Jerrod Carmichael on Bringing Heart and Truth Back to the Sitcom
Jerrod Carmichael’s NBC series The Carmichael Show takes an old-fashioned approach to the sitcom--complete with a live studio audience. Still, the show tackles topical issues from guns to religion. He tells us why he loves the multi-cam set-up and what other modern day sitcoms are missing.
Growing up, Jerrod Carmichael worshipped at the altar of NBC’s Must-See TV. Today the comedian has his own series on that network--The Carmichael Show. Even though the days of sitcom dominance are long gone at NBC, Carmichael was committed to creating an old-school show, complete with live studio audience, for a big broadcast network. Carmichael talks about the disagreement that led to a delay in announcing a third-season renewal for his show and about getting the best text message ever...from Norman Lear.
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.