Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CBS Midseason Pilot Review: Bad Teacher - Premieres Thursday, April 24; Rookie Blue Coming to ION Television in Fall 2014

Surviving Jack

Bad Teacher - Thursdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Bad Teacher is a comedy based on a 2011 film of the same name that revolves around a former trophy wife who becomes a teacher in the hopes of meeting another wealthy man. Written and created by Hillary Winston (Community, Happy Endings), the show will center around Meredith Davis as she attempts to become somewhat of a better person - with a little help from her friends.

Cast Details:

Ari Graynor as Meredith Davis
Kristin Davis as Ginny Taylor-Clapp
David Alan Grier as Carl Gaines
Sara Gilbert as Irene
Ryan Hansen as Joel

Ari Graynor (Meredith Davis) is known for her roles in TV series such as The Sopranos and Fringe, in stage productions such as Brooklyn Boy and The Little Dog Laughed, and in films such as Whip It and For a Good Call...

Kristin Davis (Ginny Taylor-Clapp) first rose to prominence and achieved fame for playing the role of Brooke Armstrong on Melrose Place and went on to achieve greater success as Charlotte York Goldenblatt on HBO's Sex and the City.

David Alan Grier (Carl Gaines) is an American actor and comedian known for his work on the sketch comedy television show In Living Color.

Sara Gilbert (Irene) is best known for her long-running role as Darlene Connor on Roseanne. She has also recently become a notable television talk show personality, being featured for several years of the hit daytime talk show The Talk.

Ryan Hansen (Joel) known for having portrayed Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars and Nolan in Friday the 13th. He also played Kyle Bradway on Party Down. In 2012 he appeared as a recurring character on 2 Broke Girls. Hansen also has a recurring role on the web series Burning Love.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Thursday, April 24 at 9:30PM ET/PT)

Former trophy wife Meredith Davis seeks a return to a life of leisure and luxury by posing as a teacher at an upscale elementary school to meet the students' rich, single fathers and land one to marry. However, her plan hits a major snag and she faces exposure when her unconventional - and mostly unsuitable - teaching methods raise the suspicions of a fellow faculty member.

Analysis:

Going into the Bad Teacher pilot, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wasn't a big fan of the film, but I am a big fan of creator Hillary Winston, who has turned in plenty of scripts I love on Community and Happy Endings. I also was interested to see Sara Gilbert and Ryan Hanson in starring roles. Still, the premise of Bad Teacher - both the film and the television show - is fairly rudimentary, and I wasn't sure if even some of these strong comic names could turn it into a show I would actually be interested in watching. So did they? Well, there's some issues with Bad Teacher, but it's better than the premise suggests it has any right to be.

The natural comparison for Bad Teacher is ABC's Trophy Wife, which has been one of the better freshman sitcoms on network television this season (though it has been struggling to gain traction in ratings). Both shows have a similar premise, and both shows manage to rise above that premise to create something a bit more interesting. Still, the two shows have plenty of clear differences. Despite its tacky title, Trophy Wife is a show with a lot of heart - one that's purpose is to take a warm look at non-traditional families. Bad Teacher, on the other hand, is sharp and satirical. It completely accepts the superficiality of its lead character (played well by Ari Graynor) to the point where she often skirts on being a bit too unlikable. Moments where she uses an apple as a bong, for instance, are just a bit too much. And, of course, this is a network television sitcom, so of course Meredith has to learn a lesson by the end of the episode, which feels a little too easy for a character that seems to be pretty deplorable for most of the episodes' running time. Still, what makes Bad Teacher work is the simple fact that it's funny. Winston brings the fast-paced attention to detail that she learned on Community and Happy Endings to her pilot script, which manages to elevate the material to a level where you can ignore some of the more generic plot developments. It's why this pilot honestly works a lot better for me than the film did, even if they have fairly identical premises. What I wonder if how this show will sit with the CBS Thursday night audience. It seems like a show far more suited to be paired with New Girl on Fox or to air as part of NBC's Thursday night line-up then a show that airs on the same night as The Big Bang Theory. If The Crazy Ones was a bit too much for CBS viewers, I'm not sure Bad Teacher will cleanse their palate. Still, I hope it is. Bad Teacher is far from perfect, but it's a charming, funny pilot with plenty of room to grow.

Conclusion:

Despite its hokey premise and generic plot developments, Bad Teacher is funnier than it has any right to be, thanks to a solid script from single-camera veteran Hillary Winston. Given some time to better craft its lead character and experiment a bit more with its plot structure, Bad Teacher could very well be a show to look out for.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Bad Teacher Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Rookie Blue

    ION Television announced its latest acquisition, adding the hit police drama series Rookie Blue from the Disney-ABC Television Group to its robust general entertainment lineup in Fall 2014. Coming off a highly successful fourth season on ABC, Rookie Blue averaged 2.4 million Adults 25-54 and nearly 7.0 million Total Viewers, growing its overall audience 13% from season 3 (National, Live + 7 Day Program Ratings). Ranking as the #3-rated summertime broadcast drama in 2013 in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, Rookie Blue was also the highest-rated summertime drama on Thursday nights in the key Adult demo in each of its four seasons. The Rookie Blue announcement comes on the heels of a number of key programming announcements for ION Television, including the acquisition of Blue Bloods and the co-production deal for the original series The Listener. It also joins ION’s portfolio of acclaimed series, including viewer favorites Criminal Minds, Cold Case and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, as well as off-cable dramas, Burn Notice, Psych and Leverage.

    Premiering its fifth season on ABC this June, Rookie Blue gives viewers a candid look at the personal and professional lives of five rookie cops from the 15 Division. After graduating from the academy, they must learn to deal with their duties as law enforcement officers while juggling the everyday problems and expectations of their family, friends and coworkers. As they work to prevent crime and solve cases, these first responders quickly learn that their training only prepares them so much for life as a rookie. Rookie Blue stars Missy Peregrym as Andy McNally, Gregory Smith as Dov Epstein, Ben Bass as Sam Swarek, Travis Milne as Chris Diaz, Enuka Okuma as Traci Nash, Charlotte Sullivan as Gail Peck, Peter Mooney as Nick Collins, Priscilla Faia as Chloe Price, Matt Gordon as Oliver Shaw, Rachael Ancheril as Marlo Cruz, Melanie Nicholls-King as Noelle Williams, Adam MacDonald as Steve Peck and Aliyah O'Brien as Holly Stewart. Joining the series in season five are Oliver Becker as Inspector John Jarvis and Matthew Owen Murray as Duncan Moore.


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

    Friday, April 19

    none scheduled

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

    Friday, April 19

    • Joey King (Bent) - Watch Joey on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Esther Povitsky (Dollface/Alone Together) and Haley Joel Osment (Future Man/Alpha House/The Jeff Foxworthy Show/Thunder Alley) - Esther and Haley Joel are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Christine Taylor (Search Party/Arrested Development/Hey Dude and David Lascher (Sabrina the Teenage Witch/Blossom/Hey Dude) - Drew is handing the show over to Hey Dude…The 90s Called! Podcast Hosts Christine Taylor and David Lascher to interview her show for a special Drew's Download edition of the show. Christine and Drew reminisce on filming The Wedding Singer together and reveals which role she auditioned for but Drew got instead. Plus, they have a big surprise in store when they reunite Drew with a former castmate on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Michaela Watkins (Dinner with the Parents/Search Party/The Unicorn/Casual/Trophy Wife) and Daniel Thrasher (Dinner with the Parents) - Michaela and Daniel talk about Amazon Freevee's Dinner with the Parents on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
    • Lauren Ash (Not Dead Yet/Superstore/Super Fun Night) - Lauren talks about ABC's Not Dead Yet on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
    • DulcĂ© Sloan (The Great North) - DulcĂ© shares easy Mother’s Day craft gift ideas on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
    • Alison Brie (Community/GLOW) - Alison is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray

    Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

    12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
    12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
    12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
    12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
    12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
    12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
    12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
    01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
    01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
    02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
    03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
    03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
    03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
    04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
    04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)

    The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

    More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    04/19 - Nikki Glaser Gets HBO Special; Peacock and UK Channel 4's We Are Lady Parts Season 2
    04/18 - Acapulco Returns May 1; Iliza Shlesinger Heads to Prime Video
    04/17 - 31st SAG Awards Airs on Netflix Next February; Prime Video Orders Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Spinoff with Host Travis Kelce
    04/16 - ABC Renews The Rookie for Season 7; CBS Orders New Soap Opera The Gates
    04/15 - Paramount+ Announces Final Season of Animated Star Trek Comedy; Lifetime May 2024 Movies
    04/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 15, 2024)
    04/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Talk Coming to an End at CBS; CBS Renews The Neighborhood
    04/12 - Netflix Orders Tom Segura Comedy Series; Surprise! S.W.A.T. Gets Uncanceled...Again
    04/11 - Max's Velma Returns April 25; Eva Longoria Apple TV+ Series Premieres in June
    04/10 - CBS Renews NCIS and The Neighborhood; Max's Pretty Little Liars Returns May 9
    04/09 - CBS 2023-24 Season Finale Dates; Hacks Star Gets Max Comedy Special
    04/08 - Letterman's My Next Guest Returns April 30; Jack McBrayer HGTV Series Premieres May 3
    04/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 8, 2024)
    04/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Cancels Quantum Leap; Airdate Set for Final Pat Sajak Wheel of Fortune Episode
    04/05 - Hulu Spring and Summer 2024 Slate; Netflix Orders Tyler Perry Drama; Remembering Joe Flaherty
    04/04 - Apple TV+ The Big Door Prize Returns April 24; ABC Renews Will Trent for Season 3
    04/03 - Sony Pictures and Game Show Network Upfront; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and 9-1-1 for 2024-25
    04/02 - Adult Swim's Smiling Friends Returns May 12; Stallone Drama Returning for Season 2
    04/01 - Selena Gomez Gets New Food Network Series; Orphan Black Gets New Series
    03/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 1, 2024)
    03/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Patricia Richardson on Potential Home Improvement Reboot; Paramount+ Removes Several Nickelodeon Series
    03/29 - Hulu Launches on Disney+; Under the Bridge Premieres April 17
    03/28 - Netflix's Good Times Animated Comedy Trailer; Too Close for Comfort and Check It Out! Complete Series on DVD
    03/27 - The Upshaws Part 5 This April; Max Orders Noah Wyle Medical Drama
    03/26 - Apple TV+ Orders Star-Studded Comedy; Elizabeth Banks Joins New Peacock Series
    03/25 - Disney Channel Orders Wizards of Waverly Place Revival; Paramount+ Animated Comedy Ark: The Animated Series
    03/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 25, 2024)
    03/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Good Times Animated Reboot; NBC Renews Several Popular Series
    03/22 - NBC Renews Nearly All Chicago and Law & Order Series; Goosebumps Season 2 Cast Update
    03/21 - Hallmark Renews The Way Home; You Final Season Sets Cast
    03/20 - Community Arrives on Peacock April 1, Movie Coming Soon; Hulu Premieres New Comedy Dinosaur April 5
    03/19 - NBC Summer 2024 Schedule; Starz Drama Rounds Out All-Star Cast