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Daddio aired from March until October 2000 on NBC.
In between 2 famous stints as a cop, one of them light ( The Commish), and the other brutal ( The Shield), pudgy Michael Chiklis played a cheerful stay-at-home Dad in this little known comedy.Chris ( Chiklis), was a gruff-but-lovable unemployed restaurant supply salesman who was now "mommy" to his 4 kids, since his high-powered attorney wife, Linda ( Anita Barone), had taken a new job. The kids, uncertain Shannon ( Cristina Kernan), little operator Max ( Martin Spanjers), cute Jake ( Mitch holleman), and baby Emily, were a handful. Chris' days were filled with diapers, dirty laundry, and getting Jake to stop wearing a tiara. Even more frustrating were the adults he now interacted with in the local mommies group, including the annoyingly upbeat Barb ( Amy wilson), Linda's best friend, and pregnant sarcastic Holly ( Suzy Nakamura). While they chattered and breast-fed, he looked embarassed. Among the neighborhood men were Barb's slightly dense husband Rod ( Kevin Crowley), and next-door neighbor Bobick ( Steve Ryan), an insensitive ex-marine who thought Chris was a wimp and never missed an opportunity to tell him so.
A Review from Variety
(Series -- NBC; Thurs. March 23, 8:30 p.m.)
By MICHAEL SPEIER
Filmed in Burbank, Calif. by Big Fan in association with Touchstone Television. Executive producers, Matt Berry, Rick Swartzlander; producer, Franco E. Bario; director, Gil Junger; writers, Berry, Swartzlander;
Chris Woods - Michael Chiklis
Linda Woods - Anita Barone
Barb Krolak - Amy Wilson
Rod Krolak - Kevin Crowley
Bobick - Steve Ryan
Somebody at NBC really loved "Mr. Mom." There's no other explanation for "Daddio," a recycled laughtrack-a-thon that looks and sounds like umpteen series throughout the history of television. Harmless, but full of stale, dad-as-mom bits, the Peacock's much-hyped sitcom doesn't feel quite right on the network -- and the night -- that's home to vet laffers like "Friends" and "Frasier." Stay-at-home fathers aren't that uncommon anymore, so this fluff stuff comes off as extremely dated. Sorry, pops.
"Daddio's" premise is staggeringly unoriginal. A gruff-but-lovable restaurant supply salesman gives up his job to raise four children while his wife works. Before you know it, there are cookies in the oven, meaningful talks and a whole new perspective on responsibility. Exec producers Matt Berry and Ric Swartzlander ("Ellen") apparently boarded a time machine, set it for 1988 and visited the sets of "My Two Dads" and "Just the Ten of Us."
Chris Woods (Michael Chiklis) has his hands full. With two boys and two girls, his days are made up of diapers, dirty laundry and life's little puzzles. But he's a millennium man, and no task is too tough, especially since Linda (Anita Barone) is earning the paycheck. He's even part of a neighborhood group where uptight Barb Krolak (Amy Wilson) talks about breast-feeding and protective environments.
Oh, the suburban woes! Thirteen-year-old Shannon (Cristina Kernan) didn't go out for the baseball team because she's afraid her classmates will tease her; 12-year-old Max (Martin Spanjers) is trying to avoid homework; and 5-year-old Jake (Mitch Holleman) is wearing a tiara. But the kids are nothing compared with the ex-Marine (Steve Ryan) who moved in next door and resents Chris' sensitivity. The only character missing from this bunch is Urkel.
Too contrived and agreeable, "Daddio" plays it safe all the way. From hugs to lessons, the usual narrative suspects are alive and well, in case anyone forgets that this is supposed to be good-for-you entertainment. It's almost blasphemy that it bows on a night still associated with "Seinfeld"; must-see TV used to mean something.
Its few laughs come at the expense of the grown-ups. Whenever Chris gets riled up because someone doubts his nurturing abilities, he becomes an abrasive and sarcastic macho man with an attitude. That's funny. The other jokes are not, and since they're directed at children, they're also unsophisticated. Chiklis is solid enough as the king of bluecollarville, but the rest of the cast -- tykes included -- are ordinary.
Execs may be looking hard for something to carry Thursday's torch since "Jesse" and "Veronica's Closet" couldn't cut it. But here's a piece of advice: Keep looking; this isn't it.
A Review From The New York Times
NBC'S NEW SITCOMS 'DADDIO' AND 'BATTERY PARK' ARE OLD
BY DAVID BIANCULLI
Thursday, March 23th 2000, 2:12AM
Like trained lab rats in a psychology experiment, viewers of NBC's Thursday night lineup have been conditioned to expect both pain and pleasure and react accordingly.
The pleasure arrives on the hour these days - with "Friends" at 8, "Frasier" at 9 and "ER" at 10. And the pain, to be avoided at all costs, arrives on the half hour, as represented this season by "Jesse" and "Stark Raving Mad."
Tonight, however, newly premiering sitcoms are occupying those pain centers between NBC's Thursday hits. That's the good news.
The bad news is that "Daddio" at 8:30 and "Battery Park" at 9:30 are in no way a respite from the Thursday TV torture.
It's alarming enough that NBC hasn't been able to develop a sitcom good enough to deserve its place on the Must-See Thursday schedule since "Friends," which premiered six years ago.
What's even more alarming, in this case, is that these newest entries don't even improve upon the dismally dull comedies they're replacing tonight.
"Daddio," hammocked comfortably but incongruously between "Friends" and "Frasier," seems like a sitcom that was flash-frozen circa 1983 - when the movie "Mr. Mom" was fresh - and was just found in a freezer somewhere and thawed out by the NBC sitcom-development department. Its concept seems at least that old - as do the jokes.
Michael Chiklis, star of ABC's drama series "The Commish," returns to TV as the star of this sitcom, which looks like "The King of Queens," sounds like "Mr. Mom" and has about as many laughs as, well, "The Commish."
The big concept here is that he decides to stay home and watch the kids while his wife, played by Anita Barone, goes to work.
This plot line may have been new when Lucy and Ethel got jobs at the candy factory on "I Love Lucy," but we're fast approaching the golden anniversary of that particular story.
Not that "Daddio" worries about being familiar. Not when there's a tomboy daughter who's becoming a lady, a young son who's flirting with his own feminine side, a cranky next-door neighbor and a pair of meddling neighbor moms.
The studio audience roars and laughs so loudly, for no apparent reason, at every scene in "Daddio" - especially the allegedly emotional climax - that you begin to suspect a mind-altering gas was pumped into the studio as this pilot was taped.
Which, come to think of it, would explain the lethargic performances of the cast members.
"Battery Park" looks good by comparison, but only when compared to "Daddio." Compare it to an actually humorous sitcom, like the one preceding it on the NBC schedule tonight, and "Battery Park" looks like the network is starting out with an already dead "Battery."
The feel is "Barney Miller," but the jokes and characters aren't. Gary David Goldberg, of "Family Ties" and "Spin City" fame, is behind this sitcom, so it's fair to hope for and expect very good things.
In the case of this pilot, though, you don't get them.
Instead, you get a show with none of the vitality of "Spin City," and only Elizabeth Perkins, as a no-nonsense police captain, providing much life at all.
Otherwise, the situations are as predictable as the punch lines. The result, as with "Daddio," is one more painful jolt for us lab rats.
A Review from Entertainment Weekly
Daddio (2000 - 2000)
Start Date: Mar 23, 2000; Genre: Comedy; With: Michael Chiklis
C+By Bruce Fretts
Chris woods is not your father's sitcom father. The title character of Michael Chiklis' surprise NBC hit, Daddio, happily sticks a fork in his job as a restaurant-supplies salesman to stay home and cook for his four kids, while his better half, Linda (Anita Barone), brings home the lettuce as a lawyer. We've come a long way since Father Knows Best, baby.
Once upon a TV time, sitcom dads were distant, omniscient figures who worked in offices during the day, then returned home for piping-hot dinners prepared by their dutiful wives. This model held through the '50s and '60s, from Best's Robert Young and Leave It to Beaver's Hugh Beaumont to My Three Sons' Fred MacMurray (whose de facto helpmate was Uncle Charley) and The Brady Bunch's Robert Reed.
Starting in the '70s, as America's youth began to question authority, sitcom fathers became more fallible. Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) was mocked as a blowhard on All in the Family, yet he still ruled his domain from his armchair throne, barking orders at his ''dingbat'' wife, Edith (Jean Stapleton). This buffoonish Bunker mentality served as a blueprint for such latter-day TV dads as Married...With Children's Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) and The Simpsons' Homer (Dan Castellaneta).
Sitcom moms, meanwhile, were declaring their independence. The Cosby Show's Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) and Roseanne's eponymous ''domestic goddess'' proved equal to their partners, earning income and a vote in household decisions. Other mothers did just fine without husbands, thank you, on such shows as Candice Bergen's Murphy Brown (as Dan Quayle was all too quick to point out) and Brett Butler's Grace Under Fire.
These days, most sitcom papas seem irrelevant factors in their families' equations. Bryan Cranston's blissfully out of it Hal on Fox's Malcolm in the Middle hides behind his reading glasses and newspaper, allowing his ballsy wife, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), to wear the pants literally (he stands around naked while she shaves his back). When Ray Barone (Ray Romano) attempts to assert his paternal authority on CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond, he's dismissed as an ''idiot'' by his spouse, Debra (Patricia Heaton). Clearly it's a generational thing: Ray's boorish father, Frank (Peter Boyle), gets waited on by his wife, Marie (Doris Roberts), even though she serves up sarcastic zingers with his scrambled eggs.
Daddio's attitude is, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. No hapless Mr. Mom, Chiklis' Chris takes pride in his housework. Created by Matt Berry and Ric Swartzlander (Grace Under Fire, Ellen), the series occasionally offers clever insights on modern child rearing. Chris decries germ-phobic parents; neighbors who put up ''cutesy holiday flags''; and the dreaded Playtown, a Chuck E. Cheesey facility filled with ''plastic tubes, colored balls, and 100 kids hopped up on Gummi Bears.''
Too often, however, Daddio's humor is the equivalent of taking candy from a baby jokes about breast-feeding, telemarketers, and poopy diapers. And the cast couldn't be more generic. Unlike comedic powerhouses Heaton and Kaczmarek, Barone is forced to play straight woman (a thankless role she also filled on ABC's The Jeff Foxworthy Show). Spiky-haired 12-year-old Max (Martin Spanjers) is the only one of the four kids who's displayed any inkling of a personality. Plus, Daddio features not one, not two, but three nutty neighbors: a macho Gulf War vet (Crime Story's Steve Ryan), a cereal-munching mooch (Kevin Crowley), and his overwound wife (Amy Wilson).
All of this might not matter if Chiklis delivered more chuckles. He may have played John Belushi in Wired, but the ex-Commish is more akin to Jim Belushi, steamrolling over his punchlines. ''Once you find a bit you think is funny, you run it into the ground,'' Chris scolds Max, but he could be talking about himself. I laughed the first time he suggested changing the name of the Mommies Group to the Falcons. Not so much the third time.
That gag's a prime example of how Daddio both undermines and reinforces gender stereotypes. He might do ''women's work,'' but Chris still swills beer, smokes cigars, and flips when his son pretends to be a princess. At heart, the show reassures us, he's a guy's guy.
Speaking of guy's guys: In Don't Ask, John Goodman's Fox series debuting this fall, the Roseanne alum will play a booze-guzzling, sports-fanatic single father who just happens to be gay. Somewhere, Robert Reed is smiling. C+
A Review from The Post Gazette
TV Reviews: Two new NBC sitcoms show little promise
Thursday, March 23, 2000
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor
"Hammock shows" are the sitcom filler that takes up the space between the reliable, quality programs in NBC's Thursday night lineup.
NBC executives, in their infinite lack of wisdom, insist on giving these plum time slots to inferior series created by people they want to placate.
Most recently "Jesse" (from the producers of "Friends") filled the black hole between "Friends" and "Frasier" and "Stark Raving Mad" (from the producer of "Just Shoot Me") took up space between "Frasier" and "ER."
But that game plan is falling short. Although these shows are watched by millions each week, it's usually millions fewer than the shows that precede them and come after them. For many Americans, 8:30 and 9:30 Thursday nights have come to represent chore time. It's the two half-hour breaks when we do the dishes, walk the dog, etc.
NBC hopes to change that straying mentality with tonight's premieres of "Daddio" and "Battery Park."
"Daddio," airing at 8:30, is a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. There's a dearth of family comedies in prime time, but it makes no logical sense to place such a show between the hip "Friends" and the urbane "Frasier."
And yet, there it sits, begging us not to abandon the tube.
Michael Chiklis (formerly of ABC's "The Commish") stars as Chris Woods (a.k.a. Daddio), a stay-at-home father whose wife (Anita Barone) has become a lawyer.
Tonight's pilot finds Daddio adjusting to his new domestic life as his children try to scam him ("Mom always let us") and neighbors question his masculinity. It's a catch-22: People think he can't take good care of his kids because he's a man; he can't be a man because he takes care of the kids.
Maybe "Mr. Mom: The Series" would have been revolutionary back in 1983 when the Michael Keaton movie was released, but 17 years later the concept is as fresh as month-old milk.
The funniest scenes don't come from Daddio's parenting, rather, it's his confrontations with his wife's annoying friend, Barb (Amy Wilson). When she sees the kids playing "Batman," she lectures them, "Has anybody wondered why the Joker is a bad guy? Use our words and tell the Joker we care about him."
Daddio grits his teeth.
Pablum though it is, "Daddio" can't be recommended for kids due to some of the language. There's talk of a pregnant woman toughening up her nipples. Chances are, that's not the kind of TV talk that will lead parents to switch the channel from Nickelodeon.
On the other hand, "Battery Park" doesn't try to be a family show, but it's also at a loss for generating belly laughs. Still, it shows more potential than "Daddio."
Justin Louis stars as compassionate, capable Detective Ben Hardin, who serves as a buffer between the zany detectives in his charge and Capt. Madeleine Dunleavy (Elizabeth Perkins), who cares more about advancement than her current job.
The remaining cops fit old sitcom cliches, including the sole woman, the male partners who bicker like a married couple, the womanizer and the flaky guy.
Gary David Goldberg, responsible for "Family Ties" and "Spin City," returns to NBC as executive producer/co-creator of "Battery Park." The show may be new, but it appears to be constructed from the same blueprints as "Spin City."
The relationship between Ben and Madeleine has echoes of the Michael J. Fox-Barry Bostwick pairing on "Spin City." "Battery Park's" womanizer, Kevin Strain (Robert Mailhouse), could be a cousin to "Spin"ster Stuart (Alan Ruck).
In tonight's premiere, Madeleine plots a future campaign for mayor, hoping to be able to use the slogan, "Safest precinct, safest city." When a Mafia figure gets shot in her jurisdiction, Madeleine orders Ben to fix it.
So far, Madeleine's insensitivity makes for the best moments in "Battery Park." Some of the remaining jokes center on Jennifer Lopez's derriere and whether two of the cops deserve a titanium-plated, amphibious assault vehicle.
Perkins, looking more and more like Margaret Colin ("Now and Again") every day, is totally unbelievable as a police captain. Even the dialogue seems to say, "This isn't a real cop, but a sitcom cop."
In one scene Madeleine encounters the city's "all-time leading crime victim," who becomes a running joke. He asks if she can take his statement.
"Does this look like the haircut of someone who takes statements?" Madeleine replies. Although it's unimaginable that such a glamour-puss would make it to captain of a detective squad, her brash ways do generate a few laughs.
Maybe if the cardboard secondary characters develop more dimensions and if the writing improves, "Battery Park" will have a longevity similar to that of its closest cop comedy antecedent, "Barney Miller." But don't count on it.
To follow Michael Chiklis on twitter go to https://twitter.com/MichaelChiklis?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
To watch an NBC Promo go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLSqAh-BHCw
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Keywords: Daddio Cast