The late Garry Shandling‘s The Larry Sanders Show is returning to HBO, the network that first aired six seasons of the influential comedy series. According to the Wrap, Shandling was putting the finishing touches on a deal to bring his beloved series exclusively back to HBO at the time of his death at the age of 66. “I loved Garry. We were fulfilling his wishes to see the show move to HBO,” Sony Pictures Television chairman Steve Mosko told The Wrap.
The series hadn’t appeared on HBO or its on-demand services since soon after The Larry Sanders Show concluded its run in 1998. The series’ initial cable syndication rights were scooped up by Bravo, who edited the content of the episodes in order to meet cable broadcast guidelines; subsequent DVD releases featured the episodes in their unedited form.
More recently, the series had been available for streaming on the Sony-associated site Crackle until those rights expired two months ago, opening the door for a reunion between The Larry Sanders Show and HBO.
Since Shandling’s death at the age of 66, many of his Larry Sanders Show co-stars have paid tribute to the comedy legend. “I am so sad,” Jeffrey Tambor, who played sidekick Hank “Hey Now” Kingsley on the faux late-night show, said in a statement. “Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher. Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of geniuses. I will miss him so much.”
Judd Apatow, a writer on the Larry Sanders Show, said in a statement, “Garry would see the ridiculousness of me being asked to sum up his life five minutes after being told of his passing. It is a perfect, ridiculous Larry Sanders moment. I can imagine how Hank would handle it, but I just don’t know how to sum up someone I loved so much who taught me everything I know and was always so kind to me. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better.”
HBO also released a statement following Shandling’s death, “Garry ushered in the modern period of original programming at HBO with his brilliant masterpiece, The Larry Sanders Show. All of us at HBO have a special place in our hearts for him, not only for his enormous talent but for his kindness and decency. We will miss him terribly.”