In the video, Apatow talks about how, when he received the script for “Freaks and Geeks,” he knew right away that it was excellent. “It never works out like that. Nobody ever hands you a script that’s great and you go, ‘Alright, I guess we’ll just make that.'”
The cast also believed greatly in the script, including star Linda Cardellini. “I thought, reading the script, that that character was incredibly special in contrast to all the other sort of teenage young female roles, or male, young roles that I was reading,” said Cardellini in a Den of Geek interview. “I felt like she was conflicted in a way that was so real and bittersweet. The script was so great.”
But even with the collective cast and crew’s great confidence in the quality of their show, Apatow didn’t expect it to last long, which he spoke on in the Vanity Fair interview.
“While in production we thought it was going well and we really loved it, but we also knew that some of the people who ran the network didn’t like it, so we always felt like it was gonna end at any moment. And then it did!”
The swift cancellation of a show like that, which clearly had a lot of love going into it and was genuinely very good, is always a depressing prospect. It seems like all the work that went in was for nothing, and they didn’t even get to properly tell their whole story. Luckily, Apatow had a backup plan for that.