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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I’m a hair’s breadth away from investigating bunnies at the moment, so I’m open to anything."
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January 05 2005

Alyson Hannigan gets new sitcom deal. She'll be starring alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ed O'Neill in ABC's upcoming show "In the Game."

Well...that's an interesting combo.
Thats really too bad, early reviews of the pilot seem to all agree the show sucks. Of course said reviews are from before Aly came on board so maybe they hired decent writers. They'd still have to get over that whole Jennifer Love Hewitt and lame premise thing though...
I'm curious why AH keeps pursuing sitcom work and not so much with the big screen, at least that is my impression.
I'm curious why AH keeps pursuing sitcom work and not so much with the big screen, at least that is my impression.

It might be more a case of what worthwhile offers are coming her way. It could well be that she is pursuing film roles, but if decent roles are not being offered to her she will look at other options.
Maybe she's just filling time until those movies, you know those (4) JW written and directed slayerverse movies start up. Oh God, I need a fix of new JW work soon!
I think she probably wants to do sitcoms because unlike movies and drama tv, she'd be able to spend more time with Alexis.

I hope this show actually airs!

[ edited by eddy on 2005-01-05 12:44 ]
Good news for Alyson. It has been far too long since we've seen her on the small screen.
Well sooner or later there is going to have to be a new successful sitcom again despite what the last three years has shown so maybe this will be the one. Hopefully for Alyson (and Jennifer too) it will be.

We are seeing a renewed interest in scripted television again after all, certainly in drama at least, maybe that will extend to comedy now as well.
You know, I'm relieved. Alyson Hannigan is one of three actresses who I miss when she's not on screen, and Aly hasn't been in anything for a while. She's always been great, no matter how meager the material. She's kind of Hollywood's beam of light.
So not only we will have Alyson on ABC but David Boreanaz as well. Be cool to see if they turned up on any promos together. No idea if Jennifer Love Hewitt can do a sitcom but I love seeing Ed O'Neill on screen.
Makes you wonder since ABC hit pay dirt with Joss' former writers, that perhaps they decided to give his former actors a shot as well. No wonder when a person such as JJ Abrams openly praises Joss' talent. This gives me high hopes that ABC will be interested in a Jossverse series in the future.

[ edited by Madhatter on 2005-01-05 19:00 ]
I don't really know ABC's reputation - is it a station that has any patience or vision with its programming?
Up until this past year ABC has been in 3rd place and sometimes 4th place as far as viewers go and alot of people had religated ABC to the same level as FOX, which has never achieved the same respect as NBC or CBS. ABC which is owned by Disney up until this year was known more for it's failures in the past decade instead of it's hits and it had been about that long since it had a scripted television show in the top 10 on any sort of regular basis. Alias was the closest they came to having a hit in the past few seasons but it never broke through to the top 10. So they did tend to have a little more patients with their shows, however that may change now that they have hits.
To elaborate on what RavenU said - ABC has produced what are arguably the two best new shows of the season, Lost and Desperate Housewives. This year, at least, they've demonstrated a commitment to original dramatic programming, unlike FOX - which is still addicted to tasteless reality schlock like "Who's Your Daddy" - and the copycats at CBS and NBC who are just trying to duplicate their previously succesful formulas a la Friends/Joey.

But as for sitcoms - I can't even name a single sitcom that airs on ABC. I seriously doubt that Aly's show will have the kind of originality that distinguishes series like Scrubs and Arrested Development, which are the only watchable sitcoms on teevee IMO.
8 Simple Rules is on ABC, it's not bad, but it's not a great show, Ed O'Neill's doing an episode soon, which should be quite funny.

I'll be glad to see Aly finally get some work again, just a shame it won't be as Willow.

Next thing we know she'll be signing up for the 4th American Pie film, which now has all of the cast that appeared in each of the last 3 except her and Jason Biggs.
There's a fourth American Pie? Oh God it was a one gag trilogy at best - but I did like to see AH in it at least!

If ABC is in the kind of position that RavenU and wren say it is in, then maybe it would be a good prospect for a new JW project. Both 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' are yet to start here (Australia) but are due to start soon - February, March? - so I will watch with interest. By reputation, these are two of the more innovative scripted shows this season so that could be a good base to launch other innovative series from.
I wouldn’t hold my breath with ABC, because I seem to distinctly remember reading an article that the top network executives who commissioned ‘Housewives’ and ‘Lost’ got sacked by Michael Eisner before the shows went on air (ABC is owned by Disney). I seem to remember that the article said particularly ‘Lost’ was considered way too expensive by Eisner and they had no confidence in the show. I also remember it talked about Eisner’s tendency to micromanage and interfere, when he should keep his nose out.

I have been trying to find the article again, but I can’t, so this is from memory. If I am wrong, somebody correct me please.
Yes, well I still hold a grudge (now 15 years on) against ABC for cancelling Twin Peaks. I don't care a whit how silly and incomprehensible the show had become!

Then they went and repeated that mistake by pulling the plug on Mulholland Drive before it ever aired. Thank god for the French bankrolling the movie.

But that's all ancient history. Best of luck to them. May Lost and Aly's and David's shows enjoy very long runs indeed.
Uhm.... Alyson and Jennifer. I must see that :D
It sounds awful. I hope I'm wrong, but either way, I'm sure Aly will shine.
Here it is:

" Disney President and COO Bob Iger, who is CEO Michael Eisner's choice to succeed him, was "furious" with former ABC Entertainment Chairman Lloyd Braun for greenlighting the pilot for Lost, which has become the biggest new hit of the season, the New York Post's "Page Six" column reported today (Tuesday), citing an unnamed source. "He hated the show -- he thought it was awful and was really angry the pilot cost $12 million. He got Michael Eisner on his side and fired Lloyd. But now the show is the biggest success ABC has had in a long time, so who's lost now?" the Post's source said. A spokesman for Disney called the report "ridiculous." "

Sounds beyond dreadful. I'll check here for commentary (don't trust the conventional critics at all) to see if I should check it out, but I'm more than dubious.
All I know, is that if JLH is in it, I will be giving it a miss. I don't watch network television anyway, so it won't be hard.
IMDb - thanks for that quote, does anyone know what happened to Lloyd Braun?

I hope he got work again , it is a bittersweet victoryhe lost his job but in the end he did the right thing. He took a chance and it paid off for ABC, he is one of the reasons ABC has a big hit with Lost.

He belongs on team Angel - he did Not Fade Away.
Would also like to note that, 10 years ago, it was ABC that cancelled My So Called Life. Still bitter.
It is true that ABC hasn't had a big hit since 1995, but they made several wise moves that should keep them in a solid number two position behind CBS for the remainer of this season. I really don't see any of the mid-season replacements from FOX or NBC that hold any real chances in changing this. Meanwhile, I believe moving 'Alias' to follow 'Lost' and airing the series with no repeats will be a positive ratings boost for that show. I believe ABC will continue to ride this wave for the rest of this season. As for next season, that's a whole new ball game. I hope Aly's new series can get past the pilot stage this time and gets picked up. As for the show itself, we shall see.
rkayn – thanks for finding this. I am glad I am not going completely mad.

This article once again proves the point that, whatever mental deficiencies I have, they are nothing compared to the average executive involved in network TV or Disney for that matter (remember Disney telling Johnny Depp ‘to turn down that faggy stuff’ in Pirates?).

passion – sorry to correct you slightly, but IMDb
stands for Internet Movie Database, you should check it out, it’s a really great place to find info about films.
Passion, don't worry about Lloyd Braun -- his parachute is looking pretty golden. Yahoo! Inc. appointed him head of Yahoo!'s media and entertain-ment division, which includes Yahoo!'s movies, TV, entertainment, music, games, finance, news and weather, sports, health and kids businesses. I think he'll be OK. ;)

This project of Aly's does not tingle my Spidersense in a pleasantly enticing manner, but then again, I'm not a sitcom kinda person. I hope it does well for her, though. She's vivacious and fun and TV could definitely use more of a Buffy-Angel-people presence. They're all so pretty on top of being able to act really well, I don't know why the whole bunch of them aren't drowning in work right now!
This sounds completely uninspiring. Jennifer Love Hewitt. Oy. And Aly's the sidekick, not even the central character. JLH. Ugh. I love Ed O'Neill, but I don't see this grabbing me. As a former sitcom lover who, I'll say it, never missed a single epsode of Friends during it's entire run (those latter years mostly out of a sense of tradition), I would be thoroughly shocked if this grabs me after the one episode I'll watch to see Aly. We'll see.
From what I've read in interviews, Alyson Hannigan wanted to pursue a sitcom role because she wanted to work in front of a live audience. She loved the fast pace of working in TV, and loved even more the thrill of performing in front of other people. Thus, sitcoms.

Good luck to her, but I don't have high hopes.
For those who come late, since THR is notorious for putting it to subscritption status after a while, zap2it has also reported on Aly's new job.
Oh miranda and rkayn - My bad - I meant to type rkayn earlier, not IMDb, you know it is really annoying trying to work and post at the same time! My bad.

[ edited by Passion on 2005-01-05 23:53 ]
They could put Aly in front of a camera and have her read the phone book for 22 minutes every week and I'd tune in. Of course, I haven't watched a sitcom since I was about ten and devoted to The Facts of Life (shhh.) and I'd much rather see her in a role that would allow her to show us what she can do. But whatever makes her happy and puts her on my screen, I'm in.
She deserves a starring role, not just the "best friend sidekick" again. But I'm glad she has work. Now Alexis has to get some and I'll be totally happy for them.
Wow! a thread I actually know something about. A buddy of mine got his SAG card working as an extra on this show. They bumped him up to being a Football player that JLH's character interviews at some point. He said the bit players on set seemed to think the pilot sucked, but everyone and i do mean everyone on the set loves Ed O'Neill and wants the show to do well for him. I called him after I read this, and he said yeah, they'll be filming some new stuff soon. But he secretly wishes Aly was the lede....
Catalyst2 - Lost will start screening in Australia in February, and I think it's the same for Desperate Housewives, though I'm not entirely sure.

In relation to the sitcom, I hope it works out well for Aly; she deserves a bucketload of recognition and success.
Personally, I like Jennifer Love Hewitt. I think she is the cutest girl in the world, but that's just my opinion. But I will definitely tune in to see Willow (oops) I mean Alyson, just for the fact that I love her work. As for Ed O'neil, he is always fun to watch. I've been trying to read up on David's new show, but couldn't find much, but I think I will like it from what I've read. It's weird, I wrote a pilot about a hitman who works in Los Angeles also, and I thought of David Boreanaz as the lead, but in my pilot he was a hitman hired by demons to assassinate other demons. Kinda cool premise if I don't say so myself.

[ edited by ShotgunWes on 2005-01-06 04:49 ]
ShotgunWes - very cool premise, lets take it one notch up: how about the demons being hit hiring a hitman to hit the hitman hired by the other demons. Or in short: James versus David.
ShotgunWes - right there with you on Jennifer Love Hewett's cuteness factor. I'm a big fan of the cute and JLH is my stock answer to any hottie poll. That said, I'm not so big a fan of her choice in material. Nobody can read the phonebook and make it interesting (sorry Jet Wolf) and most of her choices have hovered around that level of writing.

Mutant Enemy level writing elevates actors. On Buffy, Angel and Firefly the writers tailored the writing to fit the actors to an unprecedented degree. They took good actors, wrapped bespoke characters around them and that let them be great.

I’m not saying that having JLH headline this show is the kiss of death… more a smooch of somnambulance. If it makes it to the air I will watch it… hell, Alyson ain’t no slouch in the cutie/hotness area herself so if all else fails it will look real purty.

Now if they could put some budget towards Ben Edlund and Jane Espenson I’d Sharpie (tm) the airdate on my forehead so as not to miss it. This also works as a great conversation starter if you want to shill a show… but be forewarned that a lot of those conversations end with “freak!”.
I’d Sharpie (tm) the airdate on my forehead so as not to miss it.

Bet you're glad you didn't do that with the original date for Serenity....
zz9 - Well see, the original was in black... then there is the international "no" circle/slash in red over that one and the new date in black with a question mark... had to shave my head to get it all on there. I went with the samurai top knot look.

This also ensures that you get a seat on the subway with lots of elbow room.
In a Simpsons episode Homer tells Lisa he writes anything he wants to remember on his arm, we then see "Red=Meltdown" on his arm....

I thought JLH was fine in Heartbreakers, but Sigourney was far better. And loved Ed in MWC and his cameo in Waynes World.
If people in L.A. or there abouts want to go to the filming of the pilot, then click here.

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