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Old 04-15-2003, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default Chicken Soup

Anyone remember this extremely short-lived sitcom starring Jackie Mason? I forgot but didn't some people find it offensive and that's why they pulled it or was it just because it was really that bad?
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Old 05-26-2003, 02:00 AM   #2
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It was a combination of both. Mason's "jew jokes" didn't sit well with most critics, while most viewers found the show itself rather bland. Now me, I liked it. I found Mason's deadpan delivery humorous. But then I liked Buffalo Bill, The Jackie Thomas Show, The Job, etc.
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:54 PM   #3
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I remember it. The show wasn't all that bad.
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Old 11-23-2003, 06:46 PM   #4
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I saw it once - it sucked! But ABC couldn't get rid of it, because the ratings it got from riding on the coattails of "Roseanne" were strong enough to keep it on the air. ABC needed another way to get it off, and then Mason provided them with a way - by, while campaigning for Rudolph Giuliani in the 1989 NewYork City mayoral race, calling Giuliani's black opponent, David Dinkins, "a black model without a job" and "a fancy shvartzer with a moustache." Then ABC canceled "Chicken Soup," saying that they suddenly realized it was only getting good ratings because it followed "Roseanne." Yeah, right. Mason embarassed the dudes at ABC, and they now had their opportunity to dispose of him. And, they took it.

The last episode of "Chicken Soup" to be broadcast aired on November 7, 1989 - the same day David Dinkins was elected the first black mayor of New York City.
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Chicken Soup

Quote:
Originally posted by Fran Fan
Anyone remember this extremely short-lived sitcom starring Jackie Mason? I forgot but didn't some people find it offensive and that's why they pulled it or was it just because it was really that bad?
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THe show was cancelled because there were complaints from protest groups
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Riff
And, no, the ratings weren't strong. Especially by the end of its run, when it was only hanging on to about 70-75% of "Roseanne"'s audience.
Well, Riff, a show that retains three out of every four viewers of the show follows usually finds some way to stay on the air. When CBS's Leslie Moonves cited the ratings of "My Big Fat Greek Life" as a reason for that show's cancellation, some TV critics immediately pointed out that shows with worse ratings than "My Big Fat Greek Life" somehow got renewed. CBS primarily wanted to get rid of the show because of Nia Vardalos's prima donna attitude. Similarly, ABC was embarassed by Jackie Mason's, er, bluntness and needed some kind of excuse to dispose of him.

The best comment about "Chicken Soup" came from the folks at People magazine. "The star, Jakcie Mason, was stiffer than. . .Ed Sullivan's neck, and his chemistry with Lynn Redgrave suggested what you'd get by putting lox on a Weight Watchers chocolate cake."

DOGBERT: "I will now channel the spirit of Jackie Mason. . . ."
DILBERT: "He's not dead."
DOGBERT: "Then I'll talk to his career."
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Riff
Steve, if you know of any half-hour comedies that retained three out of four viewers (75%) and stayed on the air for many seasons, I'd sure like to know what they are -- because that is horrible. The only way sitcoms with poor retention to that extent stick around is if the network has significant ownership of them and they are the entertainment prez' pet project (I can think of one example on NBC's Thursday lineup right now).
I guess it is indeed all politics, Riff, especailly in the case of Mason. All I remember about "Greek" was that TV Guide found Moonves's ratings excuse for cancelling the show to be a lame one, although a show that loses half of its lead-in audience does seem to cry out for the ax to fall. Some shows manage to stay on despite low ratings, either because they're too good to cancel or because some executive has some personal reason for keeping it on the air. For how many seasons, well, that's antoher kettle of fish. . . .

Or maybe the ratings are all fuzzy math. Remember "Ed" 's Phil Stubbs and his justification for bowling a six? "That's sixty percent of the pins! If this were an election, that would be a landslide!"

Whatever.
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:56 AM   #8
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It should be noted that Chicken Soup came from the same production company as Roseanne (Carsey-Werner).

According to the November 13, 1989 issue of Broadcasting Magazine, Bob Iger (then-president of ABC Entertainment) stated that the network's execs thought Chicken Soup was a good show, and it was well-produced, well-written, and well-promoted. ABC put CS in the most critical timeslot, and the audience drop-off from Roseanne (over 10 million per week) was simply too huge. Mr. Iger also stated that CS wasn't moved to another timeslot because it was "incompatible" with the network's other sitcoms. ABC sure had a really strong comedy division during that time.

The Tuesdays-at-9:30 timeslot was filled by the second season of Coach for the remainder of the 1989-90 season. Coach also lost 10 million viewers from Roseanne every week, but Coach got renewed for a third season anyway. I guess the viewership gap between Roseanne and Coach must have narrowed in the years since.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:11 AM   #9
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I remember watching part of the pilot episode when it aired. I was in 6th grade. My much older sister told me to turn off the TV as soon as the lead character's mother asked him if he was gay.
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