Remember when NBC used to run the sitcom world? It just seems like yesterday when it was on top and the other networks were trying to play catch up.
But that was years ago, and since then, ABC and CBS have not only caught up to NBC, but they’ve surpassed it with hits like “Modern Family” and “2 Broke Girls,” which makes old NBC hits like “Seinfeld” and “Friends” seem like ancient history.
Which is why NBC has gone back to the drawing board and created shows around some of yesterday’s stars like Bill Cosby and Michael J. Fox.
As we reported, Cosby will try to make TV magic like he did in the 80s with another family themed show, but will it work this time?
There’s a good chance it won’t, because times and people have changed, so it’ll be interesting to see if the younger generation responds to the new show, or if folks will ignore it like they’re doing the “The Michael J. Fox Show,” which has been struggling to find its way.
Sam Laybourne, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, recognized “The Michael J. Fox Show” needed a lot of work, and the writers have just recently turned the level of quality around.
“The good news is that we’ve figured it out,” he said. “Around Thanksgiving, and our Christmas show, we took a fairly drastic turn quality-wise.”
In addition, Laybourne says that scheduling may also be the reason the show hasn’t developed a bigger audience, but he hopes some big named guest will change all of that, and save the show from being canceled.
“And to have Anne Heche and Christopher Lloyd, and soon, Brooke Shields coming on as guests stars [is great],” said Laybourne, “And Mike [Fox] is such a great counter-puncher and plays really well off big, fun characters and we’ve fully embraced that.”
What also hurt the show, he says, is that people had tremendous expectations for it to do well, namely because Fox’s name is attached to it, and he’s always had a great reputation for bringing in killer ratings.
“There were titanic expectations, understandably, and they were fair,” he said. “The expectations were through the roof, coupled with the 22-episode order. The story doesn’t become that the ratings aren’t good, it’s more, is the show going to survive.”