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The Bonnie Hunt Show, A.K.A. Bonnie aired from September 1995 until April 1996 on CBS.

Terminally nice, relentlessly naive, Bonnie Kelly ( Bonnie Hunt), had recently moved to Chicago from her native Wisconsin, to take her dream job as a human interest reporter for WBDR-TV. The fast-pace and competitive pressure at the Chicago station took some getting used to. Her best friend from high school, chatterbox Holly (Holly Wortell), lived in Bonnie's apartment building and worked as a makeup artist and hairstylist at WBDR. Among Bonnie's other co-workers were Bill ( Mark Derwin), the always-in-a-rush news director;Diane (Janet Carroll), Bill's bossy deceitful assistant who had it in for Bonnie; Joe ( Richard Gant), the news department's tough assignment editor; Andrew ( Eamonn roche), the spaced-out videotape editor; Tom ( Tom Virtue), the cameraman who usually teamed with her; Sammy ( Brian Howe), the coffee guy; and Keith ( Don Lake), a limo driver who lived in her apartment building Each episode included a charming segment in which Bonnie and Tom went on location and interviewed real people on the streets of Chicago in unscript encounters.

This was the 2nd failed star vehicle for Ms. Hunt and her fellow Second City alumni Wortell, Virtue, and Lake. As with the first, 1993's The Building, Ms. Hunt was one of the show's writers, and along with her good friend David Letterman, executive producers. Pulled from the fall schedule after 6 episodes had aired, the series returned the following March with it's title shortened to Bonnie; after 5 more weeks, it was gone for good.

A Review From The New York Times

On CBS's "Bonnie Hunt Show" (Fridays at 8:30 P.M.) Bonnie Hunt plays Bonnie Kelly, a television reporter who leaves Wisconsin -- is anybody left in that state? -- for a job with a big station in Chicago. The executive producers are Ms. Hunt, Rob Burnett and David Letterman. Ms. Hunt and Mr. Letterman's production company also collaborated on the short-lived series "The Building." Maybe this time.

The thing about this Bonnie is that she is not only charmingly funny but also very nice. Going for a job interview, she wears what she calls a conservative, Catholic outfit. Bombarded with phone calls from her fretting mother, she is unfailingly patient, at one point asking Mom, "Could you say a prayer for me?" Bonnie is surrounded, mostly at work, with the typical collection of friends that apparently constitutes a family in today's noncommittal world. The show's nifty gimmick: when Bonnie goes out on a story, the interviews are with real people and are not scripted. Chatting with schoolchildren, for instance, Ms. Hunt warmly comes into her own.

A Review from the Washington Post

By Tom Shales September 22, 1995

Bonnie Hunt's comedy seems somehow to have escaped being homogenized in the Hollywood mediocrity machine. "The Bonnie Hunt Show," premiering tonight on CBS (at 8 on Channel 9) isn't going to make anyone forget "Cheers" or, more to the point, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but it has an unspoiled, rough-edged quality that is welcome and buoyant.

Like Mary Richards, whom Moore played, Hunt's character of Bonnie Kelly has come to a big city (in this case, Chicago, looking summertime-dreamy in the opening credits) to work at a TV station. And like Moore's television classic, "Hunt" is generally on much safer if not saner ground in scenes set at the workplace rather than those at home.

Home is a dingy apartment far too reminiscent of Hunt's last sitcom, "The Building," which aired in 1993 and was also set in Chicago. Worse, Hunt has brought back two annoying actors from that show, Holly Wortell and Don Lake, as achingly zany sidekicks. The lanky Lake seems especially mannered and phony. Another veteran of "The Building," Tom Virtue, fares better as a cameraman at the TV station who is the nicest of nice guys and also sexless as a Newt. I mean, newt.

Hunt still seems wedded to using overlapping, breathless dialogue, with two or more characters babbling at once, and it's really more of a distraction than an enhancement. Plus it's going to be murder on the closed-captioners.

In short, "The Building" had its virtues (in addition to Tom), but viewers who saw it and tune in tonight are likely to experience too much deja vu, perhaps even to the point where they stop vu'ing. Does Hunt think "The Building" was, like, a big hit?

What's encouraging and endearing about the new series is that it seems to deal with real people and their emotions and fallibilities, rather than just trafficking in plastic the way other sitcoms do. There are no cheap, crude laughs. In addition, Hunt has a few fretful moments on the first two episodes that are genuinely touching, that make her character more recognizable and dimensional.

The anxieties seem real, too, chief among them being Bonnie Kelly's separation anxiety after years of living in her Wisconsin home town. Mother calls frequently, and Bonnie is beset with misgivings about the job, her clothes, her hair, her everything.

She is confident about her work as a reporter, however. On the job, she roams into the city to shoot offbeat, lighthearted pieces such as, on the premiere, kids talking about their first day of school. These pieces are improvised by Hunt and edited into the show. They're much like the sort of "found comedy" segments David Letterman does on his show. Letterman is one of the executive producers of "Hunt."

At the TV station, Bonnie contends with such adversaries as her boss's lethal weapon of a private secretary (Janet Carroll), busybody Sammy Sinatra (Brian Howe) and her boss Mr. Kirkland (Mark Derwin), frightfully handsome but barely aware of her. The nuttiest character on the premises is Andrew (Eamonn Roche), who is quick to inform her he's hypoglycemic as he pops M&M's: "I have to eat every 20 minutes or I faint!"

Hunt, who wrote the premiere with Rob Burnett, Letterman's former head writer, gets comedy from subjects and attitudes that are beyond most sitcoms. The tone is as distinctive as "Seinfeld's" was until everybody in the galaxy started imitating it. Hunt's show doesn't seem likely to become a blockbuster hit, but CBS has such a mountain of other problems that network executives will probably leave it alone, at least for a couple months. A lovely couple of months they'll be.

For more on The Bonnie Hunt Show go to

For more on The Bonnie Hunt Show go to

For some Bonnie-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to

To watch the opening credits go to
Date: Mon July 3, 2006 � Filesize: 138.8kb � Dimensions: 553 x 700 �
Keywords: Bonnie Hunt Show/ Bonnie: (Links Updated 7/24/18)


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