The cult comedy Joe Pera Talks With You was canceled after three seasons.
The show was produced by Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s adult-oriented programming block with shows like Rick and Morty and American Dad part of its show roster.
First aired in 2018, the show consisted of 11-minute episodes in which Pera, a comedian, played a fictionalized version of himself. This Pear lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and takes care of the choir at a local high school. In each episode, he speaks directly to the viewer about everyday matters with topics ranging from dancing to beans and piano lessons. Along the way, spectators were introduced to their friends and neighbors.
The show ran for three seasons in all, with a total of 32 episodes aired, including a holiday special.
Pera, who is currently touring with her stand-up show, revealed the news through her own weekly newsletter. He wrote, “I’m writing to share the unfortunate news that ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’ is over for now. We were driving home from Bethlehem, PA the morning after my last Spring Tour show when I got a call saying no. The more I learn how TV works, the more I realize that it’s kind of a miracle that our easy-going 11-minute show about rocks, beans, grocery stores and breakfast crews got on the air and lasted as long as it did.”
He continued, “And it was rare how much creative freedom we were given by the network. It felt like we broke something – a different kind of tone that has now appeared a little bit elsewhere. Kind of cool, but also frustrating that not being able to continue exploring that ( at least with this show.) Hey, if I’ve never done anything else, this was the show I’ve always wanted to see and I’m glad it now exists. But I hope that’s not the case.”
Joe Pera Talks With You was a critical success (opens in new tab), with a 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Surprisingly, it also achieved a 100% viewership rating for each of its three seasons. One critic called Pera “…a fragile, imposing philosopher of the everyday” and that seemed to be the vibe among the show’s fans. Everyone who saw it loved it, but that wasn’t enough to earn a fourth season.
Analysis: These numbers are off the charts, so why was it cancelled?
It’s hard to imagine getting better reviews than that, which means canceling the show must have been a business decision.
Adult Swim is part of the Warner Bros. universe. Discovery and this merger led new CEO David Zaslav to do his best to get a lot of immediate savings.
The costs were felt most keenly at HBO, which is also in the midst of a wave of cancellations. Despite its star-studded cast, The Time Traveler’s Wife was fired after a single season in early July, and then period drama Gentleman Jack was fired at the end of last week.
Additionally, HBO had already shut down Demimonde, JJ Abrams’ first solo television creation since his original hit Alias, which was budgeted over $200 million.
Joe Pera Talks With You felt like the ultimate cult show. Those who watched loved it, as you’ll see by the outpouring of sadness after Pera posted the news of the show’s end.
I’m sorry, but I have unfortunate news about ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’. I wrote a little update about it here: pic.twitter.com/b25YMYsY6kJuly 7, 2022
Unfortunately, in an age of belt-tightening and cost-cutting, low-rated shows like this seem like easy meat to bean counters, which is a shame.
It’s been a busy year for cancellations, read about everything canceled by Netflix here.