My mailbox and email inbox have become full of pilot episodes of the new shows that networks are releasing in the Fall for the 2013/2014 season.
While the majority of the pilots are “not for review”, it doesn’t mean I can’t offer up some early opinions on the overall concepts of these shows.
Is my opinion usually one to note? Well, that’s up to you, however, I did say that after the pilot, The Big Bang Theory was a show that would NEVER take off. So, yeah, maybe take what I have to say with a large grain of salt. Hopefully you’ll enjoy anyway.
After picking a title at random, let’s start with NBC’s return of Sean Hayes in Sean Saves The World.
What’s It Called? Sean Saves The World
When’s It On? NBC, Thursdays at 9pm
Who’s In It? Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Linda Lavin (Alice), Thomas Lennon (Reno 9-1-1)
Fighting for DVR Space With: Glee, The Crazy Ones, Reign, Grey’s Anatomy
What’s It About? From NBC: Sean (Hayes) is a divorced dad who juggles a lot — his successful but demanding career, offbeat employees, pushy mom, Lorna (Lavin), and weekends with his teenage daughter, Ellie (Samantha Isler). So when his 14-year-old bundle of joy moves in full-time, it’s a whole new world. Never one to do anything halfway, Sean’s intent on being the best dad ever, so he loads up on parenting how-to books and plans Pinterest-worthy family dinners. But it seems his company’s new owner (Lennon) has decided Sean and his team should work longer hours, putting a damper on his homemaking plans and throwing a kink in Sean’s perfectly constructed work/life balance.
Ellie, a normal girl who wants to hang with her friends and eat on the run, sees this development as a plus. She loves her dad, but he’s clearly going overboard. From keeping his boss happy, his employees motivated and enduring his mother’s tactless “advice” to raising a smart, grounded and healthy kid, it’s going to be a growing experience, to say the least. But if anyone can handle it all, it’s Sean. Megan Hilty (“Smash”) and Echo Kellum (“Ben and Kate”) also star.
KP’s TwoCents: It’s hard to have an open mind on a new show when the lead actor is so clearly remembered for a great role on something else. With Sean Hayes, this is very much the case.
The pilot starts off with Hayes talking to his daughter, plain as can be. My initial reaction was “Oh, no – they aren’t letting him play gay – this will be rough”. THANKFULLY, we find out very soon that Hayes’ character is. He’s no “Just Jack”, but he plays to his strength.
They go back and forth between a workplace comedy and a family comedy. It’s usually very difficult to hit your stride in one episode, and I’m not sure they do on this one. Setup-punchline, setup-punchline, awkward laugh from cast and HUGE laugh from the laugh track.
Good news – “Big Red” from ‘Bring it On’ is in the pilot. I think it’s a rule that she has to appear on every sitcom ever made.
Will it make it to my DVR? Not yet. The story didn’t hook me. I’m interested in seeing what Megan Hilty can bring to it though. She’s not in the original pilot.
TV Cliche Meter: Laugh Track. Single Parent. Terrible Boss. Saucy Grandma.
KP is a Member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association and Found/Editor-In-Chief of TheTwoCents. You can follow him on Twitter. @KPonTV