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how ‘Malcolm’ lost its original channel just before the pilot premiered

how ‘Malcolm’ lost its original channel just before the pilot premiered
how ‘Malcolm’ lost its original channel just before the pilot premiered

The sitcom needed an idealistic executive to achieve the phenomenon it became

It is difficult to see the legacy that ‘Malcolm’ has today and think that at any time his success could be doubted. But the truth is that the dear sitom It didn’t have an easy landing on television. Her tone and style initially baffled producers, to the point that a network ended up getting rid of her before the pilot was even released.

During its development stage It was a very difficult project to sell.. All the executives in the area were wary of its potential, and Linwood Boomer went on to film several episodes before having a network behind them to help visualize what they were doing. But visualizing it was not the problem, would this strange sitcom have an audience? His agile tone, his single-camera experimentations (at the time all sitcoms were recorded with multiple cameras) and his speaking-to-camera narrative style were too disruptive to be trusted to work.


Finding your niche

At some point, Boomer thought he had found a home for his baby, UPN bought the series and they worked with it for 3 or 4 months, even doing promos for the series. UPN was a network that at that time was associated with a young and African-American audience, with hits like ‘Girlfriends’ or ‘Moesha’. Several users remember it as the chain where they posted “the cool drawings.”

UPN’s decision not to continue it had to do with demographics, believed he didn’t have the right audience and they didn’t want to interfere with the direction he could take. It is to be applauded that they facilitated the transition. Gail Bergman (the Regency Television producer who had helped move the series from the beginning) was a firm believer in the project, and she managed to capture the interest of Doug Herzog, who was head of Fox at the time.

It turned out to be the right decision. Herzog fell so much in love with the project which began a very aggressive marketing campaign months before the episode’s premiere. By the time it premiered, the network garnered the attention of 23 million viewers, making it the second most watched premiere in the network’s history. This was largely thanks to Herzog’s astute scheduling decision, placing the pilot between audience favorites The Simpsons and The X-Files.

Not only that premiere was successful. The series turned out to be an instant success and managed to maintain its audience. Fox was a large audience network that served as a springboard for an unusual premise, but one that made people fall in love. Today, ‘Malcolm’s’ DNA is everywhere, and his bold style that contrasted with formal simplicity can be seen in series like ‘Parenthood’ or ‘Modern Family’.

In Espinof | Out of serendipity, an 11-year-old girl imagined an episode of ‘Malcolm’. And it was so good that it won an Emmy.

In Espinof | “He was a big fan of the series”: Aaron Paul wanted the role of Francis in ‘Malcolm’ before being Jesse Pinkman

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