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Brock

Carol Burnett to star in Poehler-helmed ABC sitcom!

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JoeySoCal    960

Exactly..... so many mixed emotions...as much as I want to see this happen, I sure don't want it to end up being her LWL....but then I'm sensing here that we're pretty much all on the same page here.

 

Plus, it is just a pilot, it hasn't even been shot or sold yet for that matter; also, did I read this right, Amy isn't in it, she's producing it; here I hope I'm wrong as I think they SHOULD be onscreen together!  :HALKING:

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Brock    3,117

 

Plus, it is just a pilot, it hasn't even been shot or sold yet for that matter; also, did I read this right, Amy isn't in it, she's producing it; here I hope I'm wrong as I think they SHOULD be onscreen together!  :HALKING:

 

Amy is producing.

 

And although this is just a pilot, the deal is the pilot will air.

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JoeySoCal    960

Amy is producing.

 

And although this is just a pilot, the deal is the pilot will air.

Well that's cool......unusual, but good! :lucywow:

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Shane91    127

Exactly..... so many mixed emotions...as much as I want to see this happen, I sure don't want it to end up being her LWL....but then I'm sensing here that we're pretty much all on the same page here.

 

Plus, it is just a pilot, it hasn't even been shot or sold yet for that matter; also, did I read this right, Amy isn't in it, she's producing it; here I hope I'm wrong as I think they SHOULD be onscreen together!  :HALKING:

Yes Amy is producing, but as with other projects she has produced, she might guest star, although it would be absolutely wonderful if she were to co-star with Carol.

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Shane91    127

Note to ABC:  PL-EEEEE-ZE don't schedule this for Saturday at 8pm.

Any particular reason?

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wilderfan    4

 

Neil, on 22 Oct 2016 - 08:20 AM, said:snapback.png

Note to ABC:  PL-EEEEE-ZE don't schedule this for Saturday at 8pm.

Any particular reason?

 

 

That was the timeslot for LWL back in 1986.

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Mot Morenzi    1,207

If the pilot goes to series, what do you want to bet TimeLife acquires the home video rights and selectively releases Carol's hand-picked favorites in lieu of complete seasons?

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Brock    3,117

If the pilot goes to series, what do you want to bet TimeLife acquires the home video rights and selectively releases Carol's hand-picked favorites in lieu of complete seasons?

 

:lucyhaha:

 

 

It's a guarantee. :mred:

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Shane91    127

You are forgetting that all of this depends on whether or not President Trump will outlaw laughter.

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LittleRickyII    278

Note to ABC:  PL-EEEEE-ZE don't schedule this for Saturday at 8pm.

 

Any particular reason?

 

I wrote a whole treatise (or nearly one) on this subject five years ago (see below).  Carol Burnett doesn't have quite the same exposure on TV as Lucille Ball, but the scenario is still somewhat similar.

 

 

Life with Lucy: Why it Failed
This show is often included on lists of biggest bombs ever. But was it really? Okay, the critics were particularly harsh: a poll of critics at the time determined it to be the worst show on television that season. Worse than Mr. Belvedere? Worse than Perfect Strangers? Alf? I don't think so, but maybe I'm biased. Then again, the critics started attacking the show long before it went on the air, before any of them even saw it. Why, I don't know. Compared to most of what was on the air at that time, I don't think it was so bad. It was no Cheers or Cosby Show or Golden Girls, but it sure beat the heck out of Valerie and My Sister Sam and many others, in my opinion. Personal opinions aside, why did it fail? And how big a ratings disaster was it, and why?

 

Yes, the ratings drop was dramatic. It started out at a respectable 23rd place for the premiere episode, then dropped to 56th place a week later, 66th place the week after that. By the final broadcast, it was down to 71st place out of 76 shows. And The Ellen Burstyn Show, which followed it and got yanked off the air along with it, was in 72nd place in that eighth and final week. (Unaired episodes of The Ellen Burstyn Show were run that summer on ABC, but Life with Lucy ("LWL") never saw the light of day again on the network after November). Maybe that rapid drop is where it gets the "biggest bomb" designation. The drop in ratings may have been due to viewers setting their expectations too high, expecting it to be I Love Lucy and being disappointed that it wasn't. Certainly by that impossible standard it falls way short. Maybe that's why viewers abandoned it. But the way it's been written, one would thing this show came in and single-handedly destroyed ABC's 8:00 Saturday night time slot. But history tells a very different story.

 

Life with Lucy was just one in a long list of failures in that time slot on ABC.

 

While the ratings drop for LWL is startling, what is often overlooked is the fact that the 8:00 PM Saturday time slot is the worst place on the schedule a show would want to be. Rarely do you get a big hit at that time. A very rare exception is All in the Family in the '70s -- more about that later -- but normally, this is just a bad time slot. And what gets lost in the whole history of what happened with LWL is that ABC had been struggling with that slot for years. The last success ABC had in the Saturday 8:00 PM time period was with T.J. Hooker when it came on the air as a mid-season replacement in March 1982. It managed to squeeze into the top 30 shows that season, at 29th place, but that initial season was a very short one for T.J. Hooker -- only 5 episodes -- and after that point it never was back in the top 30 again. It's ratings slowly declined over the next few seasons until it was finally cancelled at the end of the 1984-85 season.

 

Hoping to change its fortunes, in the fall of 1985 ABC filled the Saturday 8:00 to 9:00 timeslot with a Miami Vice knock-off called Hollywood Beat, which starred Jack Scalia. And guess how long Hollywood Beat lasted in that time slot before being abruptly cancelled? Eight episodes total, exactly the same as LWL would a year later! Hollywood Beat premiered on September 21, 1985 and, as it couldn't get out of the bottom five in the ratings, it had its final broadcast on November 23, 1985. Hollywood Beat at least once even came in dead last in the ratings:

 

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ood+beat&hl=en

 

With Hollywood Beat cancelled, ABC moved its veteran series, The Fall Guy, into the 8:00 Saturday slot on November 30, 1985. But that show only lasted there five weeks before it was taken away. By its second week in that slot, The Fall Guy was in 72nd place. And after the January 4, 1986 broadcast, it was abruptly moved to another night and replaced later that month by the new series, The Redd Foxx Show. And how did The Redd Foxx Show do? For its premiere on January 18, 1986 it was in 46th place for the week. And in the weeks that followed, it dropped like a rock. A couple weeks later it had dropped to 57th place, then 61st, then 65th, and ultimately, after the March 1, 1986 broadcast, it was yanked from Saturday night and moved to Friday night where it struggled for another month before being cancelled altogether.

 

So with no success throughout the 1985-1986 season, ABC was counting on Life with Lucy to work a miracle for them. Of course, we now know that no miracle happened. Life with Lucy suffered the same fate as the three series that held that time period before it. And when ABC abruptly pulled Life with Lucy and The Ellen Burstyn Show after their November 15, 1986 broadcasts, where they placed 71st and 72nd place, respectively, they were replaced by Sledgehammer and Sidekicks, two shows that had been airing on Friday nights. So what happened then? Well, they performed pretty much just as Life with Lucy and The Ellen Burstyn Show had, placing 65th place or lower in the ratings. In mid February 1987, only three months after moving into the time slot, both shows were yanked by ABC and replaced with an hour-long series, Starman (based on the Jeff Bridges movie of the same name). By the time ABC yanked Starman from the 8:00 PM Saturday time slot on May 2, 1987, just a little over two months later, it was also down in the ratings cellar, at 75th place.

 

The next show to premiere in that time period in the fall of 1987 was Once a Hero. It did SO badly, it got yanked after only THREE episodes and was the first show cancelled that season:

 

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+ratings&hl=en

 

So by comparison, Life with Lucy, with its 8 episodes, was a long-running series!

 

For several more years, ABC continued to struggle with the 8 PM Saturday time slot. In the fall of 1988 they tried George Segal in Murphy's Law. It wound up in 94th place that year. In the fall of 1989, they moved the long-running Mr. Belvedere there. It wound up in 105th place for the season. In Fall 1990, it was The Young Riders, which ended up in 70th place. In Fall 1991 they tried the long-running Who's the Boss?, which wound up in 76th place. In 1992 it was Covington Cross (85th place). In 1993, it was George (68th place). In 1994, it was The ABC Family Movie (104th place). In 1995, The Jeff Foxworthy Show (96th place). Second Noah in 1996 (#113). C-16 in 1997 (#124). America's Funniest Home Videos in 1998 (#109). The ABC Big Picture Show in 1999 (#69). The ABC Big Picture Show again in 2000 (#83). ABC Saturday Night Movie in 2001 (#99).

 

So as you can see, bad ratings in ABC's 8:00 Saturday night time slot have been the norm for decades. I think with LWL, ABC thought that bringing back television's biggest comedy legend, who had never failed before, was a sure bet. What they didn't consider was what it takes for a show to be a hit in that time period. If you look at history, it seems to require something that either 1) appeals to a very young audience (which LWL's competition, The Facts of Life, with its loyal viewers, did); or 2) to draw in the adult viewers, is truly unique and special. Adults traditionally go out on Saturday nights. So to bring them back home to watch television on their night out, there has to be a very compelling reason.

 

I alluded above to the huge success that All in the Family had for CBS in that time period in the 1970s. First of all, All in the Family didn't start out on Saturday nights. When it launched in the spring of 1971, it was on Tuesday nights. During the summer of 1971 it was on Wednesday nights and got discovered by viewers and quickly built a huge following. When it moved to Saturday nights, they followed because unique and special it was in every sense. There was nothing like it to be found anywhere on television at that time. It was the must-see show that people discussed at the water cooler. Nobody wanted to miss it. Besides, CBS built up its entire Saturday night with superb shows to make the entire night an event, one not to miss. Being at home on Saturday night watching CBS had a better guarantee of satisfactory entertainment than going out to the movies. And on no other night of the week would anyone have found anything quite like All in the Family.

 

That wasn't the case with LWL. This was Lucille Ball back doing what she had done throughout her entire television career, what viewers could find her doing any day of the week in reruns of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here's Lucy, which were all available at that time. While, as I said above, I don't think LWL was a bad show, I also don't think it was as good as any of her previous series. So essentially she was competing against herself. LWL did not offer anything unique to bring the adults home on a Saturday night. And the young folks who were at home were still tuning into The Facts of Life as they had been in the habit of doing for several years. There was plenty better Lucy to be seen any other day of the week, so for Lucille Ball to succeed in the Saturday 8 PM time slot, she needed to be doing something totally different than LWL, like The Golden Girls. And for LWL to have a chance at succeeding at all, it needed to be on a different night. For the reasons above, there's no way it could have ever survived on a Saturday night.

Last edited by LittleRickyII : 06-05-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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Neil    1,136

Very well written and insightful.

 

LWL was facing incredible odds.  It had been 12 years since the last HL.  With the hype, I think the general public was expecting another I Love Lucy.   HL even in its last season, uneven as the ratings were, was still a popular show, but other than The Burtons never a high profile one and I think people had forgotten what it was like.  I was hoping for something fresh rather than the same old tired Lucy-Gale bickering, better than HL but realistically not another ILL.   After Mary Tyler Moore went off, I quit watching TV comedy on a regular basis until Cheers and Golden Girls, but I dipped into viewing of the popular sitcoms and didn't really like what I saw, so I say this without the qualifications to say so (never stopped me before).  The baby (aka "Little Ricky") is right.  LWL was as good or better than most of the 1986 sitcoms (as was Ellen Burstyn).  I was never a fan of The Cosby Show (the recent revelations about him don't surprise me a bit) Never understood the hubbub.  But I looked at the 1986 schedule and remember none of them fondly except for the aforementioned Cheers/Golden Girls.   But I figured LWL would do well enough to last a season or two especially since its competition was so weak, Downtown on CBS and the tired Facts of Life on NBC, with a revised format and a new star, Cloris, and a new day and time--usually the death knell for a series that wasn't any good to begin with.   After the initial interest---and I was surprised LWL was only #23--I figured it would settle into the middle of the pack. 

After 12 years away from the 4-days-till-show schedule Lucy was a little rusty.   There were times when her reliance on cue cards was way too obvious.  Why not do some of those as insert shots after the audience left----IF they could be edited in seamlessly, which they never seem to be able to do.  It would appear the LWL staff listened to the first reviews, because the shows filmed after the Sept 20th premiere were a huge improvement.   The unaired "Breaking Up" and "Best Grandmother" were among the best.  People like "Mother of Bride", but "Legal Eagle" is my favorite.   Didn't particularly like "Curtis Bytes" or "Sax Symbol", but they weren't HORRIBLE.   "Guard Goose" "Green Thumb" and "Up a Tree" all filmed before the premiere were best left unaired.   Lucy, John Ritter and the studio audience seemed to be having more fun than the product they turned out.  That episode had its moments but when you steal bits from a 50 year old 3 Stooges short (swallowing harmonica), you're in trouble.

Other than Mae West in Sextette (and Mae, by casting Timothy Dalton as your new husband swooning over your youth and beauty, you were sorta asking for it), I can't think of another star whose aging actually angered people and was the focus of so much press.   The Mame CD release liner notes, while kinder to Lucy and the movie than most 'historians', uses the phrase "aging star" at least 3 times.  Lucy's LWL make up was all wrong and more than a little off-putting.   Strangely, I saw her standing 3 feet from me and she looked better in person than on film.  Even though Lucy was still extremely agile, physical comedy with old people made viewers uncomfortable.   1986 Lucy was actually 8 years younger than 2016 Carol Burnett.   The little kids were fine I guess, but like Mothers In Law, the adult children stunk, mainly because they were given no character as written. 

But with a little time, LWL could have worked out the kinks.   My memory of the ratings of the week of the final episode had LWL and Ellen Burstyn at 2nd to last and last respectively in the ratings.   #64 doesn't sound too bad today, but in 1986 the weekly ratings report wasn't counting Fox yet, so there were only 65 shows, give or take on the three networks. 

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LittleRickyII    278

The cast of Life with Carol  Carlock  Household Name is beginning to take shape!

 

http://deadline.com/2017/02/household-name-timothy-omundson-cast-carol-burnett-abc-comedy-pilot-1201973785/

 

The premise of this show sounds like it was lifted right out of the real-life story of Huge Hefner and the Playboy Mansion.  Carol is a female Hefner.  He should get royalties for inspiring the plot.

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Brock    3,117

It goes back even further to the deal Jeanne Calment made in France when she was in her 70s or thereabouts to sell her home at a low, low price back when she was in her 70s, with the stipulation she gets to live there until her death. She lived to be 122!

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LittleRickyII    278

It goes back even further to the deal Jeanne Calment made in France when she was in her 70s or thereabouts to sell her home at a low, low price back when she was in her 70s, with the stipulation she gets to live there until her death. She lived to be 122!

 

Well in that case, I hope Jeanne Calment is the inspiration for Carol Burnett's character and no Hugh Hefner.  I also hope Carol Burnett lives to be 122.

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