Raising Dad aired from October 2001 until August 2002 on The WB.
Matt ( Bob Saget) was a funny, friendly English teacher living in Boston with his 2 daughters and his retired Dad, Sam ( Jerry Adler), a former baseball player for the Red Sox. Matt's wife had passed away 2 years earlier, and he was trying hard to be father, mother, and friend to Sarah and Emily ( Kat Dennings, Brie Larson). He taught at the high school where Sarah was a sophomore and was quite popular with the students, but his presence there sometimes caused awkward moments for Sarah. The other regulars were primarily students-Sarah's hip best friend Katie ( Meagan Good), nerdy classmate Josh ( Ben Indra), and dumb jock Evan ( Beau Wirick) who had a rock band. Also seen were Matt's friend Stuart ( Andy Kindler), a math teacher, and Liz ( Tembi Locke), the vice-principal. In January Jared ( Riley Smith), who had been in a juvinile facility for stealing a car, enrolled in the school, and Sarah was obviously attracted to him. The following month Katie disappeared from the show and Olivia ( Canille Guaty), another classmate replaced her in Sarah's circle of friends. In the spring Sarah and Jared started dating and, by the series finale, their relationship was getting pretty serious.
A Review from Variety
(Series -- The WB, Fri., 9:30 p.m.)
By CAROLE HORST
Taped by Paramount Network Television in Hollywood. Executive producers, Jonathan Katz, Norman Steinberg; director, Andy Ackerman; writer, Katz; camera, Gregg Heschong; production design, Terry Welden
Matt Stewart - Bob Saget
Sarah Stewart - Kat Dennings
Emily Stewart - Brie Larson
Sam Stewart - Jerry Adler
Katie - Megan Good
Mr. Travers - Andy Kindler
Jonathan Katz is back on TV, but in the form of Bob Saget, who does his best to channel Katz's sublime comic persona. Saget's Matt Stewart, like the title character in "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist," is likable and low-key, but based on one episode of "Raising Dad" (only one was available for review), not as funny. Nice-looking sitcom fills out the WB's family-friendly Friday sked.
Dr. Katz was luckier than Matt Stewart. He had standup comics and other famous people (David Duchovny, for example) as "patients," as well as his hostile receptionist Laura and slacker son Ben as foils. Saget has a more traditional sitcom family: two teenage daughters, a crusty dad and a dead wife. As a writer here, Katz's sense of humor seems deadened by the genre's conventions, although Saget digs out some sweet gems.
Matt (Saget) is a creative writing teacher in the school attended by his oldest daughter Sara (Kat Denning). Having her dad around all the time is constant torture, and her humiliation knows no bounds. This conceit doesn't work, since Matt is funny and seems popular with the students -- the strident Sara needs to take a chill pill.
Younger daughter Emily (Brie Larson) is in cahoots with Grandpa Sam (Jerry Adler), who makes up excuses for her to miss school so they can watch baseball together.
It all adds up to a family trying to cope with the death of the mother, which isn't funny, but it is touching at times.
Cast is fine, and "Dad" shows some promise. It probably will keep "Reba's" audience tuned in to end a nice family night of TV.
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