Chad, the acclaimed coming-of-age comedy, has been canceled, just hours before its second season was due to go on air.
The show starred former Saturday Night Live regular Nasim Pedrad as the title character, a Persian American boy struggling with the pressures and cutthroat daily life at high school while reconciling with his cultural identity and his mother's rich dating life.
Chad first aired in April of 2021 and enjoyed good reviews for its first season, with an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As well as that, it was ranked as 2021’s Number One new scripted cable comedy series.
Which makes recent events all the stranger.
Chad's second season has already been completed and was all set to premiere on July 11 on TBS (Turner Broadcasting Network), however, hours before that, TBS's parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, made the decision not to air the show and canceled it instead.
In a statement given to Deadline, a spokesperson for TBS said: “As we continue to assess content and implement a new strategy for our network, we can now share that season two of Chad will not air on TBS. We are proactively exploring various options to find the right home for it."
They continued: "We celebrate and thank Nasim Pedrad, the passionate creator, executive producer and star of the series, for sharing a bold, unexpected coming of age story with heart and humor. We also thank executive producer Oly Obst, co-showrunner Max Searle, and the entire cast and crew of Chad for their ongoing partnership and wish everyone continued success.”
Pedrad issued her own statement, adding: I recognize the landscape of our industry is changing so quickly. Did I expect my show to get caught in the crosshairs of a corporate restructuring and merger? No. I’ve spent the last year making a season of television I’m really proud of. From the writers room to production through the edit, a team of very talented and dedicated people came together to tell a story we believe in."
She went on: "A hard comedy that portrays Middle Eastern characters from a place of empathy and humanity. I feel so lucky that Chad has an incredibly loyal fanbase. I know they’re going to love this season and I’m excited for the show to find a new home.”
What has happened here?
As Pedrad said in her own statement, the show has been an unfortunate victim of the new broom that's sweeping as part of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.
Last month, TBS' sibling TNT saw its last piece of original programming, Snowpiercer, get canceled after four seasons, while its US TV reboot of Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom, which is currently on its sixth and final season. The channel will now focus exclusively on repeats, largely of current and former network police procedurals like Bones and Cold Case.
TBS is going the same way. Its only original offerings now are Daniel Radcliffe-led comedy Miracle Workers, which is heading into a fourth season, and animated shows American Dad and Close Enough.
Deadline states that whichever network or streaming service picks Chad up, if they do, will also get the rights to its first season as well.
Analysis: It's a bloodbath at Warner Bros.
We've spent a good chunk of this year writing about Netflix and the seemingly endless appetite of its executives to cancel shows, but they've never pulled a stunt like this.
Across its various networks and services, Warner Bros. Discovery has been on a cancelation spree recently.
The Time Traveler's Wife was axed after a single season earlier in July, and then period drama Gentleman Jack got the boot. Both of those went from HBO, while Adult Swim's Joe Pera Talks With You also got canned. All those shows did, at least, get to finish their already-agreed runs on air.
As well as that, HBO had already pulled the plug on Demimonde, J. J. Abrams' first solo creation for television since his original hit Alias, which was looking at a budget of over $200 million.
When will it end? Well, well new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was interviewed by CNBC back in May, he talked an awful lot about boosting the company's cash flow, which means a lot of hard-headed business decisions and less of an artistic look at the company's programming options.
So, in all likelihood, we'll be getting a lot more cancelations.