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Apatow Celebrates 'Undeclared' on DVD

(Posted August 17, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( In the fall of 2001, less than two years after the untimely demise of "Freaks and Geeks," Judd Apatow returned to television with FOX's "Undeclared," a squeamishly awkward comedy that did for college what "Freaks" did for high school -- exposed the humiliation, hilarity and humanity of the whole experience.

Naturally, the show tanked.

"I thought people would like it because it was funny, at least to me," Apatow recalls. "I thought it was well done. I was very excited about it."

To some degree, "Undeclared," which featured a cast of perfectly fit then-unknowns including Jay Baruchel, Carla Gallo, Seth Rogen, Timm Sharp, Monica Keena and Charlie Hunnam, was the victim of circumstance.

"We were supposed to premiere about two weeks after 9/11," says Apatow. "So they had this great ad campaign happening and we were on after 'That '70s Show' and it felt like everything was in place, but suddenly the entire world changed and suddenly our little show didn't seem important at all. It was actually very hard to even want to make the show anymore, because something so much more important was happening. We had to kinda get back in the head of thinking it was important to make jokes."

Actually, with an average of 7.3 million viewers and a wealth of critical admiration, "Undeclared" had more success than "Arrested Development," "The Bernie Mac Show" and several other shows that FOX has kept on life-support for several years.

"I never sensed that they got the show as much as they wished they would," Apatow sighs. "It may not have been lowest-common-denominator enough for them. It was a drag because they promised us they would give us at least seven months to find an audience and they cancelled us at six, so I kinda depressed about that."

Viewers will get a second chance to find "Undeclared" with the single-camera comedy's DVD release on Tuesday (Aug. 16). Like "Freaks and Geeks" before it, "Undeclared" has gotten the full bells-and-whistles treatment including audition footage, live concert footage from co-star Loudon Wainwright III, oodles of outtakes and extended takes, an unaired episode and 18 commentary tracks featuring just about anybody who ever wrote for, directed or starred in an episode of the series.

Source: Zap2it

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