Saturday, September 17, 2005

Stockard Channing on "Out of Practice"

From the Wichita Eagle:
""Out of Practice," CBS, Ch. 12 -- Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing are the old pros who head the excellent cast of this pleasantly twisted sitcom about a fractious family of physicians. Their offspring include a workaholic lesbian ER doctor (Paula Marshall, "Spin City"), a skirt-chasing plastic surgeon (Ty Burrell) and an earnest couples counselor (Christopher Gorham) who gets no respect because he's the only one without a medical degree. Old-fashioned, but with an engaging screwball charm. (8:30 p.m. Monday)"

Official Site, with the possibility to watch a preview and a trailer.

Hollywood Reporter Review:
"With its superb cast, impeccable direction and mostly sharp writing, "Out of Practice" demonstrates simultaneously how polished and professional a sitcom can be and why TV comedy, with a few notable exceptions, is in such a funk."

From the National Ledger:
"Stockard Channing disagrees that her new Lydia Barnes character -- matriarch of the family on CBS's Monday (9/19)-debuting "Out of Practice" sitcom -- is a far cry from the First Lady she plays on "The West Wing."

"Lydia reminds me a little of Abigail Bartlet -- like Abigail's crazy, funny sister. They're both cardiologists. I find her a very interesting combination of chaos and control." And she likes the fact Lydia is "very contemporary -- a woman of a certain age who is newly single after having been married for a lot of years," to Henry Winkler's character. "She's adjusting to her life, to dating, and not in a creepy, tragic way, but as a witty, funny, interesting person with hopes for how things are going to be."

Channing, whose commitment to "West Wing" calls for at least three appearances this season (which launches in its new Sunday night slot Sept. 25), says she "certainly wasn't looking to be on a sitcom" at the end of February 2004, when she first learned that writer-producers Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd were interested in casting her in "Out of Practice." Nevertheless, once she read the script, "I couldn't resist, and in 36 hours I made up my mind and we all decided to get married."

Edmonton Sun:
WHAT WORKS: The time slot - it's directly following Two and a Half Men. The veteran cast of troupers give it all they've got. Former Cheers' producers Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd are presumably on site.

WHAT DOESN'T: While it's not their fault, Marshall (Cupid, Snoops, Hidden Hills, etc.) and Gorham (Jake 2.0, Medical Investigation) are already hall of fame showkillers. The Fonz was the guy who jumped the shark. The casting alone is tempting fate.

Beyond that, the pilot was trying too hard, with Stockard's flinty mom making too many gay jokes about her out-of-the-closet daughter. Then there was dad Fonzie making with the sexy secretary. Puh-LEASE.

PREDICTION: The cushy time-slot should give this show a few months to find its feet. Despite the curse, the cast could gel. But the pilot was recycled Three's Company. This show needs another doctor - a script doctor."

The Oregonian:
"The jokes are professionally crafted and well-delivered, particularly by old pros Channing and Winkler, such agile actors they seem to be dancing across the stage. But the pivots into more emotional terrain fall flat, particularly since they revolve around Gorham, who doesn't have the gravity to sustain drama."

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