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NBC is solidifying the future of its freshman summer scripted comedies.
Mr. Robinson was originally developed in 2013 and picked up with a six-episode order. The show finally landed a spot on NBC’s schedule this summer before being shifted to a three-week, double-pump run with Carmichael. The series, which underwent a number of recastings as well as behind-the-scenes changes, was also switched from single- to multi-camera. The Universal Television comedy was developed by The Office‘s Owen Ellickson and Greg Daniels, and saw new showrunners Mark and Robb Cullen take on the series.
During its three-week run, Mr. Robinson — which stars Robinson as a high school music teacher by day and musician by night — performed not quite as well as fellow six-episode order Carmichael. Despite its solid premiere, the biggest at the time for a Big Four summer comedy in six years, its DVR boost was virtually nonexistent.
Meanwhile, Carmichael — a semi-autobiographical comedy based on the life of comedian Jerrod Carmichael — will return. The comedy, a co-production with Universal and 20th Century Fox Television, has had critical support in addition to a bit more of a ratings uptick. (The series averaged a 1.1 in the demo and 4.7 million total viewers in live plus same day returns. The latter metric ranks as the summer’s top comedy among ABC, CBS and NBC since 2007.)
Carmichael was developed off-cycle last year and was redeveloped before landing a six-episode series pickup. The pilot, filmed as a low-budget presentation, was retooled this season and written by Carmichael and Nick Stoller. A24’s Ravi Nandan and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel also exec produce. The multicamera series, which was fast-tracked to air after being greenlit in March, has addressed a number of social issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement and gun control. Mike Royce and Mike Scully oversee the comedy.
Mr. Robinson joins fellow NBC summer comedy Welcome to Sweden in the canceled category. NBC has been using summer as a testing ground of sorts for scripted. The network found success with Undateable and drama The Night Shift and moved both to midseason last season and will bring the former back for a third season in the fall, while the latter has not yet been scheduled. It’s unclear when Carmichael will return to the schedule, though NBC hinted it could be “later this season.” (Co-star David Alan Grier‘s role in NBC’s live December musical The Wiz would complicate a return sooner than midseason, though.)
“We’re extremely proud of The Carmichael Show and Jerrod’s voice and point of view is a breath of fresh air in a comedy series,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “This show made a big impact with viewers and critics because it’s funny and relatable but also because it’s fearless about discussing issues that are significant in the world today. We appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this new family comedy from the producers, cast and crew and look forward to bringing it back to the schedule later this season.”
Loretta Devine, Amber Stevens West and Lil Rel Howery co-star.
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