'The Carmichael Show' Renewed for Season 3 at NBC

The multicamera comedy will return with 13 new episodes after extended discussions between NBC and 20th Century Fox Television.
Courtesy of NBC
'The Carmichael Show'

The Carmichael Show will be back.

The multicamera sitcom starring comedian Jerrod Carmichael has been renewed for a 13-episode third season by NBC, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The news for NBC's last remaining bubble show comes hours after the network unveiled its fall and midseason schedules with the critical darling conspicuously absent. NBC had been in prolonged discussions with 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the comedy with Universal TV, about an episode count for the third season. However, when speaking on a conference call with reporters early Sunday, network chief Bob Greenblatt was optimistic the matter would be resolved and the series would return.

Sources tell THR that 20th initially sought a full 22-episode season-three order and held steadfast for 13 while NBC initially balked at both numbers. Network brass eventually agreed following Sunday's press call, during which multiple industry watchers questioned NBC execs why the future of the show would even be a question.

Because of the last-minute renewal, it's unclear exactly when the series will return for season three and what timeslot NBC will give it.

The Carmichael Show is seen a modern-day throwback to Norman Lear shows of decades past (see: All in the Family, The Jeffersons), thanks in large part to the series ability to tackle tough topics like gun control, religion, race and gender identity. (Lear and Carmichael even sat down for a candid chat with THR earlier this year.)

The show originally premiered last summer over a three-week period. It drew steady ratings and critical acclaim over its six-episode first season and earned a second-season renewal in September.

NBC put some muscle behind the series ahead of its season-two premiere, moving it up to a March debut behind first-year unscripted hit Little Big Shots and giving it an increased order of 13 episodes. Ratings have been up, averaging a 1.4 among adults 18-49, and the multicam sitcom earned big buzz at the start of the season when it devoted an entire episode dedicated to the scandal surrounding former network star Bill Cosby. (The show will next tackle Donald Trump in its second-season finale, airing May 29.)

Also starring Loretta Devine, David Alan Grier, Amber Stevens West, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish, The Carmichael Show is loosely inspired by the comedian's own life and family.

The series is just one of two comedies returning to NBC next season, the other being the America Ferrera starrer Superstore. The network canceled most of its freshman slate, including Telenovela and Crowded, as well as third-year comedy Undateable. NBC seems to be headed back into a more single-camera comedy direction with orders for new series Powerless, Trial & Error and Great News, among others. Although the network found success with such comedies (The Office) a decade ago, it attempted to move away from such niche programming and toward more broad fare.

"It's the very rare comedy that can establish its voice and format and timing in only six episodes," THR TV critic Daniel Fienberg wrote shortly before the show was renewed. "NBC should renew The Carmichael Show — and renew it with haste because this is the business the network should want to be in."

NBC's relationship with Carmichael dates back to 2013, when the network ordered a pilot presentation from the rising stand-up. Also based on his life, the original project Go Jerrod Go, was then redeveloped into what became The Carmichael Show. Co-created by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Ari Katcher and Willie Hunter, the new take earned a series order in March 2015. The show premiered five months later.

Since he first began working with NBC, Carmichael has seen his profile rise considerably thanks to a 2014 HBO stand-up special directed by Spike Lee and a supporting role in the hit comedy Neighbors. The comic actor will return for Neighbors 2, which opens in theaters Friday.

Keep up with all the renewals, cancellations and new series pickups with THR's handy scorecard and follow the pilot crop status here. For full Upfronts 2016 coverage, go to THR.com/upfronts

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