(Photo by: Matthias Clamer/NBC)

On Thursday during a Television Critics Association summer press tour, NBC executives opened up about the decision to axe the beloved Carmichael Show.

“I think the collective decision was maybe [that] it’s best to let the show end,” NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke told reporters. “I have to say personally for all of us, it’s a really hard decision that wasn’t just made on one side of things. It was one of those difficult decisions that kind of live with you for a while that you don’t feel great about because you wish it had done better. … This was the situation we found ourselves in.”

The show, which will not be returning for a fourth season, was a rare co-production with an outside studio, 20th Century Television Fox. Add that to tepid ratings, and the cancellation decision was made.

“We love the show. I mean, creatively we’ve been very involved in the show, involved with that cast and Jerrod [Carmichael] and everyone involved with it from the start. It’s been sort of this labor of love,” Salke said. “Everybody was hoping the show would really perform and grow. I think we saw a great kind of stable audience sort of slowly building and a lot of critical attention. … But at the same time, it remained in a challenging situation.”

“That whole cast — they’re all incredible,” Salke later added. “We’re hoping to do more with them.”

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt also added that the show had lasted longer than comedies usually did on the network, pointing to the fact that despite the cancellation, it was the longest-running comedy for the network on the air.