NEW JOHN CLEESE SITCOM TO DEBUT ON ABC MARCH 27
by Hans ten Cate
Friday, 8 March 2002

The cast of Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) sans John Cleese

In further U.S. television programming news...

John Cleese will star (from time to time it seems) in a new situation comedy for ABC with the ridiculously silly title Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) which will begin airing this month on March 27. Fittingly, the show airs Wednesday's at 9:30 (8:30 Central).

The new sitcom is largely about David Weiss, the new guy at IBS — a fledgling television network trying its best to be number one in an industry that forgets who was on top the day before. Behind its walls are your familiar office cut-ups and crazies — except in Hollywood, they're even crazier than usual.

Series Premiere! Wednesday 9:30
(8:30 Central)
27 March 2002- "Pilot"

In the premiere episode, Mike bets that David can't last a week at the network without lying, but telling the truth is the least of his problems when David begins a torrid fling with the star of Just the Three of Us — Lori Loughlin. Unfortunately, David finds his job may be in jeopardy when Lori files a sexual harassment suit against him.

David (Ivan Sergei, Jack & Jill, The Opposite of Sex) is a likeable Everyman struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy in the cutthroat world of entertainment. Hired by Red (John Cleese), the owner of the network, for his insight into the average American mind, David is upbeat, idealistic wants to make a difference. It won't be easy, considering his crew of quirky cohorts and celebrities, all of whom are typically unpredictable and neurotically insecure.

With no time to adapt, David has been thrown into the rough waters of office politics and finds himself surrounded by sharks. But he's a survivor, and he'll do his best to try and duck the personality disorders of his well-intentioned but misguided coworkers who threaten to take his morals and decency down with them.

The sitcom already has a web page at: http://abc.abcnews.go.com/primetime/preview/wednesday_930.html

What's in a Name?

Boy, this title thing could get confusing... imagine when the show moves timeslots or goes into syndication: "This weekend: 'Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central)' on Sunday 6:00 PM Eastern and Mountain and Mondays 8:00 PM Pacific, also 5:30 PM Central but on a different network, and if you live in cities beginning with the letter Q it will air on your microwave at 4:13... And now, your television will explode..." Maybe they'll change the title again...

What's more, the show has gone through several name changes already. The show was originally called "The Web."

As an aside, can anyone tell us if there is any relation to "HMO" or the untitled lawfirm sitcom (which reportedly took place at a satanic law firm known as 'Karpool, Ruumki & Whetfish')? Both were sitcoms Cleese had "in-development" with ABC. Since we've heard buggerall about those two other projects (initial reports went as far back as 1999) one could infer that this new sitcom is the result of a long protracted relationship between Cleese and ABC.

Anyway, back in February, there was a press blurb about the new show, when it was (quite seriously) called The Untitled Peter Tolan Comedy:

"At IBS, David Weiss (Ivan Sergei, "Jack & Jill," "The Opposite of Sex") is the new guy, a fish out of mid-western water struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy in the cutthroat world of entertainment. Hired by Red (John Cleese in a recurring role), the owner of the network, for his insight into the average American mind, David is upbeat and optimistic about making a difference in this world. That's going to be a challenge considering he's working with an atypical ensemble of crazy characters and celebrities, all unpredictably flammable, insecure and looking over their shoulders at all times. "The Untitled Peter Tolan Comedy" stars Ivan Sergei as David Weiss, Ed Begley, Jr. as Paul Weffler, Melinda McGraw as Lindsay Urich, Sherri Shepherd as Joanne Waters and James McCauley as Mike McClarren. Peter Tolan ("The Larry Sanders Show," "The Job") and Lauren Corrao ("The Job") serve as executive producers. "The Untitled Peter Tolan Comedy," which is shot before an audience, is from Touchstone Television, and will premiere on Wednesday, March 27 at 8:30pm."

Read the ABC site for more info. If any of you watched the final season of Suddenly Susan, you might recognize Sherri Shepherd as the actress who played Eric Idle's secretary in that show.

Anyway... watch for Cleesey starting later this month.