‘The Carmichael Show’ & ‘Downward Dog’ Renewals: Cast Options Expire

Year-round scheduling is a great idea unless it hits constraints associated with the traditional broadcast production cycle. That is the case this year with two comedies, NBC’s The Carmichael Show and ABC’s Downward Dog. Both premiered in late May and have done respectably by summer standards. Neither has heard yet on its future, but, regardless whether the networks make a renewal decision in the next ten days or not, the studios that produce the two comedies have to make a call as the options on the actors expire on June 30. 20th TV, the leading studio on The Carmichael Show, co-producing with Universal TV, and Legendary TV/ABC Studios, which are behind Downward Dog, will have to pick up the options on the actors for the series to stay alive.

I hear NBC is nowhere near a renewal decision on The Carmichael Show, created by and starring Jerrod Carmichael, and it may very well extend beyond June 30. With no indications from the network one way or the other, I hear 20th TV has quietly sent out feelers to other networks to gauge potential interest in case NBC opts to cancel the show after three seasons.

The Carmichael Show, a rare critically acclaimed multi-camera sitcom, scored a dramatic eleventh hour renewal last year, with a deal coming after NBC had announced its fall schedule and its executive had faced questions about the show’s uncertain future. Season three was produced for midseason but was held until May 31. There were concerns that the delay would chip away at the show’s timeliness, which had been part of its DNA, taking on hot-button subjects like police violence. But Season three had proven unexpectedly timely — NBC even moved to postpone at the last minute last week’s episode, which deals with a mass shooting as it fell on a day of two real-life mass shootings in the U.S., including the shooting at the Congressional baseball practice. The network’s decision was publicly criticized by Carmichael who called it “criminal.”

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