'IT Crowd' May be in Trouble

by Paul William Tenny

Sometimes it's hard to tell if the broadcast networks are fighting each other over who can provide the best entertainment on television, or trying to find out who can cancel a new show the fastest. Right now this years record belongs to Fox, which dropped Anchorwoman after airing just a single episode. NBC, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is having second thoughts about putting IT Crowd into production, after it announced the show during the spring upfronts.

The hybrid multi-/single-camera "IT," from Universal Media Studios and "American Idol" producer FremantleMedia North America, is an ensemble comedy set in an IT department that stars Joel McHale and Rocky Carroll. Despite being based on a British format, which is the forte of new NBC chief Ben Silverman and his top lieutenant Teri Weinberg -- who, as producers at Reveille, developed a string of British comedy format adaptations, including NBC's Emmy-winning "The Office" -- they didn't quite spark to "IT," sources said.

NBC was knocking them out of the park one after another with late-week hits such as Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier, making it an unchallenged king of comedy. Now that the network may not even be putting a single comedy into the field this fall, the landscape has changed beyond what anyone could have foreseen. Must See Thursday indeed.


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