Comic Book Men Goes the Way of the Dodo
The Kevin Smith produced show Comic Book Men, about the exploits of the staff at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ was canceled by AMC. The show featured people buying and selling collectibles from the staff, and the staff’s adventures in the comic book world.
Comic Book Men, Assemble
Love him or hate him, Kevin Smith gets stuff done. Smith is a divisive character in the nerd community. Many look up to him as the stoner uncle who made it big. Others view him as pandering to the lowest common denominator(s) in nerd culture. Either way, he continually sells out live shows, podcasts, and convention appearances. Furthermore, his fan base can’t get enough. The man hosts between five and seven weekly podcasts (and a YouTube show), directs episodes of The Flash and Supergirl, and writes, directs, and edits his own movies. On top of that, he’s produced and hosted Comic Book Men for seven seasons.
Comic Book Men, a sort of Pawn Stars for geeks, follows the exploits of Smith’s comic book shop in Red Bank, NJ. Walt Flanagan runs the shop with Ming Chen and Mike Zapcic. Their friend Bryan Johnson is not an official Secret Stash employee, but is consistently behind the counter of the shop. The show is a culmination of Ming and Mike’s I Sell Comics! podcast and Walt and Bryan’s Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! podcast. Each episode features folks trying to sell Walt collectible items, with Walt driving a hard bargain, and the staff participating in an event or stunt. It’s a simple premise, but combined nicely with AMC’s Sunday night line-up of The Walking Dead and Talking Dead.
AMC Revamps Sunday Nights
In 2014, AMC axed a lot of unscripted shows in favor of producing more original scripted content. It’s a bold move, considering scripted shows are much more expensive than unscripted shows. However, it paid off in spades for the network and they shot to the forefront of prestige television networks. Since then, they’ve unleashed a slew of original programming in the “new golden age of television.” Comic Book Men and Talking Dead were the sole survivors of the 2014 cancellations. And in 2016 the network debuted Ride with Norman Reedus.
The anchor for this block of shows is The Walking Dead. The zombie show airs its eighth season this fall. But, due to recent sexual assault allegations surrounding host Chris Hardwick, Talking Dead’s future is uncertain. While unconnected, AMC is also canceling Comic Book Men after 96 episodes. This leaves a big gap in the television giant’s Sunday line-up. Talking Dead and Comic Book Men are staples of the network’s Sunday block, and they’re shaking up the formula.
On one hand, it’s a good thing to provide some variety in their programming. On the other hand, it could prove the end for The Walking Dead. The show’s ratings dropped continually since season five, and its seventh season saw ratings comparable to its first season. So, what could AMC have up their sleeve for Sunday night programming? We’ll find out soon enough. Until then, The Walking Dead is there to comfort(?) us in this transitional time!