“It was a revenge mission”: Tom Cruise’s Arch-Enemy Judd Apatow Swore Oath to Make Studio Regret Canceling ‘Freaks and Geeks’

“It was a revenge mission”: Tom Cruise’s Arch-Enemy Judd Apatow Swore Oath to Make Studio Regret Canceling ‘Freaks and Geeks’
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Paul Feig-created classic American teen comedy-drama, Freaks and Geeks faced terrible premature cancelation after season 1 containing 18 episodes in 2000. The NBC drama had captured the hearts of many in a small period, who expected a renewal of the series.

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Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks. Source: NBC

The show had an ensemble cast that included Seth Rogen, James Franco, Busy Philipps, Martin Starr, Samm Levine, Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, and How I Met Your Mother fame, Jason Segel. Judd Apatow, the executive producer of the series, however, was not in line with the studio’s decision to cancel the show.

Also read: “Tom is not fine, something is wrong right now”: Trainwreck Director Judd Apatow Obliterates Tom Cruise, Says Scientology Has Turned Him Paranoid

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Judd Apatow’s On The Savior Mode

Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow, who once mocked legendary actor Tom Cruise over his Scientology beliefs and other aspects, attempted to save his show, or at last, form the career of his rising stars. Jason Segel, who played Nick Andopolis in Freaks and Geeks once said how Apatow was determined to save the cast of the show after the cancellation of the classic.

“[It was] a ‘Count of Monte Cristo’–style revenge mission on Judd’s part that he will systematically make every one of these people a star.”

Evidently, journalist Thea Glassman’s book Freaks, Gleeks, and Dawson’s Creek: How Seven Teen Shows Transformed Television also reveals how the comedian attempted to sustain the cast of the show in showbiz.

Apatow once revealed getting an offer from MTV for the revival of the show at a “much lower budget” in 2000, however, the cast and crew mutually decided to let it go as they would not taint the original show with a weaker version.

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Later, Seth Rogen bluntly said that he would let the show rest in its beautiful state the way people appreciate and celebrate.

“It’s so rare that you do something in your career that is actually just viewed as good,” Rogen said. “I know enough now not to fuck with that, to just let it be good and not try to go revisit it, and just let it exist.”

Of course, the writer/director/producer, Judd Apatow, later worked with Segel and Rogen on several projects, but the cancellation of the classic was very upsetting to him.

Also read: “What a lunatic. You’re 60, calm down”: The 40-Year-Old Virgin Director Judd Apatow Trolls Tom Cruise and Scientology

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NBC Regretted Cancelling the Show

Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks. Source: NBC

There are several reasons for the show to face premature cancellation, primarily the horrible time slot that the show got and huge creative differences with NBC. The timeslot was one thing, but the creative differences prompted the show to wind down earlier than expected. “Whoever was in charge at the time didn’t quite understand what we were trying to do,” screenwriter Gabe Sachs once told The Guardian. 

“They’d ask things like, ‘When is Sam going to make out with a cheerleader?’ In reality a special moment to us in high school was when we were sitting next to a girl and our knees were touching, never mind actually making out! But the network didn’t buy that at all. They also wanted James Franco to take off his shirt, Britney Spears to make a guest appearance and everyone to actually be cool.”

Apatow also hoped that the show should have been on HBO, “there was no home for us in 1999,” he said.

However, NBC’s Garth Ancier revealed in Glassman’s book that the studio deeply regretted canceling the cult classic. 

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“It’s easy to cancel a show when the show is just god-awful. Then you’re basically saying to someone without saying it, ‘Your show is god-awful. I’m irritated that we gave you all this time and all this money to make it work and it didn’t work. The hard cancellation is when everyone thinks the show is very special but no one is watching it. Then you sort of get into this position of, Well, now I feel like I’m clubbing a baby seal.”

The showrunners had all planned out the characters for season 2, but unfortunately, it never got to see the light of day.

Also read: Tom Cruise Reportedly Ditched the Oscars as He Thought Jimmy Kimmel’s Jokes Were Written by His New Enemy Judd Apatow

Source: IndieWire

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Written by Lachit Roy

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Lachit Roy is a seasoned writer specializing in science and entertainment news. Armed with a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Tezpur University, he brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his craft.

Lachit is particularly passionate about crafting engaging content on entertainment news and trends. A dedicated movie enthusiast, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the cinematic world and takes joy in disseminating the latest updates to the global fandom. When not immersed in writing, Lachit can be found indulging in his love for movies and series, occasionally tending to his garden, but predominantly expanding his expertise in the realms of his interests.