Thursday, January 14, 2010

Better Off Ted: What's so f'ing funny?

With the way press tour is going (I'm going to spend half the day either interviewing HBO people or attending HBO sessions), I'm not sure when I'm going to have time to get to the second of Tuesday night's two "Better Off Ted"s, let alone to write about either one. And with the NBC Thursday comedies coming up tonight, I think I'm better off just giving up on finding the "Ted" time (I'll watch the second ep eventually) and letting you guys discuss them both.

Also, in case you haven't seen it, you must check out this collection of outtakes from the first episode, in which the actors are encouraged to use real, filthy, incredibly NSFW profanity.

Based on everything that's been said at press tour - Steve McPherson at ABC doesn't think it's compatible with the Wednesday comedies and therefore probably won't try it there, and Fox (the only other network with any reason to save it, since their studio owns it) isn't interested - "Ted" is sadly doomed. But at least we get to enjoy it while all the episodes are airing.

What did you guys think?

20 comments:

Otto Man said...

That clip of outtakes was hysterical, and got me watching the show for the first time. Very good.

Josh said...

I am just fascinated by the mindset of some network executives. It seems like both Dollhouse and Better Off Ted got the same treatment throughout their two seasons: bad ratings in season 1, partly due to iffy timeslots and slightly inconsistent quality (moreso for Dollhouse), but miraculously renewed for a second season.

Second season comes around and, big shock, the ratings are equally bad, thanks to a complete lack of marketing. What did McPherson think was going to happen here? Wait until December, when no one is watching TV, and expect manna from heaven?

Also, if Better Off Ted is not compatible with the Wednesday comedies (questionable to me, but I understand the hesitation), how is Scrubs, which may be a warmer show, but is just as silly?

Sigh. Such a funny show, and gone before most people noticed. At least there were more episodes than in Andy Richter Controls the Universe.

The two episodes, by the way, were great, especially the first one. The NSFW outtakes are great, but so were the...SFW jokes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, if Better Off Ted is not compatible with the Wednesday comedies (questionable to me, but I understand the hesitation), how is Scrubs, which may be a warmer show, but is just as silly?

It's arguably not, by McPherson's reasoning. The difference is, ABC owns Scrubs, and therefore could make some money off he back end even if the ratings continue to be horrific. There's no financial upside to Ted.

1977ub said...

Sigh. At least Ted, like Arrested D, is so good you can watch those episodes over and over. Sigh.

aaron said...

It makes me really sad that the show is "doomed"... I hate that they paired it with the new Scrubs medschool which I feel only compounded the issue.
It's such a funny show. I really feel Ted not making it is more of a network failure than the failure of the show itself. And I hate the face that ABC realizes it's not good on in that time slot and still won't give it another chance elsewhere.
Also, the NSFW outakes were funny but the one's that made the show were just as good.

dez said...

ABC needs to be Lembasted, Philibusted, and especially Teducated. Jeez.

Nicole said...

Both episodes were great, particularly the first one, and that video of outtakes it the best thing I've seen all week. Have we come to the end of new BoT eps, or are there any left? So sad to see this great show go before it's time, but I'm getting used to falling for a show only to have it ripped away - it's the new normal.

Btw, I would be perfectly happy to have the spot left vacant by Hank filled with New!Scrubs, which I am actually enjoying with the new cast, and The Middle replaced by Better Off Ted, followed by Modern Family and Cougar Town. Although I guess MF would be better at 8:30 and BoT at 9, given its "racier" humour. I'd watch the entire lineup. Just saying...

Toby O'B said...

"make some money off the back end"...

Considering my opinion of network suits, that's an apt phrase!

Ever since the advent of DVDs, I've been more traquil about my fave shows disappearing from the airwaves. But even so, I'd much rather have more episodes of this gem to glut my library.....

Matt said...

What the heck?

"Better Off Ted" is one of the funnier comedies on TV right now!

Margaret said...

My husband and I only recently started watching this show -- and we love it! So much craziness, yet so close to things we've encountered in our own corporate lives. We have to record it to watch, because at least once an episode we have to pause for our raucous laughter, and/or replay some choice phrase (often one of Veronica's).

Thank you for bringing this great show to my attention before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

That chest bump never fails to amuse me.

Josh said...

Alan, thanks for the clarification. Of course, I was venting about the shows on a creative level; I always forget that people like McPherson are, for obvious and understandable reasons, thinking about the money end of things.

I guess the question I'd have then is what is ever the financial upside or point of a show owned by, say, Fox, being aired by ABC? Obviously, there have been shows that were owned by one company and aired on a separate network (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, owned by Fox and aired on WB/UPN, springs to mind) that are successful, but is it worth the one in 10 or 50 chance?

Either way, I'm glad the show hasn't had a sophomore slump, so it'll go out on a high note.

cadfile said...

A not so long time ago the networks couldn't own the shows they showed. Then the FCC or someone removed that regulation and they all have production studios now. They each get first dibs on the product for their respective net but if they don't want it the producers can still try to find another net to show it.

GabbyD said...

i'm so sad its doomed... its so funny and innovative.

arrabbiata said...

Love that outtake clip. Forget ABC or Fox- this show needs to be on HBO.

The over the air version of the episode was pretty good, too. This show will be missed when it's gone.

Anonymous said...

With some of the crap sitcoms FOX has aired over the years (and kept renewing) (I'm looking at you, Til Death) you'd think they could find a spot for Better Off Ted.

In this age of DVD sales, though, I take solice that BOT will not disappear into the ether......

Puff

J said...

This slow march towards cancellation is leaving my breasts covered in sadness. But the moment in that YouTube video where Lem mimes the straw makes me giddy with pleasure. At least now I've got a few new things to call people in the ABC programming department.

olucy said...

re you day with HBO: hope you can find out some good stuff on the next installment of In Treatment.

Karen said...

I get the money thing, I guess, but I still can't grasp that these multi-million dollar profit generators can't let one lousy high-quality show slip through for the small corner of the universe uncharmed by reality television and procedurals.

This just breaks my heart. The show is so damn good.

Allison DeWitt said...

This show HAS TO GO TO CABLE.

A long shot , I know but that was hysterical.