That NBC sitcom Undateable not only would survive an initial short-order rookie season last summer, but also become the anchor of the network’s lineup this spring, says as much about the state of NBC’s comedy programming as it does about this particular stand-up-filled multi-cam from Bill Lawrence.
That NBC would ask the cast of Undateable to perform two live hourlong episodes in its sophomore season this May 5? That’s…unthinkable?
Well, not exactly.
The Peacock Network has seen gains in both ratings and buzz over the past two years thanks to mounting live musicals of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan. And critical Emmy darling 30 Rock went live, twice, for both coasts during its run. Undateable is no 30 Rock, to be sure. On Tuesday afternoon, just hours before their second-season premiere, the cast of Undateable discussed the prospect of performing live in primetime.
“I’m not sure it’s the best idea,” cracked Brent Morin, during a sit-down Tuesday at the SXSW festival in Austin with cast mates Chris D’Elia, Ron Funches and Rick Glassman.
D’Elia piped in: “I’m not showing up.”
“Chris, you gotta show up,” Morin replied.
D’Elia: “Dylan McDermott’s going to do it.”
They agreed, though, that the writers likely don’t have a script yet for them, but when they do, it’ll leave plenty of room for the guys to riff. During their first season, they often shot twice as much or more than they needed for a 22-minute show, simply because the four stand-up comedians who form Undateable already have years of rapport from working together in the comedy clubs.
“We’re not going to be able to be as loose as we are when we’re just taping it, but I do hope there’s an element of that — I think Bill’s trying to find an element of that,” Morin said.
This quartet also is hitting the road, as they did last spring, to promote their sitcom. Dates on the 2015 Undateable Comedy Tour include: