Could The Critic Return To TV? Here's What Al Jean Says

Even though there are tons of shows coming out and in development that are rebooting or continuing previous TV series, not all of them are the most sensible ideas. But in news that definitely does NOT stink, apparently there are conversations happening that could eventually lead to the return of one of the greatest animated series that ever existed: The Critic.

The movie-skewering series that gave the world what was arguably Jon Lovitz’s most enjoyable role, The Critic was the sidebar creation of The Simpsons writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, with James L. Brooks serving as an executive producer. And it was Jean, the current Simpsons showrunner, that dropped the bomb that we may one day see Jay Sherman shitting on Hollywood blockbusters again.

My only problem is, I don’t want to give up my day job. We actually have been, just preliminarily, trying to think of a way we could get someone else to do it full-time. I would love it to come back…I would do it in a second if I were free.

Pardon us for a second while we celebrate in style.

the critic

Jean appeared on The Kevin Klein Live morning show on Live 105 in San Francisco about a month after Jon Lovitz had appeared and assured the world that he would absolutely be down to return to The Critic. And while I’m sure Klein expected some positivity from Jean about The Critic having a future, I’m not sure he thought he’d hear that the first tiny step in the process was being taken. And there HAVE to be showrunners out there that would be willing to jump at this project, even if Jean and Reiss are only attached to it from a distance.

The Critic premiered on ABC in 1994 and was canceled after 13 episodes, though Fox saved it for another 10-episode run and then also canceled it. (UPN was in talks to revive it soon after, but that fell through.) Its fanbase has grown over the years, thanks to DVD sales and repeats on other networks, and many have clamored for its return, especially since Hollywood is a far different place than it was when the show first aired. I would love to see Jay taking on the Transformers franchise and Marvel movies, as well as the world of indie cinema. Here’s an idea of what we could expect if it happened.

We’re likely still many months away before any new news will break on a possible Critic revival, but knowing that Fox is down for returning to its own library for shows – see The X-Files – our Shermometer of optimism is notably high.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.