Tyler James Williams Reveals Why Everybody Hates Chris Was Canceled

Comedian Chris Rock’s life was so intriguing, engaging, and hilarious that a series was developed around it. Everybody Hates Chris debuted in 2005 on UPN, starring Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, and Tichina Arnold. But after only four seasons, fans of the show were devastated to find out that the network decided it would not be returning for a fifth season. According to Williams, the cast was told: “no one was watching it.”

Everybody Hates Chris was a highly acclaimed sitcom about Chris Rock’s teenage memories growing up. The series was listed on many top ten lists for various publications and received a Golden Globe nomination, multiple Emmy nominations, and an NAACP Image Award.  

But while audiences and critics alike found joy in the sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris began to experience a steady decline in viewership and ratings. The sitcom lasted only one season on its parent network UPN before moving to the CW network for its final three seasons. The CW juggled the sitcom’s time slot multiple times from Monday nights to Friday Nights, where it is often stated that shows would be placed there “to die.” Finally, the show was canceled, with its final episode airing on May 8, 2009. 

Chris dropped out of high school in the series finale, and questions were left unanswered. However, Chris Rock seemed to be ok with the decision at the time. The comedian was reported to have ended the show on his terms and is quoted as stating that the show’s ending “might not be a bad way to go.” The series finale of Everybody Hates Chris was also reminiscent of the popular television series Sopranos. While speaking to TV Guide, Tyler James Williams also expressed his satisfaction with the finale. “If it ends here, we ended it the right way,” he said. Seeing as though the series was intended to center around his teenage life, they were perhaps correct.

Who else seemingly took things in stride was actor Terry Crews, who played the role of Chris’s father. While speaking with Hollywood.com, Crews shed light on the fact that Chris Rock began pursuing comedy around 17-years-old following his leave from high school. With lead actor Williams being a sophomore in high school at the time, Crews felt that the “timing” of everything lined up “pretty well.” However, the actor then added, “Once he becomes a comedian, the show’s over.”

Thanks to syndication and streaming, Everybody Hates Chris has found renewed popularity. Tyler James Williams, who currently stars on ABC’s new sitcom Abbott Elementary, talked with Shadow and Act’s Opening Act podcast. He revealed that achieving syndication was a shocker. “Once that merger with the CW happened, our numbers started tanking like all the other Black shows that were on UPN,” the actor shared. “So, we were very much so told that nobody was watching it.”

But people were and still continue to watch the show years later. To help commemorate the show’s 15th anniversary since debuting, Williams took to Twitter to engage in a Q&A with fans. During the conversation, Williams responded to a fan’s inquiry about a possible reboot of the show. “Its been a convo before,” the actor began in a tweet, “but the interesting hiccup & blessing is that everyone in this photo is very busy.” Williams continued that each member of the original cast is still actively working “in a variety of different mediums, genres, networks, etc.” However, he promised they would continue to “keep trying,” though he was very “proud of our scheduling issue.”

As stated previously, Tyler James Williams is currently starring alongside Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph in ABC’s Abbott Elementary. Following his run on Everybody Hates Chris, he starred in the Disney Channel film Let It Shine and appeared on shows like The Walking Dead and Whiskey Cavalier. Williams also starred in the critically acclaimed film The United States vs. Billie Holiday. In addition, Terry Crews remains active as the host of America’s Got Talent while still acting in films such as John Henry and Rumble. And Tichina Arnold is currently starring in CBS’s The Neighborhood alongside Cedric The Entertainer.

Fans of the series will be excited to know that Everybody Hates Chris has finally been scheduled for a reboot. This time, it will come in the form of an animated series, with Chris Rock slated to return as the narrator. It’s being reported that Paramount+ is a contender for the platform that will air the reboot.

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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