‘MADtv’ Returns: The CW Will Revive The Fan-Favorite Show This Year, Former Cast Members To Return

MADtv is coming back this year, and bringing some of the former cast members with it.

The cult-favorite sketch comedy show enjoyed a 14-season run on FOX running against Saturday Night Live, and now will be revived as a prime-time series by The CW. The network announced on Monday that it had ordered an eight-episode run of the show.

“The MADtv franchise is as vibrant as ever thanks largely to social and digital media appealing to a fan base numbering in the millions that relates to the show’s brand of authentic and irreverent cross-cultural comedy,” executive producer David E. Salzman says in a statement (via TV By The Numbers). “We will continue to present the hard-hitting, laugh-out-loud, wall-to-wall pop culture comedy our fans expect, but in a fresh, new way.”

The show gained a cult following during its long run, offering viewers an alternative to Saturday Night Live while helping to launch the careers of Orlando Jones, Mo Collins, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele.

As The Verge noted, the show was able to stand out in a landscape of heavy competition for sketch comedy viewers.

“Mad TV first aired back in 1995, at the height of a sketch comedy boom that included classics like In Living Color, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and The State. (Saturday Night Live was around, obviously, but that show is eternal.) The show ran for 14 seasons before getting cancelled in 2009, winning five Emmys along the way and launching the careers of such talents as Family Guy‘s Alex Borstein, voice actor Phil LaMarr, and both Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.”

The last episode of the original run of MADtv aired on May 16, 2009. There had been talk of a return for the last few months, with The CW announcing in December that it would be putting together a one-hour special to celebrate the 20th anniversary. A number of original cast members returned for the special, which aired on January 12.

The revival of MADtv will include a new slate of cast members, but will also bring back original cast members to host each hour-long episode, The Verge reported.

Though the slate of returning cast members has not yet been announced, many fans are already excited at the prospect of seeing more sketch comedy from Key and Peele, whose own sketch comedy show ended this year. In an interview with Deadline, Peele explained that it had just gotten too difficult and time-consuming to keep churning out content for their show.

“One is the amount of time and effort we need to put into the show to make it what we want it to be—very, very time consuming. It takes about 10-and-a-half months to make the show from the first writing to the last day of blocking the last episode. As other things have started to come up that we have a desire to do, both together as Key & Peele and alone, this was really digging into that time. Just professionally, things have been growing and burgeoning. It felt like we knew we were kind of moving toward the end anyway.”

“Number two, everything’s challenging in our industry. Sketch is its own challenge and it’s a grind, it’s a real grind. Now, I’ve never experienced a network show where they do over 20 episodes a season, so I imagine that must be extraordinarily stressful. But for my personal well-being and sanity, we needed to take a break from this particular format. That’s me. I can’t speak for Jordan.”

The CW has not yet exactly announced when MADtv will return to television.

[Image via Fox]

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