Busy Philipps opens up about E! canceling her talk show

Happy New Year, All! How are the resolutions coming along? So far, I haven’t broken any of mine, but that’s only because I don’t make any. I also do not make a Tweet of anything I’d actually accomplished on 2019 nor an end-of-year retrospectives for Instagram so I don’t know if I’m even allowed to officially enter 2020. Fortunately, most people did close out the year with a photographic look back at 2019, one of whom was Busy Philipps. Busy makes her bones on Instagram so I image trying to curate a handful of photos from her prodigious collection would take forever. Instead, Busy went the #almostgrams route and posted a series of shots that she’d decided not to post earlier. Busy grouped her reflections by category – Selfies, Friends, Kids. But it was her final round of #almostgrams that was the most personal because they dealt with how Busy struggled after her TV chat show, Busy Tonight, was cancelled. Busy posted the collection of photos above that included her crying, a series of texts exchanged that day and a letter her daughter Birdie wrote sticking it to E! for what they did to her mom. Alongside the photos, Busy wrote this caption:

Final round of #almostgrams 2019! The Busy Tonight was cancelled round!! On APRIL 5, 2019! I flew to Dallas to shoot commercials over the weekend for Michael’s. When my plane took off, the song that came on shuffle was my favorite Deerhunter song He Would Have Laughed. I felt like it was a good sign. When I landed, my manager texted me to call her. Which I did. And she told me E! would not renew my show after the order was finished in a month. It was effectively cancelled. I was blindsided, especially since the last text I had from the head of E(who’s now gone🤷‍♀‍) was about marketing for busy tonight that he was excited to tell me about. Anyway. I did what anyone would do. I sat in the lobby of the hotel in Dallas and ordered three tequilas and called Marc, Caissie, Eric, Tina, Caissie again and I cried. I waited for a call or email from someone at E, which never came so I sent a text to the head of the network that truly makes me lol to this day(slide 3). Then I took some selfies(first 2 pics), got a text from Marc reminding me about the Deerhunter song(slide 4), made a music video in my hotel room to it(which I posted to my stories at the time), then I went and got a tattoo on my ankle; the illustration from my book from the chapter where I got super fucked over by some dudes in this business(slide 5), THEN before I went to bed, I saw it was a new moon and what that moon meant(slide6). And. Anyway. It all started to become clear and I knew things were going to be better than fine. Right before the show was finished, I found a letter my daughter wrote to E! and I feel like as this year is almost over, the decade is closing, it’s the right time to post the letter(slides 7,8,9🤣). And all the rest of it from April 5. Because here’s the thing. The moon was right, the song WAS a good sign, my girl knows something about her mom- I work hard AF and love to prove people wrong and finally, the men will always try to fuck you over so fuck em and figure out something else. Which is exactly what Caissie and I have been doing. And next year; in 2020 we will finally be able to share it. 😍 So Happy New Year everyone!!Goodnight you guys! I love you SO much!!!

Both CB and I were fans of Busy Tonight. It stumbled in the beginning but the learning curve was so sharp that it was only a matter of weeks before I noticed a marked improvement. Busy, who has always been relatable, found a way to bring that across in her show. Plus it was touching to see all of her famous friends rush to bolster her ratings when she needed it. You could tell in her final episode how crushed Busy was saying goodbye. Busy took a chance here. This is bridge-burning content, so she was obviously ready to torch her E! connection. Clearly, they wounded her deep. I don’t blame her at all, I’m just speaking to Hollywood politics. But the thing I don’t think we regular people consider when something like this happens: the collateral damage. It’s easy to sniff at a cancelled show and think “c’mon, the famous celebrity will probably land on their feet.” But almost all of Busy Tonight’s crew consisted of people who had supported Busy throughout her career and those that took a chance on her. She’d cultivated a diverse team that was made up mostly of women. When E! pulled the plug on Busy Tonight, all of those people lost their jobs. Every bit of faith they’d put into the show was dashed. I’m sure Busy had some personal sadness in her hotel room in Dallas, but I’ll bet she was grappling with what would happen to those folks more than herself.

And although I enjoyed Busy’s verbal middle finger to the soulless execs, it’s the last bit of info Busy slipped in at the end of her caption that made me the happiest. The part where she said she’s about to announce a new project with her Busy Tonight showrunner, Caissie St. Onge. As you know, I attended a few tapings of Busy Tonight and got to see Caissie in action. She’s a great match with Busy, the fact that they’ve developed this new project together is super news. I can’t wait.




Photo credit: Instagram and WENN Photos

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31 Responses to “Busy Philipps opens up about E! canceling her talk show”

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  1. Lisa says:

    I liked her show but she is doing too much.

    • Arizona says:

      yeah, I think this is a really bad look to be honest. I think people just weren’t interested in the show? I don’t know a single person who watched it.

      • coolspray says:

        Ditto! I find her exhausting. Don’t know anyone who watches her show. Maybe she should ask some questions about why she was cancelled?

      • sunshine gold says:

        Not to mention ALL late night talk shows are slowly dying, so launching a new one in this climate was just ill advised. And cable TV is hemorrhaging viewers and Chelsea Handler’s show also bombed on a streamer. The culture has changed.

    • Lou says:

      Yep. I wasn’t sure if I would come to the comments and everyone would be supporting her but I’m glad she’s being called out for being pretty unprofessional here. This is cringey.

  2. Michael says:

    I wonder what the reason was for it’s cancellation. We’re ratings really bad?

  3. Originaltessa says:

    So over dramatic. People in the real world are losing jobs that determine whether they can keep a roof over their head. Get some perspective. So ridiculous.

  4. Enn says:

    I found this entire tantrum to be completely unprofessional. She’s always grated on me and this cemented it for me.

    • Mrs. Peel says:

      Agree 100%. She overshares every single emotion and feeling, like she’s been slighted somehow.

    • tealily says:

      Also 100% agree. Especially that letter from her kid. I think it’s important to let your kids see the work you do and know how much you care about it etc., but I feel like this is teaching your kid to be a self-entitled brat. People lose jobs. It sucks, but you have to learn how to pull it together, move forward, and not blame other people. Sometimes it literally is just business.

      I like Busy, although I never saw the show, but I think she should have gone with her original instinct and not post this sh*t.

      • prettypersuasion says:

        yeah as a parent that letter from Birdie made me CRINGE. I would feel terrible if my kid wrote something like that, and I certainly wouldn’t post it on the internet for everyone to read! It’s not empowering, it’s entitled, angry, and toxic!

  5. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I’m glad you covered this story. I agree that it’s not just about Busy losing a job, but there’s the entire crew as well. I’m glad she spoke out because E! is problematic af (i.e. Ryan Seacrest, Kat Sadler) and I stopped watching them years ago.

  6. Erinn says:

    Ooof. This year I got to understand how much it hurts for a big business to f-ck you over. After receiving a promotion, and a pay bump, we were told that our office was closing. Over 200 without work. This was on December 4th. The CEO’s and head office management literally have zero idea what we do all day. I worked my butt off to get where I am, and knowing that these assholes didn’t ever take the time to understand the role my team fills in this company (the only team to build custom websites across multiple offices – they think someone who only works with templated website builders like wix for example somehow magically have the skills needed to build and design fully custom websites. Spoiler alert – they don’t).

    Beyond that, their mainly US customer base has over the last 8 years spent a TON of time telling us the Canadian offices are the only ones they want to deal with because the American’s manning the support lines don’t know what they’re doing. There’s going to be a HUGE shock to the customer base because they’re handing the projects over to unskilled employees, and outsourcing a good deal of it to the Philippines.

    So I’m 100% behind Birdie with the “she’ll shove it up your ass” comments. I genuinely hope I have the chance to do the same in my own career.

    • HeyThere! says:

      ERINN, I am so sorry and mad for you!! There is just zero loyalty anymore. My husband went through something a little similar. The SAME YEAR they got rid of half their local employees because they needed to slow production to save money….the CEO got a multimillion dollar bonus. Anger wasn’t even the word to describe how everyone felt. They ended up calling him two full years later offering him his job back. He happily told them no thanks. He had found a better position, better company. The kicker was if he were to go back, seniority and pay would go back down to entry-level. ‘Umm, no thanks, I’m good!’ were his exact words.

    • tealily says:

      I’m so sorry that happened to you. Several years back my (now) husband and I were both part of massive department lay off/ firings because they were changing software and didn’t want to train us (the excuse which is supposed to somehow sound better than)/ too many people in our workplace we complaining to HR about the project manager. The only thing that made me feel better was when the only department they kept quit en masse to all go to a new job together. They were told by the awful project manager that quitting was “unprofessional.” It still gets my blood pressure up to think about that woman. I deeply wish I would have walked out of that job.

      Anyway, I’m now in a position I love 5 million x more and flourishing. I wish you an easy transition to something wonderful!

    • emmy says:

      I’m really sorry about that. My boss does M&A (lawyer) and let me tell you, people are not a factor. We’re talking businesses being bought and sold like cookies, partially or wholly. Money is the objective and once private equity comes in, I usually just get coffee and breathe.

      So I get why Busy is pissed. You’re absolutely powerless and hard work is ignored. I love how everyone here is such a mature professional who would NEVER. I don’t buy it. Some things sting.

  7. T says:

    This is not a good look. Someone with her many years in Hollywood should know that. It all comes across cringey and unprofessional as hell.

  8. Snap Happy says:

    I thought her show was bad. I didn’t think any of her prerecorded bits were funny, the guest had to do most of the heavy lifting and she sang at the end of it. Maybe they handled the cancellation bad but I didn’t disagree agree with the cancellation itself.

  9. Jen says:

    Yeah, I’m not impressed with her at all here or her daughter’s “letter.” Just a horrible look all the way around.

  10. Cara says:

    Nope, sorry I can’t get behind the way Busy has behaved. It sucks that she and all the crew lost their jobs, but the way she has handled it is embarrassing. She has behaved like a toddler throwing a fit. She even brought her daughter into it and got a terrible tattoo because of it. Grow up! Life isn’t fair.
    I’m a single mother and lost my job right before Thanksgiving and I would never have dreamed of acting like Busy has.

  11. Bookworm says:

    People who work behind the scenes are probably E employees, not Busy’s, and are likely accustomed to moving around to different shows.

  12. margie says:

    I think if you have ever been screwed over, or taken advantage of, or even misled by inept and soulless management (work or outside life), this hits home. I get it. I love that tattoo. I might just go and get that, today. Maybe make the skater figure a cat, or Cinderella, or a chubby person (as I am in real life). Sky’s the limit!

  13. Starkille says:

    Christ, she’s still banging on about this?

  14. lucy2 says:

    Hmm. I get being angry and disappointed, and feeling like you weren’t treated well, but to post this so many months later seems immature and unprofessional.
    Shows get canceled ALL THE TIME. Especially talk shows. There’s also a ton of shows that never even make it to air at all. So it is sad, and hard for people who lose those jobs, but that’s the industry, and you have to deal with it, learn from it, and move onto the next thing.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah. I can understand posting a crying pic or something to say “hey, this year wasn’t all great,” but the whole SAGA of this is a bit much.

    • jenner says:

      big egos have an extra hard time with rejection.

  15. prettypersuasion says:

    The late night talk show format is STALE. It’s 2020, let’s invent something new. I also think a big problem w/ her show is that she hired her friend Kelly Oxford as her head writer even though she had no experience as a head writer and (imo) is not funny nor a great writer. The show got better after Kelly left to make her movie. It seemed like Busy Tonight was a show made for Busy and her friends to have jobs rather than to be something people actually want to watch.

  16. naomipaige99 says:

    Didn’t she complain about all this a few months ago? Why on earth is this being brought up again. She is being very unprofessional if you ask me.

  17. Bkittyb says:

    I didn’t know she had a show on the Kardashian channel. I wanted to like Busy, but she honestly just takes too much energy for me to give any attention for too long.