NBC Cancels Next Caller Before it Even Airs
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 16:10
It looks like NBC is at it again. Just after the network decided not to pick up their “Munsters” reboot “Mockingbird Lane,” instead opting to air the pilot as a stand-alone Halloween special, another potential mid-season show has gotten the boot.
NBC announced that their half-hour comedy “Next Caller” has been canceled before it will even get a chance to air on the network. The show, which would have starred comic Dane Cook, was about a self-centered radio DJ forced into co-hosting his show with a female feminist.
The comedy, also starring Jeffery Tambor (“Arrested Development”), had completed four episodes of a reported six before they were canceled. It must have been bad when the network won’t even air the episodes already shot.
Cook really took off when his second comedy album Retaliation became the highest charted comedy album in 28 years back in 2006. The comic took to Twitter to talk about the cancelation. “After four episodes “Next Caller” has been politely asked to leave the building. I can only hope we get syndicated because that money is bomb!” He also talked about his cast mates. “Loved my cast & crew (not sure of their names. Didn’t have time to learn them) but will never forget my 37 hours working on Next Brawler.”
Although it is rare when networks order a show and then cancel it before having a chance to air, it does happen. In 2003, CBS ordered a show called “Waterfront.” The drama, which focused on the political and personal lives of the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, was canceled after five episodes due to creative and financial issues.
In 2010 NBC advertised a show called “Day One,” about apartment residents that survive an unknown worldwide disaster. Like “Mockingbird Lane,” plans were made to turn the show into a mini-series, and eventually a stand-alone TV movie, but the show never aired in any format.
It is not bad news for all new shows on NBC, though. The network recently renewed freshman comedies “Go On” and “The New Normal” for full seasons, which could have made “Next Caller” expendable. They also have a couple of comedies waiting in the wings for midseason. In addition to cult favorite “Community” which is still waiting for a start date for its fourth season, the network has some other back ups.
“Save Me” stars Anne Heche (“Donnie Brasco”) as a woman who after almost choking to death becomes a direct pipeline to God.
“1600 Penn” stars Bill Pullman (“Independence Day”), and is about a dysfunctional family living in the White House.
Although the move seems highly unorthodox to cancel “Next Caller” before it even has a chance, if the show truly is as bad as advertised, it’s better for the network to cut its loses now. They don’t want to air one episode, get potential fans excited and then promptly cancel. “Next Caller” may have been the breakout hit of the season, or it could have been dead on arrival. The latter is more likely, but now audiences will never know.