As you may have heard/read, Comedy Central (LOGO or no LOGO) will not renew the Sarah Silverman Program for a fourth season. It hardly comes as surprise to anyone who was a fan of the show, as Silverman herself and her co-stars had gone to Twitter and other forums asking fans to demonstrate their love and support for the show as the third season wound to a close last month. Comedy Central's gay Viacom sister station, LOGO, needed to step in last year just to make the third season possible.
What happened with the show's time shift? Comedy Central never really explained why you guys got moved to midnights all of a sudden. Yeah, our ratings were bad. So were Demetri's. They really love our show, though. The execs I know over at Comedy Central, yeah, are really big fans of it...but it's been happening for a couple of years. People aren't watching TV the same way they used to. I know I'm not the first person to say that, but it hurts shows, even if they're watching it later. Or on your Xbox. If you're not watching it when it happens that hurts success, because that's when it matters. They don't know how to count the other stuff yet. Even South Park I think is down, yeah, because Colbert and Daily Show are the only things that still work for them.
Today, fellow co-star Steve Agee wrote: "thanks to everyone who ever watched and supported us, and especially the amazing crew and my fellow castmembers. The biggest thanks of all goes out to Sarah Silverman who has single-handedly given me a career. It was a fun ride!"
And this is how it ends...sort of. There was another scene after this climactic confrontation with Ed Asner as a Nazi at a dueling Holocaust memorial competition. Roll the clip:
Like I said, Sarah Silverman took part in a conference call this afternoon to talk about season three of The Sarah Silverman Program, which debuts Feb. 4 on Comedy Central -- and also on Logo, the gay and lesbian cable channel that helped fund production costs for the third season.
The first episode, "The Proof is in the Penis," has a more cinematic sweep and tone to it, even if it may set a new record for the number of times the word "penis" is said in 22 minutes -- including one scene in which Silverman screams "I swallowed my penis!" over and over. You'll also find out that Silverman's donning of a mustache at the Emmys might not have been a prank as much as it was a tease. But the look and feel of the third-season debut definitely feels like a movie, and with a sisterly duet thrown in, reminded me of Silverman's movie, Jesus is Magic. The second episode, "The Silverman and the Pillows," written by comedian Chelsea Peretti, also opens with a musical number, and might have some people mistakenly trying to draw a parallel to the Leno/Conan debacle at NBC. That'd be silly, although Silverman said she's on Team Conan.
"I think the first one, 'Proof is in the Penis,' feels really cinematic to me," Silverman told me today. "We haven't been on the air in 14 months." With such a long wait for new episodes, she wanted to return to the air with something big and "special" for the fans. "We weren't on the air in 2009 at all," she said. "You'd think we were The Sopranos or Lost with all of the gaps in production, and not a 21-and-a-half-minute show about fart jokes."
As for the added musical element, Silverman said there's no hard and fast rules about it this season. "It's very uneven," she said. "I think the second episode has three songs. It's just however it works with the story and however we were moved...Usually in the (writers) room, someone will get a snag in their brain. There's an episode where Steve writes a song that becomes famous called 'I'm Glad You Hurt Your Hand.' That just came from me, and Rob Schrab hurt his hand, and I just started singing, (singing) 'I'm glad you hurt your hand. I'm glad you hurt your hand.'"