‘Marlon’s Unconventional TV Dad Has So Much More To Learn

by Kayla Hawkins
Tyler Golden/NBC

Even in the modern television industry, when shows premiere throughout the year, there's something a little unexpected about a successful summer network sitcom debut. NBC's Marlon airs its Season 1 finale on Sept. 13, but will Marlon return for Season 2? The family sitcom premiered on Aug. 16 to 1.3 million viewers, according to Deadline. And though NBC hasn't announced anything yet about a renewal or cancellation for the series, so far, it seems like an easy bet that Marlon will return.

Deadline reports that Marlon's Season 1 ratings have been strong, especially alongside its timeslot partner, America's Got Talent. The Marlon Wayans vehicle followed up its premiere with a second episode with a 1.3/5 rating and 6 million viewers overall.

Those numbers are impressive given where and when NBC put this show —summer Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET — and its performance might lead the network to reconsider whether Marlon should stay in summer or be moved to the fall or midseason, naturally building an even bigger audience. So if the show is renewed, the next time you see new Marlon episodes, it could be in the summer of 2018. Or the show could be moved to winter or fall instead.

As for what will happen in Season 2, given that the show hasn't been renewed yet, there have been no new casting announcements or other details to look forward to. But keep a lookout for that announcement coming from NBC.

In the meantime, the Marlon writers room has dropped the odd reference into their Twitter feed about Season 2 possibilities, so if you'd like to look at where the show might be going — an all-musical episode, maybe? — look no further than their account. The Marlon writers room Twitter is also the place to get a behind-the-scenes look at the show's production, which will no doubt continue if the show does too.

The only thing standing in the way of what seems like a pretty clear renewal is the network making the choice. NBC launched This Is Us and The Good Place, last season — two of 2016's best and most highly rated series — but the network has also been known to making some surprising cancellation choices. For example, NBC cancelled The Carmichael Show earlier this year — another half-hour family comedy, albeit one that took raising social issues very seriously. The Carmichael Show was certainly funny, and in addition to star Jerrod Carmichael, had an all-star cast that included Get Out costar Lil Rel Howery and Girls' Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish in supporting roles. It's disappointing to see that series go, but according to Deadline, it was Carmichael's choice to leave the series that ultimately led to its cancellation, not a creative or business decision from NBC.

Marlon, whose star is hopefully less likely to depart, is more in the mold of family sitcoms like black-ish or Fresh Off the Boat — shows that put their characters and central family first and any other larger societal concerns second. And Marlon's slightly unconventional divorced family is certainly positive representation for a common experience that is often overlooked on TV.

So, between its lovable and slightly unconventional family of characters, its larger place in NBC's schedule, which has been light on comedy for the last few years, and its strong debut-season ratings in a tough part of the year, it sounds like Marlon has done just about everything it possibly can in order to guarantee that it has a future. But for now, fans will just have to wait for news on the fate of the summer sitcom and when it might be back on the air.