As time went on after the inception of reality TV (possibly first through the 1945 US show Queen For A Day), its definition became more and more a blurry vague impression of a few central codes. And these central traits were very different in the late 20th century – and for the first half of the 2000s, than what was originally thought of.
Rather than any necessary ties to an indie hidden-camera setup, reality TV today is a hotbed of corporate aesthetics, advertising, and sponsorship – complete with a multi-camera classic Hollywood setup, and rather than its strictly unscripted nature, the most common trope in the ‘Survivor’s and the ‘House Hunter’s are the confessional segments. Naturally, the frequent cloning of structures and show tropes made the reality TV sector also a saturated ground where ideas go to run stale.
‘Better Late Than Never’ was NBC’s foray to do things differently (differently enough, that is, so one would not notice the blindingly obvious pitfalls). A show that basically tries to spring De Niro and Morgan Freeman’s ‘Last Vegas’ to life. It might have succeeded in doing so, but the skin-deep attempts to make it feel organic flakes off quite easily before the slightest scrutiny.
The show has had two moderately successful seasons so far. Now the question is, will there be a Better Late Than Never season 3? We will delve into that question, but first let’s quickly look into the details of the series.
Better Late Than Never Cast: Who’s in it?
Given the kind of show Better Late Than Never is, one would expect it to have ordinary everymen as its central lovable senescent misfits. But this is not the case in practice – on the contrary, Better Late Than Never banks much on star power – all of its elderly protagonists are established actors and famous, at least on the silver screen domain. The only young member of the main cast is the host/sidekick figure who kickstarts things: Jeff Dye.
Although most of his career is as a writer/producer/tech-geek comic, Jeff has also starred in the flesh on several shows before – Court-Ordered and Noches con Platanito are examples. However, Better Late Than Never is in a way Jeff’s first major role – and he seems reasonably proficient in it. The real stars of the show, as it were, are the elderly band of flaneurs: a quartet consisting of Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, and George Foreman. They will need no introducing, given their long and replete acting career.
William Shatner is Kirk from the Star Trek franchise (all four movies); Winkler was once an eminent comic and has had several roles in celebrated productions including big titles like Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation, and Royal Pains. Naturally, Better Late Than Never, being semi-scripted, ended up working in its favour. There have been guest stars in specific episodes; we have so far seen the likes of David Hasselhoff and Al Rocker make cameos. But the cast has invariably remained the aforementioned five across both seasons – and had the show not been cancelled, the cast would have possibly remained the same for the third season.
What is Better Late Than Never about?
For all its NBC pedigree and pomp, Better Late Than Never has a straight forward, simple to grasp premise. Like we mentioned elsewhere, it is what a showrunner’s passion-project would have been after thoroughly enjoying something like ‘Last Vegas’. The show follows a quartet of old men: Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman and Terry Bradshaw after they go on joyrides presented in a gift wrap of a travelogue, but has the back-and-forth structure of a sitcom. If this seems somewhat vague to you, rest assured that whatever director Neil DeGroot has attempted is at least interesting – although it is thanks to the instant chemistry between its cast of veteran elderly actors, and the grace with which tech-savvy young comic Jeff Dye leads them on.
The problem with the show is that it is all over the place about a definitive identity. It tries to do a lot of things at the same time – too many, rather. For example, being both a travelogue with episodes (and sometimes duets of episodes) spanning Morocco, and placing a hilarious setpiece in the testing of a Swedish herring dish in another episode, and an escape room sequence in yet another episode makes for a fun diversion, but not a very coherent show. This is explained away by the show’s bucket-list misadventure premise, but as a result, it is often a scripted sitcom than a non-scripted reality show – and clearly that the strength of the cast falls in the former category.
Better Late Than Never Season 3 Release Date: When will it premiere?
Better Late Than Never Season 2 premiered on NBC on December 11, 2017.
The viewership and rating for the show since season 1 would appear high from a ground perspective. However, considering it was an NBC primetime, it was not nearly as satisfactory as the higher-ups would have hoped. The makers of the show had faith in the strong cast, though. So the show was yet greenlit for a second season in 2017. The critical reception was marginally better the second time around, too, but the viewership had an abrupt and abysmal 40% drop from the debut season, with an average rating of .91 among an 18-49 audience and roughly 4 million viewers.
As Jeff Dye had confirmed by June 2018 on Twitter, NBC had decided not to give the show another go. As a result, Better Late Than Never Season 3 stands cancelled and would not be receiving a third season. And this is where things stand right now. The show is currently defunct, with very little possibility of springing back to life. This would only be possible if another network thinks about picking it up – if they can look past the show’s glaring flaws, that is.
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