Despite having the largest series premiere in Comedy Central history, ‘The Jeff Dunham‘ show will not be picked up for a second season.
A spokesperson for Comedy Central confirmed the cancellation to THRFeed, saying “We have no plans to renew the series at this time.”
The half hour comedy, starring ventriloquist Dunham and his many marionettes, brought in 5.3 million eyeballs when it debuted in October. Ratings dropped significantly in December though, bottoming out at 1.3 million viewers. Still, that translates to hearty ratings for the cable network whose freshman series ‘Tosh 2.0‘ was renewed for a sophomore season after averaging lower numbers than Dunham, THR Feed notes.
Could lack of critical praise be part of the story? Dunham’s often offensive brand of humor has certainly come under scrutiny. Earlier this month the New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger said of the show, “Offensiveness is a mutable thing, especially on television, where everything is interchangeable: a Lewis Black joke could be a Jay Leno joke could be a Jeff Dunham joke.” Website videogum also recently named Dunham on their “Worst People of 2009″ list, saying “The thing that hurts second most about Jeff Dunham is his unapologetic racism, homophobia, misogyny, and anti-semitism.”
Fortunately for Dunham diehards, the puppet master won’t be hanging up his hand too soon. ‘The Jeff Dunham Show’ was only part of a larger deal between the comedian and Comedy Central. In the new year, look for another comedy special – a follow up to his 2008 special – as well as a tour, and a DVD release.