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October 6, 2015

Say goodbye to Frank TV

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 6th 2009 1:31PM
Frank CaliendoThe first season of Frank Caliendo' s Frank TV debuted with some of the strongest numbers TBS had seen with over three million viewers for its first episode. That was bolstered by a constant barrage of spots during the MLB playoffs, and although that first run was cut to five episodes by the writers' strike, the show's future seemed bright.

Now season two is in the books, and that will do it for Frank TV. Broadcasting & Cable reported yesterday that Caliendo's series has been canceled.

Caliendo entered the second season in an optimistic mood. He had made some changes with the bigger budget TBS gave him, adding people to the cast to address the major criticism from Season One that Caliendo was playing every part. When doing impressions is your main strength, you're probably going to need an ensemble cast. Caliendo is one of the most talented mimics in comedy - watch his face during his signature George W. Bush or John Madden impressions. He gets the physical tics, as well as the voice, perfect.

But you need more than a string of impressions to hold a show. Caliendo was great on MADtv, where he could bounce off of other people and hit a home run with an impression in a few sketches per episode. But his new cast wasn't terribly strong, and it was still up to Caliendo to carry the show. Thus, most of the premises for the sketches were excuses to show off a particular impression like Madden or Yoda, and wore out their welcome quickly.

Caliendo is smart enough to realize his limitations. In an interview for another source, he joked with me about how, because of his rotund form, he considered his impressions to be the South Park version of the celebrities he played. And he apologized in advance of last year's MLB playoffs, knowing that TBS was once again going to overload TV screens with his Dr. Phil, Bush, and Al Pacino spots. Someone else will tap him for his impressions, but it will be interesting to see if he can land a few roles without them. I'm curious to see what Caliendo can do as himself.

B&C also reported that Caliendo signed a new deal to stay with FOX NFL Sunday for two more years.

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If this guy is talented, Tom Green must be a comedy genius. Fat guys playing skinny people = unable to see the comedy.

March 07 2009 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary S

Aw. I liked his show. He's very talented. I admire someone who can do impressions as good as he can.

March 06 2009 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mary S's comment

He's definitely talented, but his impressions always seemed much better suited for his stand-up act than a comedy show with sketches. That kind of format doesn't work because it's the things he says and how he says them, and not the situations surrounding them which is more of the emphasis in comedy sketches, that are funny.

March 06 2009 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Leach

I didn't watch the show because of the crap during the MLB playoffs. It was beyond annoying.....

March 06 2009 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug S.

Goodbye Frank TV commercials

March 06 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My prayers have been answered!

His 15 minutes are almost up!

March 06 2009 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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