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TBS ready to be lifeboat for 'My Name Is Earl'

If "My Name Is Earl" creator Greg Garcia is still looking for a lifeboat after telling the Los Angeles Times that having his sitcom dumped by NBC is like "being thrown off the Titanic," he should reach out to cable network TBS.

"We like the show very much; we'd definitely look," Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks told Company Town at the Turner upfront in New York. 

There has been lots of speculation that "My Name Is Earl" could end up on Fox. After all, it's produced by that network's sister studio, 20th Century Fox Television, and Fox Broadcasting entertainment chief Kevin Reilly helped develop the show when he was at NBC.Garcia

But senior Fox executives have downplayed that speculation. "My Name Is Earl" has seen its ratings decline over the last few years, and there may not be much upside for Fox to pick it up. Fox also has indicated that it is trying to go after more female viewers ("My Name Is Earl," about a guy who makes amends to everyone he has wronged, has a more male skew). Of course, all that may be just a negotiating ploy.

TBS already gets solid performances from reruns of "My Name Is Earl," and, even if its ratings slid further, the bar for success is slightly lower on cable. Koonin said that the network likes to develop its own shows but that landing an established program could help TBS launch its heavy slate of original programs.

The hurdle would likely be price. Cable networks are pretty frugal, even though they have a dual revenue stream of advertising and subscription fees. It's not that Turner couldn't afford "Earl." It could. It is whether they'd be willing to pay a license fee that is at least within spitting distance of what NBC shelled out.

Koonin has not approached 20th Century Fox about buying the show, but he sounds ready to deal. Says Koonin: "Tell them to give me a call. We're in the book."

— Joe Flint

Photo: Jason Lee and Greg Garcia grab an Emmy. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (47)

Great move by Steve Koonin to consider a pickup of "My Name Is Earl" for TBS. While at it, he also should call Warner Bros. up and throw a life preserver for new episodes of "Without A Trace" for TNT, now that CBS has cancelled that show despite solid ratings. Trace reruns appear on TNT, and the show could give TNT's original lineup a big lift.

Simon Applebaum
Producer/Host, Tomorrow Will Be Televised
(Mondays at 3 p.m. ET/noon, PT on www.blogtalkradio.com)

Come on Earl is more fun than most other "comedy" shows,
God Save The Queen & Earl

The Show is Great but the first Season was its best.
They need to take time off and come up with funnier scripts

Earl is one of the only original sit-coms that have come out in years. NBC has no clue
whats good. Earl is the only show i watch on NBC. Please someone pick it up

I don't understand why Earl is viewed as a "guy" show. It has enough feel good, squishy moments for women, it's just not promoted that way. If NBC drops it, the only thing I'll be watching on that network is SNL....again.

i kno no one will read this because i live in england but please tbs save the fantastic my name is earl cos its the best show on tv by a country mile.all we get over here is big brother dancing on ice and i'm a z list celebrity please someone save my career.

At first I thought this was just a funny show. Then the characters developed as an ensemble of a Southern Gothic, black humored morality play cycle. Now just a small bit by one player both moves the plot and a stunning new aspect of the character os revealed. Each week Karma, the golden rule, rules!
Subtle, intelligent slapstick that is so well written is hard to find. What a marvelous group of talented actors to really make these wacky disfunctional folks work and be so totally believable in their lower than low rent world.
Weekly I anticipated relaxing into wry laughter for Earl and don't want to see the end of the characters.
I think others share my high opinion of the show. How do we get it continued?

Oh Lord, I'm gonna have to put on a black dress for this one. What kind of bad things did I do in my life that I am recieving this bad karma of having my ALL TIME FAVORITE show axed??
Ugh. Hey Joy, meet me at the Crab Shack so we can commiserate. I'll buy the first box of wine.

I am a female ... and I love Earl. It is the only show that can consistantly make me laugh out loud. Please some one ... pick them up!

Hope really hope it keeps going! It's one of the best shows on TV.

I can't Believe this is happening. We LOVE Earl...The whole family love's Earl.
We Can't wait to watch...an hour on Monday(TBS) 30mins on Thursday(NBC)!
One show all of us watch together and laugh our butts off!!!!!! Every time.
Please someone pick this one up...PLEASE!!!!!!
Save Earl!!!!!!!

I can't believe your canceling my two favorite shows My Name is Earl and Cath and Kim.
Thursday use to be my favorite night for T.V because of these two shows. And they were the only reason I stay tuned for 30 Rock which is not that Great. Guess I'll be watching another
station since My Name is Earl and Cath and Kim have been canceled. Shame on you for ruining my Thursday night T.V watching .

My husband and I love this show. It's brought us lots of laughs together. I hope someone will pick it up.

I can't believe this. This is the worst news I have heard all year. Earl is my fav show. I can't wait for each weeks new episode. Even though I own all of the available season dvds, I still watch the reruns every week. I also resent the whole "girls don't like this show". That is a joke. How can they cancel the very funny and uplifting Earl for some stupid "dumb" comedy like parks and rec. You couldn't pay me enough money to watch that stupid show that has no class or thought behind it. At least Earl was thoughtfully written by very funny people who understood a real joke and not just stupid slapstick. NBC should realize that this decesion has resulted in my boycott of their station.

Just hate it that they cancelled My Name Is Earl.. I really enjoyed the show.. It was a very funny show, with a touch of common sense, and each episode provided a good moral to the story.. That's what made this a good family show too. It has been a refreshing change from all the violent shows, reality shows, and nonsense shows we are seeing too much of.. Hopefully someone out there will pick Earl back up, so we can once again have something decent and entertaining to watch on TV..

That's too bad, I liked Earl. I never miss the re-runs on TBS and since I watch TBS a lot, I'd be happy if TBS picks up the show. I have a feeling the show has something left, especially with the way the 4th season ended. The show will continue somewhere, it would be lousy if the showed ended the way the 4th season did with no answers after wards.

Someone save EARL! this show is hilarious! NBC must have woke up stupid to be keeping parsk& rec over this show! I Love TBS! pick it up...and gosh, if only someone had picked up Arrested Development!!!

well y'know rednecks watch tv too..i mean there hasn't been a decent show since "mama's family', unless you count the Foxworthy show or Reba..

"My Name Is Earl" is a really unique comedy show, in a time of stupid, same old crap telivision. NBC could have just changed the timeslot instead of this. It shows how out of touch tv. executives are with the audience. There is a huge following, and I hope someone picks up the show. NBC SUCKS!

I hope another network picks up this funny comedy because the show has a huge following. NBC could have switched the timeslot instead of this. Shame on you NBC! You wouldn't know a good show if it bit you in the butt.

I hope TBS does pick up "My Name is Earl" for a 5th season. I would definitely tune to TBS to watch it. My Name Is Earl is the only current TV show that regularly makes me laugh out loud, and it is the only show I go out of my way to watch.

I shocked that NBC canceled 'My Name is Earl.' The suits and NBC are complete morons!

I sincerely hope that either FOX or TBS rescues the show. I was one of the best comedy shows on NBC.

PLEASE save 'My Name is Earl' !!!!!

I hope tbs does cause fox wont.
And i think my name is earl will do better on TBS then FOX

Why in the heck did NBC keep Parks and Rec but dropped Earl? That is the most ridiculous move ever. With the new line up NBC has posted for the Fall Season I think they will sink VERY Quickly!

Earl is the best comedy in years. I think it beats the office hands down. Maybe I just relate to it more. Its like going to a family reunion and standing back and just watching. Ratings aside, I think NBC may not care about keeping viewers that relate to earl, foxworthy, or larry the cableguy.

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