For someone with a certain sense of humor, The Sarah Silverman Program was one of the funniest, most original shows on TV before it ended prematurely way back in 2010. Sarah Silverman played an exaggerated, selfish version of herself, hung out with her gay neighbors (played by Brian Posehn and Steve Agee) and her sister. The show was so funny (and controversial) because it didn’t hesitate to have jokes about abortion, religion, and everything else that gets people all bent out of shape.
So it’s confusing that Silverman sold a pilot to stodgy ol’ NBC. In the new show, titled Susan 313, she’ll play a middle aged woman who’s readjusting to the single life after a long term relationship with a much older man, who will be played by Jeff Goldblum. Also set to be on the show is Silverman Program alumni Tig Notaro and Parks and Recreation writer Harris Wittels.
Tig Notaro is a popular comedian (her famous bit about Taylor Dayne is hysterical) and will apparently play a lesbian mother that lives in the same building as Silverman’s character. It’s hard to picture Silverman, who’s come under fire from mainstream audiences in the past simply for being Jewish, making jokes about the church with a lesbian character on a network that prefers Jay Leno over Conan.
This is only speculation, but would Sarah Silverman sign on to a show where she has to water down her sense of humor for the sake of ratings? It’s hard to picture, and based on the premise of the show so far it doesn’t seem like that’s happened, yet. Last month, she tweeted this picture of herself…
…and tweeted “Got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned.” Uh oh. The conservative minded “Drudge Report” picked up on the story right away and used the headline “Sarah Silverman Tweets Before-and-After Abortion,” even though the aborted fetus was nothing more than a burrito.
NBC is in a desperate spot. They’ve consistently been losing the ratings battle against CBS and ABC and while shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Rec are awesome comedy sitcoms, they don’t appeal to the number of people Modern Family does. Are You There, Chelsea? was cancelled after one season and Whitney, which was expected to give the peacock a shot in the arm, has been underwhelming. Couple that with The Office’s declining numbers and maybe the controversy Susan 313 could stir up would look good for NBC executives desperate for any kind of life. Hopefully it’s as ridiculous as this,