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Daniel Stern, Jon Foster, Joely Fisher, Julia McIlvaine and Robert Prosky (clockwise from top)
Danny aired from September until October 2001 on CBS.
Danny ( Daniel Stern), was a 40 year old idealistic dreamer who was still adjusting to his recent divorce. He and his friendly ex-wife, Molly ( Joely Fisher), had 2 teenage children, Sally and Henry ( Julia McIlvaine, Jon Foster), who were living with Danny, as was his grumpy father, Lenny (Robert Prosky). Danny, who was a big kid himself, was the director of " The wreck Center," the local community center, where he worked with Chickie ( Roz Ryan), whose tough-talking exterior masked a kind heart. Rachel ( Mia Korf), the bubbly young ballet teacher at the center liked him, but Danny was to shy to ask her out.
The first casualty of the 2001-2002 season, Danny was canceled after only 2 telecasts.
A Review from Variety
September 23, 2001 4:20PM PT
By Laura Fries
The new fall season is lousy with single dads — and the majority are portrayed as clueless and awkward — at least Daniel Stern’s “Danny” is more heartfelt and poignant than the average sitcom.
Stern, looking like Chris Elliott’s older and only slightly more serious brother, is the eponymous Danny, a recently separated father of two with a perpetual case of ennui.
The show has a respectable lead- in from fellow freshman “The Ellen Show” and should work as a nice segue into the hourlong dramedy “That’s Life.”
But getting viewers to connect with this bittersweet comedy will be the show’s biggest challenge. “Danny” is a fairly subtle touch in a genre known for a heavy hand. And if the fate of “Sports Night” is any indication, viewers like their comedy straight up.
Pilot introduces us to Danny in semi-existential crisis mode because of his 40th birthday. An enemy of change, Danny frets over the possible lack of a traditional birthday dinner. On his own and feeling rather old, Danny finds himself routinely avoiding responsibility.
Although it was Danny who turned a bunch of abandoned warehouses into the local community center, he would rather play basketball with the neighborhood kids than compile budget projections.
A haven for kids and seniors, the rec center also serves as Danny’s escape from real life, but every once in a while, real life catches up to him.
Using the rec center as a focal point is a clever concept that brings together a wide range of characters in an unforced fashion. And it is a big help that Stern’s neurotic good guy is backed by a wacky arsenal of characters including Roz Ryan as the ornery Chickie and Robert Prosky as his father Lenny. Too often, however, all the other folks outrank Danny in terms of maturity. When Danny gets into it on the basketball court with his son Henry (Jon Foster), it’s hard to remember which one is the adult.
Later, all is made up for with a truly amusing scene in which Danny, who is forced to substitute teach ballet class, turns a bunch of toddlers in tutus into football scrimmagers.
All in all, “Danny” works as a nice family comedy and, with the exception of an excessively long and fairly unnecessary bathroom scene, the show is suitable for all tastes.
New fall season pilots are notoriously overwrought with popular songs to catch viewers’ ears, but “Danny” is particularly adept tying the music with the moment. Most notably, an appropriately timed rendition of John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.” Other tech credits are also nicely done.
CBS; Fri., Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.
Production: Filmed on location in Los Angeles by Acme Prods. in association with Big Ticket Television. Executive producers, Daniel Stern, Howard J. Morris, Mindy Schultheis, Michael Hanel; co-executive producers, Bob Nickman, Ellen Idelson, Rob Lotterstein; producer, John Whitman; co-producer, Eric Preven; director, Peter Lauer.
Crew: Camera, Geary McLeod; editor, John Neal; sound, Robert Eber; music, Danny Pelfrey. 30 MIN.
Cast: Danny - Daniel Stern
Sally - Julia McIlvaine
Henry - Jon Foster
Chickie - Roz Ryan
Lenny - Robert Prosky
Rachel - Mia Korf
Vince - Vince Burns
Molly - Joely Fisher
A Review from The Deseret News
'Danny,' 'Thieves,' 'Pasadena' debut
New shows are at least worth checking out
Published: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001 7:23 a.m. MDT
By Scott D. Pierce
Deseret News television editor
Friday night features three new series that could hardly be more dissimilar if they tried a half-hour family comedy; a light-hearted romantic comedy/spy caper; and a surprisingly serious nighttime soap.
And all three have at least something to recommend them.
DANNY (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 2) is sort of like a "Malcolm In the Middle" that concentrates on the dad.
Daniel Stern stars as Danny, a recently divorced single father who runs the local recreation center the "Wreck Center." He's a good-hearted guy who sometimes finds himself out of his league as a father of two teenagers, Sally (Julia McIlvaine) and Henry (Jon Foster).
From the archive
Like in the second episode when he advises his 15-year-old son how to go to a beer blast without drinking.
On hand to help out at home is his dry-witted father, Lenny (Robert Prosky) and at work is the tough-but-caring Chickie (Roz Ryan).
Friday's premiere finds Danny fretting about his birthday, his advancing age, his kids and his tense relationship with his ex-wife (Joely Fisher, in a recurring role). But he's a charming neurotic a regular guy, who's often very funny.
Just wait 'til you see Danny teaching a little girls' dance class in Friday's episode. That sequence alone makes it worth a look.
THIEVES (Friday, 8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) relies greatly on the charm of star John Stamos so it's a lucky thing that Stamos ("Full House") has a lot of charm.
He stars as Johnny, a handsome lady-killer who makes a living as a master thief. In Friday's premiere, he has both an instant attraction to and instant dislike for Rita (Melissa George), another master thief who is sort of Johnny's opposite.
Johnny is clever and suave, using wit and charm to pull of his capers. He's not big on violence.
Rita is also smart, but she isn't afraid to kick butt. And she does. Often.
They're not as smart as they think, however, and they end up falling for a trap set by a secret government agency. Johnny and Rita are given a choice go to prison or work for the government.
I think you can see where this is going.
"Thieves" is escapist fluff, along the lines of "Hart to Hart" or "Charlie's Angels." The sort of show that hasn't been seen much on network television in years.
And, of course, there's the Sam-and-Diane (on "Cheers") type of relationship to propel the show from week to week.
"Thieves" is cute and sometimes funny. Stamos is perfectly cast, and George . . . well, she's attractive.
If you're looking to kick back and disengage your brain for an hour on Friday night, "Thieves" just might be the way to do it.
PASADENA (Friday, 8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13) is a prime-time soap opera on Fox but it's nothing like "Melrose Place" or "Beverly Hills, 90210."
And that's a good thing.
On the surface, "Pasadena" has all the trappings of the blockbuster soaps of the '80s like "Dallas" and "Dynasty" a rich, powerful family that's used to getting its way while battling among themselves.
But Friday's pilot is a dark, intriguing entree into what shows promise of being a very different sort of show. One that's shrouded in mystery.
("Pasadena" was written by creator/executive producer Mike White, whose writing credits include the movies "Chuck and Buck" and "Dead Man on Campus" as well as TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Dawson's Creek." Another of the executive producers is Diane Keaton, who directed the pilot.)
Viewers are brought into the show by 15-year-old Lily McCallister (Allison Lohman), a bright, attractive teen who's a member of the latest generation of the Greeley family. Her grandfather (Philip Baker Hall) is a billionaire whose holdings include California's biggest newspaper, the Los Angeles Sun.
Lily doesn't suspect that her family has secrets until a seemingly crazed man enters her house one night, makes demands she doesn't understand and then kills himself. It all seems somehow tied to the disappearance of a woman years earlier.
And no one in her family is talking. Certainly not her father, Will (Martin Donovan), who's not doing much of a job hiding his affair; or her mother, Catherine (Emmy-winner Dana Delany of "China Beach"), a fragile woman who has to try to have everything perfect in order to survive.
The family includes her grandmother, Joan (Barbara Babcock), a controlling ice queen; her ambitious uncle, Robert (Mark Valley); her troubled, drug-addicted uncle, Nate (Balthazar Getty); her flighty aunt, Beth (Natasha Gregson Wagner); and her younger brother, Mason (Christopher Marquette).
There are plots within plots and secrets within secrets in this rich-but-troubled family, and several of these characters make you want to know more about them. The interplay between Delany and Babcock is, all by itself, fascinating. And Delany has a scene that's amazing in which her character freaks out over some carpeting.
It's hard to tell where this is going, but the trip looks interesting.
A review from the Houston Chronicle
Review: Daniel Stern's 'Danny' too busy to be funny
ANN HODGES, Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle TV Critic Published 5:30 am CDT, Friday, September 28, 2001
Danny is a workout for Daniel Stern , the Home Alone guy who was the narrator's voice on The Wonder Years . He probably deserves better.
But on the other hand, he is one of the executive producers, and this was the sitcom premise he wanted -- a show about the director of a town's recreation center.
It's the old "be careful what you want" bit.
Danny's recreation center is too busy to believe. There's more traffic through this place than on the Southwest Freeway at rush hour.
And the rest of this overloaded show is even busier.
Danny (Stern) has just become a single daddy. His wife (Joely Fisher) and the mother of his two children (Julia McIlvaine and Jon Foster) has moved down the road, leaving him to hold the household together while they try what the kids call "a stupid separation." His father (Robert Prosky) is also helping to hold down the family fort.
It's Danny's birthday, and the hardest job he has all day is trying to dig out from under all his other chores to make it to his birthday dinner on time. With Danny, work is never done -- although, unfortunately, there is time for us to share his should-be private pain with a pesky prostate. Was that trip to the urinals really necessary?
No wonder Danny doesn't have a laugh track. Who's laughing?
Danny,7:30 tonight on CBS/Channel 11. Grade: D.
For more on Danny go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_%28TV_series%29
For Tim's TV's Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130406171232/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/danny.html
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Keywords: The Cast of Danny