TBS Show Scrapped in Wake of Warner Bros. Discovery Merger

Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, a new comedy starring New Girl actor Damon Wayans Jr., is not moving forward at TBS. The cable network dropped the show last week after the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger was completed. The new Warner Bros. Discovery company has reportedly dropped all original programming at the WarnerMedia cable channels TBS, TNT, and truTV as part of the new company's effort to find $3 billion in savings.

TBS picked up Kill the Orange-Faced Bear in November and a pilot was already filmed, Deadline reported on April 26. TBS ordered 10 episodes, which would be produced in Vancouver. Wayans played Hank, who is desperate to kill a bear that ate his girlfriend. Jessy Hodges played Jamie, the twin sister of Hank's late girlfriend. Alex Karpovsky played park ranger Ronnie and Nate Torrence played Hank's friend Murray. Sarah Silverman, Nicole Byer, and Sam Richardson voiced the main animal characters. The show was written and executive produced by Romanski.

This show was a passion project for Brett Weitz, the general manager for TNT, TBS, and truTV. He heard the pitch about five years ago, but it landed at Comedy Central. After Comedy Central passed, TBS picked it up and ordered a pilot after making some tweaks. "I'm a big fan, and Sam Linsky and Adrienne O'Riain, who run all of our scripted content, were big on what's not on television and what's going to make noise and land with the consumer, but also what's going to be threaded with joy, and what's going to make people laugh, and the absurdity of Kill the Orange-Faced Bear is so beautifully constructed," Weitz told Deadline in November 2021.

Although Kill the Orange-Faced Bear seemed like the perfect fit for TBS' zany brand of comedy, it had terrible timing. After the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger was completed, executives said they wanted to find about $3 billion in savings to cut redundancies in the two media giants. The first to go was new scripted content from TBS, TNT, and TruTV, three sources told Variety on April 26. 

The only scripted originals left on TBS are The Last OG, Chad, Miracle Workers, and American Dad. The Last OG was canceled after Season 4 wrapped, while Miracle Workers was already renewed for a fourth season. Chad's second season is set to air later this year. American Dad was already renewed for two seasons in December 2021. TNT's last remaining shows are Animal Kingdom, which is ending in June, and Snowpiercer, which was picked up for Season 4 before Season 3 began.

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Warner Bros. Discovery's first-quarter earnings report came out hours before the future of TNT, TBS, and truTV was reported. Since the combined company did not exist until early April, the results focused on Discovery. CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said the profits projection from WarnerMedia assets is $500 million less than Discovery expected, but Discovery's own success offset that miss. The new company also shut down CNN+ just weeks after it launched.