Monday, March 26, 2018

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Splitting Up Together - Premieres Tuesday (March 27); CBS Announces Season Finale Airdates for 2017-2018

Splitting Up Together

Splitting Up Together - Tuesdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Lena and Martin were once madly in love. But, like many marriages, time and circumstance eventually took their toll and the romance disappeared. Finding themselves in a platonic marriage and acting more like a pair of camp counselors wrangling their kids than a couple hopelessly in love, they decide that everyone's lives would be better served if they got a divorce. Still wanting the best for their three kids and facing a daunting real estate market, the couple decides to "Bird Nest" instead. One parent will live in the house as the "on-duty" parent taking care of the kids, while the "off-duty" parent will live in the detached garage, doing whatever he or she pleases while switching off every other week. Could being apart ultimately lead to them getting back together?

Cast Details:

Jenna Fischer as Lena
Oliver Hudson as Martin
Bobby Lee as Arthur
Diane Farr as Maya
Lindsay Price as Camille

Jenna Fischer (Lena) is best known for her role as Pam Beesly on the long-running NBC sitcom The Office. She has also appeared in films such as Blades of Glory, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Hall Pass.

Oliver Hudson (Martin) is an actor known for his role on the TV series Scream Queens, Nashville, and the long-running sitcom Rules of Engagement. He is also the brother of actress Kate Hudson and son of Goldie Hawn.

Bobby Lee (Arthur) is a comedian and actor known for his long-running stint on the sketch comedy series MADtv, and for his role in films such as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Pineapple Express and The Dictator.

Diane Farr (Maya) is an actress best known for her roles in the hit shows NUMB3RS and Rescue Me, as well as guest appearances on series such as Modern Family, Private Practice and CSI.

Lindsay Price (Camille) is an American actress previously known for her roles on soap operas, from daytime soaps such as All My Children and The Bold and the Beautiful to the primetime soaps such as Beverly Hills 90210, Lipstick Jungle and Eastwick.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs Tuesday, March 27 at 9:30PM ET)

After breaking the news to their friends and family about their divorce, Lena has to deal with her son Mason's growing pains. Meanwhile, Martin, still feeling guilty about refusing to dance with Lena at their wedding, secretly tries to atone for his oversight and surprise his ex-wife with new moves.

Analysis:

The most interesting thing about Splitting Up Together is the creators behind it. The show was created and is executive produced by Emily Kapnek, and also has Ellen DeGeneres credited as an executive producer. Kapnek previously created cult favorite ABC sitcoms Suburgatory and Selfie. Suburgatory started off as a promising hit with lots of positive buzz (and ratings), but gradually faded and was quietly canceled after its third season. Selfie only lasted for half of a season, but it garnered a following in that short time and remains a popular brilliant but cancelled: cult hit. What's notable about both shows, though, is that they were able to garner followings based on their lovable, quirky characters and gradual yet effective warmth and ability to tug on the heartstrings. Both shows had big concepts (in the case of Suburgatory a suburban satire, in the case of Selfie a shallow millennial woman learning how to care about people), but quietly deconstructed those concepts to reveal the true human beings behind them. Splitting Up Together has a similarly big concept, and in these early episodes for review, it shows potential of moving past it and revealing the depths of its characters - but it doesn't quite get there yet.

Splitting Up Together's pilot episode is a little boring, frankly - it gets a lot of plot out of the way and is light on jokes, but clearly has the entire cast putting in their all. And the cast is very game for whatever comes their way, particularly Jenna Fischer, whose first major sitcom role since The Office finds her a lovable anchor of the series. Future episodes begin to allow her to have a little more fun, and as expected, she handles it with aplomb. If I have one major concern with the series, it's that these early episodes are clearly laying a path to get its central couple back together, and the show is far more interesting examining why their marriage doesn't work than when it's suggesting that they should get back together. It would be incredibly generic and predictable for this to turn into another "will they/won't they" series, and I hope the glimmers of something more interesting is the direction the series goes down in the future.

Final Thoughts:

Splitting Up Together has an excellent cast and team of creators behind it, and there is potential for it to live up to the name of those involved in its early episodes, even if much of the show's early goings are a bit bland and predictable. Hopefully, the show will follow Emily Kapnek's former ABC sitcoms and begin leaning into its more interesting, character-building side and utilize all of its talent to their best of their abilities.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • A.P. Bio Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • CBS

    CBS has announced season finale dates for its primetime comedies, drama and unscripted series for spring 2018. See below!

    Monday, April 16
    10:00-11:00 PM SCORPION (4th Season Finale)

    Wednesday, April 18
    9:00-11:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS (2-Hour 13th Season Finale)

    Friday, May 4
    8:00-9:00 PM MACGYVER (2nd Season Finale)

    Monday, May 7
    8:00-8:30 PM KEVIN CAN WAIT (2nd Season Finale)

    Tuesday, May 8
    9:00-10:00 PM BULL (2nd Season Finale)

    Thursday, May 10
    8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (11th Season Finale)
    8:30-9:00 PM YOUNG SHELDON (1st Season Finale)
    9:00-10:00 PM MOM (1-Hour 5th Season Finale)

    Friday, May 11
    10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS (8th Season Finale)

    Monday, May 14
    9:00-9:30 PM SUPERIOR DONUTS (2nd Season Finale)

    Tuesday, May 15
    9:00-11:00 PM NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (2-Hour 4th Season Finale)

    Wednesday, May 16
    9:00-10:00 PM SEAL TEAM (1st Season Finale)

    Thursday, May 17
    9:00-10:00 PM LIFE IN PIECES (1-Hour 3rd Season Finale)
    10:00-11:00 PM S.W.A.T. (1st Season Finale)

    Friday, May 18
    9:00-10:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0 (8th Season Finale)

    Sunday, May 20
    8:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES (2-Hour 9th Season Finale)
    10:00-11:00 PM MADAM SECRETARY (4th Season Finale)

    Monday, May 21
    8:30-9:00 PM MAN WITH A PLAN (2nd Season Finale)
    9:30-10:00 PM LIVING BIBLICALLY (1st Season Finale)

    Tuesday, May 22
    8:00-9:00 PM NCIS (15th Season Finale)

    Wednesday, May 23
    8:00-10:00 PM SURVIVOR (36th Season Finale)
    10:00-11:00 PM SURVIVOR LIVE REUNION SHOW


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Monday, April 19

    The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Hero" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Dave earns Calvin’s respect when he thwarts a robbery at the barbershop, until the recognition goes to his head and he starts exaggerating the truth. Also, Marty invites an anxious Gemma to give his new stress-busting hobby a try.

    Bob Hearts Abishola - "A Tough Old Bird" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Bob and Abishola try to help a sad and volatile Kemi who, after being dumped by Chukwuemeka, struggles with the possibility that her happiest days might be behind her.

    Breeders - "No Choice" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Ally is under huge pressure, but no one seems to want to listen to her; Jim and Jackie are excited about a possible move to the coast and, much to Paul's surprise, so is he.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

    Monday, April 19

    • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Watch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Ron Funches (Hoops/Final Space/Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick will be on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Ted Danson (Mr. Mayor/The Good Place/Help Me Help You/Becker/Cheers) - Ted appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage/Working) - Debi talks about the final season of Younger on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Olivia Holt (I Didn't Do It/Kickin' It) - Olivia will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Michelle Buteau (First Wives Club) - Michelle appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • John Stamos (Fuller House/Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House/You Again?) - John will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Cristin Milioti (Made for Love/A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry and his wife Rebecca discuss their memoir detailing secrets of their marriage, Stronger Together, on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
    • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica discusses her new Hallmark Channel movie Matchmaker Mysteries: The Art of the Kill on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 11am ET/PT.
    • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Ed talks about Peacock's Rutherford Falls on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

    Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

    01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
    01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
    02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
    02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
    02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
    03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series

    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    04/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 19, 2021)
    04/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Will Sasso Joins HBO Max Sitcom Pilot; Home Economics Off to Solid Start
    04/16 - Fri-Yay: Home Economics Is a Solid Addition to ABC’s Comedy Block; Mr Inbetween Season 3 Premiere Date Set
    04/15 - Aidy Bryant Comedy Shrill's Final Season; ABC's Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
    04/14 - Superstore Star Lauren Ash Signs Development Deal with NBCUniversal; Jenna Dewan Joins New CBS Dance Series
    04/13 - NBC Schedules Peyton Manning Game Show; Apple TV+ Comedy Mythic Quest Returns in May
    04/12 - The Price Is Right at Night Welcomes Two Funny Celebs; Peacock Comedy Girls5eva Premieres May 6
    04/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 12, 2021)
    04/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nash Bridges Reprisal in the Works?; Season Finale Dates Set for Last Man Standing and MacGyver
    04/09 - Fri-Yay: Fox Cancels Bless the Harts, Leaving Questions About Animated Block; Variety and Lifetime Presents Power of Women Comedians
    04/08 - ABC Summer 2021 Schedule; Fox Summer 2021 Schedule
    04/07 - MeTV Spring 2021 with The Addams Family and The Pink Panther; Fox Orders More Duncanville, While ABC Goes Into the Wild with Comedy
    04/06 - HBO Max Announces Minx, Set in the 1970s; Remembering Gloria Henry of Dennis the Menace
    04/05 - Head of the Class Reboot Cast and Info; Tia Mowry Expands with New Cookbook
    04/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 5, 2021)
    04/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Head of the Class Reboot Ordered at HBO Max; Friends Reunion Special Finally Happening
    04/02 - Fri-Yay: Remembering Jessica Walter's Excellent Career; Fox's Let's Be Real Special Turns Into Series
    04/01 - CSI Revived by CBS for Sequel Series in 2021-22 Season; NBC Orders Ordinary Joe for Next Season
    03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
    03/30 - Amazon Starts Production on Being the Ricardos, An I Love Lucy Movie; NBC Schedules Lil Rel Game Show
    03/29 - Antenna TV Spring 2021 Schedule; Eric Stonestreet to Host Fox Series
    03/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 29, 2021)
    03/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Don Cheadle to Narrate Wonder Years Reboot; Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk
    03/26 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Series Finale; Remembering Jessica Walter of Arrested Development and Richard Gilliland of Designing Women
    03/25 - New Weekly Celebrity Sleepover Talk Show After SNL; Raven-Symoné Heads to HGTV Series
    03/24 - Remembering George Segal, Pops from The Goldbergs; HBO Max Comedy Series Made for Love Drops April 1
    03/23 - Mr. Mayor Returning for Season 2; CBS 2020-21 Season Finale Dates
    03/22 - NBC Puts Meghan Trainor Comedy in Development; Apple TV+ Straight to Series Comedy with Maya Rudolph
    03/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 22, 2021)
    03/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: James Burrows to Direct Pilot for ABC Comedy Starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer; Carl Reiner's Archives Find a Home
    03/19 - Fri-Yay: Evaluating the 2020-2021 Freshman Sitcom Class; Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in TBS Pilot Kill the Orange-Faced Bear
    03/18 - Younger Final Season Premiere Date Announced; Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler Join Monsters, Inc. Disney+ Series