Fans of Damon Wayans Jr. who were looking forward to seeing the actor and comedian make his return to the small screen in Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, will need to wait longer. During an overhaul of their current lineup of programming, the TBS series was shelved. Deadline reports that production was just about to begin rolling the cameras when the cast and crew were alerted to the cancellation. The decision comes shortly after the finalization of the WarnerMedia takeover. And, Kill the Orange-Faced Bear isn’t the first project to get the Warner Bros. Discovery ax. CNN offshoot, CNN+ had just been given its premiere when it received a cancellation order just a short time after.
Perfect for TBS’ lineup of rib-busting comedies, Kill the Orange-Faced Bear was a ridiculous but funny story about one man’s quest to find a bear. But what did the bear do to him? It ate his girlfriend! In the series, Damon Wayans Jr. was to star as the bear tracker, Hank, who, in his haze of grief and desperation, goes on a journey to track down Brenda the bear. The series also starred Jessy Hodges as Hank’s late girlfriend’s twin sister, Jamie; Alex Karpovsky as eccentric park ranger Ronnie; and Nate Torrence as Hank’s best friend and partner in crime, Murray.
As ridiculous as the plot may sound, things are made even more weird and fun by the fact that Brenda the bear could talk and was voiced by none other than Sarah Silverman. While we’re super bummed to not be seeing Damon Wayans Jr. on our screens as Hank, we may be even more disappointed to not be given the chance to hear Sarah Silverman’s take on the sarcastic Brenda the bear. But wait, there’s more. There was also going to be a side story going on within the bear kingdom where Pauline (to be played by Nicole Byer), a seductive bear, had the hots for Brenda’s husband. Rounding out the featured members of the forest was Sam Richardson as Steve the bear whose love for booze and junk food would lead him to break off car doors to get to the goods.
Along with starring in the series, Damon Wayans Jr. was on board to executive produce alongside Trevor Engelson and Steven Fisher of Underground, Jake Szymanski, and Alex Karpovsky. Kill the Orange-Faced Bear writer Romanski (fka Chris Romanski) was also slated to executive produce. With the series being dropped, it marks another significant bump in the road for cable networks who are struggling to compete with the popularity of streaming services.
While the news surrounding Kill the Orange-Faced Bear is a multi-layered upset, all hope is not lost. Right now, it seems as though the project will look into other options for another chance to be made. TNT and TBS General Manager, Brett Weitz, attempted to nab rights to the pitch when it was first put out there five years ago. At that time, it went to Comedy Central before being passed on. With this in mind, the Damon Wayans Jr. and Sarah Silverman-starring series could yet find a new network to work with, giving us a product that sounds equal parts wacky and hilarious.