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India Is Different Than Us

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 10, 2010 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 10, 2010 |

Next week is the network upfronts, when all the TV networks tell us about their fall lineups, trying to convince us that this is the season when things will be different and better or, if they’re NBC, at least not involve a heinous amount of bad late-night PR. And because the upfronts are on the horizon, the networks are currently mired in the process of watching and reviewing all their pilots to figure out what they’re going to order to series and what they’re going to bury behind the shed. While we won’t know for sure what new shows are on the horizon until each network presents its new schedule, NBC has announced three new pilots it’s ordering to series (which join the already ordered “Undercovers” from J.J. Abrams).

Cindy already told you about on of them, “The Event.” And while I agree that Zeljko Ivanek is fabulous, I remain highly suspect. Of late, the Peacock has shown in inordinate inability to maintain serialized dramas, and there’s no reason to think they’ll do better with this. (Also, in light of this order, I think it’s safe to say that NBC will not be bring “24” aboard, something which had been discussed after Fox decided to pull the plug.)

But I also can’t imagine “The Event” will be any worse than “Outsourced,” the hilarious new comedy about a novelty company that sells whoopee cushions and wallets made of bacon (and here I though bacon could do no wrong) which has its call center outsourced to India. And when Todd Dempsy is transferred to India to teach the new employees “in all things American,” hi-jinx ensue. I think this photo from NBC’s press release tells us all we need to know:


I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait wait for the one-two punch of hilarious American stereotype uppercuts followed by Indian stereotype roundhouses.

Finally, there’s “Love Bites,” and the Entertainment Weekly and Variety critics are licking their lips at the hilarious punny review titles waiting in the wings. Starring Becki Newton (a former crush of mine from “Ugly Betty”) and Jordana Sprio (from something called “My Boys”), the show “is an hour-long romantic comedy anthology series featuring three loosely connected, modern stories of love, sex, marriage and dating,” with each episode containing “multiple vignettes, all illuminating the theme of love with an edgy, irreverent spin.” The pilot has an interestingly mixed guest cast of good (Craig Robinson, Larry Wilmore), decent (Greg Grunbug, Lindsay Price) and breasts (Jennifer Love Hewitt). The show comes from a new television division of Working Title Films, which is the U.K. production company responsible for Love Actually, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral, which really tells us how this show is going to play out, right? TK will love it, Dustin will hate it, and husbands/boyfriends around the globe will be forced by their women-folk to watch it for the four weeks it’s on the air before NBC ceremoniously dumps it for another installment of “Our Latest Crap Pseudo Reality/Game Show.”

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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