Question: Who is starring in Bob Patterson this fall? Rita M.
Televisionary: That would be Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander heading up the comedy, which ABC has plunked into the 9 pm/ET slot on Tuesdays. In this particular laffer, Alexander plays a neurotic but famous motivational speaker who depends on his bad-for-him ex-wife to maintain the edge he's terrified of losing. Attempting to bolster his fragile ego in this endeavor are his partner (Robert Klein) and his new assistant (Chandra Wilson), who's confined to a wheelchair and has a terminal case of the dropsies (I'll pause here for laughter).
If you pay attention to showbiz news, you may have read that Alexander, the show's producers and the network suits are all denying the show is in trouble despite losing an executive producer to "creative differences," recasting a lead and adding a son character. Now, there are plenty of shows that go through such birthing pains and come out just fine. But there are just as many, if not more, for which such turmoil serves as foreshadowing.
Like, for instance, last season's giggle-starved "comedy" The Michael Richards Show
which also starred a Seinfeld vet
lost some of its original creative team and included hastily added characters. To be fair, Alexander and his efforts don't deserve to be lumped in with that particular NBC failure just because he and Richards put in time on the same hit show, but nobody can argue that the signs are promising.
In addition, an early version of the pilot that ABC initially sent out left critics decidedly underwhelmed. I'll give those behind the show this, though: If they're retooling and recasting, at least they know it (even if they won't admit it to us