Fox should just bring back “In Living Color” for good

Late Friday, Fox made the announcement they’d be bringing back iconic sketch comedy series In Living Color. Actually what they said is that they’d be airing two In Living Color 30-minute specials “based on” the original series this coming Spring– produced and hosted by Keenen Ivory Wayans, the dude who created and executive produced the original show and helped launch the careers of Damon Wayans, Tommy Davidson, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier and Jamie Foxx.

Any fan of great comedy has to be happy about this news– or, at least, happy about the concept of bringing the show back. The new cast — can you even call it a cast if there’s only a planned two episodes? — will be completely different. There will also be special musical guests.

This all seems odd to me.

What good is two episodes worth of new sketches? With commercials that’s a total of about 45 minutes of sketches. If you subtract the musical numbers, now we’re talking about 38 minutes worth of new sketches. If the idea is to expose new talent, this isn’t a great way to do it. We’re going to see, I’d imagine, eight to 10 actors in action over the course of two episodes. And then they’ll be gone. They don’t even get a chance to create a relationship with their audience.

Also, why even attach the In Living Color brand to this? If Fox wants Keenan to crank out 45 minutes of new sketches, let him do it, pay him the money he deserves and call it Keenan Ivory Wayans Presents… Why waste the good name of ILC with this seemingly half-baked idea.

I have to believe — otherwise, why do any of this? — that these two episodes will act as an unofficial test run to see if the viewing public wants In Living Color back– like, for good. And if that’s the case, why not just order a proper half-season of the show and see if it grabs enough eyeballs to order a full year? This two-episode deal makes it look like either Fox doesn’t have faith in the show or Keenan doesn’t want to commit too much time to it. Either way, it looks bad– but not as bad as In The Flow with Affion Crockett, Fox’s recent attempt at a sketch show. Though that show — produced by Jamie Foxx — hasn’t officially been cancelled, don’t worry. The announcement is just around the corner.

So, while I would love to see In Living Color back on Fox — especially since the network canned the consistently stellar MadTV in 2009 — I can’t say I’m ultra excited for this In Living Color-inspired, two episode situation.

What do you guys think? Should Fox just bring back In Living Color? Or does it make sense to just program two 30-minute sketch specials and be done? Sound off in the comments section.

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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