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October 7, 2015

It looks like Earl has checked off his last list item after all

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 12th 2009 8:13AM
Earl castIf any of you Hickey fans were hoping that the show might live on in cable, it's time for me to shatter all your hopes and dreams like that first girl who told you you just weren't all that. The truth hurts. It looks like the producers couldn't make the numbers work, so new episodes of My Name Is Earl won't be coming to TBS after all. I'm of mixed feelings about this now. I really enjoyed the show for the most part, but now that I have some distance from it, I don't think I'll be too shattered if it's gone.

Earl had four good years, which is one more than Arrested Development got. We got to spend a lot of good times in Camden County, but I don't feel like we're going to be missing out on anything amazing by not getting any more episodes. It had kind of slipped into a comfortable lull. The episodes were no longer as funny, nor was the storytelling as innovative. Plus, it might be a victim of the Beverly Hillbillies syndrome where the tone of the show no longer fit the network's vision.

The Beverly Hillbillies was still a hit when it was canceled; the network only killed it because they wanted to have a more urban appearance. Granted, My Name Is Earl is by no means a network hit anymore, but it did have a very different tone than the rest of NBC's Thursday night lineup.

When it premiered, the night didn't really have an identity because NBC was kind of a mess on all their nights. But now that The Office and 30 Rock are working, maybe Earl was just too white trash for them. Trailer park humor is funny, but not coupled with white collar and upper class celebrity humor. And NBC doesn't have any other nights of comedy to shift it to.

And of course, there's the Leno factor. I'm going to use that as an excuse for any move NBC makes in the next year or so, unless it gets canceled before then.

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"Oh Snap!" ... I'm really gonna miss this show. While I may be in the minority, I found it funny every week. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a show could be built around Jason Lee, but it really worked for me. The show had great guest stars and cultivated a lot memorable characters over the years. At least I can enjoy it in syndication and DVD (hopefully). Fav episode for me was 'Get A Real Job' which was really a homage to the movie 'Rudy' - it was so well done. RIP Earl and the rest of Camden County.

June 15 2009 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cincinnati Mike

Odd to think about the near-greats I loved at the time, but don't really miss... News Radio, Just Shoot Me, 3rd Rock, etc. I can see Earl on that list.

June 12 2009 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guess Who

ABC or Fox may pick it up - we'll see. Earl deserved better than a cliffhanger ending.

June 12 2009 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Guess Who's comment

ABC and Fox had already passed on it. TBS was the final option. My Name is Earl is done.

June 12 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The producers (and perhaps meddling NBC executives) ruined it after the 1st season. The premise was simple. Earl was a bad man who discovered karma, and had that list. Every episode had 1 or 2 items on the list, and they were solved. You didn't need to watch any prior episodes to figure it out. I missed the pilot when it originally aired, but wasn't lost.

In season 2, when the focus moved from the list to Joy's trial, that eliminated what made the show great. Season 3, in jail, was the same thing. It was not self-contained episodes about the list.

They have almost 100 episodes, which is good for syndication. The major backstory (Crabman's real identity) has been dealt with.

And chances are, 10-20 years from now, someone will try to remake My Name Is Earl on TV or as a movie.

June 12 2009 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
George McBain

No matter what, the show gave me one of my all-time favorite comedic episodes of a show EVAR!

The Cops episode.

"Shhh! You had me at balls."

June 12 2009 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to George McBain's comment

My favorite line, and one I still use today, is Joy's 'I don't speak maid.' whenever Catalina started bitching her out in spanish. Hilarious!

June 13 2009 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm okay with it going away. I thought the first couple of seasons were stellar, but the whole prison thing of season three dropped it down a level. And post-prison, it never regained that certain spark that it had pre-prison. It certainly isn't a bad show, but it's not a great one either, and sometimes, those have to go.

June 12 2009 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

well that just sux!!
I enjoyed the show , and will truly miss it. It was a nice half hour to hour of comedy that looked mindless but had a cute message anyway.
It's really too bad it got dropped.

June 12 2009 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a fan of the show and hoped it would continue. Now there are no NBC shows that I will watch.

June 12 2009 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was frustrated by how the characters were moving backwards - at one point Earl and Randy had real jobs and an apartment, I was hoping they'd get back to that after Earl was in prison, but it was as if that had never happened.

June 12 2009 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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