If you’ve been missing FOX’s Emmy-winning sketch comedy series MadTV, you happen to be in luck right now, because the show is coming back to television, just not in the same way.
According to Deadline MadTV, which during its original run aired during late night on Saturdays for FOX, will now be an hour-long primetime show on The CW. In January, The CW aired the MadTV 20th anniversary special during primetime, and its digital arm, CW Seed, bought the rights to air 75 of the 321 episodes of the original series. The current episode order will give fans eight new sessions of sketch comedy gold. This new iteration of MadTV will also feature up-and-coming voices in comedy, as well as paying homage to the history of the show, with former cast members appearing to host each episode.
MadTV aired on FOX for 14 seasons, from October 1995 through May 2009, and also enjoyed syndication on Comedy Central, local TV stations and TNN (now Spike TV). The show was taped in front of a live studio audience and featured comedy sketches, musical performances and cartoon shorts. The comedy usually served to parody popular TV shows, music acts and movies, but also delved into political, topical and pop culture humor.
While MadTV is often seen as an also-ran when compared with its only competition during its run, Saturday Night Live, the series wouldn’t have lasted for as long as it did had it not impacted the audience to a real degree. The show was also popular with others in the television industry; across 11 straight seasons, from 1999 through 2009, it was nominated for 38 Emmys, winning six of the awards. MadTV was nominated for a total of 72 awards during its run.
The stars of MadTV were always new voices in comedy who impersonated public figures and came up with characters that were featured in several, frequently long-running, sketches. And, while it’s true that the former cast members aren’t as instantly recognizable as those from Saturday Night Live, many of them have gone on to carve out solid careers for themselves. So, you may not know their names, but there are dozens of former MadTV actors that you probably recognize.
Performers like Andrew Daly (Eastbound & Down, Reno 911!), Mo Collins (Arrested Development, Parks & Recreation), Bryan Callen (How I Met Your Mother, The Goldbergs), Frank Caliendo (ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown), Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow) and Arden Myrin (Psych, Orange Is the New Black) have had appearances large and small on several TV shows and in many movies since leaving the cast. Others like Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), Taran Killam (SNL) and Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) have gone on to have a lot of name recognition on their own.
There’s no word yet on when the revival of MadTV will air, which former cast members will return to host episodes, or who the new cast will be comprised of, but you can bet that whoever is involved will come ready to bring irreverent and politically incorrect comedy to primetime.