Question: Matt, I'm a huge fan! My question is about ABC's comedies (According to Jim, Rodney, Hope & Faith, Crumbs, Sons & Daughters, George Lopez, Freddie and Less than Perfect). Which ones do you think will survive another season? I think it's time for According to Jim and Hope & Faith to go. But I love Rodney and Less than Perfect. Creatively, I feel they have a lot to offer. Do you think there is at all a chance for a TGIF comeback? What are your thoughts on this?
Answer: Of all the shows you mentioned, I would only even consider watching Sons & Daughters regularly. But I know I'm in the minority on that one, given the puny ratings it drew this spring, which makes me doubt it will return, barring a miracle. (There are some intriguing comedy concepts kicking around ABC for next season, and maybe ABC would keep Sons & Daughters alive as a companion piece. But that's probably a pipe dream.) Given that Rodney was put on hiatus before it could play out its second season, and that Less
Question: First, let me say that I really look forward to reading your columns each week; we seem to have the same taste in programming. My question is about how and why there seems to be an ever-growing incongruity in this country these days in terms of what passes for good TV comedy. To be honest, it really bothers me that shows like Arrested Development and Sons & Daughters could never bring in viewers despite being two of the sharpest and wittiest comedies to be produced in recent memory. Even Scrubs has never been a commercial success, and I frankly marvel that (thankfully) it's been able to stick around for at least five seasons. At the same time, inane drivel such as According to Jim and Yes, Dear have enjoyed great success in viewership (even making it to syndication!). It just seems that more often than not the only TV comedies that survive are the stale, formulaic ones, while the innovative, edgy, truly funny ones die premature deaths. Are these comedy gems just ahead of ...
Starting Feb. 14, ABC's Tuesday-night schedule will be exactly one-third Jim Belushi. According to Jim will air at 8 and 9 pm ET, with Rodney in between at 8:30 pm, and George Lopez and Boston Legal bringing up the rear at 9:30 and 10 pm, respectively. To kick off this new lineup, the network is preempting its 8 pm Jim on the 14th and replacing it with A Charlie Brown Valentine. Yes, that ought to really clear things up in viewers' minds.
Question: I was annoyed when ABC scheduled Emily's Reasons Why Not opposite Two and a Half Men (which is uneven but sometimes very funny). I needn't have worried. ABC couldn't produce a funny sitcom if it tried. The Watercooler review of Emily was glowing, but I think it tried too hard to be funny and the jokes were cliché. There is only one word to describe Emily: insipid. What did you think of the premiere? P.S.: Although many of your readers (and you) would disagree, I think there is only one truly funny show out there: South Park.
Answer: I would agree that South Park is one-of-a-kind funny, and if that's your standard, then everything else is bound to come up short, because no one (especially on network TV) is going to have the freedom to be that outrageous, crude and topical. But that gives way too short shrift to great comedies like Earl, Scrubs, even Two and a Half Men. As for Emily: I'm glad ABC is trying to broaden the tone of its comedies beyond the Jim-Rodney-George Lopez-
Martha Stewart, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
The Apprentice: Martha StewartIt took the final three a long while to realize that neither Marcela nor Ryan would be returning to the suite and that they were indeed the final three. Martha confirmed the demise of Matchstick, then hurried Bethenny, Dawna and Jim off to their corporate interviews. Bethenny was at best "scrappy" and at worst "manic." Dawna was sitting pretty as "almost the whole package." But Jim failed to impress, and at his dismissal it struck me that he honestly thought he was going to win. I applaud Jim's self-confidence; it's his self-awareness that I question.
With the chaff gone, we have an all-female final pair, which is fitting for this incarnation of The Apprentice. Two big charity events will w
Speaking of Knots Landing alums, Kathleen Noone is a busy lady. When she's not playing sassy senior Edna Wallace on Passions, she's recurring on According to Jim as Courtney Thorne-Smith's mother. Noone next appears in Jim's Christmas episode Dec. 13.
And here's some scoop you'll hear only from TVGuide.com's resident soap whisperer: Noone will be in the Jan. 24 episode of WB's Supernatural
. "Jared Padalecki
and Jensen Ackles
(ex-Eric, Days of our Lives
) are delightful, sweet and really cute!" she enthuses. "In the episode, my character's husband is killed by a [ghost] truck that keeps running people off of the road." (Check out this week's AA
for more info on Supernatural
's January guest stars.)
The Apprentice: Martha StewartIt wasn't an impossible mission: Create an in-flight promotional commercial for Song airlines. Ryan, PM for Matchstick, took that to mean that he could turn the ad into a vehicle for one's latent acting aspirations. Poor guy thought he was Kevin Costner, starring in, directing and producing a baseball commercial. Why didn't Marcela remind him that their product was an airline? A cat somewhere must have her tongue — not being PM doesn't mean not advancing any ideas of your own. I want to think that Marcela was working a Jim-style strategy by letting Ryan get drunk and flame out on his own, but we all know that's not the case. Marcela's passionate about her cooking interests, but she's not a forceful person. Whatever th
The Apprentice: Martha StewartMarcela is still 0-for-2 against Jim as project manager, but the true showdown was between Marcela and the evil twosome of Ryan and Amanda. Rymanda's negativity left Marcela with only Leslie's support to create a retail space and sell the hot-beverage maker by Tassimo. Jim, with his rogue teammate Dawna, had nothing to fear this week 'cuz Rymanda did their best to tank Matchstick's chances. Did you catch that Jim had a rogue teammate? Now there's irony. Primarius scored a lucky win with the awesome reward of hanging out at Martha's crib in Maine and eating lobster sandwiches hand-prepared by Alexis. I had to laugh, though, when in the conferenc
The Apprentice: Martha StewartI really enjoyed tonight's show. Martha has a good bunch of people left from which to choose her apprentice. This week, teams were to sell an item of their choice on a live QVC broadcast. Last week's double ouster left the teams uneven, so Dawna moved over to Primarius, led this week by Bethenny. Both she and Ryan, PM for Matchstick, took the leadership role to heart and acted accordingly. They tackled problems and personalities head-on, made executive decisions, adjusted course when needed and on the whole, kicked butt. I've been waiting to see project management like this for a long time.
Bethenny surprised me. She effectively handled the disparate personalities on her team, which included Dawna, a woman who