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Fox has made quite an impression over the years by cancelling beloved series against the wishes of millions, but they usually give those series time to attract an audience before dropping the axe. That’s sadly not the case for the long-troubled romantic comedy Us & Them, which has already been pulled from their schedule without having aired a single one of its six produced episodes. Gilmore Girls fans will have to wait just a while longer for Alexis Bledel to return to TV.
According to TV Line’s sources, Fox will officially put Us & Them out of its misery by shelving it altogether. An Americanized reworking of the smart British comedy Gavin & Stacey, Us & Them starred Bledel as Stacey, who meets Gavin (Jason Ritter) through online dating, but the bigger relationship is between their completely opposite families. Those family members were made up of a stellar supporting cast, which included Michael Ian Black, Jane Kaczmarek, Ashlie Atkinson, Kerri Kenney and Kurt Fuller. To give credit where it’s due, the project was co-written and executive produced by the original series’ co-creators/stars James Corden and Ruth Jones.
This is just the latest and most damning in a line of confidence-destroying moves from Fox, which originally ordered 13 Us & Them episodes with the pilot, but production was halted halfway through for script work, and it just never went back into production at all. Still, Fox said at the time that they planned on airing the completed episodes, but I guess they have better things to fill their schedule with. This wasn’t even the first time Us & Them had problems; ABC and NBC had already gone through failed adaptations in previous years. Is this some kind of a TV white whale?
Some other network could feasibly step in and air the existing episodes, in the hopes of drawing an audience for more in the future, but the material would have to be pretty strong to convince anyone to do that. Fox was apparently skittish about the series’ tone, though I’m unsure how complex a tone a network romantic comedy can produce. Check out a behind-the-scenes look at Us & Them for a good idea of what might have been.
I’m guessing it won’t be long until Fox starts cancelling series in the middle of their announcement press releases.