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August 29, 2015

Coupling producer rips into Jeff Zucker

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 14th 2007 9:40AM

CouplingRemember the short-lived American version of Coupling that ran on NBC a few seasons back? Do you know why it was so short-lived? Two words: Jeff Zucker!

That's what writer/producer Steven Moffat says. He was the creator and writer of both the British and American versions of the show (he has also written several episodes of Doctor Who). He's still angry that Zucker actually said that the show "sucked" back in 2003.

Here's what he had to say about why the NBC version didn't last longer:

"I can answer that with three letters: N-B-C. Really good cast, really good writing team, the network totally fucked it up. You want a show to be funny? Get somebody other than Jeff Zucker and his team because they will fuck it up. There, that's the end of my career in LA."

Hmmm...I gotta say, I watched the NBC version of the show, and I have to agree with Zucker. It was one of all those forgettable sitcoms that NBC tried on Thursday night, remember? The Single Guy, Inside Schwartz, Union Square, Jesse, and all those other sitcoms. Shows you just prayed were better because you liked the cast or the plot had potential...but it just never happened.

[via TV Tattle]

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Khamel: Spot on! Without the character of Richard Coyle, season 4 was a complete downer.

"I've always wanted to say this aloud to a woman: breasts!"

July 16 2007 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Steve Moffat's "Jekyll" = one of the besst series of the year!!

Seriously, it's REALLY, REALLY good TV. As a fan of shows like THe Wire, Sopranos and Deadwood I like my TV smart and compelling - this series is both those things.


July 15 2007 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only thing Coupling had going for it: Rena Sofer.

July 15 2007 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Bash: I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't understand the first part of what you said, but to answer: I didn't say anything about Zucker's involvment. That quote is from Moffat, not me.

July 14 2007 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow Bob what a lovely comment.

What exactly do you mean was Zucker's involvement that "fucked it up" if the show ran in it's own timeslot except? Standing behind the author muttering "You suck" or what?

I sometimes wonder how you come up with stuff like this that expresses so much how you don't really think about something that is mentioned but what you thought about it back then and how you feel about it and just writing that down instead of taking the new information and maybe, just maybe actually use it to gain some insight.

When I first came here I didn't understand all the bashing you got every time you wrote something about a show that seemed a bit... condescending.

This is the third time I got a reason to understand those people. I sometimes would really love to find out what the reason for this is. But then again I guess you don't read these comments anyway...

July 14 2007 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The US version sucked out the gate! I thought the casting was all wrong, why do they go a change things around? The UK version was so much better, and funnier. Somethings don't translate. The acting styles of UK shows is just funnier somehow, plus you can get away with so much more over there than you can get away with over here. Could they have done the sex shop episode here? or the melty man? How about Susan's battery consumption? I don't think so. Not on NBC, FOX maybe, but not NBC.

July 14 2007 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The aired episode did suck but then so did the first episode of the us office. Both had the problem of basically taking the UK script and re filming it which could have been where the problem was.

If it had been given a chance to find its feet and its own identity maybe it would have gone on to be a critical success like the office has

July 14 2007 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

#1 reason the American version didn't work is also the #1 reason the 4th season of the UK version didn't work - NO RICHARD COYLE. He MADE that show. It would have been ok without him but it was GREAT with him.

Also, they british version was way more sexual than a show on American network television would allow. The actors weren't terrible, but there weren't very good.

Is someone here going to tell me that Oliver was 1/10th of the character/actor that Jeff/Richard Coyle was?

July 14 2007 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fire Zucker, save the network.


July 14 2007 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. The original BBC Coupling was and still is incredible. IMO, its humor has Seinfeld-esque longevity.
2. The US episodes of Coupling that "re-used" the UK scripts weren't very funny,


If you watch the US episodes that DID NOT air in the US, I think you would change your opinion about the US version. The show really started to stand on its own.
Unfortunately, it wasn't given a chance.

With all the fantastic writing that Moffat has done, I'll trust him when he blames Zucker.

PS: Steve Moffat has also been writing the very new UK series Jekyll. Check it out!

July 14 2007 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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