Question: Does ABC plan on ever finishing the run of a new sitcom? Last year, they gave Emily's Reasons Why Not a one-night trial, along with the returning Jake in Progress. They also pulled Crumbs after five episodes, after it averaged 7.5 million viewers on Tuesdays. That's much better than any of ABC's comedies have averaged this season, besides Dancing with the Stars-fueled Help Me Help You, which was pulled with four episodes left to air. Then, the network pulled Big Day with only one episode left to air, The Knights of Prosperity with four episodes left, In Case of Emergency with two episodes left and Notes from the Underbelly, which will only air seven of its 13 episodes. Do you think this shows an overall lack of confidence in new sitcoms?
Answer: Whew. You're certainly paying a lot more attention to that wasteland than I am. In most cases (though not for Knights of Prosperity, which deserved better), for ABC to take these shows off the air early is kind of like a mercy killing.
Fresh off another so-so ratings performance, ABC has pulled next week's episode of Help Me Help You, Variety reports, suggesting that Ted Danson's latest laffer is beyond treatment. In its place, the network on Dec. 19 will serve up The Nine a double helping of Big Day.
Some people are the talk of the town, but Mary Alice Young truly is the talk of Desperate Housewives' Wisteria Lane, narrating, as she has since Day 1, the goings-on of the twisty little berg. This week, though, Brenda Strong is a disembodied voice no more, filling the (literally) tall order of playing Ted Danson's new love interest on ABC's Help Me Help You (Tuesdays at 9:30 pm/ET). TVGuide.com spoke with the Housewives star.
TVGuide.com: It's fun to talk to you....Brenda Strong: Aww. It's so funny, because usually when I do radio shows they're so happy to hear my voice.
Question: I love Help Me Help You. It's hilarious. How is it doing in the ratings?
Answer: For lack of a better word, it needs help. I know this because exec producer Ali Rushfield e-mailed me on Monday to let me know that, after being off the air for three weeks, the show is on "life support" and in desperate need of some AA love. It's a funny little program (at least it was the one time I accidentally stumbled on it while channel surfing), so you guys should give it a test run next Tuesday at 9:30 pm, before it's too late. If it helps (there's that word again), Desperate Housewives' Brenda Strong guest-stars as a woman Bill has a crush on but is too afraid to ask out.
The Hollywood trades are reporting this morning that additional script orders have been awarded to ABC's The Nine, Men in Trees and Help Me Help You (four each), as well as NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (for three). Traditionally, such script orders are a decent precursor to a full-season pickup, though it must be noted that the "vote of confidence" didnt work out particularly well for last season's Threshold, E-Ring or Out of Practice. In related news, NBC has ordered an extra, 25th episode of ER for this season, while ABC has snipped its order for the mid-season series Traveler from 13 episodes to eight.