TITLE: HELP ME HELP YOU - ABC FALL 2006
Premiere Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 (Regency Television)
Time: Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. et/pt
Cast: Starring Ted Danson, Charlie Finn, Jim Rash,
Suzy Nakamura, Darlene Hunt and Jere Burns as Michael.
Special Guest Star: Jane Kaczmarek
Ted Danson ("Cheers," "Becker") stars in this comedy
series about a collection of eccentric individuals in
group therapy with a respected therapist -- who may
quite possibly have more problems than his patients.
Dr. Bill Hoffman (Danson) is a brilliant therapist
with a lucrative practice and the author of several
definitive psychotherapy texts. He is an icon among
his fellow therapists. But his over-inflated ego is
dealt a blow when he is forced to come to grips with
the end of his 25-year marriage to wife Anne (guest
star Jane Kaczmarek, "Malcolm in the Middle"). Bill is
also forced to deal with the news that his daughter is
dating her psychology professor -- a man old enough to
be her father and who also happens to idolize him.
Things are changing too fast, and Bill is struggling
to keep up.
When it comes to the group patients, Bill also has his
work cut out for him: The newest group member, Dave
(Charlie Finn, the film "The Dukes of Hazzard"),
recently attempted suicide by jumping out of his
office window -- and landing on his boss; Jonathan
(Jim Rash, "Sky High") is a self-avowed metro-sexual
who is in serious denial that he might possibly be
gay; Inger (Suzy Nakamura, "Dodgeball") is a
25-year-old, self-made millionaire who totally lacks
social skills and hasn't had a real date in over six
years; Darlene (Darlene Hunt, "I Heart Huckabees") has
too many psychological issues to count, including her
obsession with Dr. Hoffman; and Michael (Jere Burns,
"Good Morning Miami," "Dear John") has anger issues at
work, which is what led him into mandatory group
The group will try to apply Bill's advice to their
lives out in the world, while Bill tries to figure out
his own life problems.
Ted Danson as Dr. Bill Hoffman, Charlie Finn as Dave, Jim Rash as Jonathan,
Suzy Nakamura as Inger, Darlene Hunt as Darlene, Jere Burns as Michael.
Special Guest Star: Jane Kaczmarek as Anne.
Ted Danson's (Dr. Bill Hoffman, therapist) versatility
in both television and film makes him one of the most
accomplished and credible actors today. From his
feature film debuts in Joseph Wambaugh's "The Onion
Field" in 1979 and Lawrence Kasdan's "Body Heat" in
1981 to his starring role in the television series
"Cheers," Danson has captivated worldwide audiences
with his equally sensational dramatic and comedic
performances. Danson charmed television audiences
worldwide with his portrayal of the tall, dark and
handsome Sam Malone, a role he played for 11 seasons
on the hit comedy series "Cheers." The role earned him
the Golden Globe in 1990 and 1991, the Emmy Award in
1990 and 1993, as well as several additional Emmy
nominations. He made his return to network television
in 1998 in the series "Becker," for which he received
a Golden Globe nomination in 2001. The show ran for
Charlie Finn's (Dave, suicidal) television credits
include recurring roles on "Andy Richter Controls the
Universe" and "Dag," series regular roles on "Life on
a Stick" and "Deep Cover," and guest starring roles on
"Sports Night"and "Judging Amy." His film credits
include "The Dukes of Hazzard," "The In Crowd" and
"Super Troopers." He was also featured in the
independent films "The Year That Trembled," "Rolling
Kansas" and "Southern Cross."
Jim Rash (Jonathan, gay denial) has long had a home on
the small screen, with recurring roles on "That '70s
Show" and "Reno 911!," as well as guest starring roles
on "Will & Grace," "Less than Perfect," "According to
Jim," "The Practice," "Becker," "CSI" and "Navy NCIS."
He has also co-starred on "Cybill" and "Tracey Takes
On," and was a series regular on "Thanks," "Katie
Joplin" and "The Naked Truth." Big screen credits
include "Sky High," "Minority Report," "Simone,"
"Slackers," "One Hour Photo" and "Auto Motives." His
two most recent films, "Smiley Face" and "Reno 911!:
The Movie," are due to be released in 2007. Heather
Goldenhersh's television credits include roles in the
movies "The Great Gatsby" and "Tempting Adam" and
appearances on "Sex and the City," "Law & Order:
Criminal Intent," and "Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit." Her feature film credits include "Nicholas
Nickleby," "The School of Rock," "The Merchant of
Venice," "Kinsey," and the upcoming "The Pleasure of
Suzy Nakamura (Inger, social issues) has had recurring
roles on "The West Wing" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Her other TV credits include regular roles on "The
Closer," opposite Tom Selleck, and "Daddio," with
Michael Chiklis, as well as guest appearances on "The
King of Queens," "8 Simple Rules" and "According to
Jim." Her film credits include "Dodgeball," "Stark
Raving Mad," "Timecode," "Must Love Dogs" and the
award-winning independent films "Strawberry Fields"
(Venice Int'l Film Festival), "Treasure Island"
(Sundance Special Jury Prize) and "Barrier Device"
(Student Academy Award). She will soon be seen in "For
Your Consideration," directed by Christopher Guest.
Darlene Hunt (Darlene, too many problems) starred with
Sean Hayes in "Platonically Incorrect," a play which
she also wrote, that ran in Los Angeles and New York
and was later developed into a network pilot. She has
written six pilots for various networks, including
ABC, NBC and The WB. Other writing credits include an
episode of "Will & Grace," in which she also guest
starred. On the big screen she played opposite Jude
Law and Lily Tomlin in David O. Russell's film, "I
Heart Huckabees." Other film credits include "3001,"
directed and written by Mike Judge, and "The Darwin
Awards," starring Winona Ryder.
Jere Burns (Michael, anger issues) is best known for
his role as Kirk on the comedy series "Dear John." He
also starred on "Good Morning Miami" and "Something So
Right," had recurring roles on "Max Headroom" and "All
of Us," and guest starred on "Boston Legal," "Will &
Grace," "Las Vegas," "Touched By an Angel" and "Just
Shoot Me," among many others. In addition he starred
in the telefilms "Life-Size," "Road Rage," "The Secret
She Carried," "Eye of the Stalker," "Perry Mason: The
Case of the Defiant Daughter," "Turn Back the Clock"
and in the miniseries "The Gambler Returns: The Luck
of the Draw." On the big screen Burns has appeared in
"My Giant," "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,"
"Greedy," "Wired," "Touch and Go" and "Let's Get
Jane Kaczmarek (Anne, estranged wife of Bill) took the
television world by storm with her hilarious portrayal
of Lois, the no-nonsense mom on "Malcolm in the
Middle." Embraced by critics and viewers alike, she
was nominated for an Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a
Comedy Series six years in a row. She was also honored
with an American Comedy Award and a Family Friendly
Award for her role, received three Golden Globe
nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a
Television Series, Comedy or Musical, and subsequently
garnered her second consecutive award for Individual
Achievement in a Comedy by the Television Critics
Association. She was also nominated for Best Actress,
Quality Comedy, by the Viewers for Quality Television.
She was a series regular on "Equal Justice,"
"Hometown," "Big Wave Dave" and "Paper Chase: The
Second Year." Additional credits include recurring
roles on "Felicity," "Party of Five," "Frasier," "The
Practice," "Cybill" and "Hill Street Blues," and guest
starring roles on such series as "Touched By An
Angel," "Picket Fences," "L.A. Law" and "Hollywood
Division." In addition she starred in the
made-for-television movies "Jenifer," "Apollo 11,"
"Educating Mom," "The Deception," "Boys Will Be Boys,"
"I'll Take Manhattan," "Something About Amelia," "The
Christmas Story" and "The Three Kings."
Kaczmarek's feature film credits include
"Pleasantville," "The Chamber," "Vice Versa,"
"Uncommon Valor," "D.O.A.," "The Heavenly Kid" and
"Falling in Love," as well as the independent films
"The Spittin' Image" and "Wildly Available."
Episode #1 "Pilot"
Tuesday, September 26, 9:30 PM ET/PT
Bill assigns the group to go out and make connections
with other people. Dave tries to make a connection
with a woman in his office that he has a crush on,
Jonathan tries to make friends with a local coffee
house barista, Inger tries her hand at internet
dating, and Darlene spends time with a new man she
just met... who just happens to be fellow group member
Michael. Meanwhile Bill discovers that Anne is in a
relationship with the guy who sold him his car and
that his daughter is dating her psychology professor -
a man old enough to be her father.
Guest Starring: Jane Kaczmarek as Anne, Lindsay Sloane
as Sasha, Steve Bannos as Dave's boss, Kathleen Rose
Perkins as Jonathan's wife, Bruce Altman as Professor
Ira Morton, Michael Cotter as j-date, Lou George as
therapist, Parvesh Cheena as Parvesh, Meredith Roberts
as Francesca, Artemis Pebdani as office worker no. 1,
Sharon Brathwaite as office worker no. 2, Thomas F.
Wilson as Kenny, Mykel Shannon Jenkins as Shannon
(coffee guy), Blaine Vedros as waiter, Majandra
Delfino as Lucy and Sunil Malhotra as tow truck guy.
We also received an additional episode for review. It
will be the third episode to air and will air on
Tuesday, October 10. The episode is:
Episode #3 - "Sasha's Birthday BBQ "
Tuesday, October 10, 9:30 PM ET/PT
Bill's rule of the week is for everyone to nurture
their relationships. However, in trying to nurture his
relationship with daughter Sasha, Bill finds himself
competing with estranged wife Anne's (Jane Kaczmarek)
boyfriend, Kenny, for Sasha's affection at her
birthday party; Meanwhile Inger's rendezvous with an
internet date goes south after she inadvertently
insults him; Jonathan neglects to tell his wife that
he has plans to go out with his male coffee barista
friend to a Knicks game; and Darlene and Michael take
a stab at nurturing their relationship but end up in
an argument over the relevance of Tom Hanks.
Guest Starring: Jane Kaczmarek as Anne, Lindsay Sloane
as Sasha, Kathleen Rose Perkins as Jonathan's wife,
Bruce Altman as Professor Ira Morton, Michael Cotter
as j-date, Thomas F. Wilson as Kenny and Mykel Shannon
Jenkins as Shannon (coffee guy). Rest TBD.
I think this show is pretty funny! The jokes are
fast-paced and it is very entertaining to watch. I
guess single-camera comedies are the future of
sitcoms. Danson is very good in this role and his
patients are very funny. Danson is also great with
Kaczmarek. She is labeled in the cast during the
opening credits, but is listed as a guest star in
press packets. I hope she is in most episodes because
she is very good here. The pilot is very enjoyable
and I think it will click with viewers. It sets up the
show very well and what to expect in future episodes.
We also got a copy of the third episode that will air.
It looks like this episode was made second but will
air third, because it seems to leave off where the
pilot left off. Danson’s character is jealous of
Kenny, his ex-wife’s boyfriend. The third episode is
just as good as the pilot, if not better. You get to
know and like the characters a lot, even if they are
crazy. Darlene and Michael get into a debate about Tom
Hanks...with a mention of Bosom Buddies even!
Jonathan can be annoying though. He acts gay, and he
is gay, but he denies it. He has wife even and he
seems to be in love with the coffee guy, who is not
gay, but he sure does look it. Funny stuff indeed!
This is a very enjoyable show. I think viewers will
tune in this Tuesday. There are not many sitcoms
debuting this fall, but this is one of the few that I
think will click. The others that I think will stick
are Knights of Prosperity, The Class and 30 Rock. 3
of the 4 that I think will click are single-camera
sitcoms. They need to have Kaczmarek in a lot of
episodes. She seems to be on board for 6 of the 13
ordered so far. I’m not positive, though. She is for
sure in episodes 1 and 3, and looking at the press
packet, she is not listed for episode 2 airing on Oct.
3. She was very good in the pilot and decent in
episode three, too. Danson could be nominated for an
Emmy for this one. He is trying to break the window
of his car in the pilot with a golf club is so
hilarious. He also does a nice fall in the 3rd
episode during the BBQ that comes out of no where.
As for ratings, the pilot will certainly be sampled.
It is following a special 90-minute episode of the
mega-hit Dancing with the Stars. Danson was in the
audience for last week’s episode to promote the show,
so that might help. The second episode will also have
‘Stars’ as its lead-in. I think the show will last in
the ratings and the quality is certainly there. So,
this Tuesday, give Danson a try in Help Me Help You at
9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/24/06
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