Yesterday, we wrote about a confrontation over the weekend in which Seth Rogen called out an NBC executive backstage at Saturday Night Live for cancelling Freaks and Geeks. It was a really good story, and in a typical Seth Rogen manner, he may very well have exaggerated the account in order to make it more interesting.
Or at least, that’s what Garth Ancier — the former NBC executive who cancelled Freaks — is saying. In fact, on Saturday night, after the “confrontation,” a good-natured Ancier took to Facebook and left the following status update: “In the writers room at SNL tonight, still taking some mild abuse for canceling Freaks and Geeks 14 years ago…once again, Judd Apatow and cast…sorry!!!”
That sounds like it was, in fact, Seth Rogen and maybe Paul Rudd giving him sh*t in a kidding around ha ha kind of way. So, Ancier was a little surprised when Rogen lambasted him on HuffPo Live, suggesting that he was a “private school kid” who didn’t understand how high school — and thus Freaks and Geeks worked. Yesterday, after the story broke, he posted this to Facebook:
OK, this is getting pretty funny. Now I’m the rich kid who went to private school so couldn’t understand that public high school kids who are Freaks and/or Geeks never have any victories over the cool kids. Yes, I went to private school (Lawrenceville), but my parents were not rich (very supportive, but not rich), and finally – THIS IS TV! The ultimate realm of wish-fulfillment!
By the way, I have green-lit a lot of high school based TV series in my day – but, for example, never thought that Joss Whedon should make “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” more reflective of a normal public school. And Buffy had some victories – like every time she “dusted” a vampire…
Again, I apologize to the very talented folks who made this series so fun to watch. In my next life I will revive it on cable!
Just to clarify, Seth Rogen: I thought we had a very nice chat about Freaks and Geeks on Saturday night. As I said, my only note to Judd Apatow over the entire series was that either the Freaks and/or the Geeks should win the occasional victory over the cooler kids — especially since Judd Apatow has taken that note in every hit movie since.
“I absolutely hated canceling this particular show. It was clear from the very beginning that Freaks and Geeks had great writing from Judd and Paul Feig, and a tremendous cast. This was an awful decision that has haunted me forever. But the show was consistently NBC’s least-viewed. For what it is worth, I have watched all of the episodes over and over again on Netflix, and asked myself what I could have done better to save it.”
Yes, it was a terrible decision to cancel the series, but it at least sounds like Ancier wasn’t the dick that Rogen made him out to be, but then, a “civil conversation” about the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks wouldn’t have made for a very good story on the Internet.