When Al Higgins took over as showrunner on Mike & Molly in May, executive producer Chuck Lorre posed a question that he couldn't answer.
"We sat down and the first thing Chuck Lorre said to me was, 'Why is Melissa McCarthy a movie star and not a TV star?' And I had no idea," Higgins tells TVGuide.com. "I was stumped. And he said, 'In her movies, people react to her and on the show, she reacts to everyone else.' I thought about that and he was right. He said, 'I want to flip that dynamic.'"
Fall TV Report Card: How's the new class doing?
And thus, the "new" Mike & Molly was born. Nearly 30 freshmen ...
Imagine a TV world where the late-night comedy audience is not fragmented in a clutter of Dave or Jay or Stewart/Colbert, Conan, the Jimmys and Craig.
Question: Please elaborate on this for my dad, who is a big fan of the late Jack Benny. Two of his biggest character traits were his cheapness and his bad violin-playing. Was he really that cheap? And was he really so bad on violin? Thanks.
Answer: You provided the answer in your question, Bill, when you used the term "character traits." Benny, who built a career via vaudeville and a popular radio show before launching TV's The Jack Benny Show, which kicked off on CBS in 1950 and finished 15 years later on NBC, played his stinginess to the hilt, played the violin poorly — and faked both well enough to become an entertainment legend. It was all part of the insecure, self-centered, no-talent character he invented and pulled off well enough to fool those who didn't know any better.
Of course, countering that image — one of the comic's most famous gags was facing down an armed robber who threatened, "Your