Freaks and Geeks is one of the most beloved, and unfortunately, short-lived shows of all time. Created by Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow, the series was simply ahead of its time, championing the single-camera comedy approach when network television hadn’t yet let go of the confines of multi-camera sitcoms with live audiences. Despite a critically acclaimed first season, Freaks and Geeks was canceled. But it could have lived on at MTV. So why didn’t that happen?
Collider recently caught up with both Paul Feig and Judd Apatow in support of the upcoming digital release of the series. It turns out Freaks and Geeks season 2 could have happened at MTV, but the creator and executive producer both thought it wouldn’t have allowed them to continue the show and keep the same level of quality due to budgetary concerns.
Apatow revealed the opportunity MTV presented to make Freaks and Geeks season 2. The filmmaker said:
“When the show was cancelled, there was an offer from MTV to continue making the show at a much lower budget. And we all decided we didn’t want to do a weaker version of the show.”
Feig echoed that fact and elaborated a bit more on the situation at the time:
“It was a weird time for me because my mom died two days before we got canceled. So I was a little out of sorts, but I remember hearing that [MTV offered to pick us up]. We probably just had to lose so much stuff and music and budgets. We were already always strained on our budget as it was.”
MTV didn’t have nearly as much money to throw around at NBC, so Feig and Apatow didn’t think they could make it work. Funnily enough, one of the biggest reasons the show was so expensive at the time was due to the cost of music rights. That was a big reason why the series took so long to become available on home video and why negotiating its upcoming release on digital with the original soundtrack intact was also complicated. But it’s rather ironic that the one channel that wanted to save the series used to be known for music on television, and couldn’t do anything to make that a little cheaper.
Maybe It’s for The Best
For his part, Feig is pleased with the 18 episodes they ended up producing, and he’s satisfied with the conclusion they delivered. The series creator, who also directed six episodes of the series, said:
“People always go, ‘Oh, it’s so sad you never got to end the series.’ It’s like, ‘Well, we did end the series.’ That whole episode was about how everybody gets put on a different path. And we do that at the end of the series because it’s like when you graduate high school, you don’t know where half the people you went to high school with go. I’ve always said the only true final episode for a show ever was Six Feet Under because it showed how each one of the characters died.”
At the end of the day, this was probably for the best. Freaks and Geeks ushered in the careers of future stars such as Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo, Mad Men), John Francis Daley (star of Bones, co-writer/co-director of Game Night), Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Superbad), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man), Busy Philipps (Cougar Town, Vice Principals), and James Franco, though it’s probably best if we don’t talk about him anymore. If the series had continued, we might not have seen their careers blossom in the same way.
So while it was disappointing that we missed out on the opportunity to see Freaks and Geeks continue, it seems like things worked out for the best. Even though the series was canceled, Feig likes where it ended up in the cultural zeitgeist:
“There’s moments so many times I go like, ‘Wow, we just got away with these 18 episodes,’ and I’m sure we would’ve done other great episodes, another great season. But at the same time, it’s set in amber now and there’s something lovely about that.”
Source: Read Full Article