My Name Is Earl
is an American sitcom
created by Greg Garcia
. It is produced by 20th Century Fox Television
. In the United States
is broadcast on the NBC
television network Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern time
The Writers' Guild strike caused production to end after only 13 of the 25 episodes originally planned for the third season were filmed. When the strike ended, production resumed. A further nine episodes were filmed for Season 3, and new episodes began airing April 3rd, 2008. Season 4 premiered on September 25th, 2008.
The series stars Jason Lee
, Ethan Suplee
, Jaime Pressly
, Eddie Steeples
and Nadine Velazquez
. Lee stars in the title role
as "Earl J. Hickey", a petty crook with occasional run-ins with the law, whose newly won $100,000 lottery
ticket is lost when he is hit by a car. While lying in his hospital bed after the accident, he develops a belief in the concept of karma
when he hears about it during an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly
. He decides he wants to turn his life around and makes a list of all the bad things he's ever done. After doing his first good deed, he finds his $100,000 lottery ticket. He sees this as a sign and, with his new lucky money, he proceeds to cross items off the list
, one-by-one, by doing good deeds to atone for them.
Creator Greg Garcia wrote the pilot while working on another sitcom, Yes, Dear
. He initially pitched the series to Fox
, which passed on the series. He then approached NBC
, which optioned the pilot on a cast-contingent basis, meaning they would order the pilot provided a suitable cast could be assembled.
Jason Lee was approached for the lead role, but was uninterested in working in television and passed on the series twice before finally agreeing to read the pilot script. Though he liked the pilot, he was hesitant to commit to his first TV starring role until after meeting with Garcia, after which he signed on to play Earl Hickey.
The series premiered on September 20
, drew in 14.9 million viewers in the United States
, earning a 6.6 rating
. By the airing of the third episode it was apparent that My Name Is Earl
was the highest rated of NBC's new fall offerings, and a full season (22 episodes) was ordered. In its first month, it was also the highest rated new sitcom of the season to air on any network and was the highest rated sitcom on any network in the 18–49-year-old demographic
. The show was renewed for a second season (2006-07), a third (2007-08) and then for fourth (2008-09).
|| Timeslot (EDT)
|| Season Premiere
|| Season Finale
|| TV Season
|| Tuesday 9:00 P.M. (September 20 - December 6, 2005)|
Thursday 9:00 P.M. (January 5 - May 11, 2006)
| September 20, 2005
|| May 11, 2006
|| Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 21, 2006 - May 10, 2007)
|| September 21, 2006
|| May 10, 2007
|| Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 27, 2007 - May 15, 2008)
|| September 27, 2007
|| May 15, 2008
|| Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 25, 2008 - )
|| September 25, 2008
- Earl J. Hickey (Jason Lee) - The protagonist and narrator of the show, was born on April 25, 1970. Married three times: to Joy Turner, Ralph's mom in Season two (they got an annulment) and Billie in season three; Joy and Billie divorced him (albeit under very different circumstances). He is often the voice of reason among his friends. He is a huge fan of Southern rock and heavy metal bands including Def Leppard,Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns N Roses, Metallica and ACDC. He also played bass guitar in a band with Ralph and Randy and owned a stolen guitar.
- Randy Hickey (Ethan Suplee) - Earl's younger brother, former husband to Catalina in a green-card marriage. He is very dimwitted and a criminal, but is at heart a very sweet and sensitive person and shows signs of having much more comprehension than he lets on. He frequently does stupid things when trying to help Earl. His relationships are always failures like 'cat woman' and Catalina.
- Joy Turner (née Darville, previously Hickey) (Jaime Pressly) - Earl's ex-wife, now married to Crabman. She has been pregnant three times during the show; first was in the pilot episode when she was 6 months pregnant with a baby that has an unknown father, second was with Earl Jr (Darnell's and Joy's baby) and the third time when she was the surrogate mother to her half-sister's baby. At the beginning of the series, she divorced Earl after his lottery win/hit by car day, and later tried to steal his lottery winnings by attempting to kill him numerous times. When she married Crabman, these efforts ended. Joy was at first shown as violent and ungrateful, but has since evolved into a loving and devoted mother who is more appreciative of the things others do for her. She has remained aggressive to those who threaten her family or friends.
- Darnell "Crabman" Turner (Eddie Steeples) - Joy's current husband. Works at the Crab Shack. His real name is Harry Monroe and he graduated from college at age 14, but he hides the truth about himself as he is part of the Witness Protection Program. Joy is suspicious about his identity. He keeps a pet turtle called Mr. Turtle. He speaks French, Russian and Arabic and can identify hundreds of different types of cheese by smell alone. He is shown to be very intelligent and calm, although no one seems to take notice. He greets Earl by saying "Hey Earl" which Earl responds to saying "Hey Crabman". In the musical episode, he implores everyone to "Respect the Meat."
- Catalina Aruca (Nadine Velazquez) - A beautiful Latin American immigrant who works as Earl and Randy's hotel's housekeeper and is a stripper at Club Chubby. Randy married her to allow her to come to the USA (he had a brief crush on her) after Earl accidentally 'ratted' her out. Her troubled past is often alluded to or shown in flashbacks. She claims to have once killed someone. And her brother killed her father saying "men don't like it when other men sleep with their moms" when she was helping Earl cross off 'Slept with Ralph's mom'. She frequently breaks the "Fourth Wall" when she delivers what appear to be angry diatribes in Spanish but are actually messages to the show's fans.
Major recurring characters are:
- Carl Hickey (Beau Bridges) — Earl and Randy's father. Earl was supposed to be named after him but due to Carl's cursive writing the word "Carl" looked like "Earl" because of the extra loop on the 'C' on Earl's birth certificate. At the start of the series he refused to have anything to do with Earl, but gradually realizes his son's efforts to improve his life were sincere and they have since become close again.
- Kay Hickey (Nancy Lenehan) — Earl and Randy's mother, a friendly woman who gently chides Earl to be nicer to his father. In Season 4, it was revealed she once slept with a neighbor, causing Carl to leave home for a while before he returned and they reconciled.
- Dodge Hickey (Louis T. Moyle) — Joy's oldest son by another man. Named Dodge because all she could remember about the father was he drove a Ford.
- Earl Hickey Jr. (Trey Carlisle) — Joy and Darnell's son due to an affair; legally, Earl's first child.
- Kenny James (Adult - Gregg Binkley, child - Andy Pessoa) — Kenny is a childhood victim of Earl's bullying and a formerly suppressed homosexual, who became the first person Earl helped with the List.
- Patty the Daytime Hooker (Dale Dickey)- A friendly Camden prostitute who also works as a nighttime waitress. She holds a graduate degree.
- Ralph Mariano (Giovanni Ribisi) — Earl's childhood friend. He is constantly in trouble with the Law and has betrayed Earl and Randy for as little as $175 (burning down Pop's hotdog stand), but they always forgive him. He was last seen breaking out of prison.
- Willie the One-Eyed Mailman (Bill Suplee). Played by Ethan Suplee's father, he lost an eye when Joy broke Earl's Def Leppard mirror with a bowling ball and the glass shot into his eye. His understandably poor depth perception is not an asset in his line of work.
- Billie Cunningham (Alyssa Milano) — Earl's most recent wife, married in "Love Octagon", divorce papers presented in "Camdenites Part 2". She is a little crazy and gets very jealous of Earl spending so much time with his list instead of her. After finding inner peace on an Amish-type location near Camden, she not only divorced Earl but gave him $72,000 she'd gotten after being hit by a car.
- Liberty Washington (Tamala Jones) — Joy's biracial half-sister. They hated each other for years but eventually bonded to the point where Joy became a surrogate mother for Liberty and her husband Ray-Ray's baby (a storyline to explain Jaime Pressly's real-life pregnancy).
Other recurring characters include Electrolarynx Guy, Nescobar Aloplop, Didi, Doug, Jasper, Donny Jones, Bob Smiley, and TV's Tim Stack. Stack usually appears in his Son of the Beach wardrobe, completely intoxicated, or both; he is also a writer for the show.
Several of the show's characters appeared on the July 8, 2008 episode of Celebrity Family Feud. One team, the Hickey family, consisted of Earl, Joy, Randy, Crabman, and Catalina. The other team, dubbed "Camden County," consisted of Tim Stack, Patty, Wilford (Tim's agent), Kenny James, and Nescobar Aloplop. The Camden County team defeated the Hickey family, but lost to the cast of The Office in the finals.
Season Releases Overview
||Region 2 |
|| September 19, 2006
|| September 25, 2006
|| The four disc box set includes all 24 episodes. Bonus features include deleted scenes, commentary tracks on selected episodes, selections from the season's gag reel, and a "mini-episode" vignette where Stewie Griffin from Family Guy tells Earl to get revenge on everyone who wronged him. |
|| September 25, 2007
|| January 28,2008
|| The four disc box set includes all 22 episodes. Bonus features include deleted scenes, commentary tracks on selected episodes, as well as other featurettes. |
|| September 30, 2008
|| October 20, 2008
|| The four disc box set includes all 18 episodes. Bonus features as a gag reel, "Creating the characters" featurette and deleted scenes. |
Season 1 DVD set
The season one "mini-episode", titled Bad Karma
, is an alternate version of the events of the pilot episode featuring what would have happened if, instead of seeing Carson Daly talking about karma while in the hospital, Earl saw Stewie Griffin
of Family Guy
talking about vengeance.
- At Best Buy locations the set came wrapped in a miniature replica of Earl's flannel shirt.
- The DVD set at Target stores featured a limited-edition bonus DVD with extra bloopers and other bonus features.
Season 3 DVD set
This edition includes bonus features such as a gag reel, "Creating the characters" featurette and deleted scenes. No Special Edition has been announced.
Awards and nominations