Tuesday, September 25, 2018

ABC Fall Pilot Review: Single Parents - Premieres Wednesday (Sept. 26); Lifetime Reunites TV Casts in Holiday Movies

Single Parents

Single Parents - Wednesdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Pavan

This ensemble comedy follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood. The series begins when the group meets Will Cooper, a 30-something guy who's been so focused on raising his daughter that he's lost sight of who he is as a man. When the other single parents see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn't mean sacrificing everything about your own identity.

Cast Details:


Taran Killam as Will Cooper
Leighton Meester as Angie D'Amato
Kimrie Lewis as Poppy Banks
Jake Choi as Miggy Park
Marlow Barkley as Sophie Cooper
Tyler Wladis as Graham D'Amato
Devin Trey Campbell as Rory Banks
Mia Allan as Emma Fogerty
Ella Allan as Amy Fogerty
Brad Garrett as Douglas Fogerty

Taran Killam (Will) is perhaps best-known for his scene-stealing work as a series regular on Saturday Night Live for six seasons. He has also appeared on How I Met Your Mother, Community, Scrubs, New Girl, Drunk History, AP Bio, MADtv and the Disney Channel Original Movie Stuck in the Suburbs. Killam voiced the lead in the PBS series Nature Cat, as well as multiple characters in the animated film Underdogs.

Leighton Meester (Angie) is an actress and musician who was last seen in Fox's comedy Making History. She is known for her fan-favorite role as Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl and starred on Broadway opposite James Franco in the critically acclaimed revival of Of Mice and Men.

Kimrie Lewis (Poppy) played reporter Ashley on ABC's Scandal for five seasons. Kimrie has made numerous television guest appearances, including Superstore, 2 Broke Girls, The Mindy Project, New Girl and Raven's Home, to name a few. She starred alongside Kerry Washington, Craig Robinson and David Alan Grier in the Lionsgate film Peeples and will appear on IFC's Brockmire, with Hank Azaria.

Jake Choi (Miggy) performed on stage all over NYC and in film and television before relocating to Los Angeles, where he booked Single Parents as his first series regular role.

Marlow Barkley (Sophie) has done voiceover work for The Loud House on Nickelodeon. This summer, she will be performing as Kate in The Hollywood Bowl's production of Annie.

Tyler Wladis (Graham) is most recognized for his role as Ralphie's little brother Randy in Fox’s A Christmas Story Live (2017). He has performed in many regional stage productions. He was featured on an episode of Nick Jr.'s Sunny Day and did voice-over work for the feature film It Comes at Night.

Devin Trey Campbell (Rory) began his professional acting career at the age of 7 as Young Lola in Broadway's Kinky Boots. Having held the role for two years, he decided to transition to television and can be seen in projects such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Bea Unicorn by Sesame Studios and Nickelodeon's Shimmer and Shine.

Ella and Mia Allan (Amy and Emma) are already quite accomplished in the film and television industry, having landed numerous supporting, recurring and series-regular roles all by the age of 7 years old. Ella and Mia are known for their roles as Bobbi Sparks on Young Sheldon (CBS), Ellie and Anna Solano on Jane the Virgin (CW), Norma Jean on The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (Lifetime), Nora Braverman on Parenthood (NBC) and Baby Thomas on Sons of Anarchy (FX).

Brad Garrett (Douglas) won three Emmys® and a SAG Award for his role as Robert Barone on the iconic television series Everybody Loves Raymond. He was also nominated for an Emmy and SAG Award for his portrayal of The Great One in the telefilm Gleason. Garrett is a featured regular on season two of Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here. He also starred on the Fox sitcom 'Til Death.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (airs Wednesday, September 26 at 9:30PM ET/PT)

Will Cooper has been so focused on raising his daughter, Sophie, he's lost sight of who he is as a man and has headed deep into the parental vortex. When the other single parents – Angie, Douglas, Poppy and Jake – at his daughter's school see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn’t mean sacrificing everything about your own identity.

Analysis:

A premiere episode of a comedy series should have three things to look for in a pilot episode: a good set-up to the series, being funny, and having a cast that is likable. And this pilot does a very good job of that. We meet Will Cooper, a new member of a group of single parents, and he meshes well with them. The pilot is definitely funny and I see a lot of good funniness still to come. It has the Modern Family-feel to it (and it will follow that comedy on ABC every Wednesday night). Modern Family is probably the last epic comedy pilot we have seen, as it was done to perfection. This pilot is no where near that, but we can't really compare it to that. What we can do is compare it to this year's comedy batch, and this is surely the best of the bunch. And this batch of comedies this year are not the duds from last year either, as there are some good ones this year. We have a very likable cast of characters in Single Parents. The series has about 10 regular players, so it will get some time to get used to everyone...but all of the children on this series are amazing and funny. They join ABC's amazing child actors line-up, as nearly all of their comedies have great child characters (see Fresh off the Boat, Speechless, black-ish, and more).

Taran Killam, Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett are all recognizable names on this series, and they are of course good, but don't overlook the performances of the children and the scene stealer Jake Choi as Miggy. Killam, the children, and Choi are clearly the stars of this pilot. The pilot is funny and has the nice heartwarming feel to it, like most ABC comedies. I think it will even get funnier as the episodes go along and we learn more about the characters and their dynamics. As I feel Meester and Garrett will have more of a bigger role in future episodes. I think Garrett could have the magic of Ed O'Neill from Modern Family if we see more of him.

Conclusion:

Overall, this is a solid pilot and near the excellence level. It's certainly not all there yet, but by far has the most potential. It tackles the dynamic of families of single parents, as we really haven't seen a comedy fully devoted to that yet. ABC has heavily promoted this comedy as much as they have A Million Little Things (the fall's best new show) and Nathan Fillion's The Rookie. This comedy is one to watch. And people will watch as it follows Modern Family and leads into the most talked about new drama A Million Little Things. Killam shines with the kids. Hey Fox, this is the show with "the cool kids." We can't wait to see where this show goes!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Single Parents Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Melissa Joan Hart

    Christmas is coming early this year! Lifetime sleighs the 2018 holiday season this year with the network's It's a Wonderful Lifetime lineup, featuring 14 all-new original movies and nine acquired films. Kicking off on November 21 with a special week featuring five nights of premieres, each week of the holiday season will feature new movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Bringing together cast members from fan favorite shows like One Tree Hill, Sister, Sister, 7th Heaven, The Cosby Show and A Different World, Lifetime is making a list and checking it twice to create new movies that will soon become holiday classics. Featuring all-star casts headlined by names such as Toni Braxton, Melissa Joan Hart, Megan Hilty, Tia Mowry-Hardict, Sarah Drew, and Vanessa Lachey among many others, its snow wonder audiences are going to be ready to deck the halls and sing joy to the world all season long! Lifetime will also present the special, 'Tis the Season: A One Tree Hill Reunion on November 22, following the premiere of the original movie, The Christmas Contract starring OTH cast members. A preview special of the slate for It's a Wonderful Lifetime will air on November 17 at 10pm ET/PT. Highlights include:

    It all starts off with the preview special on Nov. 17. What if Lifetime never made Christmas movies? In this special, hosted by Melissa Joan Hart, we will be taken on a journey that explores how terrible life would be without Lifetime Christmas movies to bring us holiday cheer. Melissa will be visited by the "host" of Lifetime Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and along the way, she will preview the 14 exciting movies that are coming to Lifetime this holiday season. It's a Sister, Sister reunion in My Christmas Inn, starring Tia Mowry-Hardict, Jackée Harry, and Tim Reid on Nov. 21. Rob Mayes & Erin Gray also star. In The Christmas Contract on Nov 22 starring One Tree Hill alums Hilarie Burton, Robert Buckley, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner and Jordan Ladd, Cheryl Ladd, Bruce Boxleitner, Jason London, Hunter Burke, Teri Wyble & Ritchie Montgomery with special musical appearance from Tyler Hilton. Then the actual reunion special airs at 10pm. The Tree Hill Ravens are back together to celebrate the Christmas season on Lifetime. In this special one-hour reunion, Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner of The Christmas Contract and Stephen Colletti of Hometown Christmas, reunite for a special evening that will include a few surprise special guests.

    Two members of The Cosby Show cast reunite on Nov. 25 in Jingle Belle starring Tatyana Ali, Cornelius Smith Jr., Loretta Devine, Valarie Pettiford, Obba Babatunde, and Cosby Show stars Keshia Knight Pulliam & Tempestt Bledsoe. Then A Different World cast members Kadeem Hardison & Jasmine Guy reunite in The Christmas Pact on Dec. 2 starring Kyla Pratt and Jarod Joseph. Other stars featured include Barry Watson, Beverley Mitchell, Marissa Winokur, Alexandra Breckenridge, June Squibb, Sharon Lawrence, John Schneider, Jason London, Towanda Braxton, Conchata Ferrell, Gloria Reuben, Rachel Boston, Patricia Richardson, Caroline Rhea, Michael Gross, Melissa Gilbert, Bethany Joy Lenz and more. See complete movie info for all of Lifetime's It's a Wonderful Lifetime!


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    • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Watch Melissa on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. She will also be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
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