In what would be her first network series since 2000, ABC is close to picking up a new comedy pilot starring Kirstie Alley, Deadline reports.
The Manzanis, a multi-camera comedy, is described as a new take on Roseanne and would star Alley, 60, as an opinionated wife and mother who...
When Kirstie Alley stepped into the lead female spot on the hit sitcom Cheers, her fearless, bawdy, neurotic energy thwarted all predictions that she'd never fill Shelley Long's shoes. She even earned an Emmy. Since then, Alley has continued to catch the world off guard by segueing into feature films, both arty and mainstream (Deconstructing Harry, the Look Who's Talking movies), headlining popular post-Cheers series Veronica's Closet and making a name for herself as one of the most unapologetic of Scientology's brethren. Then, when her weight ballooned at age 53, she used her indomitable spirit to turn her bathroom-scale struggles into a new branch of her career: She's been a Jenny Craig spokesperson; invented her own weight-loss program, Organic Liaison; starred in a semiautobiographical Showtime sitcom, Fat Actress; and to show what it's like to be an overweight celebrity single mom of two teenagers — William True and Lillie Price — she welcomed a reality-TV crew into her hectic home for A&E's Kirstie Alley's Big Life.
Finally, NBC is giving us what we've been asking for: a two-hour block of cutting-edge network comedy on Thursday. Just like in the old days, except in this new lineup, which kicks in November 30, there are no howling dogs like The Single Guy, Union Square, Veronica's Closet, etc.Here's the new lineup: My Name Is Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock. Could it get any better than that?Well, I suppose it would be better if the competition were a little less brutal for Scrubs than Grey's Anatomy on ABC and CSI on CBS. This is, however, classic and aggressive counterprogramming. There's little chance Scrubs will do better than a distant thirdfor one thing, Grey's many weeks is as sexy and funny a hospital farce as the wacky, giddy Scrubs. But this lineup sends a strong signal that NBC is serious about Thursdays, a night the network used to own on the strength of its signature comedies. Or should I say NBC is being seriously funny, to borrow CBS's catch-phrase for its own comedy bl...
Question: I've seen a bunch of news items recently about Ugly Betty, and I was wondering what your opinion of it was. To me, the premise just seems awful. Like in The Devil Wears Prada, we've got an attractive woman who we're supposed to pretend is "ugly," and then we've got the cutting-edge topic of the fashion industry. Wow, it's not like anyone's made fun of them before. What's next, a sock-hop-and-ice-cream-social comedy? I like America Ferrera, but previous shows along this theme, such as Veronica's Closet and Less than Perfect, have just been shrill and annoying.
Answer: The worst sin in writing about or analyzing TV seriously is to judge a show simply by its premise. While it's entirely likely that you are predisposed not to enjoy Ugly Betty, it's always all about the execution. Ugly Betty is not a traditional sitcom, it's a hybrid of comedy and soap, and Betty herself is nothing like the heroine of Prada (Betty is much more extreme), except perhaps for her inexperience in this
Chloe is a traitor! OK, that's not exactly true, but 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub is consorting with the enemy, guest-starring on the May 9 season finale of WB's Gilmore Girls. The actress will play one of several singers who invade Stars Hollow hoping to get discovered after an agent taps the town's troubadour to open for Neil Young. Rajskub — who honed her crooner chops as part of the improv comedy-music group the Girls Guitar Club — called me from the Gilmore set late yesterday to chat about the Girls gig, Chloe's upcoming "romantic challenge" and her plans to take Manhattan this summer.
Ausiello: I just want to point out that I interviewed you back in 2003 when you first started on 24, before Chloe became the superstar she is now.Rajskub: Th