Andy Barker, P.I.

2007, TV Show


Andy Richter Re-Teams with Conan O'Brien

Andy Richter, Conan O'Brien

Andy Richter is back, yet again, as Conan O'Brien's sidekick.

"I'm thrilled to be going back to work with Conan, and very excited to start a whole new venture on TBS.  However, I am mostly looking forward to getting out of the house again," Richter said in a statement Tuesday.

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In the Works: Coolio & the Gang and More

Coolio by Steve Granitz/

Oxygen has OK'd a reality show about rapper Coolio's attempts to raise six teens as a single parent. Coolio & the Gang will debut in the second quarter of '08.... Fox and McG (The O.C.) are developing Spaced, a comedy based (of course) on a British series from Shaun of the Dead creators Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. In it, two singles pose as a couple so they can rent a flat. Er, apartment.... Andy Barker, P.I. creator Jonathan Groff's new laffer, Private Lives of Public People, started a bidding war between ABC and CBS. In the end, the Eye landed the pilot about upstanding citizens whose home lives are disastrous.... Arrested Development alum Abraham Higginbotham got a go-ahead from Fox for his untitled comedy pilot featuring Reno 911's Niecy Nash among the lowbrow staffers at a highfalutin NYC hotel. — Ben Katner read more

What was the thinking behind ...

Question: What was the thinking behind putting all six episodes of Andy Barker, P.I. online before the series debuted? I watched all of them before the first episode aired and then found that I didn't need to see them again. How many others did this? I am sure many Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien fans didn't wait for them to air. It almost seems like someone at NBC purposely set this show up to fail. Why didn't they just do like 24 did, and put one or two episodes online to whet the appetite and then post the shows after they aired? NBC is looking more and more like the Dumont network for this millennium, with a few quality shows and a lot of cheap, filler programming all scheduled at random. Finally, when will someone release the DVD set of Andy Richter Controls the Universe? Maybe as part of a set of DVDs called the Best TV You Never Saw? Answer: As usual, no clue on the DVD front, although that's a good idea. About Andy's online gamble: the jury's still out, from what I can tell, on ... read more

I'm wondering if The Winner ...

Question: I'm wondering if The Winner will be returning to Fox any time soon. I enjoyed the show and felt it had the potential to be a decent hit.
Answer: The earliest it would likely return would be in the fall, if it were renewed beyond the six-episode tryout in March. Given that the critical reception was mixed (I liked it, but that was hardly a universal opinion) and the ratings nothing much to celebrate, I wouldn't hold my breath. It's looking like The Winner and NBC's Andy Barker, P.I. will be among the mid-season's most regretful lost opportunities ... read more

April 14, 2007: RIP, P.I.

As you likely read in my Today's News blog, Andy Barker has been hastily ushered off NBC's lineup, and last night's double bill was likely the last we shall see of our intrepid sleuth. Unfortunately my schedule did not afford me the chance to view the episodes, but please feel free to use this blog to discuss it amongst yourselves.As I said in the news blog, it's a shame this show didn't catch on, as it had a wholesome, sweet, suburban feel to it. Not every sitcom needs to be littered with pop culture shout-outs and knowing winks.RIP, P.I.PS. Now how about that prequel spin-off "Guy Halverson, Two Tons of Don Juan"? read more

Bobbed Barker: NBC Scrubs Andy's Thursday Finale

NBC has pretty much closed the case on Andy Richter's Andy Barker, P.I., shuttling the short-run series' fifth intended-for-broadcast episode from this Thursday to Saturday at 8 pm/ET, where it will be paired with a sixth episode that was originally planned for online streaming only. Filling Barker's 9:30 slot this Thursday, a week sooner than planned, is a fresh episode of Scrubs.It's too bad, seeing the Andys get this less-than-honorable send-off. The show had much promise and a sweet, wholesome undertone long missing from TV comedies, which these days can be so... snarky. read more

April 5, 2007: "Somebody Call the Park Ranger...."

Here I was, fresh from penning the 30 Rock recap, prepared to shrug at the relative humor of Andy Barker, P.I. — I mean, 30 Rock is 30 Rock — but our stalwart accountant/private investigator combination served up a pretty good time. I've decided that the cartoony, ready-to-be-solved-in-22-minutes mysteries are akin to Police Squad!, with broadly drawn broads and gummy-bear goons. I loved Drebin & Co., so that's a favorable comparison.It's interesting that this week's guest star, Traci Lords, hailing from an early (porn) career known for bad acting, is... wow, she's a bad actress. But perfect for this week's purposes, as Geneva Marseilles (CC had "Marsay," but I have to think they were going for the history-rich one-two) wasn't Oscar-caliber either.The bullets: • This week's dollop of man-wife tenderness: Jenny tilting her heel as she pecks Andy. • Andy's bean-counter humor: "They don't call it Quicken because it slows your pulse." • "You bit me! What are... read more

March 29, 2007: "Drugs, Cement... Wigs"

So, to date on NBC's Andy Barker, P.I., we've had a Russian mob-lette hoodwinking our valiant CPA into finding a "dead" man; a murderous, gay golf caddy; and now a ruthless low-grade chicken cartel abetted by a poultry inspector with a thing for collectible pistols. This week's adventure, in which kebab-shop owner Wally sics Andy (and thus Simon) on his shady supplier, was a bit on the super-silly side for my "high-brow comedy likings," but the "mysteries" obviously are just clotheslines on which to hang humorous reactions and jokes. I mean, yeah, 30 Rock has "plots," too, but that show's zany delivery is really the star.I like how we got some more "tender" from Andy and his wife — his office has a great view, he boasts, indicating a framed pic of Jill — awww! But I missed Nicole, though maybe she is better in measured doses. And you had to relish the new reveals about gruff 'n' tuff Lew, who apparently had some unfinished business with a bird. The bullets:• Jenny try... read more

Now that the second episode ...

Question: Now that the second episode of Andy Barker, P.I. has aired, I have to say that I'm absolutely loving it. I found myself laughing out loud all the way through it. Richter is absolutely brilliant, and his supporting cast is spot-on (as a secretary, I especially am loving his new "assistant"). Do you have a feel for how it's doing as far as network expectations go? (I know, I know, only two episodes have aired, but that's all it takes sometimes in this ADD world for some shows to suddenly go on hiatus.) Please tell me this little gem will be around a while. Answer: Don't be too alarmed when Andy Barker disappears in just a few weeks. The spring tryout was always meant to be a short one, although it's true it hasn't exactly broken out just yet (not unlike most of the other comedies on NBC's first-rate Thursday lineup). I honestly don't have a "feel" about this show's ultimate fate. The reviews and buzz have been strong, but I don't know if it's enough for the show to force its wa ... read more

March 22, 2007: "Give Me a Deviled Egg"

Here we are, nine hours later, and Guy Halverson sprinting down the fairway, a hoagie bursting with "three kinds of ham" in his grasp, still haunts my noggin. What made the recurring image so damn funny, though, isn't its subject matter — large man plus flailing sandwich plus slow motion — but Andy Richter's expression of disbelief each time he went into and out of the flashback. "Ah, yes [his mistress was] jealous.... Ya think?" The theme song for Guy's last gallop didn't hurt either.And that, folks, brings us to a discussion of Week 2 (of 6) of NBC's Andy Barker, P.I.. As I said before, what makes this show sing is the casting. Clea Lewis is the supportive wife every guy wants (and, in this case, wants Guy). And Tony Hale opposite Nicole Randall Johnson shows seriously funny promise. I love how Nicole (as Nicole the self-hired assistant) "switches on" that perky, entirely false demeanor en route to making the person she's talking to feel like a fool.Perhaps my only recur... read more

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Premiered: March 15, 2007, on NBC
Rating: None
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Premise: A case of mistaken identity leads an accountant to begin a new career as a private detective in this comedy executive produced by Conan O'Brien.



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