After a disappointing premiere last week, The Paul Reiser Show’s second episode has dipped even further in the ratings. NBC had already cancelled the show.
Dropping from a 1.1 rating in the coveted 18-49 year old demo in it’s premiere to a 0.9 rating for the second episode is never a good thing. (For those who don’t follow the ratings system, the translation is this: not a lot of people were watching this show.) Essentially, “The Paul Reiser Show” was on life support, just waiting for the network to pull the plug. It will be replaced by reruns of “The Office.”
And yet – while hindsight is always 20/20, it appears as though NBC knew this was a ‘miss’ all along, having shown little indication that they had faith in the show to begin with. It was initially announced as a possible fall series last spring, then got shelved as a possible mid-season replacement, then that didn’t happen. Cut to it’s sudden appearance on the schedule for only four episodes.
TVWood’s Sean Daly found that after the program’s dismal premiere numbers, Reiser quickly went into defensive mode:
“Listen this was he shortest ramp up in the history of television … They literally 20 days ago said “Ok, we’re puttin’ you up.’ And I said ‘Ok, great.’ To me this is a show that is about the long range…
“This is a show that somebody said “It looks like it has been running for a while.” So this is a show that is hopefully going to be on for a while. The audience will get a chance to hear about it. When you have 20 days, it is hard to get the word out.”
Reiser’s hopes are apparently going to be met.
There may be some validity to the lack of advance time and promotion for the show, but it also may be that the format has simply been done. Reiser plays a version of himself getting into the typical ‘crazy situations’ that successful Hollywood comics tend to get into. Immediately critics smelled the faint aroma of a better comedy show on HBO… The New York Times saying it “immediately wreaks of a very similar, already mastered concept… a pale imitation of Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,”
Critic Maureen Ryan said “the domestic comedy feels like it was resurrected from a mid-’90s sitcom. It’s predictable, bland and feels like something you’ve seen before. But mixed in to the pilot are some diner scenes with Larry David that feel like outtakes from an average ‘Curb’ episode. The two men bicker and fight and those ‘Curb’-flavored scenes are just jarring in this context, because they don’t really fit with anything else.”
And now, a likely frustrated Reiser is left to wish none of it had gone down in the first place… And the Peacock is reminded that they should have gone with their gut feeling. In the story that is this series, no one wins… Not Reiser, The NBC, and not the viewer.