Tag Archives: Jay Harrington

Benched Slated For October Premiere on USA Network!

Benched - Pilot

Benched (USA Network, Tuesdays, 10:30/9:30C), USA Network’s new legal comedy will premiere on October 28th.

The half-hour workplace comedy follows Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe, Happy Endings), a high-powered attorney who went off the rails so spectacularly that now the only place will hire her is the Public Defenders office.

Follow the jump for more.

Continue reading Benched Slated For October Premiere on USA Network!

Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington are Benched!

eliza-coupeJay Harrington

USA Network has picked up courtroom comedy Benched, starring Eliz Coupe and Jay Harrington. The series is built around a high-powered corporate lawyer, Nina (Coupe), whose meltdown after not getting an expected promotion leads to her losing her job and working as a public defender. In her new role in the legal system, she discovers it may not be quite as fair as she once thought. Harrington stars as her new colleague, Phil – tall, dark and scruffily handsome, and an avid gambler.

The series has not yet been given a premiere date. Follow the jump for the press release.

Continue reading Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington are Benched!

TELEVISION: Better Off Ted – R&D Becomes Fodder For Sitcom!

Ted [Jay Harrington] is the head of a Research & Development team at Veridian Technologies. As the central character on Better Off Ted [ABC, Wednesdays, 8:30/7:30C], Ted is faced with the moral, ethical and legal situations that can arise out of the search for new and exciting products and processes – like the one where a member of his research team, Phil [Jonathan Slavin] is to be flash frozen for a year to see if the company’s suspended animation process will actually work.

BetterOffTed

In his position, Ted is aided by scientists the aforementioned Phil and his lab partner, Lem [Malcolm Barrett]. He relies on Linda [Andrea Anders] to check out the paperwork to make sure that the testing of the company’s various products and processes are safe enough to test on human subjects. He answers to Veronica [Portia de Rossi], a morally and ethically bankrupt vice-president of the company.

The premiere opens with a Veridian Technologies orientation video that explains exactly what it is that Viridian does – which seems to be almost everything [they don’t make cows, for example, but they have made a sheep]. After viewing the orientation video, it’s easy to see why the characters have their specific attitudes – something that makes situations like Ted and Linda’s attraction [which he fights and she ignores, for the most part] make sense.

Harrington is excellent as the morally and ethically sound Ted who has to try to squelch the many potential fiascos that Veronica causes through her complete obliviousness to even the concept of ethics [weaponize pumpkins, you say?] – and when Ted isn’t clear on the ethics of the situation, he has his daughter, Rose [Isabella Acres] to set him straight.

As Veronica, it’s good to see de Rossi working in a sitcom again, though I expect Better Off Ted to be another one of those shows that quickly gain critical acclaim but only a cult following. That would be a shame. She does have a way with blithe demands and matter-of-fact indiscretions. The support team of Anders, Slavin and Barrett complement Harrington and de Rossi beautifully. The five cast members have good chemistry and each possesses excellent comedic timing.

The script for the premiere does a good job of giving us the essentials of the premise and characters in a concise and remarkably thorough manner. Better Off Ted has the potential to be a bright spot in the diminishing universe of sitcoms.

Final Grade: B+

TELEVISION: ABC Greenlights Five New Series

For the fall season, ABC greenlighted only a handful of new shows: the drama Life on Mars [based on the British, series of the same name]; comedies Scrubs [moving from NBC] and The Goode Family; and two alternative [reality] shows, the Untitlted Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks and Opportunity Knocks.

Nathan Fillion

Now the network unveils five new shows: dramas Castle [starring Nathan Fillion, pictured], Cupid and The Unusuals, and comedies Better Off Ted and Single With Parents. Although the announcement of the five new shows comes a bit later than usual, Stephen McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment notes that, “It was worth taking the time to go through the pilot process to really do it right,” said McPherson. “We’re excited about these series and feel they’re perfect additions to our dominant core slate of shows. These are the initial pick-ups, but there are a number of other pilots we feel will also get the go ahead in some form moving forward.”

Details on the new series are as follows:

Dramas

“Castle” is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who is bored with his own success. When a real-world copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Nick’s novels, Nick is teamed up with NYPD Detective Kate Beckett and the challenge gets his blood pumping as he steps in to help solve the crime. Nick and Beckett’s styles instantly clash and sparks begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance. Nick is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, quick-witted teenage daughter and his long-suffering ex-wife… who happens to be his editor. “Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.

“Cupid” is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love, Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together. As fate would have it, Trevor is under the care of famous psychologist and self-help author Dr. Claire Allen, who is also dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates. While she agrees with his cause, she questions whether he’s crazy or really is Cupid. “Cupid” stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.

“The Unusuals” is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop, it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last. Just ask Casey Schraeger, who started her day as an NYPD vice detective before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that, not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor, but also their own dirty little secrets. “The Unusuals” stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.

Comedies

“Better Off Ted” is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies. No achievement is too far fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need a suicidal turkey? Done. Need a metal that is hard as steel but bounces – and is edible? Done and done. Ted loves his seemingly perfect job; he loves his superhuman boss, Veronica, and colleagues Lem, Phil and Linda, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely questionable practices… especially when they try to cryogenically freeze one of Ted’s scientists for testing purposes. Starring Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil and Malcolm Barrett as Lem,.

“Single with Parents” is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way. She’s thrilled that her divorced parents are leading exciting lives – really she is – except both of them rely on her way too much. Dad needs her as a surrogate parent and Mom counts on her 24/7 as a shrink and confidante. Lou has resolved to finally find a fulfilling life for herself. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagen Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.