Johnny Knoxville Says Give Hulu ‘More Credit’ than Just Assuming It Canceled the Show Over Meta Digs

"Oscar Wilde said, 'Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,'" Knoxville said, "but he didn’t see what happened with 'Reboot.'"
Reboot -- “Step Right Up” - 101 -- When a young writer sells the pitch for the reboot of an early 2000’s sitcom, the show’s actors must come back together and face their unresolved issues. Zach (Calum Worthy), Reed (Keegan-Michael Key), Clay (Johnny Knoxville), and Hannah (Rachel Bloom), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Johnny Knoxville doesn’t want to have “Jackass” reaction to the untimely cancellation of “Reboot.”

The comedy series, created by “Modern Family” Emmy winner Steven Levitan, starred Knoxville, Keegan-Michael Key, and Judy Greer as former ’90s sitcom stars who reunite to revive their show. Paul Reiser and Rachel Bloom portray a father-daughter screenwriting team behind the new iteration of fictional show “Step Right Up.” Hulu announced the critically acclaimed comedy was canceled after one season in January.

“I have no insight as to why it was canceled,” Knoxville recently told Vulture. “It’s all played very close to the vest. I know we made a lot of fun of Hulu in the show, but I give the executives more credit than to cancel it for such a silly reason.”

“Reboot” frequently made digs at parent streamer Hulu, with the “Step Right Up” satire sitcom tweaked by Hulu executives to adhere to an elusive algorithm for viewers. Ironically, Knoxville speculated that is probably why “Reboot” was given the ax.

“Of course I would’ve liked it to end differently, but I realize I’m a very lucky human being. We made a great show, and it’ll be there for people to watch forever. That’s a pretty great thing,” Knoxville said. “Hopefully I’m not coming off as angry or sad. I’m so appreciative of all that has happened, but of course I’m a little pissed at the way it ended.”

And perhaps it isn’t totally the end just yet. Knoxville added, “You could make a spinoff of just the writers’ room. That was probably my favorite part of the show — watching those writers and listening to anything that came out of Rose Abdoo’s mouth. There were a lot of laughs. But now it’s like, Oh, God, really? At least I did something that good. At least I was part of a show that good.”

The “Jackass” star summed up of the series cancellation, “I have a lot of feelings about it. I’m so grateful and thankful it happened. I’m stunned and shocked it’s over. Of course there’s anger, but you try not to give into that. I’m still trying to process it. I mean, come on, it was a Steve Levitan show. We delivered a very strong first season. This is my first series, so I was spoiled. Everyone kept telling me it’s rare to work on a show of this caliber with people you like. We all got along so well. We were like, ‘Oh, this will be fun to do for the next five or six seasons.’ We took it for granted. Boy, were we surprised. Oscar Wilde said, ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,’ but he didn’t see what happened with ‘Reboot.'”

He added, “We’re disappointed that it was canceled, but I’m also not tone-deaf. People have real problems in this world. An actor’s show getting canceled isn’t the end of the world. That said, we did love it, and were hopeful it was going to go on.”

Sources told IndieWire that “Reboot” creator Levitan is currently shopping the show to other outlets with hopes of finding it a new home.

Levitan later tweeted, “Well, that seems to be a wrap on Reboot. Very proud of our amazing cast and crew and what we did together. Thanks to all who watched and said such nice things. Haven’t seen it? Check us out on Hulu if you can find it. #UnintentionalLimitedSeries.” 

“Reboot” stars Greer and Bloom took to social media, with Greer writing on Instagram, “My heart is so sad tonight that I won’t get to do this show anymore with these incredible people. It was an amazing experience and I will forever be so grateful.”

Bloom shared also on Instagram, “I guess I should have a ‘classy’ response to @rebootonhulu being canceled by Hulu so I’ll say thank you so much to @stevelevitan for making this wonderful show, to @missjudygreer @keeganmichaelkey @calumworthy @johnnyknoxville @kristamarieyu for being the best cast mates ever and for @paulreiserofficial letting me yell at him onscreen and being my rabbi offscreen. I hope this gets another life somewhere else.”

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