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April 23, 2014

The Inn is in, but Kelsey & Patty are dumped

by Allison Waldman, posted May 10th 2008 12:36PM
Patty and KelseyFox has made the call, and it's a big "see ya later" for Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton. But their loss is someone else's gain. The pilot for the Jason Bateman directed comedy series The Inn has been picked up for a 13-week commitment, while Back to You has been axed. The Brad Garrett-Joely Fisher sitcom, Til Death, meanwhile, has been given another year.

Bateman, who starred in Arrested Development -- the Emmy-award winning comedy that the network dumped unceremoniously because of low ratings -- was behind the camera for The Inn pilot. The show, which is about the haves and have-nots in a fancy, five-star New York City hotel, has a promising cast of funny folks including Niecy Nash (Reno 911!), Jerry O'Connell (who looks like Jason's twin), and the really hilarious Jesse Tyler Ferguson (remember him on The Class -- he was so funny!).

For two major stars like Grammer and Heaton, Back to You is a big-time, major flop. On paper, the idea of putting Frasier with Everybody Loves Raymond's wife -- Emmy winners both! -- must have been can't miss in the pitch meetings. And then, you can hear it, they said, "And we'll put them in a newsroom like Murphy Brown and The Mary Tyler Moore Show." How could it not work?

Well, for starters, it wasn't funny. Writers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd -- Frasier veterans -- just never achieved comedy lift-off with Back to You. The show was truly a case of never living up to the expectations. I don't think bringing it back for another year was going to help, either. Fox, reportedly, had financial issues with the sitcom as well. That's code for Patty and Kelsey were making a bundle on a TV show that was not a Nielsen winner. No ratings, no money from advertisers, no pay-out to the stars. That's TV, folks!

Til Death, on the other hand, was given a third season. The ratings aren't much better than Back to You, but the show isn't as expensive to produce. Also, to be frank, Til Death is getting better. I watched it recently and Brad Garrett seems to finally be comfortable in the leading role. When I first watched the show, Brad was over-the-top, trying too hard. That style works when you're a sidekick; it's annoying when you're the lead. Someone must have clued him in because now the show is very funny.

And now it'll have another year to get even better.

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I watched Back to You but I didn't like the direction the show was going, after the strike (with the new Gracie and focusing less on the news station, and more on Kelly, Chuck, and Gracie). So to be honest, I'm not sad that it's gone.

As for The Inn, doesn't it kind of sound like CBS's canceled comedy, The Captain?

May 11 2008 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

I watched Back To You one and a half times. It sucked. I expected much more given the people that were involved.

May 11 2008 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peter Lynn

Remember how Back to You was supposed to be the triumphant return of the traditional three-camera sitcom?

I guess we just didn't want the traditional three-camera sitcom to come back. Not while we have far superior shows like The Office on TV.

May 11 2008 at 2:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shaygb

I really liked Back to You however the powers that be obviously didn't understand what was good and bad about the show. Instead of getting rid of the supporting characters that worked they got rid of the two, I think, that worked the best Laura Marano and Ayda Field. In Marano's case they replaced here with more precocious and younger child actor which wasn't at all necessary as Marano is the real deal in a child actor. With Field they just got rid of the character which was a shame because the last episode that she was in really showed us a lot more about her character and the twist was good and could have continued as a running gag for the whole show. For me, personally, Josh Gad and Fred Willard didn't work. But I find Willard irritating in whatever he is in so it may just be me. Gad's character was far too whiny and didn't have the oomph needed for the role. I think if anything the show went down the wrong path by making the characters too nice. I think that they realised this which is why they bought in the new station manager to cause conflict. It didn't make any sense. Instead that should have emphasised that the on-screen personalities of the tv anchors/reporters did not match their real personalities. The writers sort of touched on it but couldn't bring themselves to step it up a notch. If it was me I would have played on the narcissistic tendencies of the anchors, the dog eat dog nature of the business, the young up and comers who are trying to unsurp the established reporters and have a newsroom manager who spent their day making certain that the public never found out about the 'real' personalities of the newsroom 'personalities'. I would love to have seen Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammar being nasty rather than nice. Now, that would have been pure gold.

May 11 2008 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BartmanDK

First up im really glad Til Death is back! That is a laugh ot loud show for me! Back to you, not so much... To be fair there were things i aculty enjoyed over from the show over this season. Ryan (Josh Gad) was great as the new boss in charge, Gary Crezyzewski (pronounced "Sure-shwoov-ski") (Ty Burrell) was great as the overlooked employe, and Marsh (Fred Willard) was great as the sports jock/kinda dumb guy.
From my point-of-view this show failed becaus it focused too much on Kelsey and Patricia (We get it, you have a kid just tell her already!) and it just kinda seemed to go no were story-wise. And aculty that would have been fine if they hadent thrown that whould we-have-a-kid-together thing in the middle

May 10 2008 at 11:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bash

This was to be expected. Both the cancellation and the renewal.

"Back to you" was to expensive. "'Til Death" has chemistry but is really a "meh" show. It's not really good. But then again which sitcom on TV today really is? None.

And they now even added a token black guy on 'Til Death. Hooray... same thing they did on Joey. It lasted another 12 episodes.

May 10 2008 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TVGenius

Gotta love FOX, they cancel a decent show to make room for a new series from someone who worked on another series they canceled to the dismay of many vocal fans. And lest we not have a Firefly mention while we're at it... Screw FOX. I'm only watching their reality stuff now (OK, and the Simpsons)... tired of them dumping every series I like...

May 10 2008 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steve

the inn is funny, i read the script ... the show runner was a producer/writer on arrested development

May 10 2008 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Since Jerry is in 'The Inn' then I guess Carpoolers is gone as well?

May 10 2008 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill's comment
Oreo

Yep.

And I hate Jerry, so this new show will probably last half as long as "Back to You" has.

May 10 2008 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamie

I'm really shocked that Back To You is cancelled. If anything, I thought that 'Til Death (which is one terrible show) would be the one to get the axe.

May 10 2008 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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