Maya Rudolph May Ink Variety Show Deal With NBC

By: Brian Powell - July 14, 2014

On May 19, Maya Rudolph made her television producing debut with the airing of her variety show special, The Maya Rudolph Show. Rudolph, whose career took-off as an actress on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, meant for the show to be a refurbished 70’s era variety show reincarnation. What audiences received was…. questionable. Despite the mixed reviews of the show’s pilot run, however, NBC has announced intentions to return The Maya Rudolph Show to air sometime in the near future.

The pilot version of The Maya Rudolph Show aired directly after part one of the season finale of The Voice, a popular singing competition. That night, some 7.2 million viewers tuned in to watch Rudolph and her comedian friends attempt to bring the variety genre back to NBC, something which the network had not attempted since 2010’s disastrous results with Rosie O’Donnell (a show which aired only once).

After the show aired, however, it was clear that the viewers who had tuned in did so for one of two simple reasons: 1) They loved Rudolph and company in Saturday Night Live and/or Bridesmaids; or 2) A large majority of the 11.5 million who tuned into The Voice simply left the TV on. My vote is for the latter.

While Rudolph may have had good intentions with the show, stating, “… ‘You know what, I really feel like this is what people want right now.’ I think people want to watch TV and feel good and laugh… I do feel like people want this and need this. And I wouldn’t say that they’re lacking it, but in the sense that there’s a whole generation that doesn’t even really know TV in this way,” she simply missed the boat.

Rudolph herself mentions that there is a whole generation of people that have never really seen a 70’s era variety show… and that’s probably for a reason. Audiences today aren’t near as entertained by a few B-list actors getting on stage and performing in some poorly written and acted scenes with some more poorly written and performed musical numbers spliced in-between. And with the plethora of glorious entertainment with high production values and amazing acting, who would?

Exhibit A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAKZGXXM4Mg

Simply put, The Maya Rudolph Show wasn’t funny and potentially belonged in a completely different time and place altogether. If NBC decides to bring the show back to air, hopefully it is not as a full-time series but rather as a monthly special. If given a month to produce one show, hopefully Rudolph and crew could pull together something with better comedic theme, timing, and pizzazz. If not, Rudolph may find herself heading down the same road as Rosie O’Donnell (and no one would wish that upon anybody).

Image via YouTube

About the Author

Brian PowellBrian Powell is a contract writer for WebProNews. In his day job, he is a teacher and tutor for The Princeton Review. He also serves as an assistant coach to Transylvania University's Speech and Debate team.

View all posts by Brian Powell
  • Maya

    Was it really necessary to use that pic?

    • pia

      right! lol

  • pia

    I hope it comes back! I enjoyed it!!

  • Rayvyn007

    I saw it and it was OK, Some of the skits were funny some were not. I hope Maya has nothing but success. I am so tired of the “reality TV” crap we have on now. I want to be entertained! Even if the show does well for a little while, it can open the door for more variety shows. I grew up watching The Flip Wilson Show and the Carol Burnett show. They were very good shows and had talented people. If Maya can bring that level of talent and make it relevant and current, then her show will be a hit.

  • yahoo

    I think Maya is one of the sexiest, funniest and most intelligent women alive on this planet.

  • Jason J. Lewis

    Sorry pal, if you think The Carroll Burnett shows were poorly acted and written then you sir have no taste and therefore are nothing but a self righteous, uninformed blogger. Those variety shows certainly had more entertainment value than the trashy, poorly acted and written so called ‘reality shows’ that populate our 100s of useless cable channels. It takes a lot of work for comedy shows to find their stride, and I think she is absolutely right that people do want to laugh and have fun watching TV again. Keep working Maya, and don’t let idiots like these guys bring you down.