FX Cancels Billy Crystal’s ‘The Comedians’ After One Season

The Comedians cancelled
Courtesy of FX

The Comedians” won’t be laughing to a second season.

FX is not renewing Billy Crystal’s sitcom, after its freshman run. Exec producer Ben Wexler broke the news Thursday morning on Twitter.

Though the mockumentary-style series received great critical acclaim and packed impressive star power with an icon in Crystal and his impressive co-star Josh Gad, the half-hour laffer failed to bring in an audience. It also failed to receive Emmy recognition when the nominations were released last week.

“The Comedians” was a ratings laggard from the outset, with its premiere in April averaging 878,000 same-night viewers and 1.18 million viewers in Live+3, according to Nielsen. Its finale drew just 509,000 on June 25, and about 667,000 in Live+3.

Before the show premiered, Wexler told Variety that the show was a dream come true. “This has been the most gratifying experience of my career by far, and it’s also been incredibly exciting and incredibly fun. It’s really, really hard, but at the end of the day, it’s actually really simple because it’s just funny people being funny. When you give people who are genuinely hilarious the opportunity to be hilarious, it works.”

He added, “All I can do is hope it fits well in the TV comedy landscape. Your goal is to fit into the comedy landscape and also to not fit into it. I think that the shows that transcend, there is no sister show like it.”

Crystal and Gad also raved about their experience working together on set. “If you don’t have a thick skin and you’re unwilling to make fun of yourself, it’s an unpleasant place to go, and having a sparring partner like Billy Crystal, I don’t know if I could do it otherwise,” Gad said of sharing scenes with his idol.

As for Crystal, “Comedians” is a favorite project of his entire career. “What I saw was the potential to do what I grew up doing and what I love doing — I could be myself, I can play characters, we can do a live show,” he told Variety before the show’s debut. “I am so happy doing this show, if I never made another movie, I’d feel bad, but not terrible, because at this point of my life and my career, I get everything I want in this show.”

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  1. Not every show needs to be a blockbuster right away… I am really disappointed to see this show go. I am also concerned that this country and the entertainment industry in general has really fallen into idiocracy. Look who you’ve nominated to run the country for crying out loud! We are in big trouble if brilliant shows like this aren’t given a chance to catch on. It really makes sense though, if you base it all on Neilson Ratings. May as well replace it with NASCAR or some dumb cookie cutter laugh track sit com for the next four years.

  2. raymond says:

    You guys are not funny. Come eat some of me so you are kinda funny, Almost could watch you. But REALLY???

  3. Christel says:

    Noooooooooooooooooo this show was amazing!

  4. Cee says:

    I was not real happy with this shows first season — but I have also seen a few shows that bloomed and well found there place after the first mediocre season. Anyway — feel like this show with these people should have been given one more year.

  5. Amy says:

    This show was one of the best I’ve ever seen. So shocked to see the crap you keep without giving a really fantastic show a chance. Huge mistake. I hope Netflix grabs it and further destroys the terrible networks!

  6. Randy says:

    That is too bad. I just discovered the season on Netflix and watched the whole season in a day. I really enjoyed it. Maybe Netflix will pick it up for a season 2.

  7. TD says:

    I am NOT sorry that the show was canceled. I stopped watching it after one of the early episodes in which Josh Gad spoiled of the ending of Breaking Bad for Billy crystal (and consequently spoiled it for the viewing audience). That was true to Josh’s character but it shows disrespect for the viewing audience.

    • Joseph Kerr says:

      Yeah he spoiled the ending of a show that’s been over since September 2013… Give your head a shake. If you haven’t watched Breaking Bad by now, you deserve to have it spoiled.

  8. AdamW says:

    This show was brilliant and funny… and gone. Yet the Kardashians live on.

  9. Dave says:

    Finally get a great comedy show again and you cancel it!!!!!
    80% of the new comedy shows are crap and you finally get a good one with Billy Crystal,don’t understand

  10. J and P says:

    Excellent comedy show. Loved Billy Crystal and Josh Gad together. We thought they had real chemistry together and their humour effectively bounced off each of them very well. Great adult humour. Intelligent humour. Smart humour. We all need more of that. We really enjoyed all the characters on the show. Each show got better and better. Much much better then some of the mindless comedy shows that are still on TV with that awful canned laughter. Like we don’t know when to laugh ourselves. So let’s have more of the intelligent comedy shows and bring The Comedians back on air. Give it another chance FX.

  11. Wes Turner says:

    I agree with all the positive reviews, it was a breath of fresh air, and those who didn’t get it well I’m not surprised. Most people who dislike something ahead of its time, witty , & smart, with old school meeting new school, it probably hurts their little dumb brains so they don’t like it. I agree try it on a bigger network and market and advertise it like empire was, and watch the comedians flood the ratings successfully season after season, I love FX BUT MAN DID THEY F-UP ON THIS ONE!

  12. cat says:

    I got to see the premiere at SXSW of the 1st and 3rd episodes. It was GREAT! I also got to meet Biily and Josh. Thrill of a lifetime! Im so sad it was canceled. I love it!

  13. Mary Priapi says:

    I am so disappointed The Comedians was cancelled. It was great show and very funny. They didn’t give it enough time. Sad.

  14. Diane Watson says:

    Amazing. An excellent, smart, funny show and it gets cancelled after 13 episodes. Thanks FX, I won’t be tuning in to your network again.

  15. Pete Smith says:

    There are endless examples of brilliance being sidelined in Hollywood. The cancellation of The Comedians is just the latest – and one of the most stupefying – examples.

  16. Dave Carter says:

    The only thing worse than having a great show shot out from under you has to be reading the geniuses providing their commentary regarding why it failed.

    This was a terrific show that morphed beautifully through the season. I suspect that a key portion of their potential audience doesn’t venture over to FX and the like. Who the #*&$ knows … Would be nice to see one of the old major networks pick it up and give it a go.

  17. I’m devastated by this news. I loved this show. Everything I love, they take away.

  18. David Weintraub says:

    Funniest show on TV. Morons cancelling this show just like they tried to cancel Always Sunny.

    Get a clue

    Slow and steady wins the race.

  19. Laurence Jay Cedar says:

    Indicative of lowest common denominator TV winning out over something of true comedic merit. GIve a bunch of pen-pushing, stat-obsessed TV execs drones power and they’ll feed the masses with reality TV crap and banal immature ‘comedy. It’s frankly insulting to anyone with at least half their brain operable. TV is allegedly going through a ‘Golden Age’ and yes, there’s some good challenging and progressive shows out there but at least hear out an audience (however ‘small’) that’s not willing to lap up derivative, by-the-book formulaic piffle. This show was a breath of fresh air and possibly ahead of it’s time. Irony and intelligent satire it seems is still lost in this land.

  20. Don Benn says:

    I must be in the minority…..I enjoyed the hell out of the show. I agree with many of the other viewers who rightly complained that FX did a poor job of promoting it…..but the truth is that the two stars made sure that we all knew it was there so promotion wasn’t the issue. I have to admit that while I loved it and never missed an episode ….I never saw one on show night….only On Demand or on DVR and no doubt that didn’t help their ratings. This was not a funny ha-ha-ha show like the McCarthys (which I’m angry was canceled). This was a funny smart-smart-smart show like no other…..which I will miss.

  21. Normandywells says:

    no one wants to see some old bigoted has-been trying to be funny…sorry Billy!

  22. craig says:

    The show’s writing wasn’t where it should have been but it was a treat seeing Stephnie Weir again. She needs to do more comedy.

  23. buffalobilly says:

    most excellent to hear!
    tuff on the old eyeballs….

  24. Temecubob says:

    I didn’t even know the show existed. Never saw a commercial for it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Matt Loze said he was embarrassed by it from the very beginning.

  26. Ryan Cordova says:

    Josh Gad and Billy Crystal…..

    My grandparents think that cast is outdated. Who did they honestly think this was gonna pull?

    Hey I know, let’s give Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence a ton of money and another TV show, surely we’ll pull someone!

    Oh…. yeah….

  27. Mackie says:

    I liked the show but Josh Gad is WAY-Y-Y overrated. He’s not funny at all. Crystal was perfect. Gad was out of his league.

    • Normandywells says:

      Agree that Gad is best as a snowman-not meant to be seen in real life!

    • Normandywells says:

      Crystal isn’t funny anymore-too old. And the anti gay slip up he did ruined him for the younger set. Too bad considering he did one of the original gay characters on TV in Soap!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Not surprised at all. I personally don’t get the appeal of Josh Gad.

  29. Warrior Jr. says:

    The mockumentary genre needs a fresh injection to make it relevant again.

  30. Lou says:

    Stayed with it hoping that it would get better. It didn’t. More depressing than funny since I like both Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in other things.

  31. cadavra says:

    No doubt Gad will get yet another series right away, proving anew that his agent is the most powerful person in the industry.

    • homosezwut says:

      No kidding. He was great on Broadway, but every movie and tv show he is in bombs. He sucks in interviews, and yet he keeps getting treated like a big comedy star over & over again. What is his agents name again?

  32. sammyglick says:

    Sad to see it go. While it wasn’t always a great or especially funny show, it was more often than not, interesting as it pushed the genre into unexpected places.

    I wasn’t a fan of Josh Gad before watching, but came to appreciate his comedic abilities as the series progressed. It was also wonderful to see Billy Crystal do something way outside of his usual shtick.

    The Comedians was easy on par with another cancelled-too-soon show about Hollywood – Action.

    • Ryan Cordova says:

      “The Comedians was easy on par with another cancelled-too-soon show about Hollywood – Action.”

      Neither of those shows should’ve ever made it to air.

      Awful, awful garbage.

  33. Ruth Deutsch says:

    I would have at least checked it out but I never knew it was on! Maybe they got the wrong network, wrong day, wrong time, etc. No joke!

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