For the 25th anniversary of the FOX network, Keenan Ivory Wayans has been recruited to bring back two half hour specials of the classic urban sketch comedy show that was sort of like FOX’s answer to SNL. Besides the Wayans family, the classic comedy show made huge stars out of Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson and David Allan Grier, who all went on to big careers. Originally designed as a medium for the very talented Wayans family and a few supporting actors to showcase their talents, many of the Wayans family members slowly exited the show by the fifth and final season, where no family members remained by that last season.
FOX intends to give the show two shots as specials, but might bring back the show as a regular series if ratings are strong enough. Although a great medium to launch the careers of some very talented performers, the series never topped #56 in the ratings during it’s five year run over at FOX. However, FOX is a much stronger network these days, and with a good cast the show might do better than before. FOX also had another SNL competitor, MADtv, based off the popular humor and satire magazine which ran 14 seasons, but was canceled a couple of years ago when it drew less than 3 million viewers per episode.
As much as the public seems to like comedy and satire, since 1958 the number of satire magazines like MAD have all disappeared, leaving only MAD as a quarterly publication as Warner Bros. cut staff by a third at the magazine giving it a shoestring budget. SNL has remained the only satire TV show to remain on the air. Other competitors such as FRIDAYS over at ABC and MADtv all eventually folded. Cable TV even gave Frank Caliendo from MADtv his own sketch comedy show for a while over at TBS, FRANK TV. But, the show only lasted just two seasons. More likely than not, any return of IN LIVING COLOR to TV is going to be short-lived. That’s unfortunate. There should be more room for good comedy and satire.