What Went Wrong? TV Documentary Examines High-Profile Series That Went Down in Flames After Just Seven Episodes

Apr 27, 2018  •  Post A Comment

“Can there be such a thing as a successful failure? In the case of ‘The Dana Carvey Show,’ the answer might be yes,” Matthew Carey writes in a Deadline piece on “Too Funny to Fail,” a Hulu documentary examining the high-profile flameout of Carvey’s ABC show in 1996.

“Dana Carvey” lasted just seven episodes. “An eighth episode was uncharitably yanked in favor of a rerun of ‘Coach,'” Carey notes.

“A hint of what would go wrong comes from Carvey’s description of his intent,” Carey adds, quoting Dana Carvey telling “Too Funny to Fail” director Josh Greenbaum in the doc: “We had hired badass nerd pirates to blow up television. This show would represent anarchy. It was blowing up the system.”

Greenbaum suggests to Deadline that ABC may have misunderstood what it had in Carvey. “He’s a subversive kind of comic,” Greenbaum says. “He’s darker than I think you remember.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to Deadline to read Carey’s full story.



  1. Why would anyone be interested as to why a show failed 22 years ago? The world has changed greatly since then.

    • Why would people want to know more? They should obviously just know less, like this guy suggests.

  2. It is a good documentary and I found it interesting on how network executives have one idea on how a show should be, and how the creators think it should be. The world may have changed a lot since that time, but the schism between artists and executives hasn’t changed that much.

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