May 18, 2011

THE SKED: 1st Pre-Look At CBS’s New Comedies

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Written by: Mitch Salem

>DISCLAIMER: These initial impressions are based on the clips (usually 3-5 minutes) released by the networks to use in their Upfront presentations and for promos.  They’re chosen to sell the show, not to accurately represent it.  So take the reactions below with a large satchel of salt–we may well feel differently about these shows once we see the full pilots.  That being said, it’s also true that these clips are carefully selected to give the best impression possible of a show–if it still doesn’t look great, that may not bode well.

Clips are available, among other places, at  
2 BROKE GIRLS (Monday 8:30PM):  It will be fascinating to take a look at this sitcom and Apartment 23 on ABC side by side, because they appear to be essentially the same show:  street-smart, cynical New Yorker reluctantly takes in naive new roommate.  On ABC, the leads are Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker; in the seemingly milder CBS version, our heroines are Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.  The pilot co-writer is Whitney Cummings, but since she’ll be too busy doing her own sitcom on NBC (the comedy family tree this season is starting to feel like 6 Degrees of Separation), her fellow writer and ace showrunner of Sex and the City Michael Patrick King will be handling the series.  Broke Girls is scheduled as the companion show to How I Met Your Mother, and it feels a little underpopulated with just 2 stars, and far less edgy than Apartment 23 is trying to be, but the trailer’s got charm (the pilot was directed by ubersitcommer James Burrows) and Dennings has comic timing to spare. 
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (Thursday 8:30PM): The schedule’s companion show to The Big Bang Theory seems so compatible it could practically be a spinoff.  Writer/star David Hornsby plays an etiquette columnist whose old-fashioned sense of style makes him an oddball among ordinary people; he’s forced to hire a life coach played by Kevin Dillon, who’s basically playing Johnny Drama without the 4-letter words.  Odd couple, anyone?  This doesn’t look to be the subtlest of sitcoms, but CBS comedies tend not to underplay their hands, so this could fit right in. 


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."