'Mr. Robinson' Team Talks Summer Time-Slot, Move to Multicam

After a shift from single-camera to multicam, the Craig Robinson comedy will debut this summer.
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Craig Robinson

The road from pilot to series to schedule has been a long and winding one for Mr. Robinson, which is why the team behind the freshman comedy has no qualms about its summer time-slot. They’re just happy to be on the air.

The series, which stars Craig Robinson (The Office) as a high school music teacher by day trying to make it with his band by night, was originally developed as a single-camera comedy in 2013. It was then redeveloped as a multicam and earned a six-episode series order in January 2014. 

Mr. Robinson and fellow new entry The Carmichael Show will both premiere on Wednesday, Aug. 5 following America’s Got Talent. "They have been superb about getting this project correct — from the time that it's taken to develop and get the correct surroundings to getting my favorite band of all time to join us on the show," said Robinson. "So I have complete trust in seeing where we placed behind America’s Got Talent. I think it shows extreme confidence in what we're doing."

Added executive producer Robb Cullen: "You don’t get lost in a lot of the fall shuffle," said executive producer Robb Cullen. "You definitely get a set of eyeballs on you and that’s all we’re really asking for."

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Mr. Robinson marks the latest move in a growing trend at the Peacock towards multicams and away from single-camera comedies such as Marry Me and About a Boy, which were pulled from the schedule. "The multicam platform was really important for us," said Cullen. “We love the idea of having [the cast] in front of a live audience."

However, despite the show’s seemingly wholesome premise, the stars warned that Mr. Robinson isn’t a return to the clean-cut multicams of yesteryear. Star Brandon T. Jackson addressed the show’s more crass humor head-on. "In order to speak to millennials, you can’t have something where its this kind of fake talk," said Jackson. "If we were to bring back these type of sitcoms, you have to make it where it speaks to our generation. … This, to me personally, speaks to how our generation sounds. I think mixing the old school with the new school is kind of genius."

That honesty was also important because of the setting of the show: an inner city high school in Chicago. "Its very real there," said Cullen. "So Craig with the kids is one aspect of the show, but Craig with the other teachers is a completely different aspect of the show."

Mr. Robinson premieres Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Email: Kate.Stanhope@THR.com
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