Champaign ILL, a little-seen comedy series starring VEEP actor Sam Richardson and Happy Endings star Adam Pally, is getting a new lease on life at Hulu. Although the Disney-owned streaming service is not planning on producing a second season, the show's stars and producers are hoping it gets increased exposure on a new platform. Like Cobra Kai, Champaign ILL was originally produced for YouTube Premium.
Champaign ILL debuted in 2018 and ran just 10 episodes. The show is about a hip-hop entourage left to figure out what to do after their star suddenly dies. All of the episodes were released on Hulu on Oct. 12. Hulu has no plans to order new episodes yet and the show isn't even being billed as a Hulu Original. However, the show's producers pushed the show's re-release in a press release to generate some buzz for it.
In an interview with Variety, Pally said he understood the challenges Champaign ILL faced in 2018. It was even more difficult for the show to stand out among streaming shows as YouTube Premium is nowhere near as popular as Netflix or Hulu. "There's just so much good stuff," Pally told Variety. "And so yes. Sam and I were frustrated that it didn't find an audience, but we were also so thankful to get to do one season of it. We kind of treated it like, we may never do more of this anyway. It gave it a certain energy. Unfortunately, it just got lost in the shuffle of streaming services and paywalls."
Executive producer David Caspe, who worked on Happy Endings, asked Sony Pictures Television to find a new home for Champaign ILL so more people could see it, Pally told Variety. The actor doesn't expect new episodes to be made, but he wouldn't be opposed to it. Still, the most important thing to him is that his family can finally find the show. "I'm so thankful that it's in a place now where I can point people to it," Pally told Variety. "We did some really brave and outlandish stuff on that show, including an episode all in one take, and we broke the form quite a bit, it gets pretty serious and a meditation on grief. At the very least, my grandma will be able to see it now."
Champaign ILL was created by Caspe, Jordan Cahan, Daniel Libman, and Matthew Libman. Aside from Richardson and Pally, the series also featured Jay Pharoah, Keith David, Allyce Beasley, Curtis Armstrong, and Rich Sommer. Pally might be too busy to make more episodes since he is working on Sonic the Hedgehog 2. He was last seen in the short-lived NBC series Indebted, which aired last year. Richardson was last seen in Ted Lasso and The Tomorrow War.