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The 2015 NBC Upfront Presentation Red Carpet Event

Source: Slaven Vlasic / Getty


The Carmichael Show has come to an end, but showrunner Danielle Sanchez-Witzel had high hopes for what it could have done in season 4.

Fans were disappointed to hear that NBC had decided not to give the show another season just as season 3 was coming to a close. Unlike many quiet cancellations, viewers weren’t blindsided by the news; they knew the next episodes would be the last.

The series finale of The Carmichael Show saw Jerrod and Maxine getting married at a courthouse the morning after they had a threesome, but the creative crew was already thinking ahead. Sanchez-Witzel told The Hollywood Reporter that they were already hard at work on some concepts that would have touched on a number of issues, including terrorism and defending Planned Parenthood.

“There was an episode about travel and terrorism and fear and where our characters fell with regard to broadening their horizons,” she explained before breaking down a loose idea of the episode. “We talked about an episode where they were all going to go to Paris but Joe and Cynthia backed out and Jerrod was made because he paid for it.”

She continued, “There were lots of things to talk about. Certainly, I don’t think we would have run out of interesting topics.”

Sanchez-Witzel added that she would have loved to see Girls Trip star Tiffany Hadish some more screen time, too. “We were able to feature her a bit more in season three and that certainly would have continued to happen in season four,” she said.

Even though The Carmichael Show was a quality series, Sanchez-Witzel believes that there were a few factors behind the show’s ratings. In her opinion, she thinks that the show would have benefitted from shorter breaks between seasons and getting a better spot in the lineup.

“I wish it had been behind The Voice. There are a lot of things that I wish could have happened that were always out of our control. I do think airing in the summer, a year between seasons–none of those things ever helped us ever grow an audience,” She “Even with the people who did support us at NBC, there’s a lot that I wish could have happened that never did.

She went on to note, “Writers, showrunners, creators, we don’t get to decide that kind of stuff, the business end decides those things. But from how hard we worked and what we were trying to do, I do wish that they had been some other opportunities for people to see our show.”

Though it didn’t air as long as other NBC hit sitcoms, Sanchez-Witzel hopes that The Carmichael Show made an impact. She would like it to have left a legacy of being able to bring people together in laughter to share ideas and open up some doors for understanding.

“I hope that people thought it was funny, because I think that’s what we were ultimately trying to be is funny,” she said. “I think we were trying to have interesting conversations, so I wouldn’t mind if people liked it or didn’t like it as long as they thought the conversations were interesting. It made them laugh and it was worth talking about.”

Building on that train of thought, Sanchez-Witzel considered how the show could have made it easier for people to talk to each other. “Maybe watching an episode made them have a conversation with someone else, just that it made you talk about something with your family, with your friends that might have felt too hard to talk about,” she mused. “There’s no right or wrong. Our favorite stories always ended in grey territory where you can’t say one character was right and one character was wrong. It just is.”

These days, though, a cancelaiton doesn’t necessarily mean that a show is over. Many series find new life on other channels or platforms. It is possible that The Carmichael Show may pop up on another network–there is some chatter about the show making a move–but Sanchez-Witzel isn’t dropping any hints about if, when, or where we could see the show return.

“We really felt the support from the studio and there were so many people at NBC network that loved the show too, just not enough to get it another season. I think Jerrod being the star-creator really took the lead in those conversations and what might or might not happen if NBC was going to cancel it,” she shared. “[Jerrod] has said that he wanted an NBC network TV show and I feel comfortable speaking for him in saying we were really proud of what we did.”

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