Hard to believe, but it's been 9 years since MadTV went off the air. If you've been missing the crazy antics of this hugely popular sketch comedy series that ran for an amazing 14 seasons, you can dry those tears. The CW is planning a MadTV Revival with one major change. It's going to be a prime time series this time out.
In 1995, MadTV was envisioned as an alternative to Saturday Night Live, airing a half hour earlier as part of Fox's Saturday night line-up. The show is coming back for 8 hour-long episodes on The CW. Executive producer of the original MadTV, David E. Salzman is returning as showrunner. The show will be produced by Telepictures.
The MadTV Revival won't stray to far from its original format. It will continue to skewer pop culture, offering parodies of all the latest movies, TV shows, and big social media moments just like its Magazine namesake. The show is set to feature an all-new cast of up and coming talent who aren't afraid of politically incorrect humor.
This new series isn't turning its back on its legacy, either. The show will feature special cameos and appearances from returning cast members, with a select member of the original line-up serving as host for each episode. The names of all returning cast members will be announced at a later date. This announcement comes shortly after The CW aired a MadTV 20th anniversary reunion special this past January. Salzman and Telepictures also produced that special.
The hour-long Anniversary special proved to be a hit with audiences. It drew in a solid 1.7 million viewers and a 0.6 among adults 18-49 in Live+same day. Also attracting young fans to the franchise title is the fact that The CW's digital network CW Seed has acquired 75 original MadTV episodes. Says Salzman.
"The MadTV franchise is as vibrant as ever thanks largely to social and digital media appealing to a fan base numbering in the millions that relates to the show's brand of authentic and irreverent cross-cultural comedy. We will continue to present the hard-hitting, laugh-out-loud, wall-to-wall pop culture parody our fans expect, but in a fresh, new way."
Mark Teitelbaum and John Montgomery will serve as executive producers of the MadTV Revival. Mike Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative TV, who oversees Telepictures, was head of alternative at Fox during MadTV's initial run. He had this to say about the show's triumphant return.
"I was extraordinarily proud to be in charge of MadTV during most of its run at Fox Broadcasting Company. In my opinion, it was always an underrated show that rivaled the best sketch comedy on television. I am thrilled to see it come back to network TV - and in primetime - thanks to The CW, and I feel lucky to have David Salzman and his team back at the helm."
Ike Barinholtz, Alex Borstein, Mo Collins, Crista Flanagan, Anjelah Johnson, Nicole Randall Johnson, Keegan-Michael Key, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, Bobby Lee, Michael McDonald, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker, Eric Price, Will Sasso, Aries Spears, Nicole Sullivan, Stephnie Weir and Debra Wilson, who all starred on MadTV at some point during its 14 year run, returned for the reunion special. And it's believed that most of them will show up at some point in these 8 episodes. The original MadTV is Fox's most successful foray into late night TV to date. What do you think about the series returning in Prime Time? Sound off in the comments below.