The madness ends here

In the “Wait.. this show was still on the air?” department, Fox’s long-running Saturday night late-fringe comedy Mad TV was canceled today after fourteen seasons. Oddly enough, of all the late-night shows Fox launched (The Late Show with Joan Rivers, The Wilton-North Report, and The Chevy Chase Show), this program ran the longest.

The sketch comedy show debuted in 1995 during a time Saturday Night Live was struggling in the ratings and was often critically dubbed. But SNL has had a resurgence this year in the ratings and among critics, thanks to the recent Presidential race. SNL once again became the talk around the water-cooler the following Monday morning, while Mad TV became an afterthought.

Alumni from MAD TV include Nicole Sullivan, Alex Borstein, and Frank Caliendo.

No word on a replacement once MAD departs in September, but the program following it – Talk Show with Spike Feresten – is expected to fill the Saturday 10 p.m. time slot. MAD TV’s producers are now discussing the possibility of shopping the program to several cable networks.

But it’s likely Comedy Central isn’t one of them – the cable netork recently decided against renewing its’ option on airing reruns of the series. The contract expires at the end of this year.

MAD TV of course, is based on the long-running humor magazine.