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The New Adventures of Old Christine

TITLE: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE - CBS MID-SEASON 2006


Info:

Premiere Date: Monday, March 13, 2006 (Warner Bros. Television)
Network: CBS
Time: Mondays at 9:30 p.m. et/pt (Series Premiere at a special time of 8:30 p.m. et/pt)
Cast: Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, Hamish Linklater, Trevor Gagnon, Emily Rutherfurd, Tricia O'Kelley, and Alex Kapp Horner.


Introduction:

Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Seinfeld") stars in The New Adventures of Old Christine, a comedy about a single mother and owner of a "30-minute workout gym" who is the portrait of the new American mom, albeit with some unflinchingly candid points of view. For her, every day is an adventure, but life is made easier due to the fantastic relationship she shares with her ex-husband. However, everything changes when her ex's new, younger girlfriend enters the picture, instantly complicating her life.

Premieres Monday, March 13th, at the special time of 8:30 PM/ET on the CBS Television Network. A second bonus episode will air at the regular timeslot of 9:30 PM/ET.

The New Advenntures of Old Christine is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Kari Lizer is executive producer/writer and Andy Ackerman is executive producer/director.


Cast Details:

The New Adventures of Old Christine stars Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Christine Campbell (Old Christine), Clark Gregg as Richard, Hamish Linklater as Matthew, Trevor Gagnon as Ritchie, Emily Rutherfurd as Christine (New Christine), Tricia O'Kelley as Marly, and Alex Kapp Horner as Lindsay.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned worldwide acclaim and recognition for her portrayal of Elaine Benes in the hit series "Seinfeld." She received an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, five Screen Actors Guild Awards and four American Comedy Awards during the show's nine-year run. Her recent sitcom credits include "Arrested Development and "Watching Ellie." Clark Gregg co-founded New York's famed Atlantic Theater Company with David Mamet and William H. Macy, with whom he studied at NYU. His sitcom credits include "Will & Grace," "Sports Night," and "Sex and the City." Hamish Linklater recently appeared in the feature film "Fantastic Four." He had a recurring role on "American Dreams" and was a series regular on "Gideon's Crossing." Ten-year-old Trevor Gagnon's first role was in the television movie "Iron Jawed Angels." He then starred in the feature film "Big Fish." Emily Rutherfurd's television credits include "The Ellen Show," on CBS, "Married to the Kelleys," a recurring role on "Will & Grace" and a guest appearance on "What I Like About You." Tricia O'Kelley has appeared in the television series "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Two and a Half Men" and "CSI" on CBS, as well as "Malcolm in the Middle," "Frasier," "Gilmore Girls" and "Once and Again." Alex Kapp Horner began her career in Los Angeles as a member of The Groundlings comedy troupe. Her television credits include guest appearances on "Friends," "Will & Grace," "ER" and "Seinfeld." She was also a series regular on "Maggie Winters" on CBS.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot"
Monday, March 13, 8:30PM ET/PT

On the first day at her son's new school, Christine is mortified to discover that her ex-husband, Richard, with whom she gets along even better than when they were married, is dating a young, nice, impossible-to-hate woman also named Christine… the "new" Christine.

The episode begins with Christine recording a message for her voice mail to remind her about things. She talks to her son, Ritchie, about private school. We meet his uncle, Matthew, and we learn that Christine is divorced from Richard. Christine takes Ritchie to The Westbridge School where she meets Richard and talks to two parents, Marly and Linday. Christine meets Richard's new girlfriend, Christine, after she sees them kissing in his car. Christine goes to the female-only gym that she runs where she talks to one of her employees and Richard, once again. There are a few more scenes with her talking to Matthew and Ritchie.

I also had the opportunity to view the 2nd and 3rd episodes.

"Supertramp" - episode #2
Monday, March 13, 9:30PM ET/PT

When Christine learns that Richard and "new" Christine are enjoying an intimate relationship, she becomes determined to make her own conquests.

Christine and Richard have been divorced for two years. Her employee suggests that she go to a grocery store to meet men. She goes to Whole Foods with Matthew. She meets Stan (Andy Richter) and they hit things off immediately.

"Open Water" - episode #3
Monday, March 20, 9:30 PM/ET

(Old) Christine reluctantly agrees to go on a series of blind dates at odd places. Matthew takes Ritchie to swimming lessons.

Christine offers Ritchie $1 million if he will go his swimming lesson. Richard and the new Christine and Pete and Barb come over to eat. Christine is set up on a blind date, and then she has a series of dates. Wanda Sykes guest stars as Barb.


Analysis:

This is Julia Louis-Dreyfus' second sitcom starring role since Seinfeld ended. I think this is a much better vehicle for her than her previous sitcom, "Watching Ellie." She is a real-life mom, so I think the role fits her well. I noticed she still has a lot of her Elaine mannerisms, and she is a very funny physical actress. The show is fast paced, funny, and touching at times. I wasn't very familiar with many of the other cast members. Their sitcom experience varies, and it may take a few episodes for everybody to gel. I thought some of the lines Ritchie had weren't what you would expect from a third grader, but that seems to be a trend in a lot of shows these days. Overall, I thought the pilot was pretty good and sets the storyline up well. The second episode that has Andy Richter as a guest star was funnier and a bit better. The third episode was the funniest and showed the most improvement. Wanda Sykes is a guest star in the third episode as a neighbor, Barb. She was really funny, and I think CBS should consider making her a regular.


Conclusion:

Will this sitcom end all the talk of the so-called Seinfeld curse? Unfortunately none of the Seinfeld actors have had much sitcom success since the show ended. Julia already had one-failed attempt with "Watching Ellie." This is a much better role for her. The show is smartly written and has a lot of energy. I think it will have a strong appeal to moms. CBS has it in the cozy sitcom launching timeslot on Mondays at 9:30 PM after the #1 rated sitcom - "Two and a Half Men". They've already successfully premiered two sitcoms in that timeslot, and those got very good numbers and were moved to Wednesdays. I thought the second and third episodes were improved a bit and funnier than the pilot, so I'm not surprised that the second episode is premiering in the regular timeslot of 9:30. CBS should definitely consider adding Wanda Sykes as a regular to the series. I will predict that the Seinfeld curse will be over, and that The New Adventures of Old Christine will be on CBS' schedule in the fall.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 03/11/2006.

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