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December 17, 2014

the class

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!).
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Back to You -- An early look

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Sep 18th 2007 10:41AM
Back to youIn July, I was at a sitcom writing seminar in which Sam Simon (who helped develop The Simpsons) declared: "the sitcom is dead." Veteran comedy writer Ken Levine (who hosted that sitcom seminar), however, disagrees. Ken believes the traditional multi-camera sitcom might be on a respirator, but still has a pulse. Levine said, "I would amend Sam's statement and say that yeah, the bad, stale, family sitcom with tired rhythms, forced laughs, and bogus characters is dead."

I guess if you're trying to revive the dying sitcom, a good way to start is by assembling a top-notch team. And Fox's new Wednesday night comedy, Back to You, does just that.

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And today's campaign to save a show is for ... The Class

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 21st 2007 10:30AM

Send your erasers and Skittles in to try and renew The ClassWell, I posted information on the campaign to keep Traveler on the air, as well as the send-in project to get Katharine McPhee back into the good graces of American Idol next season, so why the hell not post information on a new petition. I mean, its summer . . . what else to I have to do anyway?

Today's campaign is to renew the CBS comedy The Class. According to the campaign's very plain and easy-to-read website most people have been mailing in erasers and/or Moroccan Chicken recipes to CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler and Executive VP of Programming Kelly Kahl. They have also been sending in packs of Skittles because of a line mentioned by one of the characters ('I ate so many Skittles I peed the rainbow').

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20 questions with Jason Ritter

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 8th 2007 2:02PM
Jason RitterJason Ritter is best known to television audiences for his role as Kevin Girardi in the CBS drama Joan of Arcadia. His other television credits include Hack, Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as a role in the movie The Dreamer of Oz. Ritter is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He is the son of actors Nancy Morgan and the late John Ritter and the grandson of famed film cowboy Tex Ritter.

1. Where were you born?
Los Angeles, California.

2. How many siblings do you have?
Three. Carly, Tyler, and Stella.

4. Do you have any pets?
I had a lot growing up! My apartment doesn't allow pets. I want a dog though! I love dogs. Thelma and Louise were our two dogs growing up. We also over the years had a bunch of cats. First we had Pippi, who my sister named (The Pippi Longstocking movie had just come out), and Pippi had two kittens, that my brother and I each got to name. I named mine "Fluffy," because I'm sooo creative, and my brother named his "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ghostbuster," who was also known to the rest of us as "patches."

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What's On Tonight: 24, Emeril Live, What About Brian, Studio 60

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 12th 2007 5:06PM
  • HeroesAt 8, ABC has a new Wife Swap, followed by new episodes of Supernanny and What About Brian.
  • FOX has a new, two hour 24.
  • CBS has new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, The Class, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, and CSI: Miami.
  • NBC has a new Deal or No Deal at 8, then new episodes of Heroes and Studio 60.
  • There's a new Everybody Hates Chris on the CW at 8, then new eps of All Of Us, Girlfriends, and The Game.
  • PBS has a new Antiques Roadshow at 8, followed by a new American Experience.
  • Four good Friends episodes on TBS starting at 8, with Tom Selleck and that creepy guy Eddie who moved in with Chandler for a short time.
  • Lifetime has two new eps of Gay, Straight, or Taken at 8, then the new movie Nora Roberts' Blue Smoke. What's with all the Nora Roberts movies on Lifetime lately?
  • ABC Family has a new Wildfire at 8.
  • Emeril is cooking for couples on a new Emeril Live at 8 on Food Network.
  • USA has the opening night of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It's on at 8 too.
  • At 9, Nickelodeon has a Growing Pains marathon.
  • TCM has Barefoot in the Park at 9.
  • At 10, Discovery has two new eps of Stunt Junkies.
  • Also at 10: HBO has a new REAL Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Check your local listings for more.

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The Class loses a member

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 22nd 2007 10:54PM
The revised Class castAnyone who watched The Class tonight may have noticed something: Lucy Punch, who played snooty reporter Holly Ellenbogen, was missing from the opening credits. Her bio has disappeared from the show's page on CBS's web site; she's even disappeared from the site's cast photo (right).

This isn't unexpected, since the producers said that a) they were going to concentrate on the romantic storylines on the show and b) it was obvious to everyone that her storyline, which included her gay-but-not-gay husband, wasn't working. She was being shown on the program less and less, usually reporting something that set up some plotline in an episode. But to unceremoniously dump her like that, wiping her off the screen like she was never there, seems pretty cold to me.

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The Class to stream live rehearsals

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 11th 2007 3:35PM
the classProducers over Warner Bros. sent us a press release announcing a pretty cool/unprecedented web extra from the comedy,The Class. Next week, they're going to do two live webcasts of rehearsals.

The first webcast is The Table Read on Monday, January 15th at 11 am (Pacific). You'll get to peek in as the cast gives a first reading (literally around a table) of that week's script. The next live webcast is the following Wednesday a 1 pm (Pacific) when the cast will do a run-thru of the script with all the changes made since Monday. This is an event that usually doesn't have an audience, so it will be pretty cool to see. Of course, it sort-of ruins the episode for you since you know what is going to happen. I suppose it will be interesting to see the final product when it airs.

Check it out at www.CBS.com.

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People's Choice Awards winners

by Brett Love, posted Jan 10th 2007 10:33AM
Two And A Half MenCBS put their regular programming on hold last night so they could show the 33rd Annual People's Choice Awards. Hosted by Queen Latifah, the show gives awards based on public internet voting. As that is the case, these awards track with the Nielsen ratings more than most. Case in point, the award for Television Comedy went to Two And A Half Men. Top rated for a couple years now, but it can't seem to get any press unless Charlie Sheen is divorcing someone or hiring a hooker.

Most of the other television awards followed similar lines. The award for Best Drama went to Grey's Anatomy. Best Actor was Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy). Best Actress went to Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives). Best Competition/Reality show was, of course, American Idol. Best Animated Show was The Simpsons. The only real surprise came in the new categories. Best New Drama was Heroes, which isn't a surprise, but Best New Comedy, The Class? I didn't see that one coming. The television awards were rounded out with Ellen Degeneres winning Best Talk Show Host.

Movies and Music winners after the jump.

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What's on tonight: How I Met Your Mother, Wildfire, Lincoln Heights, Football

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 8th 2007 5:11PM
  • What About BrianAt 8, ABC has a new Wife Swap, followed by new episodes of Supernanny and What About Brian.
  • CBS has a new How I Met Your Mother, followed by new episodes of The Class, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, and CSI: Miami.
  • NBC has a new Deal or No Deal, then two repeats of Heroes.
  • FOX has the Tostitos BCS National Championship college football game at 8.
  • There's a repeat Everybody Hates Chris on The CW at 8, followed by repeats of All Of Us, Girlfriends, and The Game.
  • Lifetime has two new eps of Gay, Straight, or Taken at 8.
  • ABC Family has two new eps of Wildfire starting at 8, then the debut of Lincoln Heights.
  • TCM has West Side Story at 8.
  • Also at 8: G4 has a new X-Play.
  • At 9, Food Network has a new "Breakfast Foods" episode of Unwrapped.
  • Kellie Martin stars in a new Mystery Woman movie, Wild West Mystery. It's on Hallmark at 9.
  • Sci-Fi has a Star Trek: Enterprise marathon tonight.

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Best and Worst of 2006: Joel's list

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 4th 2007 4:07PM
How I Met Your Mother: Slap BetI'm going to dispense with traditional "Best" and "Worst" lists and just use the tried-and-true journalistic method of "made-up categories." Why? Well, firstly, everyone's sick of seeing "Best" and "Worst" lists by this point, considering every newspaper and magazine did one over Christmas week. Secondly, to be honest, the list would end up looking like everyone else's. How much of a limb am I going out on, for instance, to say that The Office was one of the best comedies this year? Exactly!

So, let's start with the Good Stuff, and then do the Bad Stuff:

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The Class to continue in a more traditional format

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 18th 2006 8:31PM
The ClassOne of the problems I've had, and continue to have, with The Class since it premiered this past fall was that the show had just too many characters and too many stories. Sure, the storylines with Lina and Richie were sweet and had the most dramatic impact, and the stories with Kat and Ethan were often very funny. But the Duncan and Nicole storyline seemed right out of the Friends playbook and the Kyle/Holly/GayButNotGay Husband story? Ugh... the less said about it, the better.

But it looks like the show's creators, David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, are getting the message. According to this AP article, they have decided to create more epsiodes where the group is together, rather than the disparate storylines that dominated the first ten or so episodes of the season. They admit that, while having a soapy, separate-thread structure for the show was a novel concept for a sitcom, it just wasn't working. And the actors wanted to do more scenes together, too, so it seems like going back to a traditional format is working better for everyone.

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Friends producer trashes current sitcom scene

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 28th 2006 1:06PM
Kevin BrightDigital Spy has a quick article about Kevin Bright, one of the executive producers of Friends. Right now, he's not working in TV, and has decided to teach a course about directing sitcoms. Why? Because, according to Bright, the current state of sitcoms on US television is pretty lame.

"We're in a bad place," Bright said. "Since Will and Grace I haven't seen one original idea on network TV." (Update: here's a link to the original Boston Globe article this quote came from. Looks like he doesn't absolve himself from blame here -- remember Joey? Thanks to Katie S. for pointing this out.)

Mind you, this includes The Class, which is being produced by David Crane, one of Bright's partners on Friends. I wonder if Mr. Crane gave Bright a call when word of this got back to him. Anyway, I think Bright is being too harsh; yes, there are not a lot of sitcoms out there right now, but most of the ones that are on are pretty fresh and funny (at least until According to Jim comes back from hiatus). Even The Class started with a pretty unique premise, even if it's taking time for it to figure out how to juggle all its characters (last night's episode was the first that did a good job of it). It's not like Bright should be bitter; Friends made him a nice pot of "F you" money.

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CBS orders more episodes of The Class

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 16th 2006 12:01PM
The ClassDespite mediocre ratings and equally mediocre reviews (including mine), CBS has been happy enough with The Class to order more episodes of the "half-hour comic-sudser," as Variety so adroitly called it.

But the show is not getting the entire "back nine" just yet. According to that Variety article, CBS is hoping the mid-season show Rules of Engagement, starring David Spade and Patrick Warburton, will work well in the Monday comedy block where The Class currently resides.

Another article, on USAToday.com, says that newer episodes of the show will concentrate on fewer characers.

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Why I'm cutting The Class

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 13th 2006 10:08AM
The ClassBecause it stinks.

That's what I'd like to say in my post about why I'm not reviewing The Class anymore, but since I get paid to actually render more thoughtful (and longer) opinions than that, I'll give you folks a little more insight.

I had faith in this show when it first started; after all, the comedic pedigree behind it -- James Burrows, David Crane, Jeffrey Klarik -- was stellar. And, while the pilot was a bit of a jumbled mess, the next two episodes had some laugh-out-loud moments. But after that, it crashed and burned, and really hasn't made me laugh since.

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The Class: The Class Goes to a Bar

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 7th 2006 12:01AM
The Class(S01E07) Maybe the writers of The Class are getting the hint and following what seems to be a pretty obvious suggestion: take out storylines! Let the characters breathe! Get rid of the high-strung socialite and the husband she doesn't realize is gay! This episode managed to do all of that; we don't see Holly and Kyle (and Holly's Paul Lynde sound-alike husband) at all, and Duncan and Nicole get some time to interact without Yonk in the way, and take Lina and Richie along for the ride. And, of course, Kat and Ethan do their goofy stuff, this time in a bar (notice most of the episodes have been named for the Kat/Ethan story of the week? I just figured that out tonight... I'm slow, I guess).

So, now that things are a bit smoother and less cluttered, there'd be more room for the funny right? Well, that's what you might think, but you'd be wrong.

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