Freaks and Geeks, one of the greatest TV shows of all-time, was famously canceled after one season. The injustice gets worse: the season aired out of the order, and NBC didn’t even bother to show three of the 18 episodes; they debuted months later on Fox Family. It’s no wonder that Freaks and Geeks didn’t become the hit it should have been with a cast of future-comedy stars, including Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Busy Philipps, and Martin Starr. But there was still an offer for a second season… that co-creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow turned down.
“When the show was canceled, there was an offer from MTV to continue making the show at a much lower budget,” the Knocked Up director told Collider. “And we all decided we didn’t want to do a weaker version of the show.” Feig added, “It was a weird time for me because my mom died two days before we got canceled. So I was a little out of sorts, but I remember hearing that [MTV offer]. We probably just had to lose so much stuff and music and budgets. We were already always strained on our budget as it was.”
Freaks and Geeks without a period-accurate (and therefore, expensive) soundtrack is not Freaks and Geeks. That’s like watching Beavis and Butt-Head without the music video commentary. So good on Feig and Apatow for declining the offer — even if I’m bummed we never got see Lindsay work “in Greenwich Village as a performance artist.”