Everybody Loves Raymond
On Monday CBS aired its last rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond. Last year Friends and Frasier left NBC. In the new TV season that starts next week, Will & Grace will be heading into the prime-time sunset, and we'll all wonder what happened to the network sitcom.
According to a new study from media ad-buying firm Magna Global, people are watching more comedy on TV than ever. In the 1994-95 season, a TV household watched an average of 4.14 hours of sitcoms per week. This past TV season, that average was up to 4.58 hours, but compared to 20 years ago, the bulk of that viewing is now on cable. Viewers are spending an average of 2.19 hours a week watching comedy on cable and less than an hour per week on the broadcast networks. They're also spending more ti
Halfway through 1986, the show hooked me in that campy, guilty-pleasure kind of way. And that's despite being hit repeatedly over the head with awkward '80s pop-culture references. I'm going to forget one guy just called Wham! the next Beatles (my apologies to George Michael). What isn't '80s enough about these flashbacks is the hair. I'm sorry. Back then, the hair was big. Like Mt. Everest big. And there was no such thing as too much blue eye shadow. Now, on to the drama: Sure, we've seen it all before, but I admit I want to find out how in 20 years, six buds go from Friends to an episode of Law & Order: SVU. But for now I'm digging the fact that Six Feet Under's Keith is once again a cop. Yeah! And I'm having fun matching the characters to '80s movie icons:
Craig: Looks like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Acts like Pretty in Pink bad-boy James Spader.
Aaron: Just called him Duckie the
Man of the house: Who's the Boss?'s Danza
Question: Did Tony and Angela ever get married on Who's the Boss?
Answer: That's entirely up to you, Mar, since the show never really said either way. When last we saw ad exec Angela Bower (Phenom's Judith Light) and her former housekeeper, Tony Micelli (Taxi and Family Law's Tony Danza), they were giving their relationship another shot after an incredibly long flirtation and at least one failed attempt. (Angela had moved to Iowa with ex-St. Louis Cardinals second-baseman Tony when he got a job coaching baseball, but had then moved back after jonesing for her old career.) If you're an optimist and old-fashioned romantic, then sure — consider them married.
Of course Danza wasn't one to settle down easily in real life, either, especially during the time the hit ABC sitcom was on the air (1984 to 199
In 1994, Marta Kauffman and cocreator David Crane gave the world six good Friends. Now, two years after that long-running series' celebrated swan song, Kauffman is back executive-producing a new show. Where her previous creations were, well, friends, now she is telling a story about people who are Related — the sassy and sexy Sorelli sisters of New York City, played by Jennifer Esposito (Spin City), Kiele Sanchez (Married to the Kellys), Lizzy Caplan (Freaks and Geeks) and Laura Breckenridge — in WB's new single-camera comedy (premiering Oct. 5).
"I know it's kind of soon after Friends," Kauffman admits. "It kind of surprised me, too. But I am truly honored to be working on this show." Related, she promises, "has the camarade
Question: In a recent Ask Matt column you wrote about the struggle NBC is having with Joey. As a huge Friends fan, I tuned in to Joey when it first aired and lost interest pretty quickly. I think one of the reasons Joey struggles (besides the fact that it is just not very funny) is that Friends, at its core, was about six people who shared their lives together. For me it's hard to believe that Joey would never have contact with them (mention them, call them, visit etc.). Also, I think the show struggles with its supporting cast, most of whom are boring and uninteresting. I know they are planning to give Joey some new friends this year, but I think they should have some old friends visit or at least call. What do you think?
Answer: This show really is caught between a yawn and a hard place, isn't it? This summer, anyone who asked NBC about Joey was told there still are no plans to bring on former Friends costars, even as sweeps stunts, because the emphasis is to get this show to stand on
Tonight's episode was called "Valerie Stands Out on the Red Carpet" and she sure did — she wore her dress backwards. Brilliant moment. This one was yet another that hit home for me. Room and Bored got a People's Choice Award nomination and since I've worked as a talent escort for about five PCA's, I was eating all of this up. Let me tell ya, everything they were describing about what goes on behind the scenes is true. Especially the "winners are notified in advance" thing, but that doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out since none of the other non-winner nominees are ever in the audience. Speaking of the audience, it was hilarious when Valerie came back to her seat and the seat filler wouldn't leave. Happens all the time. One time (in band camp?) I was like "Umm, dude, it's time for you to scram — that's Ray Romano's seat" (as I gestured to Ray to do the quick switch before commercial break). The most ironic thing for me with this episode is that I actually escorte
On Nov. 15, Warner Home Video plans to release Friends: The One with All Ten Seasons, a 40-disc boxed set of the entire series. The list price: $300. Or, for the same money you could save to buy the new Xbox 360. Just sayin'.... An Oct. 25 street date has been announced for the first special edition DVD of Titanic. The three-disc set features a new transfer, deleted scenes, audio commentary and scale replicas of the scenery Billy Zane chewed.... Russell Crowe's Cinderella Man comes out on DVD Dec. 6. Buy it, or risk having a phone keypad indented on your forehead.
OK, is everyone else totally digging that the actors playing themselves on this show are more entertaining than when they're actually acting? I mean, Mandy Moore? So cute. And Brooke Shields? Screw Tom Cruise, if those antidepressants are keeping her good moods stabilized, I say double up, honey! Besides, who wouldn't need a pick-me-up after filming that scene with Drama's woody, right? But as much as I'm devouring the fun these folks are having at their own expense, I think it's time someone spoke to Vince about the friction among his posse. Yes, Miss Moore is candy in our pockets, but these are your boys, son! Show the love and listen to them, for cripes' sake. On-set romances are hideous, they make for annoying US Weekly covers and nobody really cares unless one of the Friends or a newly purchased Cambodian baby is involved. Also — and this is a big one — get the hell away from that Terrence guy! Who cares if he's more polished than Ari and
Question: I know Joey fell short of expectations. It had its moments, but it also needs improvement, though I thought Matt LeBlanc did as good a job as possible to make the show work. With Friends, all six characters were good and funny from the beginning. All too often with sitcoms today, it seems the writers and actors think the goofier the character, the funnier the show. But if you look at the great sitcoms of the past, including Friends, the characters were still people and not just ridiculous caricatures. Anyway, do you think Joey can be salvaged?
Answer: I hope so, but I'm not sure any fix will be anything but too little, too late. Look at that time period this season: Joey will be fighting for attention against a truly terrific new comedy, UPN's Everybody Hates Chris, as well as Survivor, The O.C., Alias and Smallville. I can tell you now that Joey and Will & Grace are fifth, maybe sixth, priority for me in that time period. But for NBC, fixing Joey is a real priority. I don't
Question: I've heard you talk about single-camera shows and multicamera shows. What's the difference, and how can you tell if a show is filmed with one camera or multiple cameras? How does this affect a show creatively?
Answer: I'll try to keep it simple. Multicamera describes the traditional sitcom format of taping (usually) in front of a live audience on a soundstage with several cameras capturing the action as it happens. Single-camera refers to comedies that look more like movies, filmed on studio sets or on location, usually without a laugh track. While shows like Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond seem to demonstrate that there's still a healthy appetite for the old-fashioned approach, more critical and cult buzz tends to attach to the stylized likes of Sex and the City, Arrested Development and Scrubs, which often take more chances and are less predictable in format and content. As long as they're done well and are funny, I'm OK with them either way ...