Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NBC Mid-Season 2011 Schedule Changes; NBC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Perfect Couples - Premieres January 20

NBC has announced some changes to its mid-season changes. NBC announced that it will continue with new episodes of Parenthood on Tuesdays at 10pm through April 19. This means there will be either 3 repeats or preemptions somewhere so all 22 episodes can air. It is unclear what will air starting April 26. Also, Law & Order: Los Angeles, which was previously scheduled to resume on that day and time beginning February 8, will return on a day to be determined. The series is going through a number of changes. Parenthood was scheduled to move to Mondays at 10pm starting March 7, but that will not happen and mid-season drama Harry's Law will now air all of its 13 episode order rather than just 6. Harry's Law will air through May 9 and it will also have to be repeats for three weeks.
In addition, the new alternative competition series America's Next Great Restaurant will now debut on Sunday, March 6 at 8pm instead of the previously announced Wednesday, March 16 at 9pm. The Marriage Ref, which was intended to return for its second season on Sunday, March 6 at 8, will return at a later date. Airing Wednesdays at 9pm after Chase concludes after March 2 will be repeats of Law & Order: SVU leading into new episodes at 10pm.
See a full list of these changes. Still yet to be scheduled are new comedy-drama Love Bites and new comedies Friends with Benefits and The Paul Reiser Show. They are now joined by The Marriage Ref (10 new episodes) and Law & Order: Los Angeles (14 episodes remain to air from 22 episode order), which now have to be determined return dates. Could some of these possibly air in summer? Stay tuned.

Perfect Couples

Perfect Couples - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Perfect Couples is a romantic comedy that follows three flawed pairs trying to get it right.

Dave (Kyle Bornheimer, Worst Week) and Julia (Christine Woods, Flash Forward) are the "everyday couple," messed up in all the "normal" ways. Dave struggles to keep both his wife and his needy best friend, Vance (David Walton, NBC's 100 Questions) happy. Vance and the volatile Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are the high-passion, high-drama couple who bring out the best and worst in each other.

The third duo features Rex (Hayes MacArthur, She's Out of My League) and Leigh (Olivia Munn, Attack of the Show, The Daily Show). Rex is a reformed party guy who has channeled his jock energy into a competitive drive to be the ideal mate. Leigh, a self-anointed relationship guru, has formed the perfect union with Rex, and now considers it her duty to mold the other couples in their image.

Perfect Couples is produced by Universal Media Studios. Show creators Jon Pollack (30 Rock) and Scott Silveri (Friends) serve as executive producers with Andy Ackerman (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine), who also directed the pilot.

Cast Details:

* Kyle Bornheimer as Dave
* Christine Woods as Julia
* David Walton as Vance
* Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Amy
* Hayes MacArthur as Rex
* Olivia Munn as Leigh
* Nicolette Robinson as Isabella

Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs January 20)
Dave and Julia's plans for the perfect anniversary fall through. Rex and Leigh gear up for game night instead. Vance and Amy break up and make up again. Nicolette Robinson also stars.
Directed by Andy Ackerman

"Perfect Health" (Airdate: TBD - possibly February 3)
After discovering that Dave has high cholestrol, Julia puts him on a strict diet and realizes it's time to start acting like adults. Vance tries to curb Amy's outrageous spending. Rex takes Leigh's suggestion of building a "man cave" where there are no rules -- and no judgments. Nicolette Robinson also stars.

Analysis:

NBC aired a sneak preview of the show on December 20, 2010 at 10:00pm. In the episode "Perfect Tens," Dave confronts Julia about her slovenly ways, and the two push each other to be "perfect tens" by dressing up and going out every night. The preview was barely promoted and watched by only 3.8 million and had a 1.4 18-49 rating. You can watch the episode online at NBC.com .

Perfect Couples is a single-camera comedy from Universal Media Studios. NBC has ordered 13 episodes. The show will air on Thursday nights at 8:30pm ET/Pt. Kyle Howard was originally cast as Dave, but he was replaced by Kyle Bornheimer for the pilot episode. In the pilot, we meet the three couples as they try to go to bed. Dave and Julia plan a game night. Vance and Amy break up. Isabella is Dave and Rex's secretary at the real estate company they work at. Vance plays some dramatic exit music after arguing with Dave. Luke is Dave and Julia's dog. In a closing montage scene with a song played in the background, Dave and Julia take some sledgehammers to a house and tear it up. Vance and Amy are on a plane to Paris and plan on getting married.

The show uses a lot of quick editing, scene description title cards, flashbacks and freeze frames. It's a little bit like How I Met Your Mother, but not nearly as funny or outrageous. An opening theme song and credits sequence is used in the additional episode that was provided for review. In "Perfect Health," Julia puts Dave on a strict diet after she discovers he has high cholestrol. Rex shows Dave and Vance his man cave. This episode wasn't quite as good as the pilot.

Conclusion:

This seems to be the season of romantic comedies featuring couples dating or already married. Every network seems to have a few on the air or planned for mid-season. ABC's Better with You is the best of the bunch that I've seen so far. There's really nothing truly unique about Perfect Couples, but I think it is well cast and they appear to have good chemistry. They look to be having fun working together. I liked the physical comedy and things get a little silly at times. Kyle Bornheimer is good here, but I think he was better on Worst Week. Olivia Munn is quite attractive and seems to have a big following online. She steals a lot of the scenes she appears in. The other actors do a decent job portraying their characters.

Perfect Couples appears to be a good fit with NBC's other single camera comedies, but the competition on Thursdays is pretty fierce with American Idol on a new night. It's going to be tough for them to get an initial audience, but maybe they can pick up some additional viewers in the upcoming weeks. I'm not really a big fan of romantic or single camera comedies, but if you enjoy them or are a fan of any of the actors, you will probably want to check out the pilot and at least a few other episodes as they air.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 01/19/11

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, January 20 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Perfect Couples Photo Gallery

    Preview:



  • New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

    I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season

    01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
    01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
    01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
    01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
    01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
    01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
    01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
    01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
    02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
    02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
    02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
    02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
    02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
    02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
    02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
    02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Wednesday, February 22

    The Goldbergs - "So Swayze It's Crazy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    After Adam sees his friend on television, he asks Beverly for her help to become an actor, so Beverly enlists his friend’s mom Edie, who is a kid talent agent in town. Unfortunately, Edie insists Adam can only get “nerd” roles, so Beverly goes on a quest to make Adam a teenage heartthrob. Meanwhile, Barry decides to embrace the punk lifestyle, and Murray attempts to become more involved in Erica’s life, but it backfires.

    Speechless - "O-S-- OSCAR P-A-- PARTY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    When the Dimeos throw their annual Oscar party with other special-needs families, Maya feels threatened by new mom Becca, who seems a little too perfect.  Meanwhile, Jimmy encourages the fathers at the party to let loose while Ray tries to impress a girl by pretending to be someone he is not.

    Modern Family - "Heavy Is the Head" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Despite their lofty hopes, Phil and Jay’s property investment might turn out to be a bust, forcing Phil to rethink his original dream. Meanwhile, Cam lands in the hospital due to a head injury and refuses to have an MRI thanks to a traumatic incident with a well when he was a child. Determined to finally impress Claire and keep her from re-gifting her birthday present, Gloria surprises her with a day of luxury at the office. However, after Claire had to implement some rather harsh budget cuts at work, a massage at her desk may not be sending the right message.

    black-ish - "One Angry Man" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Dre is forced to participate in jury duty after Junior responds to the summons that was thrown away. The case is supposed to be open and shut, but when Dre sees that the defendant is a young African American, he feels a civic responsibility to give him a fair trial. Meanwhile, Bow decides to let the kids swear in the house since they are more open with her that way, but she and Ruby soon regret the decision.

    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Tends Bar" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    It's Valentine's Day and Paddy's is packed with customers. Dennis implores the gang to do one day of actual work but everyone else is distracted by a mystery crate Cricket spotted in the alley. Eventually, the gang becomes convinced Dennis really wants them to work on their relationships and everyone shares their grievances without much resolution.

    Man Seeking Woman - "Dolphin" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    When her mom becomes obsessed with Josh's wedding, Liz seeks out her estranged father (Peter Gallagher).

    Schitt's Creek - "General Store" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    David comes up with a new business venture; Alexis adjusts to her first day of school.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 20)

    Wednesday, February 22

    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Tom and George are guests on a repeat of the 2012 Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars special at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat) - Ariana drops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)- Billy appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
    • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Ultimate Beastmaster on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
    • Ron Funches (Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Matt Shively (The Real O'Neals/True Jackson, VP) - Matt is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Justin Bartha (The New Normal) - Justin joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. He will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
    • Rosie Perez (Search Party) - Rosie is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette dishes about the new season of SuperMansion on Crackle on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
    • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
    • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Mark Consuelos (Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.