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TBS says, "Hey Earl, call me. Maybe we can work something out."

by Jason Hughes, posted May 21st 2009 4:39PM
My Name Is EarlTBS is currently running repeats of My Name Is Earl, and to pretty solid ratings. With NBC cancelling Earl, it looked like all that might end. Well, not the re-reuns -- they can run forever -- but that influx of new episodes. But in this era of cross-network deals and shows jumping ship to keep costs down, it may not be the end of the road for the Hickey boys after all. Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, loves the show and would be more than willing to discuss having My Name Is Earl move to TBS for a fifth season.

He hasn't approached them, but he's said "I'm in the book" about them approaching him. "We'd definitely look," he says about trying to work out a deal to keep the show on the air. Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Friday Night Lights have already found new life in cable deals, though theirs involved sharing with NBC, so it's not unprecedented. And with TBS trying to ramp up its original slate it wouldn't be a bad move to take an established property to anchor the schedule.

Plus, outside of the scrutiny of a major network, the show could get a little more risque with their subject matter, though now that I think about it they've touched some pretty crazy topics already. The big problem is going to be money. Cable networks just don't pay as much for television programs as their broadcast brothers do. And the majority of the cost is generally the acting cast so would they take a pay cut? And would we be able to still see the greater Camden County denizens with as much regularity? They're as much fun on the show as the main cast.

It could work with shorter "cable seasons." Maybe 12-14 episodes per year to see how people respond to it. Put it on a less competitive night than Thursdays and you'd probably do even better with it. I actually love the idea of other networks being able to pick up shows that their primary networks pass on. It allows fans a chance to continue enjoying their favorite shows. I know it's kind of always happened, but it seems a more viable option more often now.

Do people really follow their shows to new networks, and if not why not? If My Name Is Earl went to TBS would people who had both networks really stop watching it because it isn't on NBC anymore? To me it's kind of a crazy question, but viewers are fickle and strange creatures. It made sense back in the day when you had to get all the way up from the couch and walk all the way across the room to change a channel, but now we can change them even if our bodies have begun to fuse into the fabrics of our couch.

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If someone picks Earl up for a fifth season, they need to get back to the premise of the show, which is the list. Ongoing storylines like Joy's trial and Earl in jail require people to watch every episode, and some people are unwilling to commit, or they miss one or two and stop. When every episode is about the list, every episode is self contained, and can be viewed in any order, so new viewers can jump in and figure out what's what quickly.

May 23 2009 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wulff's comment
Double D

I agree with Jeff. The show really jumped the shark when it abandoned the list and the good heartness along with it. When it began, it was a great show with a message for the whole family. Then they abandoned that premise and the show became a crude and rude version of Green Acres. How many espisodes did we need to see them spoofing other TV shows? (including the two part season finale?) "Earl" feel in love with it's characters when alot of people enjoyed it for the original premise... a "bad" guy now trying to do good. The recent story's and jokes where not at all family friendly.. the show completely lost it's way (and its viewers). It would be great to see it back and creatively back to season one

May 25 2009 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this is a smart show, very unique to anything else on television, and really entertaining, I really hope it stays on the air, where ever it is I'll watch it.

May 21 2009 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would be so glad if this happened.

I would be even happier if it got a shorter season.

The problem I see with Earl is NBC put far too much faith and resources in a show that really didn't need it in the first place. Earl's last few seasons seemed too long, while shows like 30 Rock seemed too short. Earl would do well if it had a short season, because each season has always produced great episodes (especially the first two)...but there's always those episodes and arcs that leave a bad taste in my mouth. A shorter season would get rid of that and probably restore the magic that the first two seasons had.

May 21 2009 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know it's never gonna happen, but I wish TBS or some cable company perhaps with Directv could work out a deal with The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I don't know why the WB gave up shopping the show around.

I liked Earl in it's 1st season, but stopped watching half way through it's 2nd. Seemed like they stopped coming up with good ideas. I'm much rather see TSCC get resurrected then Earl.

May 21 2009 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would totally follow Earl to TBS - they could pair it with My Boys & have a really strong Comedy hour! I have watched Earl from Day one being a HUGE Jason Lee fan and that show wins me over time and time again. The characters are silly and fun but they are also pretty indearing. I will even admit that I have even teared up at a few episodes - I am a sap, and I can get caught up if it is well-written...

Way to go TBS - hope this works out!!!

May 21 2009 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like this show, honestly. It's not the BEST show ever made, but I think it's pretty funny and I love the running gags.

More to the topic, I couldn't care less where it was on the dial, because I TiVo everything. If it's on TBS? Fine. If it's on the national network of India? Fine. I don't care. So yes...moving it...I would follow.

May 21 2009 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frantic Monkey

Oh God, why can't this show just die. It stopped being any good after the 1st season. It's not like the situations with Scrubs or Medium. Those shows both have some legs left. Earl is well past it's use-by-date.


May 21 2009 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frantic Monkey's comment

You're literally the only one who feels this way. Obviously you have no sense of humor.

May 22 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope TBS brings My Name is Earl to their lineup is really great show and left with a great cliffhanger.

May 21 2009 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kenny's comment

It's a great show somebody needs to pick this up!!!!

May 25 2009 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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