Nathan for You was an improvised docuseries where comedian Nathan Fielder helps small businesses in surprising and ridiculous ways. The show made waves after a stunt to rebrand a local coffee store as “Dumb Starbucks” gained national news attention. The show is ending after four seasons. The news came as a shock given the critical acclaim for its recent season finale.
The fourth season ended with a two-hour special episode which sought to reunite a fan favorite with a long lost love. The special, titled Finding Frances, explored the nature of love and the passage of time and even had a B-plot of Nathan himself becoming enamored with a local sex worker. The AV Club called Finding Frances “one of the most captivating things I’ve seen on television in a long time.” Erroll Morris in the New Yorker declared the special “my new favorite exploration of love.”
Fielder reportedly decided not to continue the show for a fifth season as confirmed in a statement by Comedy Central. From a statement, “For the past five years, Comedy Central had the pleasure of working with the brilliant Nathan Fielder on Nathan For You. His innovative and quick-witted humor has made the show a comedic touchstone and we’re proud to have been a part of it. We respect Nathan’s decision to end the series and look forward to geeking out over his next project.”
HBO’s Animals similarly went out on a high note. Vulture called the show during its 3rd season “the best TV comedy you are not watching.” The show, produced by the Duplass brothers, was structured around animated vignettes of animals dealing with New York City life from pizza rats to Central Park horses. The show never attracted a huge or rather mainstream audience but did have an impressive list of voice talents including Jon Lovitz, Fred Armisen, Demi Moore, Jessica Chastain, Jonah Hill, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric Andre, and many more.
Animals was self-produced by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano and shown at Sundance before being connected to the Duplass Brothers, Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries, and finally HBO. The premium cable channel confirmed the show’s cancelation to Deadline yesterday.
Both shows will be missed by comedians and comedy fans alike.