EXCLUSIVE: The run of TBS’ series Chad has been cut short. The completed second season of the coming-of-age comedy, created by and starring Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad as teen boy Chad Amani, will not run on the network as previously announced.
The show, whose first season was well received by critics and ranked as 2021’s #1 new scripted cable comedy series, is the latest TBS casualty of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger. It joins the Damon Wayans-fronted new comedy series Kill the Orange Bear which got the chop a week before it was set to begin production, and reality series The Big Dwhich was scrapped weeks ahead of its premiere.
The decisions come as Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and his team are examining the WarnerMedia assets, with the linear TNets under particular scrutiny. At TBS sibling TNT, a decision was recently made that the linear channel’s last remaining scripted series, Snowpiercer, will end with its upcoming fourth season as the networks are getting out of the scripted business. The TNets are now part of the portfolio of Discovery’s Kathleen Finch, with the channels’ top programming executives under the previous regime, GM Brett Weitz, who was a big champion of Chadand head of unscripted Corie Henson, recently exiting.
“As we continue to assess content and implement a new strategy for our network, we can now share that season two of Chad will not air on TBS,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement to Deadline. “We are proactively exploring various options to find the right home for it. We celebrate and thank Nasim Pedrad, the passionate creator, executive producer and star of the series, for sharing a bold, unexpected coming of age story with heart and humor. We also thank executive producer Oly Obst, co-showrunner Max Searle, and the entire cast and crew of Chad for their ongoing partnership and wish everyone continued success.”
While The Big D was shelved as it is expected to be used as a corporate tax write-down, as TBS’ statement indicated, the network’s new leadership has committed to assist Chad‘s producers in finding a new home for the show where it could potentially go to a third season. If a buyer is found, they would be able to acquire the unaired second season as well Chad‘s first season, I hear.
“I recognize the landscape of our industry is changing so quickly,” Pedrad said in a statement to Deadline. “Did I expect my show to get caught in the crosshairs of a corporate restructuring and merger? No. I’ve spent the last year making a season of television I’m really proud of. From the writers room to production through the editing, a team of very talented and dedicated people came together to tell a story we believe in. A hard comedy that portrays Middle Eastern characters from a place of empathy and humanity. I feel so lucky that Chad has an incredibly loyal fanbase. I know they’re going to love this season and I’m excited for the show to find a new home.”
There have been successful precedents — fellow comedy Cobra Kai was caught in a programming strategy shift at YouTube which also decided to pull out of original scripted programming. Cobra Kai at the time had a completed third season and was coming off big ratings for its first two seasons. With YouTube’s cooperation, the series’ studio Sony Pictures TV found a new home for Cobra Kai at Netflix where the show has thrived and is now headed into its fifth season.
In addition to its strong ratings, Chad, which premiered at SXSW, has been hailed for its role in breaking racial stereotypes with an authentic representation of immigrant life and Middle Eastern Americans. For Pedrad, Chad has been a passion project that she has worked on for almost a decade. The project moved to TBS and went to series there after originating as a pilot at Fox six years ago.
Following the series’ strong debut, TBS renewed Chad a year ago for a second season. In February, the network announced an April 11 premiere date for Season 2 and released a teaser (You can watch it below). Three days before the scheduled Season 2 debut, on April 8, the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger closed. The premiere plans were scrapped as the TNets’ went under the microscope of the new regime. In May, TBS released a new promo touting a new, July 11 premiere date for Season 2 (you can watch it below too).
Season 2 picks up after summer break, at the start of the sophomore year for newly elected class president Chad Amani (Pedrad). Chad deals with a scandal that quickly ends his presidency, has a surprising new love interest, and gets a visit from his tough-as-nails Iranian grandmother — all while continuing to worry about his popularity, and discovering new ways to relate to his Persian cultural roots.
Chad’s epic path to teenage self-realization is not always a straight line, but the support from his family and best friend Peter (Jake Ryan) keep Chad on track, giving him the confidence to help him become who he has always wanted to be: the most American boy in the history of the world.
Season 2 cast also includes Paul Chahidi as Uncle Hamid; Saba Homayoon as Naz, Chad’s mother; Ella Mika as Chad’s sister, Nicky; Alexa Loo as Denise; and Thomas Barbusca as Reid as well as new addition Sara Malal Rowe. Pedrad and Max Searle served as co-showrunners and executive produced alongside Rob Rossell, who co-developed Chad, and 3 Arts’ Oly Obst.