Podcasts are a staple in popular culture, so it’s no surprise that an entire TV series was created around a podcast company. Alex, Inc. stars Zach Braff as Alex Schuman, a radio journalist who decides to quit his day job to start a podcast company along with cousin/investor Eddie (Michael Imperioli) and Deidre (Hillary Anne Matthews), a producer from his previous job who changed careers to support the budding company. The family sitcom highlights Alex’s entrepreneurial struggles as well as his relationship with his supportive wife Rooni (Tiya Sircar) and their two children. The premise is a novel comedy concept but Alex, Inc. will not return for Season 2, according to Variety, so the May 16 finale will be the show’s last episode on ABC. The report posits that the show’s ratings were likely a factor in the decision to cancel it after only one season.
According to The Washington Post, the series is based on real-life businessman Alex Blumberg’s podcast StartUp, which featured stories about starting his company Gimlet Media. The podcast has been active since 2014 and continues to post weekly episodes about the challenges of starting a business.
Not only was it based on a real life career move, but Alex, Inc. also marked Braff’s big return to TV after his starring role on medical dramedy Scrubs. And his work on Alex, Inc. also extended to behind-the-scenes, as the actor also served as an executive producer and frequent director.
Before the premiere, Braff spoke to Bustle about the challenges of pulling double (and sometimes triple) duty on set. "It’s really, really hard [directing myself] because there’s not a single moment of downtime," Braff said. "Even in a movie when I’m directing myself you at least have a bit of downtime in that there is lunch or you go home. When you’re doing a show, when I’m directing, even at lunch you go and edit or when we wrap, we have to be turning around these edits to hand in to the network. It’s particularly hard and you have to move so fast.”
Despite the stressful schedule, Braff is sorry to see the series go. He posted a heartfelt Twitter message shortly after the cancellation announcement, expressing his gratitude for the crew. The tweet also thanks the people who decided to give the show a chance and features a snapshot of the Schuman family laying blissfully in bed together.
Alex, Inc. viewers tweeted with mixed emotions about the feel-good comedy’s abrupt ending. Some fans hoped the show would get picked up by another network and others were simply frustrated at the quick decision to cancel the show.
A lot of fans see Alex, Inc.'s cancellation as an opportunity for Sircar’s career to take off in other projects. She has a recurring role as a demon (Vicky/Real Eleanor/Denise) on The Good Place and a lot of fans want her to be a part of the core cast when the show returns for Season 3. There were also a ton of tweets after the cancellation about Sircar’s bright future in the entertainment industry, post-Alex, Inc.
Sircar also spoke up about the cancellation on her Twitter. Her first tweet thanks the show’s loyal fanbase and reminds them to “never stop dreaming & always follow your passion” like Alex did with his podcast company. She followed up with another post to show love toward Braff and the other creatives who worked on the series.
Will Alex, Inc. find a new home on another network? No one knows at this point, but loyal fans have to assume for now that their Wednesday night staple is a done deal. Hopefully, in Alex's fictional world, his podcast company will outlive the TV show and become a major success.