episode after two such incidents plagued the airwaves ahead of its scheduled air date. In a later appearance on Chelsea, Carmichael criticized the network’s decision. “[They] don’t think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue, and something that reflects real family conversations, and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims,” he said.