Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Will Earl Live on in Spirit?

Q: I started to call you on Frank's show today, but I am sure you have had this question often: Is My Name is Earl coming back? My partner and I love that show; it has such great messages and was so gay-friendly. I used to love watching and knowing that rednecks and republicans were watching it too! Any good news? --Tim

Well, Tim, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the short answer is: No. Earl is almost certainly dead. After NBC cancelled the series in May after four seasons, there had been brief speculation that Fox or even TBS (which already airs syndicated episodes of the show's previous seasons) might pick it up, but the deal never happened.

But the good news is, I spoke with Earl's creator Greg Garcia last month, who told me about the comedy pilot he's currently writing for Fox. The still-untitled show would center on a 25-year old who has to raise a child -- the product of a one-night stand with a woman on death row for murder (!) -- with the help of his quirky family. As Greg described it to me, the single-camera show is My Name Is Earl meets a family show like Malcolm in the Middle.

Maybe not coincidentally, and showing Fox's tastes of late, it also sounds tonally like the network's own comedy on the bench for midseason, Sons of Tucson -- about three parentless kids who hire a local drifter to pose as their dad. And in fact, Sons boasts a number of writers it snapped up when Earl went down.

Garcia's new show is just at the pilot stage, meaning we won't know until possibly May 2010 if it's ever going to hit the air. So stay tuned!

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