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The Geena Davis Show aired from October 2000 until July 2001 on ABC.
A high-powered Manhattan executive became an instant suburban mom in this manic, rather trite comedy. Teddie( Geena Davis), was a tall, fashionable (i.e. short skirts), event planner whose harried life consisted of Starbucks coffee in the morning and take-out Chinese at night. Judy and Hillary( Kim Coles, Mimi Rogers), were her wisecracking best friends and Alan ( Harland Williams), her whiny co-worker. Everything changed when Teddie met Max( Peter Horton), an easygoing writer and widower whose 2 kids, he thought needed a mom. The kids weren't so sure, as Teddie found out when she and Max were engaged and she moved into their sprawling suburban home. Though she tried, in her own bumbling, hysterical way , she had no idea how to relate to nutty , curly -haired Carter( John Francis Daley), and emotionally uncertain ( " I love you, I hate you"), kindegartener Eliza ( Mackenzie Vega). Gladys ( Esther Scott), was the standoffish , black housekeeper. There were lots of sex jokes( Teddie's attempt to bake a cake in the shape of a baseball bat for Carter's bake sale was dubbed " The Penis Cake"), pratfalls, mugging and misunderstandings. Finally in an episode aired in June 2001, Teddie and Max were married in a chaotic city hall ceremony, but the series had by then been canceled.
An Article from The SF Gate
Geena Davis Takes On Another Obsession / After hiatus from movies, she stars in TV sitcom
Paul Iorio, Chronicle Staff Writer Published 4:00 am PDT, Monday, October 2, 2000
Why is Geena Davis, an Oscar-winning actress whose last movie grossed a healthy $140 million, starring in a network television series, "The Geena Davis Show," instead of a new feature film?
"Women get to do a lot of fun stuff on TV," says Davis, 43. "It seems that there are more lead parts for women on TV than in films." (Besides, she is also working on a new feature, the kids' movie "Stuart Little 2.")
Even though the series is named after her, it was not conceived with Davis in the main role of Teddie Cochran. In fact, the show, created by TV writer Terri Minsky and originally titled "Lost and Found," didn't bear her name until well after Davis joined the cast.
Still, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing Teddie, a frenetically busy political fund-raiser who leaves the big city and moves to the suburbs with her fiance, Max, played by Peter Horton ("thirtysomething"), and his two kids, 13-year-old Carter (John Francis Daley of "Freaks and Geeks") and 6-year-old Eliza (Makenzie Vega). The ABC sitcom, which airs at 9:30 Tuesday nights on KGO (Channel 7) starting Oct. 10, also stars Mimi Rogers and Kim Coles. At times the show plays like a cross between Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" and "thirtysomething" -- but this is no drama. "Our main goal is to be funny," she says. "There's no getting around that we want to make a funny sitcom."
Davis' sense of humor can be deceptively daring. In the pilot, she slyly subverts unwritten network TV taboos by openly mocking a cute little child and strolling nearly nude in front of the aroused 13-year-old son of her boyfriend.
People tend to underestimate Davis because of her beauty or her slight overbite, which can make her appear less serious than she really is. And her good looks seem to regularly upstage her life and work (her see-through dress at the Emmys is just the latest instance).
Like her TV character, Davis is a productive obsessive who has a habit of becoming an expert at her hobbies. For example, when she took up archery a few years ago, she practiced five hours a day and became good enough to qualify for the Olympic trials. And she once pursued pottery to an almost professional level.
"I started having fantasies of starting a business where I would sell these plates that I painted," she says. "And I had to stop because I become obsessed with these things."
She also creates small-scale joke inventions, such as a milk carton with sharp spokes around the spout to keep people from drinking out of the container. And she's a Mensa member who once wrote a fan letter to scientist Stephen Hawking about one of his theories, urging him into further research. So she identifies with her character's habit of juggling several grenades at once. "We both have a tendency to overextend ourselves," she says. "Teddie really believes she can do everything and do everything at the same time. . . . I tend to be that way as well. If I take on something new, the next thing I know I'm trying out for the Olympics in it, whatever it is. I just want to do everything to the max. And I can really relate to that in Teddie."
In real life, Davis occasionally has the eccentric formality and endearing awkwardness of such brainy entertainers as David Byrne of Talking Heads (whose music is played in the show) or her former husband, actor Jeff Goldblum ("Jurassic Park").
Even her Oscar statuette is a bit eccentric. "He leans forward almost like a slalom skier in the Olympics," she says of her best- supporting-actress prize, which "got all bent" when it fell off Davis' fireplace mantel during an earthquake. "I sent it to the . . . Oscar repair shop . . . and they said, 'We can give you a different one.' And I said, 'No, I have to have the one I won.' "
Davis, who won the Oscar in 1989 for her quirky performance in "The Accidental Tourist," came to acting from modeling, getting lucky with her first picture, the 1982 hit "Tootsie," starring Dustin Hoffman. She followed that with a couple of short-lived TV shows and several hit films, including "Beetlejuice" (1988), which kicked off a successful four-year period that culminated with another Oscar nomination for 1991's "Thelma & Louise" and a star turn in the popular baseball film "A League of Their Own" (1992). Davis grew up in the Cape Cod area, far from Hollywood and greater Los Angeles, where she lives with boyfriend, Reza Jarrahy, a neurosurgeon. Their relationship follows her much-publicized divorce from action director Renny Harlin, with whom she made the big-budget flop "Cutthroat Island" in 1995 and the acclaimed "The Long Kiss Goodnight" in 1996.
There's a bit of mystery about her post- Harlin years between "Long Kiss" and "Stuart Little" last year, and her explanation doesn't fully clear up the questions. "Yeah, I had a couple years off," she says. "But I just filled it up by shooting arrows all day.
"There was nothing deliberate in the gap. It just sort of happened that nothing came along that sparked my interest. If 'Stuart Little' had come along the next day after I finished 'Long Kiss Goodnight,' I would have done it, but it didn't, and there really wasn't anything else that appealed."
She's taken on "The Geena Davis Show" with the expectation that it's a long-term thing.
"When you entertain the idea of being a part of a television show, you have to factor in the notion that you might find yourself doing it for a number of years," she says. "Is it an idea that will lend itself to lots of episodes? . . . I just thought (the series) was a rich setup." ..
A Review from The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; By CARYN JAMES
Published: October 10, 2000
THE GEENA DAVIS SHOW
ABC, tonight at 9:30
(Channel 7 in New York)
As the stupidest stepmom in the world, Geena Davis glides around her new sitcom with a huge grin that says, ''Aren't I cute?'' That attitude is not likely to endear her to the stepchildren or television viewers. The message she ought to be sending is: ''Help! I'm an Oscar-winning movie star trapped in a pathetic, cliched series.''
Ms. Davis plays a sophisticated woman from Manhattan named Teddie who owns a public relations company. In little more than a month (a brief opening flashback tonight) she falls for a widower with two children and finds herself living in the suburbs. In real life he would have been divorced; the series has cut out the pesky ex-wife, but otherwise the idea of ''Sex and the City'' moving to the burbs has possibilities.
But the inane writing makes Teddie a throwback to the birdbrained housewife character, even if she does have a career. Suddenly she turns so idiotic she forgets it's a good idea to wear pants when there's a teenage boy in the house. Next week she bakes a cake; a risque punch line does not make that tired premise any funnier. No one around Teddie has developed a personality either, including Peter Horton as the man who, inexplicably, is charmed by her routine.
A Review from The Baltimore Sun
`Geena Davis Show' lacks any originality
Preview: The actress' ABC comedy is a weak attempt that's part `Sex in the City' and all bad.'
October 10, 2000|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC
Between the see-through dress she wore to the Emmy Awards telecast and her new sitcom, "The Geena Davis Show," you have to wonder where Davis is getting her advice these days.
What an awful series, and I'm not sure whether to blame her as executive producer and star or ABC for its hell-bent commitment to putting only Disney-produced-and-owned series like this one on its air.
Davis plays Teddie Cochrane, who the press material describes as a "glamorous career woman." Her career involves running a "non-profit company that pairs celebrities with worthy political causes." (Is that politically correct or what?)
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One day, she meets a handsome widower with two kids (Peter Horton), and suddenly she's engaged to be married and balancing her career with suburban motherhood.
She's conflicted and not very good at the mommy part. What an original concept!
Davis clearly seems to enjoy the scenes that put Teddie with her two best friends (Mimi Rogers and Kim Coles) in Manhattan drinking cocktails and dishing. Think a very watered-down, network-lame version of HBO's "Sex and the City." But Disney-ABC clearly wants her centered in suburbia with hubby-to-be and the kids. What a meshuga mess - and I mean that in the worst sense of the word.
But even worse than the concept is Davis' performance. She's way past playing look-at-my-dimple-ingenue-cute. It's kind of pathetic that she doesn't trust her talent enough to think people will like a more mature Geena Davis on screen.
When: Tonight at 9:30.
Where: WMAR (Channel 2).
In brief: Geena Davis in a sitcom worse than the dress she wore to the Emmys telecast.
To watch some clips from The Geena Davis Show go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=geena+davis+show+sitcom&oq=geena+davis+show+sitcom&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=18195l25753l0l31140l23l18l0l5l1l1l1109l6139l0.1.5.1.220.127.116.11l13l0
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130406164522/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/geena.html
For a look at a crossover between The Geena Davis Show and The Drew Carey Show go to http://poobala.com/drewandgeena.html
For a Review of The Geena Davis Show go to https://web.archive.org/web/20080210165340/http://popmatters.com:80/tv/reviews/g/geena-davis-show.html
To listen to the theme song of The Geena Davis Show go to http://www.televisiontunes.com/Geena_Davis_Show_%28The%29.html
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Keywords: The Geena Davis Show Cast