Faced with that kind of pressure, Cummings responded in a way that fit the setting: by chugging her drink. The interview rolled on from there, as Kathie Lee and Hoda cracked up while Cummings shook her "water bra" for an onlooker and asked the ladies if they had roofied her cocktail.
But before getting into that topic, it might be worth saying whether these comedies are funny or not, and whether they have the potential to be consistently amusing once they shake off the flop sweat that almost all comedy pilots display.
In order of both laughs and potential, I'd list the shows in the following order: The solid '2 Broke Girls' (9:30PM ET Monday, CBS) is at the head of the class, 'New Girl' (9PM ET Tuesday, Fox) is in the middle of the pack, and 'Whitney' (9:30PM ET Thursday, NBC) is the most problematic of the three.
Here's a little backstory: during the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, I gathered a group of my fellow critics and turned on the cameras while we talked all about the best and worst of fall TV.
I've split our chat into five insightful videos, and we'll be posting a new one here on AOL TV everyday this week -- best new comedy, best new drama and worst new show (watch all three below), then star we're happiest to see on TV (Thursday) and returning show we're most excited for (Friday) -- so keep checking back for more.
Right now, join me and HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall, Melanie McFarland from IMDb TV, Damian Holbrook of TV Guide Magazine and AOL TV's own Mo Ryan to get our brutally honest take on today's topic: Worst new show.
According to Deadline, Kaczmarek will replace Beverly D'Angelo as mom to Whitney Cummings' title character. The Emmy nominated actress will appear on a recurring basis. D'Angelo played the role in the pilot episode sent to media outlets, but the scenes will be reshot with Kaczmarek in the role.
After 'Malcolm,' Kaczmarek moved to drama and appeared on TNT's 'Raising the Bar' as Judge Trudy Kessler.
Earlier this summer she appeared in an episode of FX's 'Wilfred.'
The new scripted shows begin Tues., Sept. 13 with 'Parenthood.' New comedies 'Up All Night' (starring Will Arnet and Christina Applegate, right) and 'Free Agents' premiere after the 'America's Got Talent' finale on Wed., Sept. 14.
'The Playboy Club' bows Mon., Sept. 19. NBC's Thursday night comedy heavy-hitters return on Sept. 22 with new addition 'Whitney.' 'Prime Suspect' anchors Thursday nights.
Fan favorite 'Chuck' moves to Fridays at 8PM on Oct. 21.
Look for Tina Fey's '30 Rock,' 'Awake,' 'Smash' and more mid-season.
Check out the full schedule below!
This is designed to get you excited for some new shows ... and to warn you to curb your enthusiasm for others. Just keep in mind that we'll have full reviews of the final pilots closer to airdate in the fall or midseason. For now, here are our snap judgments of all of NBC's new shows for the 2011-2012 TV season. (Read up and watch previews here)
There are nine new scripted shows -- the good (we want 'Smash' now!), bad (the 'Grimm' headline writes itself) and holy-hell-remember-how-funny-Will-Arnett-is ('Up All Night' is a delight) -- and plenty of varying opinions from Mo Ryan, Maggie Furlong, Jean Bentley, Chris Harnick, Alex Moaba and Laura Prudom.
Here's how we're breaking these down:
Watch It - awesome show, can't wait for more
Skip It - it's either horrible or just totally not their thing
DVR It - there's potential, will give it a second chance
According to TVLine, the 'Dawson's Creek' veteran will play Rex Tamlyn, described as an "overconfident, hard-partying playboy." The character is a partner in a Facebook-esque website that's devoted to hooking people up for fleeting romantic trysts.
Like 'The Social Network,' there's a lawsuit around the idea of the site, but with this case there are a few murders mixed in. It's 'Criminal Intent,' what do you expect? Thad and Trent Luckinbill also guest star.
Van Der Beek will appear in the ABC midseason comedy 'Apartment 23' as a fictionalized version of himself.
In other casting news ...
• Martin Short and Aidan Quinn will guest star on Showtime's 'Weeds.' Short will play an attorney and Quinn has been tapped to play the CEO of an investment firm. Other guest stars include Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lindsay Sloane, Pablo Schreiber, David Clennon and Gary Anthony Williams. [Showtime]
Also intriguing: the '60s-set drama 'The Playboy Club,' the mind-bending mid-season drama 'Awake,' and the mid-season musical 'Smash,' whose preview managed to look intriguing despite being essentially a minute-long clip of Katharine McPhee singing a Christina Aguilera song.
After the jump, find updated extended previews and descriptions of each new series.
Appearing on your TVs next year will be the dramas 'Prime Suspect' and 'Smash,' along with two female-fronted comedies, 'Up All Night' and 'Whitney.' According to Deadline, the network plans to continue its pickup spree in the morning. So, what did NBC choose?
'Smash,' NBC's answer to 'Glee,' follows the staging of a Broadway musical based on Marilyn Monroe's life. It stars Debra Messing as the show's lyricist, Anjelica Huston as the producer, former 'American Idol' Katharine McPhee as the lead starlet and Jack Davenport as the choreographer. The cast will sing original songs penned by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Ana Claudia Talancon has been cast as the lead in Whitney, a new comedy for HBO about a group of sexy women in Miami who take advantage of men by making each men think they're the only ones in the women's lives. The pilot was written by Lisa Schrager and will film in Miami. Ana Claudia Talancon was last seen in theaters in Richard Linklater's film Fast Food Nation.
There's not much information on this new series, so all I can say is I hope it doesn't fall into the newish cliche of smart, sexy women manipulating stupid men. I'm not saying women can't be smart and sexy, and I'm definitely not saying men can't be stupid, I'm saying that mix has been done before. I want to know what Whitney will bring to the table that hasn't been done before.
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