NBC Execs Open Up About 'Carmichael Show' Cancellation

The series, which was co-produced with Universal TV, was axed in June after three seasons.
Courtesy of NBC

While at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday, NBC brass opened up about the decision not to bring back The Carmichael Show for a fourth season.

"I think the collective decision was maybe [that] it's best to let the show end," NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke told reporters. "I have to say personally for all of us, it's a really hard decision that wasn't just made on one side of things. It was one of those difficult decisions that kind of live with you for a while that you don't feel great about because you wish it had done better. … This was the situation we found ourselves in."

The beloved series, which wraps its run later this month on the network, was one of NBC's rare co-productions with an outside studio, 20th Century Television Fox. That, combined with the tepid ratings for the show, led to the cancellation.

"We love the show. I mean, creatively we've been very involved in the show, involved with that cast and Jerrod [Carmichael] and everyone involved with it from the start. It's been sort of this labor of love," Salke said. "Everybody was hoping the show would really perform and grow. I think we saw a great kind of stable audience sort of slowly building and a lot of critical attention. … But at the same time, it remained in a challenging situation."

Salke also pointed out that the series began at NBC and Universal Television, where it was originally developed as a comedy called Go Jerrod Go that narrowly missed a series order for the 2014-15 season, before 20th TV was brought in.

"There was never any sense of lack of ownership on the show," Salke said. "That never came into play."

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt pointed out that The Carmichael Show lasted longer than several other higher-rated comedies at the network. The series currently stands as the network's longest-running comedy on the air. (Superstore will begin its third season in September.)
The cancellation came on the final day of The Carmichael Show's cast contracts with 20th TV. Several of the show's castmembers have seen their stars rise since the show began in the summer of 2015, including Girls Trip breakout Tiffany Haddish, Get Out's Lil Rel Howery and Carmichael himself, who said he was "excited to go make other things that I love" in a statement when news of the series' demise broke.
"That whole cast — they're all incredible," Salke said. "We're hoping to do more with them."