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

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