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September 20, 2014

BetterOffTed

Bill Pullman Joins Jay Harrington in 'Nathan vs. Nurture'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 20th 2010 10:16AM
bill_pullman_headshot_2008NBC seems anxious to bounce back in a significant way. The network has a long way to go, but casting Bill Pullman in the sitcom pilot 'Nathan vs. Nurture' was a good step. It's not just that Pullman, who's a terrific actor and extremely funny, will be on the show. It's that he's going to play opposite Jay Harrington, who was announced as the star a few days ago. Those two guys together equals potential hysteria... in a good way.

The premise of 'Nathan vs. Nurture' is promising. Jay's character is a successful heart surgeon who discovers that he was adopted and meets his biological family. And Bill Pullman is his real dad, Arthur. There are also siblings that Nathan's never met before, and between Arthur and the sibs, there's nothing that matches his level of accomplishment. How is it possible if they have the same genes? Well, that's where the comedy kicks in.

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Jay Harrington to Star in NBC's 'Nathan vs. Nurture' -- Bad News for 'Better Off Ted'?

by Laura Prudom, posted Feb 18th 2010 12:00PM
Things are looking grim for 'Better Off Ted,' following the news that star Jay Harrington has landed the lead role in NBC's comedy pilot 'Nathan vs. Nurture.'

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the casting is still formally in second position to Harrington's role on 'Ted,' meaning he would have to give up the new role if the unexpected occurred and both 'Ted' and 'Nathan' were picked up for next season.

As things stand, on the bubble comedy 'Ted' is unlikely to return for a third season, having been placed on hiatus with its final two second season episodes yet to air.

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Review: Better Off Ted - Mess of a Salesman

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 27th 2010 8:00AM
better of ted mess abc
(S02E11) That's all, folks. This was the final scheduled episode of Better Off Ted, aka ABC's brightest, funniest and weirdest comedy in years. I'm really gonna miss this show, and I'm not looking forward to awaiting the network's final decision concerning its fate. Will BoT return to ABC? Could another network (say Comedy Central?) pick it up? I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.

Tonight's episode wasn't exactly a classic, but it offered plenty of laughs, hilarious throwaway lines and a great guest turn from Warehouse 13's Eddie McClintock.

Casting McClintock as Ted's flaky brother Billy was a wonderful idea. The guy has excellent comic timing and he fit in perfectly with the rest of the cast and the crazy tone of the show. I loved how Billy brought out the primitive nut-slapping, titty-twisting version of Ted we rarely get to see. Billy's visit also prompted Phil and Lem to act reckless and order a ridiculous amount of cadavers, chomp down on "cheese apples" and wear tight leather pants.

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Five keys to saving Better Off Ted

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 25th 2010 1:03PM
better_off_ted_abc
A couple of weeks ago, Kona wrote about the campaign to convince ABC to save Better Off Ted. Despite these grassroots efforts, the rating for Ted continue to be dismal and ABC probably has "cancel Better Off Ted" on the corporate to-do list.

That's a shame, because the more I watch of Better Off Ted, the better I think it is. Smart, funny, observant and surreal, Ted is an office comedy that makes deserves to survive. If more people gave it a shot, I think it would be a success. Maybe not a monster hit, but there aren't many of those in the sitcom field right now. Emmy winner 30 Rock is anything but a ratings hit.

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Review: Better Off Ted - Lust in Translation

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 20th 2010 10:30AM
better off ted lust in translation
(S02E10) Ted mixed business with pleasure again by hooking up with Greta, a sexy German exec whose broken English made her sound like a sexual deviant ("You and I do it I hope, the coming together?"). But after Greta's lunch proposal came out sounding like a much more private request ("Eat me?"), she started using Phil and Lem's translation device to communicate with Ted... in bed. Thankfully, the boys had fixed the machine's giant robot voice, but Ted was put off by its replacement, Phil's voice.

The funniest thing about this gag was Linda's reaction to hearing Phil's voice talking sexy to Ted. Not only did it make her lose the "Linda Bagel" championship, but she also seemed genuinely disturbed and crushed by what she was hearing. Veronica took advantage of the situation to steal Queen Linda the Dainty Foot's crown.

I love watching Veronica cozy up with the office drones to let loose every now and then. It was fun to see her ignore her work to practice her "Linda Bagel" pitch in this episode.

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Review: Better Off Ted - The Long and Winding High Road

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 13th 2010 12:02PM
better off ted high road
(S02E09) Another solid episode from one of the funniest shows on TV. "The Long and Winding High Road" was a great companion piece to the brilliant 8 p.m. ep. I didn't think anything could top getting "Phil-a-busted," but I actually found myself laughing more during this episode than I did while watching "The Impertence Of Communicationizing."

Again, Ted's storyline kinda went nowhere, but we still got the usual stream of non-stop jokes and clever callbacks. We learned that Ted is such a stand-up guy that he opts to take the high road in any situation, even when his office rival is trying to undermine his latest project.

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Review: Better Off Ted - The Impertence of Communicationizing

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 13th 2010 11:42AM
better off ted 1 12 10
(S02E08) In the spirit of this episode, lemme just say that ABC is a wasteland full of baboon-butted snot wipes for not giving this show a better timeslot.

OK, it felt good to get that out. Now let's get on with this ...

I hate corporate memos. I hate the jargon, the suggestions, and especially the phony "Ra Ra Ra, Go Team!" messages that are usually tacked on at the end of them. But I've never received a memo advising me to insult my co-workers with abusive language. Of course, I've never worked for Veridian Dynamics, a place where sexual harassment is considered a disease and people are attacked by super lice.

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Fans mobilize to save Better Off Ted

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jan 7th 2010 11:02AM
better off ted
Frankly, I was surprised that ABC gave Better Off Ted a second season at all. Don't get me wrong, I was pleasantly surprised, because I absolutely adore the show, but ABC didn't seem to have much confidence in it, and ratings weren't exactly out of this world. So, as a fan, I guess I should be thankful that I'm still seeing new episodes, but I'm still kind of annoyed that ABC seems to be burying this hilarious show.

Along with Zombie Scrubs, it was basically the only new show on the air over the holidays-- when nobody was home to watch. They're doubling up episodes and seem to be burning them off as quickly as possible. Fans have already seen the writing on the wall, and are beginning to mobilize to save Ted. Between the #saveted hashtag on Twitter, and the new site, SaveBetterOffTed.com, people are letting it be known that they do not want this show to go off the air.

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'Better Off Ted': Linda and Co-Worker Clash (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Jan 6th 2010 2:11PM
A co-worker takes exception to Linda's bubbly attitude in the workplace on 'Better Off Ted,' and the two clash in the Veridian Dynamics office with a bit of sexual tension resulting ... at least for one of them.

The two trade insults and promises to treat each other poorly in the future until Linda's co-worker announces that he finds their verbal sparring titillating.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Review: Better Off Ted - Change We Can't Believe In

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 6th 2010 3:45AM
Better Off Ted change
(S02E08) Now this was an episode I could relate to. I hate small talk. This might sound cruel, but dealing with "energy sucking time gobblers" like Ryan was one of the things I hated most about working in an office. (That and having to wear pants, of course). So I can't blame Ted for wanting to cut the guy out of his life.

But Ted wasn't about to fire Ryan just for being a chatterbox. Instead, he took Veronica's advice (or Linda's advice, depending on who you ask) and decided to try and change him. And why not? Change is good. Except, of course, when it ruins a guy's life and causes an odd chain of events culminating in a stranger giving birth in the backseat of your car.

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Review: Better Off Ted - Beating a Dead Workforce

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 6th 2010 2:32AM
Better Off Ted dead workforce
(S02E07)
Leave it to Veronica, the master of manipulation, to use an employee's death to increase productivity. Actually, she was only following the company's orders, which were to keep everyone working 14-hour days until, like Jenkins, they all dropped dead. In defiance, Ted took his sleepy little daughter and walked out of the office to a thundering round of applause. It sure was nice of everyone to pause their clapping while little Rosie had a tinkle.

It's always great to see Ted sticking his neck out for the worker drones. He cares about the people in his department, and he usually does his best to help them out, especially when they're too stupid to help themselves. Ted's attempt to snap one drone out of the company's spell led to my favorite exchange of the night:

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Jane After Dark: Catching up with Better Off Ted

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 2nd 2010 11:00AM
Better Off TedI'm kind of bummed that it looks like Better Off Ted might be on its way out. Maybe not, though. Mike's review this week sounded like it might get a reprieve from the axe. Who knows, really? But either way, I'm glad to have found this quirky series, and have been watching season one on DVD this week.

It's kind of a cross between The Office and Arrested Development. If you're not familiar with the show, it takes place in the Research & Development department of Veridian Dynamics, a corporation with lots of cubicles and fluorescent lights.

Ted (Jay Harrington) is a pleasant guy who runs things and answers to Veronica (Portia de Rossi), an uptight boss who wears her hair pulled back so tight it's amazing she can even breathe.

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Best TV of the '00s: Comedic Actress

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 2nd 2010 10:02AM
Julia Louis-DreyfusMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the women who made us laugh the most during the decade.

Since Lucille Ball, television has been a bastion of funny ladies, and the '00s were no exception. Like Lucy, many of the women on this list played second fiddle to no one. And those that weren't the stars of their own shows managed to steal the scene anyway the moment they got in front of the camera.

The '00s will probably go down in television history as one of those decades where the sitcom sputtered and almost died -- again! But it's alive and well now, with an amazing turn-around in 2009. But, as this list proves, it was never truly in danger. Throughout the decade these women provided plenty of laughs in both the hour and half-hour formats, proving that as long as we want to laugh, there will be brilliant actresses around to crack us up.

Here's our list of the top funny ladies of the decade:

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Review: Better Off Ted - The Great Repression

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 2nd 2010 2:14AM
better off ted great rep(S02E06) Now that was more like it. This was easily one of the best episodes of Better Off Ted this season. We got a wonderfully bizarre and fruitful setup, a funny B plot for Phil and Lem, and quotable lines up the wazoo. It was just the thing I needed to kick off the new year right and wipe away the memory of last Tuesday's so so outing. All that was missing was a Veridian commercial (What's going on there, ABC? Are you guys saving those for the Web or what?).

It's good to see BoT back on track again. Sadly, though, the outlook for a third season isn't good. This might be one of the funniest and brightest shows on network TV, but that doesn't keep ABC from treating it like a redheaded stepchild (or like In the Motherhood, either metaphor works here, really).

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Review: Better Off Ted - It's Nothing Business, It's Just Personal

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 30th 2009 1:04AM
Better off Ted business(S02E04) So Better Off Ted is all but dead. OK, maybe that's not entirely true, but the writing is on the wall. ABC has opted to burn through the show's remaining episodes by double-running 'em every Tuesday through the end of January. (They're doing the same thing with Scrubs.) Considering that BoT only kicked off its current season last month, it's probably safe to assume that a third season isn't in the cards.

Sorry, Tedheads. I'm just as bummed about this as you are. Hopefully the powers that be will give creator Victor Fresco another shot at a series. After this and Andy Richter Controls the Universe, you can officially count me as one of the guy's biggest fans.

That's not to say that he can't let me down every once in a while. Tonight's episode seemed to be missing something. The brisk humor was there, but the jokes were more cutesy than funny. We spent very little time with Phil and Lem, and the Veridian commercial was MIA, again!

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