Two oddball comedies are back on TV after a long hiatus. Do they still work?
Two oddball comedies are being revived. This season, ABC’s New Girl premiered a week after Sex and the City ended its run. And Showtime’s Weeds is the latest comedy series from The Mindy Project and How I Met Your Mother creator Chuck Lorre. The networks weren’t kidding when they said that TV can’t keep up with the changing landscape.
But here’s the thing: Even when TV shows from these two genres get left off the schedule — especially when their creators have a long history of producing good work — they still usually succeed. That’s why TV has long been filled with good-but-not-great TV comedies that managed to defy the odds.
Below, we look at 15 oddball comedies that broke through into the mainstream, and how viewers responded when they were canceled.
10. Happy Endings
Created by Seth Meyers, Happy Endings was canceled after one season on NBC, where it aired on Friday nights before returning for a second season on the CBS network. The premise — a spinoff of How I Met Your Mother — has been a staple of The Office since 2009. Meyers, the creator of NBC’s The Daily Show, is a frequent guest star on other shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live, and The Office, and he’s also known for his stand-up, which he performs at the Laugh Factory in Chicago and at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. The show earned a respectable 8.0 average rating in the key demo, a slight improvement over its first season.
9. The Office
In a similar vein to Happy Endings, The Office managed to score a second season on NBC — and a third on Fox — after being canceled for five seasons. The show’s popularity helped revive the network during its period of decline after 9/11, and it introduced