While appearing on Huffpost Live on Monday, Seth Rogen shared the story of confronting the executive who canceled "Freaks and Geeks." That executive, who we now know to be Garth Ancier, has since responded to the actor's dig on his Facebook page.
Here's how it all went down.
According to Rogen, the two ran into each other while in the "Saturday Night Live" writers' room last week. Rogen called him out on ending the cult hit show, and to his surprise, Ancier engaged.
"He was like, 'You know, Judd [Apatow] wouldn't listen to my notes.' I was like, 'Your notes probably were stupid!'" Rogen said. "He was like, 'You know, I kept telling Judd [Apatow], give them a victory, give them a victory,' And I was like, 'The whole show was about how in high school you always lose all the time and that's it!' He went to a private school and was very rich as a child."
It seems Ancier originally thought the exchange more benign -- he posted afterward to Facebook, ""In the writers room at SNL tonight, still taking some mild abuse for canceling Freaks and Geeks 14 years ago... once again, Judd Apatow and cast, sorry!" -- but after Rogen's further zings on Monday, he felt the need to add in his two cents. On Tuesday, Ancier responded, via Facebook:
OK, this is getting pretty funny. Now I'm the rich kid who went to private school so couldn't understand that public high school kids who are Freaks and/or Geeks never have any victories over the cool kids. Yes, I went to private school (Lawrenceville), but my parents were not rich (very supportive, but not rich), and finally - THIS IS TV! The ultimate realm of wish-fulfillment!
By the way, I have green-lit a lot of high school based TV series in my day - but, for example, never thought that Joss Whedon should make "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" more reflective of a normal public school. And Buffy had some victories - like every time she "dusted" a vampire...
Again, I apologize to the very talented folks who made this series so fun to watch. In my next life I will revive it on cable!
Ancier also posted about his understanding of the conversation with Rogen, which he gave TV Guide permission to print:
Just to clarify, Seth Rogen: I thought we had a very nice chat about Freaks and Geeks on Saturday night. As I said, my only note to Judd Apatow over the entire series was that either the Freaks and/or the Geeks should win the occasional victory over the cooler kids — especially since Judd Apatow has taken that note in every hit movie since.
I absolutely hated canceling this particular show. It was clear from the very beginning that Freaks and Geeks had great writing from Judd and Paul Feig, and a tremendous cast. This was an awful decision that has haunted me forever. But the show was consistently NBC's least-viewed. For what it is worth, I have watched all of the episodes over and over again on Netflix, and asked myself what I could have done better to save it.
As much as "Freaks and Geeks" fans like to think of the executive who canceled the show as an evil suit with no heart, it appears he too was racked with emotion about the decision. Although, if this whole situation tells us anything, it's that the show was indeed unique -- special enough to merit a full-blown "Freaks and Geeks"-gate, 14 years after it went off the air.
For more, head over to TV Guide.