The show is known for approaching subjects in the current zeitgeist such as the Bill Cosby rape allegations, gun violence, and the presidential election. During a TCA session on the Fox set of the comedy, creator/executive producer/star Jarrod Carmichael was asked whether it was frustrating not knowing when the show will be on and trying to keep scripts relevant to the time.
“We ideally like to be as tight and close to air because its very much a breathing script and a breathing process,” he said, though he didn’t think the writing would be affected. “We try to tell truths that will sustain longer.”
On what to expect in the new season, the show will tackle issues including mass shootings, body image, as well as the topic of today’s on-set table read: rape. Like in previous seasons, humor will be embedded within the seriousness, and nobody is off limits (today’s script read featured a reference to Birth Of A Nation director-star-producer Nate Parker). “We don’t approach anything with fear” but “as much honesty as we possibly can — that’s really the thought that goes into it, not being afraid to explore something,” Carmichael said, citing Norman Lear’s “fearless” work as inspiration to the approach. “There’s humor in everything; not saying that we should take these subjects lightly, but there can be humor mined from any tense or difficult situation.”
Season 3 will also revisit past topics such as Cosby — Carmichael called it “the news story that keeps on giving” — viewed from different angles. “People learn and grow. Staying true to perspective a lot of times, your perspectives shift based on personal experience,” he said. “Characters continue to grow, and they have experiences that inform their lives. We can reverse points of views the way points of views get reversed in real life.”
The Carmichael Show co-stars David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Amber Stevens West, Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish. Danielle Sanchez-Witzel is the showrunner and exec produces along with Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller and Ravi Nandan.