Jerrod Carmichael, ‘The Carmichael Show’

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When the sitcom The Carmichael Show premiered on NBC late last August, it was with little fanfare and only a six-episode order. Jerrod Carmichael, co-creator and star of the show, took an old-fashioned format and threw in hot-button topics like Black Lives Matter, religion and gun control. And viewers reacted--the show drew the highest ratings for a summer comedy on a broadcast network in 8 years.

The Carmichael Show is a family-centered multicam show, based largely on conversations Carmichael has had with his real friends and family. His parents’ names on the show, Joe and Cynthia, are his parents’ names in real life.

The second season--13 episodes this time--aired this spring, and continued to take on timely topics, including an election-themed season finale that involved conversations about Donald Trump, violence at political rallies, as well as a sort-of marriage proposal.

A third season seemed like a good bet, especially since NBC--the once king of TV comedy--has been lacking in that department for a while. But as the networks prepared to reveal their schedules in May, there was still no word from NBC chief Robert Greenblatt on the fate of the show.

Recently Carmichael sat down with Michael Schneider and Joe Adalian of KCRW’s podcast The Spin-off, and he told them the delay came down to one thing: number of episodes. Carmichael wanted 13 again, but Greenblatt only wanted 10. Carmichael tells us why he thought NBC’s offer was “disrespectful,” considering what he believes his show has contributed to the network.