×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cartoon Network Cancels ‘Incredible Crew,’ Another Blow to TV Sketch Comedy

Promising troupes have runs cut short

There is a sketch comedy crisis in television, but it has little to do with “Saturday Night Live.”

Amid all the handwringing over the cast exodus at “SNL” is the minor detail of how much, even with the ensemble at so-called full strength, the jokes land like water dripping from a faucet.

Meanwhile, there have been two unheralded sketch shows in the past two years that consistently generated laughs — not demo-specific laughs, not laughs that use crudity as a crutch rather than as actual comedy — but stuff that would make me smile as much as my kids.

Unfortunately, both shows have been canceled.

Today, Variety confirmed that Cartoon Network would not be renewing “Incredible Crew” for a second season. This comes a year after Disney Channel parted ways with “So Random,” the descendant of Demi Lovato starrer “Sonny with a Chance.”

Most of you probably paid them no attention, even if you had heard of them. But either show, in a given episode, packed more humor into 30 minutes than “SNL” stumbles through in 90.

So Random” was a pinnacle experience in making lemonade from lemons. Faced with the void at the center of the cast after Lovato had to leave the show, “Sonny” was reconfigured from a more traditional sitcom into one that was focused on sketch, and the results were often brilliant. But after a season, Disney Channel was done with it.

Incredible Crew,” created by Nick Cannon for Cartoon Network and airing early this year, also shone with its smarts and originality during its one and only season. And like “Random,” it was a show you would actually seek out to watch with your kids and vice versa. In fact, it was a show that would have been rewarding to watch without them.

The show’s weren’t perfect, but they easily showed as much inspiration as “SNL” without all the pretense. A cool sidelight was feeling like you were in on the ground floor of some future sketch stars, but unfortunately, the industry doesn’t see it that way. The two shows became dispensable, and somehow, we’re once again left with “SNL” as the bellwether of sketch comedy on American television, along with the usual Monday-morning defense of “C’mon, there were a couple of funny bits …”

More TV

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content