Tonight in Seattle:  

Creature Comforts: RIP, appointment TV

still from the British version of Creature ComfortsCreature Comforts began in 1989 as a short film by British artist Nick Park. In it, claymation animals in a zoo were matched with the voices of ordinary British citizens talking about their homes... and the result was nothing short of brilliant.

You may know Mr. Park best as the mastermind behind Wallace & Gromit; he created his first W&G short, A Grand Day Out, that same year. Both films competed for the '89 Academy Award in the Animated Short category, and Creature Comforts won.

Park and Aardman Animations would go on to produce more W&G shorts, numerous TV ads and PSAs, the subtly Marxist masterpiece Chicken Run, and the first W&G feature (again, brilliant) as well as two series for ITV based on Creature Comforts (equally brilliant). Stateside, you may've seen the original series on late-night Comedy Central or on DVD.

Aardman has graced us with an American version of Creature Comforts, and CBS began running the seven half-hour episodes, with very little fanfare, on Monday nights in early June. The original purpose of this blog entry was to encourage you to watch/tape/TiVo, but, as I feared, the show was just too good/clever/subtle/weird to last long on American network TV.

That's right, CBS has axed the show after three episodes, and, according to TV Squad, there are no plans to air the remaining four.

What a damn shame.

The premise -- unscripted interviews with members of the American general public becoming vignettes featuring plasticine animals in a variety of scenarios -- somehow worked as gloriously as its Brit counterpart did. See for yourself:

More clips and two full episodes can be viewed at the CBS CC site. For now.

THAT SUCKS!

Suck suck suck NO!

The only thing worth watching on TV got CANCELLED?

I was a little miffed that the short got Americanized and turned into a weekly, but it turned out great. I even liked the reappearance of the (?) Jaguar.

Booo!

boy, the "without much fanfare" thing is right - i literally stumbled upon creature comforts on CBS 2 weeks ago and flipped out by how excited i was. not only was it a return to a format for which the aardman animation style is perfectly suited, it also seemed to me to be a return to the kind of sly, subtle intelligent comedy that made me love aardman in the first place.

it KILLS me to be denied the last 4 episodes - where's cartoon network in all this? adult swim started as a refuge for brilliant animation cancelled by major networks - they really ought to step up and at least show the last 4 episodes of the "creature comforts" instead of airing a weekly glut of shrill and lousy new programming whose obvious intended audience is america's marijuana-addled 14 year old boys.

Yet again, a major network doesn't want to bother giving the audience a chance.

Hey, CBS executives, don't bother faulting yourselves for not promoting or advertising the show, just cancel it!

I really thought FOX took the cake for this kind of mentality, but apparently all the networks are picking up the mindset.

Here's to business as usual!! Throw a few more "reality tv" shows on the air.... who's going to notice the difference! Pathetic.

I was all set to watch tonight's episode and could not understand why it was not on, so checked the internet. I cannot believe they cancelled the show. Everyone I know LOVES the show. It is so funny. What a shame.

I never got a chance to see it. Was excited to get a chance to see it and then "wham" I go to the website when I could not find it on tv and it had been cancelled. What a real shame. I do not even watch much tv. (work and school at night) A tv show that I might actually watch. But oh no! Oh well, I guess I will stick to my radio.

I am so very disappointed. I had my tv set to tune to Creature Comforts. Imagine my disappointment when "Old Christine" came on. I don't like Old Christine and I thought Creature Comforts was absolutely hysterical.
Another reason not to watch CBS.

I'll echo what's been said. I just sat down with anticipation to see the 3rd episode with my wife to find it bumped by a double dose of "Christine". It was one of the very few network shows I felt was "must see TV". I hope one of the cable networks like Comedy Central pick it up. Bummed out my night for sure.

This sucks! How do we get a petition to bug CBS to put it back on?

My favorite show is gone, it is a sad day

I am disappointed as well!!!!!!!!!! I just found a link at http://www.creaturecomforts.tv/ to email CBS that you want Creature Comforts back. Email them, everybody!

I KNEW cbs would do this!! They suck, suck, suck!!! My husband and I have followed the work of these guys since the first Wallace and Gromit shorts 15 years ago, own everything they have produced on dvd, and now happily share the experience of their fine work with our kids. I saw the orginal Creature Comforts years ago and have been trying to explain the comic genius of it to others ever since. CBS...you wouldn't know a quality show if it bit you in the ass, which I hope this extremely poor decision does. I'm soooo disappointed. Keep rerunning those lame ass reruns of "Christine." I'll watch my Aardman dvds.

I can't believe they slipped it the axe! It was bloody hilarious! And what do they play instead? MORE episodes of stupid f'ing Christine!!!!

Whahhh! I was so excited. Been following Nick Parks for 10 years. This is the one and only tv show I watch. Only saw two episodes! Missed the first one & I can't get the old episodes to play on my computer from the CBS Creature Comforts site/ innertube link. Any tips? Anyone have tapes of the first episode they are willing to sell/share?

Their website says the DVD is coming out in October on Sony Home Video, so at least there's that to look forward to. And yes, CBS does suck.

Everyone please go to the CBS site, click "Feedback" at the very bottom of the page and let these morons know how we feel.

Please please bring back this delightfully clever show! I've been looking forward to watching it all week! Everyone I know loves this show too so pleaase bring it back!!!!!!

Yet again---ANOTHER show I love gets cancelled!!!I am used to this on Fox, but some other past CBS shows (Stressed Eric anyone) were cut after 2 episodes. I told my wife that this was worth making sure we watched with the kids. Maybe I need to move to the UK to get these shows in their first run glory. I can only hope that Adult Swim picks this up and runs it for a long time. 'tis a shame that American viewers can't be exposed to a show that is original and doesn't involve D list celebrities or eating disgusting things. I look forward to maybe getting the DVD some day.

I am SO pissed about this! I wondered why it wasn't scheduled on my DVR for this evening and found your site. What are they thinking?! They put on instead reruns of snoozefest Old Christine. That's really logical. I sent a complaint and a request to CBS from their feedback page; complained that they'd nixed it and requested that they show the rest somewhere, anywhere. This stuff is award-winning in the UK, what's WRONG with these people?!

Go here and whine at them if you're disappointed too. Click on Feedback and a form pops up.
http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/info_faq_contact_us.shtml#

This really sucks because I flipped through the channels and found this show and literally laughed until I cried and not everything is funny to me. I told lots of people about this also. And when I went to turn it on tonight, I see its not coming on so I searched online to see what the deal is and now I know its cancelled. This is awful because my 3 and 5 year old were looking forward to it, they thought it was hilarious. Please put this show back on. Very Disappointed!!!

We are so upset. Can't believe they cut the show. We have e-mailed CBS, but this is just so disappointing. We don't have cable and we're so thrilled to be able to watch a quality TV show. Indeed, this really sucks.

Yeah...so I get home at 11:30 pm last night from work and get ready to watch Creature Comforts on my Tivo and it's not there. Then I look on my Tivo and it tells me that there are no upcoming episodes! This show is the only thing worth watching on Monday nights. I can't believe that CBS would yank such a creative, fun show that the entire family can enjoy...

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