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The Drew Carey Show, in Fact, Wasn't Cancelled Two Years Ago

The Drew Carey ShowI was pretty surprised to hear that The Drew Carey Show had recently taped its final episode. It was surprising, because I thought the show was cancelled two years ago. Actually, I wasn't quite sure what had happened to the show; I just remember that ABC moved it around to different time slots, so I lost track off it, and then couldn't find the show for the longest time in any TV listings. But the show was still listed on the ABC website, which made me completely confused as to whether it had been cancelled or not.

In fact, this question arose one night when I had a dream in which I was in the movie Dawn of the Dead. The zombies would only appear at night, but were still able to eat up most of humanity. My family took refuge in a mall, like in the movie, and I was able to repeal the zombies using crazy Star Trek technology from the future such as laser guns and teleporters. But it was not enough to defend ourselves, and the mall no longer became secure, since almost everyone on Earth had been turned into zombies. So we were forced to leave the mall. We had to constantly flee from the zombies, because even while they only came out at night, and we made sure to turn off all the lights and hide, this guy that looked like Raffi kept giving away are position by looking outside to see the zombies. I think we would have killed him because he was annoying, but come on, the guy wrote "Baby Beluga."

The Drew Carey ShowLuckily, Drew Carey offered my family refuge in the last outpost of humanity, which was a settlement in Cleveland centered around his house from the show where Oswald, Lewis and the rest of the gang lived with him. That evening, we even went bowling in his living room.

Now I finally had my chance to ask Drew if his show had been cancelled. He was just about to answer, but night suddenly fell and we had to turn off the lights and be quiet so the zombies would pass by us and not attack. Unfortunately, that dumbass Raffi had to open a window to watch the zombies, and they came after us. The end.

Anyway, I finally got answers to what was up with The Drew Carey Show when I read this news article:
(click here to just skip the damn news article).

ABC's Drew Carey Quietly Going Off Air

By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - For all the attention given to this week's "Friends" finale, another long-running comedy taped its final episode a few weeks ago - and few people outside its Hollywood set were aware of it.

The finale of "The Drew Carey Show" is expected to air on ABC sometime this summer.

That the show still exists at all for its ninth season has more to do with a classically bad business deal than any sense viewers want to see it.

"You can point to a lot of things that ABC did - they did a lot of things that were dumb," said Sam Simon, who directed the final episode, "and I think this was one of them."

Smart and stylish - a blue-collar comedy set in Cleveland where the principals would occasionally break out into a show tune - Carey's show once was one of ABC's crown jewels. In the 1996-97 season, it averaged 17 million viewers, the first of three straight years in Nielsen Media Research's top 20.

The show's popularity was fading in 2001, but it still seemed savvy when ABC reached a deal with Warner Bros. Television, the show's producers, to keep it on the air through 2004.

Then the bottom fell out.

It's not clear whether viewers simply tired of the amiable, bespectacled comedian. Between his own show and "Whose Line is it Anyway?" he logged a lot of face time on the network.

Or they may simply have tired of trying to find "The Drew Carey Show." The program premiered on Wednesday nights, an evening where it has inhabited four separate time slots. It's also been shown regularly on Tuesdays. And Thursdays. And Fridays. And Mondays.

By the middle of last season, ABC took it off the air, and burned off many of the show's episodes during the summer.

ABC didn't even bother putting it on this season. New episodes will premiere on June 2, and the network will show two first-run episodes a week during the summer - the television equivalent of an afterthought.

If all this annoys the star, he's not letting on.

"I don't have anything bad to say about ABC," Carey said. "I never will. I only tried to do a good show. After that, it's out of my hands."

Simon said the show was effectively orphaned, as is often the case in the creative community, because the people who greenlighted it lost their jobs.

"If the people who put the show on the air at ABC were still there, we'd still be on the air and we'd still be a hit," he said. "It's just an embarrassment to new regimes when other shows do better than the ones they put on the air."

ABC entertainment's most recent management team, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, lost their jobs last month.

While ratings may have justified the show's eventual burial, the timing is still odd. It's not as if ABC is swimming in hits; the schedule has so many holes that there would seem to be room for Carey, particularly when ABC is paying around $3 million an episode for the show.

This would seem to be a deal ripe for a renegotiation: ABC agrees to pay Carey and Warner Bros. a tidy sum to go away, and forget the final season.

Nobody at ABC or Warner Bros. would talk about whether that idea had even been broached. There's probably a financial incentive for Warner to continue production since the show is popular in syndication - where the real money is made in television - and this just gives them more episodes to sell.

So it means the final season of "The Drew Carey Show" is produced in a virtual vacuum. Few people knew when, or if, the episodes would make it on the air.

It's still a lucrative vacuum: Carey reportedly made $600,000 to $750,000 an episode.

Money can't buy everything, though.

"I know you like people to see your work," said Simon, who considers Carey one of his best friends. "It's disappointing. A lot of the perks of being a hot star and being on a hit show, that stuff goes away."

Simon jokes that he asked ABC to speed things up by running the season's episodes in split screen, showing two in one half-hour.

"On the other hand ... it was a little bit liberating," he said. "There were no notes coming from the network. They didn't even bother coming to the run-throughs. They didn't seem really concerned about the character arcs or about promoting the characters they think America wants to see."

Producers had a little fun, took some chances. Parts of some episodes were shot in a single-camera format, without an audience, instead of the three-camera format before a live audience seen on most sitcoms.

Longtime fans will enjoy watching the journey taken by some of the characters during the final season. Carey must decide whether or not to marry his pregnant girlfriend in the show's final episode.

After the final taping, Carey gave cast and crew members a satellite radio and photo collage as a gift. Simon couldn't remember who, if anyone, was there from ABC.

The end had to be bittersweet, particularly compared to this week at NBC, where the "Friends" cast is exiting with a paroxysm of national mourning and $2 million-a-pop commercial spots.

"It was strange," Simon said. "It was really strange."

The Drew Carey ShowSo, it turns out that ABC gave the show a three year contract. The executives that signed the deal were later fired and some new management came in. The new suits couldn't cancel the show, so they just resorted to pretending that it did not exist. What a concept to completely ignore a show you already paid for lots of money for. I bet these new executives were brought in from the FOX network.

In all honesty, The Drew Carey Show hasn't actually been funny in a while, but it got to the point where I would watch it out of principle, just hoping that the writers would add in a joke that didn't have to do with the fact that Mimi dresses funny and she and Drew do not get along, and they are both fat, and also Oswald and Lewis are crazy drunks who can never get women and may be in a gay relationship. 

The Drew Carey ShowWell, even though the show continued to use the same jokes in every episode, they still could come up with some of the most outrageous and creative plot lines on TV. I think the last original episode I saw was one where Drew, as a result of happenstance, had married two women (Nikki and Kate) in different states and had to decide which one to stick with while trying to hide the fact that he had two wives from each wife. Surprisingly, neither girl found this situation appealing once Drew's cover was blown. Among other great plotlines were the episode where Drew wins the batmobile in a contest, the crazy April Fools day episode that had a bunch of errors in it, the one where Lewis tries to hide his relationship with a midget which leads Oswald to think he is a pedophile, and several more weird ass episodes I can't think of at the moment or possibly be able to describe in words.

The Drew Carey ShowThen the show went down hill. At some point Kate left the series to pursue a career in something that people would still be able to watch and Winfred-Louder ended up becoming a dot com business or something. There were too many Whose Line is It Anyway random episodes, which can be good only if you don't do it 28 times a season. There were also too many damn singing and dancing shows. At least 5000 episodes of the show were devoted to being musicals. And that is a conservative estimate. Not that every musical episode was annoying, but it got to be more than a straight person should reasonably be allowed to put up with.

Even with how bad Drew Carey got, I don't know why the hell ABC opted to stop airing it, especially since ABC doesn't actually have anything on TV that anybody watches anymore. Any network that is forced to give Jimmy Kimmel a show to fill airtime really isn't in a position to be picky about its lineup.

At any rate, the show airs in reruns on TBS all the time between Friends or something. The last season will finally see the light of day on June 2, so mark your calendars. 

Right now, I'm going to turn this article over to Johnny Dangerous for his thoughts on The Drew Carey Show. Take it away.

- Billie Green

The Drew Carey Show The Drew Carey Show

The Drew Carey Show Season 7, episode 155, "Drew Carey's Back to School Rock n Roll Comedy Hour Part 2" this is the exact episode where The Drew Carey Show began to suck. The show went from being about working man Drew and his friends, to about singing and dancing and unfunny jokes. However, just because the show stopped being funny, is that a reason to stop airing it? Let's take a quick look at ABC's other hit shows: 20/20, and Nightline. Man that was quick. Those aren't even comedies, or even shows that are on before 10 pm. In fact, as far as I know, Nightline isn't even real. I have never watched it, but I am pretty sure it is real. However here is what I'm getting at, ABC has nothing. So what is it hurting that if they keep The Drew Carey Show? If anything, at least all those actors know there way around the studio. It is a fact of life, if you hire new actors for new shows you have to take time out of your schedule to show them around.

Maybe I am a little partial. I was at one point the biggest fan of The Drew Carey Show ever. I watched the reruns on TBS, I read his book, and then on Wednesdays I would make sure to catch the new episodes. There were some days where I would watch up to two hours of The Drew Carey Show, and I have never regretted wasting so much of my life. However I started missing the show when ABC started changing its time slot every week. I think this was a ploy to get people to watch other shows by them because the only way to make sure you saw Drew Carey that week would be to put ABC on at 8 and leave it there until 10. Then if you're lucky, maybe that would be the day they decided to show it. However more then likely you ended up watching something bad, like that fucking show with Andy Dick, why don't they cancel that god damn show? Instead they are canceling one of television's greatest comedies. Why ABC? Why do you hate us so much, first Clerks, and now this?

The Drew Carey Show Maybe there is more to this then meets the eye. Maybe this has nothing to do with the show no longer being funny. As the rest of the lineup shows, ABC isn't concerned with its comedies being funny. It could be that Drew Carey just pissed off a bunch of people at ABC with his crazy antics. Perhaps the regime, upset after a particularly raunchy episode of Whose Line is it Anyway? where Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles did one too many jokes about kissing each other and upset the audience, which was filled with nuns and young orphans, who threatened to sue ABC. To extract revenge, the board decided to get rid of every show which featured those actors. Luckily for ABC that happened to only be The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line is it Anyway?, so they only had to cancel two shows. However this still sent shock waves to Drew Carey's bank account. 

The Drew Carey Show So what will he do? I suggest that Drew Carey get together with Norm McDonald and John Lovitz and start a show. The premise would be the three of them live together in the same house and discuss how they all had good shows which were cancelled by ABC. Then they would go out and try to get work, but end up failing. Then for sweeps, Brian O'Halloran, Jason Mewes, and Jeff Anderson will have a guest appearance on the show where they talk about how they can no longer get any work now that Kevin Smith decided to stop casting them in movies. Then the season finale would be a cliff hanger, where we have to wait until the next season to see if Drew Carey hangs himself or not.

I once had a dream about The Drew Carey Show. It ranks among my best dreams ever. In this dream I was playing a video game, the greatest video game ever. This game was part of the Resident Evil series. In this game Cleveland is under siege by zombies, and its up to Drew to get rid of them. As the dream begins I have just beaten a giant plant monster, and am unsure where to go. I run down a hall where zombies throw stones at Drew. I get worried because the combination of small rocks and the fight with the plant monster has depleted my health. Luckily I find a first aid kit. I wonder around for a while, when suddenly I find out the king of all zombies is attacking. I go at him with a grenade launcher which shoots acid grenades and am barely able to kill him. After killing him, I realize that all the zombies are dead. I head back to the Warsaw where Oswald and Louise are hiding. I enter and the game shows a movie where Drew is excited and runs into the room yelling about how he killed all the zombies. Oswald and Lewis are laying on top of each other and appear to be asleep. Drew tells them to wake up and ruThe Drew Carey Showshes out of the room to find everybody else. Then Oswald and Lewis turn into zombies! Turns out there was one zombie who wasn't dead and it turned all the major characters from the show into zombies. The game then shows a scene where Drew is in his office and everybody he knows is a zombie and is slowly walking towards him. Drew is pointing his grenade launcher at them but is shaking his head and saying, "No I can't do it". Mimi zombie then makes a joke about him being too big of a sissie to shoot them, and Drew makes a joke about only killing her. Then the movie ended and I was given control, the zombie horde attacked and I was killed off. I then took a break from playing the game and the dream ended. That is by far my favorite Drew Carey dream, except for the one where the two of us were polishing cannons and got very greasy, and decided to have a wresting match, but that is a story for another time.

- Johnny Dangerous

The Drew Carey Show