Various parties have different versions of why HBO is bringing back its one-season comedy series The Comeback, whose last season in original episodes was 2005. Co-creator Michael Patrick King said he and co-creator/star Lisa Kudrow used to talk about lead character Valerie over the years and wondered what she was up to, but they never mentioned the idea of revisiting the show. “It was too much of an emotional risk,” Kudrow told TV critics attending TCA Summer TV Press Tour. “Even to say it,” King chimed in. “Then we got a call from HBO to talk about it.”
HBO EVP Casey Bloys explained he’d been a fan of the show but, when some member of the media attending the Press Tour suggested there had been a “groundswell” of viewer support for the idea of bringing back the comedy, he responded, “I wouldn’t say ‘groundswell.’” Instead, he explained, “HBO is in a different place than it was nine years ago, and we have the room to bring it back, and the future of the network does not depend on the show.” Where we come from, this is known as “damning with faint praise.”
Kudrow again will play Valerie Cherish — the formerly in-demand TV starlet who began to age-out of the business and agreed to allow cameras to follow her every move, reality-TV style, as she appeared in a new TV sitcom. It was a bid to remain relevant, with disastrous results.
Kudrow and King said they’re thrilled to be able to bring Valerie back. But Bloys said HBO has ordered just six episodes for the second season and has not locked in the cast and creators for a potential third. “We didn’t build it as a series,” Bloys said, in re a question as to whether it could go for more seasons. “It could happen, maybe,” he said cautiously. “It’s hard to say. If it does fantastic and everybody loves it…” Then King let the exec off the hook by adding, “If everybody loves it, that will be enough – and if there is more, that will be better.”
When King and Kudrow explained the six-episode season will have a beginning, middle and end, one critic asked if it that meant Valerie dies at the end of the run. TV critics are morbid by nature.
“No! Valerie doesn’t die!,” King responded. “Why would she? She’s an actress.” Kudrow then pointed out, “It’s not Game of Thrones,”