Friday, March 03, 2017

Fox Mid-Season Pilot Review: Making History - Premieres Sunday, March 5; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 6, 2017)

Making History

Making History - Sundays at 8:30PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 8:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Making History is a new, science-fiction-flavored sitcom starring Adam Pally, Leighton Meester, and Yassir Lester that follows three friends from two different centuries as they try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their everyday lives.

Cast Details:

Adam Pally as Dan
Leighton Meester as Deborah
Yassir Lester as Chris
Neil Casey as Sam Adams
John Gemberling as John Hancock

Adam Pally (Dan) is a comic actor best known for his roles on the fan-favorite comedies Happy Endings and The Mindy Project. He has also appeared in shows such as BoJack Horseman, Lady Dynamite¸ and Comedy Bang! Bang!

Leighton Meester (Deborah) is an actress known for her role on the teen drama Gossip Girl. She has also appeared in shows such as 24 and Veronica Mars and in films such as Date Night and That's My Boy.

Yassir Lester (Chris) is a stand-up comedian and writer who has written for The Carmichael Show and Girls. He also appeared as an actor in sketch shows The Characters and Key and Peele.

Neil Casey (Sam) is a comic actor and writer known for his role in the short-lived but cult-favorite Yahoo series Other Space, as well as guest roles on shows such as Veep, Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show, and Broad City.

John Gemberling (John) is best known for his recurring role as Bevers on Broad City. He also starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Marry Me and in guest roles on shows such as American Dad!, The Office, and Key & Peele.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs March 5 at 8:30PM ET)

Having recently discovered time travel, Dan, a facilities manager at a small Massachusetts college, has been transporting himself back to the 1700s to spend time with the colonial woman for whom he's fallen. In the present, Dan is misunderstood by all, and anxious that life is passing him by. But in the 18th century, he's absolutely hilarious - he gets the girl and makes friends. However, Dan's actions in the past are messing up the present. That woman he's dating is not just any woman. She's Paul Revere's daughter, Deborah, and Dan's meddling causes her father to delay his famous ride, which may have altered the outcome of the entire American Revolution. To set matters right, Dan enlists the help of Chris, a brilliant, polished and popular history professor at the college, who's now given the incredible opportunity to actually live the history he teaches.

Analysis:

Making History feels like a show that should be really fresh and original. It's a time travel sitcom starring a bunch of comedy heavy hitters by Phil Lloyd & Chris Miller, the team behind projects like The Lego Movie and The Last Man on Earth. That description and that cast alone makes Making History at least worth a glance – and there are moments in its first four episodes that live up to the promise. But on the whole, Making History kind of squanders everything it has going for it with flat characterization, surprisingly dull jokes, and an overall vibe that no one is giving this premise and this cast the amount of effort that's deserved. The three main characters – Dan, Deborah, and Chris – never have their personalities exceed the stereotypes they're presented as, and their relationships aren’t fully formed enough to ground the series. In short, Making History seems to think that taking us to the past and dressing everyone up in fun costumes is enough to make the show worthwhile, and gives little thought to its characters or even its central storyline.

But anyone who knows anything about good sci-fi knows that the best sci-fi is rooted in great characterization – we want to see ourselves in the characters, imagining what we would be doing if we were on those fantastic adventures. Similarly, the best sitcoms also pay close attention to their character work, as if you're spending a half-hour hanging out and laughing at a bunch of people every week, you generally want to like those people. By the end of the four episodes I watched, I didn't feel any real affection for the characters of Making History, nor did I feel the show really had a firm grasp on who these people were or why I should care about them. The actors are excellent and do their best, but the writing for these characters feels paper thin. The show isn't without its funny moments (Deborah's reaction to the future, particularly during her first brief trip, is a great comic moment), and the concept of a time-travel sitcom is fun and alluring enough that an episode of Making History doesn't feel like a waste of time. It's an easy show to watch, and you might even get sucked into the show's world after an episode or two. But it's hard not to feel like it's all a little empty, when it doesn't have to be. There is such a good cast here, and such a promising concept, that I have hopes that the show could eventually turn into the show it could be if there was just a little extra attention given to the characters (and maybe some punchier jokes.) As it is, Making History mostly feels like a show that could be something special, but falls short.

Conclusion:

Making History isn't without its merits. It has a great cast, an intriguing and fairly original concept, and some funny lines and moments. But the show needs to work on its paper-thin characters, explore the epic world it's created, and have more consistent and frequent jokes in order to live up to the potential of its cast and premise. There is a good show lurking around somewhere in here, but it's hiding underneath a lot of flat joke writing and paper-thin characterization that relies far too much on archetypes. The show comes from a team who has worked magic in the past, so it's possible it could work out its kinks and finally live up to its promise – let's hope that’s the case, because a really good time travel sitcom would be fun to have around.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2.5/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Sunday, March 5, 2016 at 8:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • Fox.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Making History Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
    For the week of March 6-10, 2017, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVRs (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!


    Monday, March 6, 2017
    • Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn/The Last Man on Earth) - Watch Jason on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Patrick drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Justin Kirk (Weeds/Animal Practice) - Justin is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Justin Long (Ed) - Justin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Steve is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Noël Wells (Master of None) - Noël appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Nasim Pedrad (Mulaney/New Girl) - Nasim is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • John Stamos (Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House) - John chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) - Caroline appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Sandra Bullock (Working Girl) - Sandra is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Scott Grimes (American Dad!/Goode Behavior/Together We Stand) - Scott appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City) - Lea joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda is a guest on a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
    • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe gives women relationship advice on a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
    • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Brie is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
    • Paul Rust (Love) and Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Paul and Gillian talk about Love on the AOL Build Show at 4:30pm. Paul will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Jennifer Tilly (Out of Practice) - Jennifer appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    Tuesday, March 7, 2017
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Watch Neil on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Jerrod Carmichel (The Carmichael Show) - Jerrod visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
    • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Malin Akerman (Trophy Wife/Sin City Saints) - Malin is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Ariel Winter (Modern Family) - Ariel chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your listings.
    • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi appears on Harry, so check your local listings. She is also live from Disney World on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica is a guest NBC's Today in the 9am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
    • Jurnee Smollett-Bell (On Our Own) - Jurnee talks about Underground on the AOL Build Show at 1pm. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Brie opens up about racking up frequent flier miles while filming her new movie, Kong: Skull Island – and the craziness of flying back and forth between Vietnam and L.A. during last year’s Oscar season on People Now at 8:30am.
    • Hannah Simone (New Girl) - Hannah is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Seinfeld) - Patrick appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Patrick is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Wednesday, March 8, 2017
    • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Watch Brie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Kal Penn (Deadbeat/We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Ed) - Michael drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Seinfeld) - Patrick is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk) - Patrick appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) - Jerrod is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Keri stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
    • Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg/Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex) - Jenna appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Lost at Home) - Connie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Sofia drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C/Difficult People) - Gabourey is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe reveals her newest age-defying find and puts the latest rumors to rest on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
    • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica is a guest on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel at 7:52am. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Sara Gilbert (Roseanne/The Big Bang Theory/Bad Teacher) - Sara appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    Thursday, March 9, 2017
    • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Catch Gillian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Maz Jobrani (Superior Donuts/Better Off Ted/The Knights of Prosperity) - Maz is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Paul Scheer (The League/Fresh Off the Boat) - Paul appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Rob Huebel (Transparent) - Rob is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Adam Pally (Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You/Animal Practice) - JoAnna is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Colton Dunn (Superstore) - Colton appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect) - Zachary appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Brie talks about Kong: Skull Island on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Peter Krause (Sports Night/Cybill) - Peter drops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) and Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Anthony and Tracee are guests on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim appears on a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
    • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicity talks about American Crime on the AOL Build Show 12pm.
    • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    Friday, March 10, 2017
    • Adam Pally (Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Watch Adam on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicity appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Jurnee Smollett-Bell (On Our Own) - Jurnee stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Anders Holm (Workaholics) - Anders is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Marilu Henner (Taxi/Evening Shade) - Marilu talks about the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original movie Dead Over Heels: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Krysta Rodriguez (Trial & Error) - Krysta talks about Trial & Error on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Brie Larson (United States of Tara/Raising Dad) - Brie talks about Kong: Skull Island on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Richard Kline (Three's Company) - Richard talks about the 40th Anniversary Three's Company marathon on Antenna TV on PIX 11 News at 6pm.
    • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Bob Patterson/Listen Up!) - Jason is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    All listings are subject to change. Visit our blog and main site for daily updated listings. Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)

    The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

    03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
    03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
    03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
    03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
    03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
    03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
    03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
    03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
    03/21 - Master of None - Season One
    04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
    04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
    04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
    04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
    04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Friday, April 28

    Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck with a Boy Genius" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Harley, Rachel, Georgie and Ethan attend their school spring formal dance, while Lewie and Beast camp out at home in the backyard.

    Andi Mack - "It's Not About You" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Andi's frustration boils over when she discovers that Buffy has secretly been confiding in Bex instead of her; Cyrus double-dates with Jonah Beck, Amber and her friend Iris.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 24)

    Friday, April 28

    • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C) - Watch Gabourey on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Britt Robertson (Girlboss) - Britt is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Anna Baryshnikov (Superior Donuts) - Anna is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
    • Laura Dern (Enlightened), Joely Fisher (Ellen/'Til Death), Clea Lewis (Ellen/Flying Blind) and David Anthony Higgins (Ellen/Malcolm in the Middle/Big Time Rush) - The Ellen DeGeneres Show celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Ellen coming out episode, so check your local listings.
    • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec talks about Donald Trump, too much alcohol and the thing that saved his life on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
    • Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Courting Alex/Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. She also dishes about Imaginary Mary on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
    • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.