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Zoe, Duncan, Jane & Jane aired from January 1999 until June 2000 on the WB.
Originally titled, Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane, this teenage variation
on Friends focused on the social lives of four upper middle class kids
who attended Fielding Mellish Prep, a private high school on
Manhattan's Upper West Side. Zoe ( Selma Blair) was earnest, sincere
and something of a dreamer; curly-haired Duncan ( David Moscow) had a
temper, was uptight, and couldn't find girls to date; and cool Jack (
Michael Rosenbloom) and "plain" Jane ( Azura Skye) were twins-although
he was self assured, she sarcastic and insecure. Jane and Zoe confided
in each other about everything-boys, food, clothes, school etc. The
four of them hung out in a local coffeehouse, Cafe N, in Greenwich
Village, after school. Breeny ( Sara Rue), their cynical
wheelchair-bound classmate, was incredibly nasty and abusive. Zoe's
single mom Iris ( Mary Page Keller), was in the opening credits but
only appeared occasionally.
When the show returned for it's second season in January 2000, the
title had been shortened to Zoe...; (pronounced on-air as Zoe Dot Dot
Dot) at the start of the premiere the words Three Years Later flashed
on the screen. Zoe and her friends except for Duncan, were now in
college, and all were living on their own. Jane was Zoe's roommate and
Jack was Duncan's. Gone were the traditional subway map scenes. Zoe
worked part time as a hostess at The Shanghai Chinese restaurant where
Jane waited tables and Doug ( Omar Gooding), an aspiring playwright,
was the bartender. Duncan worked for a company designing internet home
pages for businesses. At the end of February the guys got a fancy
apartment at a low rent by working as the building supers-but it
didn't work out. In the spring Zoe started dating Duncan's boss Andy (
Hamilton Von Watts) and the three dots were dropped from the title.
A Review from variety
January 12, 1999 11:00PM PT
Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane
By Ray Richmond
Let’s see now … four fairly aimless slacker types carving out something resembling an existence in New York City, no discernible satisfaction level, a pathetic sheen glistening off their skin. While the WB has already given this pseudo-hip slice of derivative teen trendiness a new name, what it could really use is a new concept.
Originally called “Zoe Bean,” the WB switched titles last month to “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane,” based on WB entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels’ belief that it better reflects the sitcom’s ensemble nature.
No matter what they call it, it is clearly the WB’s attempt, with a half-hour comedy, to court that youthful demo addicted to dramas “Dawson’s Creek,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed.” It’s a formidable task for “Zoe.”
The weblet has gone to exec producer Michael Jacobs (creator of “My Two Dads,” “Boy Meets World” and “Dinosaurs”) to bring laughter to the angst-and-acne crowd. There is surely quirkiness to burn in the peppy half-hour about the trials of four wisecracking high school kids who see New York as their private den of self-absorbed horrors.
In the center of this orbit is Zoe Bean (nice work from Selma Blair), a bright but forlorn everygirl who would be a total loser if she didn’t bear a passing resemblance to Neve Campbell. She is surrounded by Jane (Azura Skye), the mousy, weird best friend — evidently a sitcom prerequisite — as well as by Jane’s ludicrously self-assured fraternal twin, Jack (Michael Rosenbaum), and lactose-intolerant Jewish geek Duncan (a very George Costanza-esque performance from David Moscow).
“Duet’s” Mary Page Keller is also on hand as Zoe’s workaholic mom. She works so much she’s rarely seen.
The intermittently amusing pilot script from creators Sue Paige and Daniel Paige thrusts Zoe into a neurotic quest for the attention of hunky Montana Kennedy (guest star Scott Foley). But it’s worth noting that a show called “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane” is dominated at the outset by someone named Breeny, a surly girl in a wheel-chair played like the second coming of Rosie O’Donnell by Sara Rue. Her character will recur; she’s better than the top-billers.
This comedy wants to be seen as cool. But while helmer Jeff McCracken lends the proceedings an energetic pace and a lively sensibility, it’s hard to see hipness in a show with exchanges like this:
Zoe: “I think he asked me out for dinner.”
Jane: “Quite a testament to your Wonderbra.”
Ooh. Cleavage humor. Cool.
Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane
The WB; Sun. Jan. 17, 9 p.m.
Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Touchstone TV. Executive producer, Michael Jacobs; supervising producers-writers, Sue Paige, Daniel Paige; producer, Morgan Sackett; director, Jeff McCracken
Crew: Camera, Tony Askins; editor, Marco Zappia; production designer, John C. Mula; music, Musikvergnuegen Inc.; sound, Richard Masci; casting, Janet Gilmore, Megan McConnell. Running time: 30 MIN.
With: Zoe - Selma Blair Duncan - David Moscow Jack - Michael Rosenbaum Jane - Azura Skye Iris - Mary Page Keller Mrs. Milch - Amy Aquino Breeny - Sara Rue Montana - Scott Foley Bob - Rick Hall Gigi - Amy Hathaway Gloria - Lynsey BartilsonCamera, Tony Askins; editor, Marco Zappia; production designer, John C. Mula; music, Musikvergnuegen Inc.; sound, Richard Masci; casting, Janet Gilmore, Megan McConnell. Running time: 30 MIN.
An Article from CNN
'Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane' continue WB's teen parade
Friday, January 15, 1999 4:00:43 PM EST
From Correspondent Michael Okwu
NEW YORK (CNN) -- It's the most hyped new show in this time of
midseason replacements. "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" has been called a
cross between "Seinfeld" and "Friends" for a younger audience.
Unlike Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane"
are New York high school students hanging out in a Greenwich Village
coffee shop. Newcomer Selma Blair plays Zoe.
"We're just a bunch of kids growing up in Manhattan," she says.
"People have said it's the 'Seinfeld' of the TV shows, but I mean, we
could only wish."
"In terms of how it's like 'Seinfeld,' you have Zoe, who's kind of
like the focal point and we all, just these three crazy characters,
float around her," says David Moscow, who plays Duncan. "So it's like
Jerry and then the rest of them."
Azura Skye, as Zoe's best friend Jane, rounds out the cast.
One obstacle Zoe and the gang may face is stiff competition. The
show's current time slot lines up with the "X-Files," on Sunday nights
at 9:00 p.m. (It premieres this Sunday, January 17.)
"Oh, what's the big deal?" says Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Jack.
"You know, what's 'The X-Files'? Who is in the show?"
The cast of "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" is confident that their show
won't get lost in the shuffle of new midseason replacements because
they're on The WB, the home of such other teen hits as "Buffy, the
Vampire Slayer," "Dawson's Creek," "Charmed," and "Felicity."
With "Zoe, Duncan, Jack, & Jane," WB executives are hoping a half-hour
sitcom will score just as well with young viewers as your hour-long
"I do think they definitely have the monopoly on understanding the
teen market," says Blair.
The WB will also rely on a little marketing to master the attention of
viewers in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
"If you don't see our faces grilled everywhere in Los Angeles and New
York and like the big cities, it would amaze me," Rosenbaum says.
The creators of "Zoe," Daniel and Sue Page, already have a proven
track record in comedy. One of their other sitcoms, "Boy Meets World,"
is a hit on ABC. That network, meanwhile, has its own midseason answer
to "Zoe," a sitcom called "It's Like, You Know... ." Really, that's
the name of it. It features another quartet of wacky friends in their
20s, and this group lives in Los Angeles.
An Article from the LA Times
'Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane': Is It Too Hip for the Room?
January 16, 1999|HOWARD ROSENBERG | TIMES TELEVISION CRITIC
Some of us who regard ourselves as reasonably hip were awaiting with great anticipation the arrival of the WB series "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane," which Touchstone Television, one of its producers, calls "a hip, high-voltage ensemble comedy about four teenage friends coming of age with all of Manhattan as their playground."
Finally, a comedy on boring old TV hip enough for my tastes.
Then I watched it.
I got the teenage-friends-in-Manhattan part. But the rest . . .
Lamentably, "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" was way, way too hip even for me. Me, who is hip enough to like the WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and decode that network's sexy 15-year-olds-talking-like-30-year-olds on "Dawson's Creek."
Thinking it was probably a generational thing, I popped "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" into the VCR for my 29-year-old daughter, who was in town for a few days. But alas, it was too hip for her, too. And she lives "back East."
She wanted to know why the laughter boomed stereophonically throughout the premiere when there was nothing to laugh about. Seeing humor where none exists must be what true hipness is all about, I surmised. She also wanted to know who was laughing. Either a laugh track, I explained, "or people a lot hipper than we are."
Which may include you.
So here goes: Zoe (Selma Blair) and Jane (Azura Skye) are best friends. Jack (Michael Rosenbaum) is Jane's fraternal twin, and Duncan (David Moscow) is his best friend. A nascent "Friends," they're upscale pals who hang out together and try to be cool in coffee houses, subways and home room.
Zoe Bean lives with her mother, Iris (Mary Page Keller), a former "deadhead," who dates a geek named Bob, whose single eyebrow--a furry Maginot Line above his eyes--is a potentially funny bit that's squandered. In addition, the Beans have a dog named Eyebrow.
Zoe falls for a guy named Montana, whose paraplegic sister--the character here with the most bent potential--is a bully and sadist, recalling some of the inspired funkiness of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose," a "Ferris Bueller"-minded Fox sitcom in the early '90s that deployed bizarre camera angles and special effects on behalf of humorous surrealism.
This new series tries for some of that attitude but comes nowhere close so far, although TV Guide--its finger ever on the pulse of hipness--says "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" may be teen-tuned WB's "first truly breakthrough comedy." That shows you how square I am. I thought "Dawson's Creek" was a comedy.
* "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on KTLA-TV. The network has rated the premiere episode TV-PGD (some suggestive language that may be unsuitable for younger children).
A Review by The Baltimore Sun
`Zoe' and her friends a teen dream
Preview: Smart show can relate to youthful angst, though parents might be a bit put off by the adult conversations.
January 16, 1999|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC
PASADENA -- "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane" is the midseason series with the biggest buzz. And some of it is even deserved.
The WB, a red-hot network built on such teen dramas as "Dawson's Creek" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is billing "Zoe" as its signature sitcom, the first WB comedy to embody the same angst, wit and edge as its dramas.
It's been called a teen version of "Friends" and a teen "Seinfeld." There are similarities, especially to "Friends."
"Zoe" is an ensemble sitcom with four main characters -- two girls and two guys. The four are friends at a prep school in New York City, specifically, Greenwich Village.
The girls seem headed straight for art school. Zoe Bean (Selma Blair) is cute, funny, self-conscious and self-effacing. Smart, too. In the pilot, we see her reading "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Crime and Punishment" at her subway stop.
Her best friend, Jane Cooper (Azura Skye), is cynical and wise in ways beyond her years -- to the point that some might find her jaded. Maybe it's just that striking, severe page-boy-cum-Cleopatra haircut.
Jack Cooper (Michael Rosenbaum), Jane's twin brother, is the self-confident one in the group -- the guy who seems to be gliding through the same swamp of adolescence angst that looks as if it is about to swallow his friends. Duncan Milch (David Moscow), a childhood pal of Zoe's, is as insecure and relationship-challenged as Jack is seemingly cool.
The four sit at a coffee house worrying things big and small to death. The angst and uncertainty -- especially when it comes to relationships and s-e-x -- follows them on the subway, into gym class and to their bedrooms like a fifth member of the group.
Some say that, like "Seinfeld," the series is about nothing. But those who say that are adult television critics. At 16, a few words from a good-looking guy on the subway can seem more important than life itself.
In tomorrow night's pilot, a college student (Scott Foley of "Felicity") about whom Zoe and Jane have fantasized talks to Zoe at their subway stop. She thinks he might have even invited her out for Chinese, but the arriving train drowned out much of what he said. Zoe spends most of the episode trying to figure out what he said besides the word "Chinese," which is all she heard. Her efforts include befriending the dream guy's bully of a sister.
Be advised, there is lots of talk about sex.
The first conversation between Zoe and Jane is on the phone, with Zoe talking about her subway encounter.
"Who have we been lusting after since we knew the difference between lust and horseback riding?" Zoe asks in trying to make Jane guess whom she met.
After telling Jane every detail, including how she touched the chest of the dream guy's Columbia University T-shirt, Jane says: "What a crappy story. You talked a little and touched his emblem. Where's the raw sex?"
"But I think he asked me out," Zoe says.
"Testament to your Wonder Bra," Jane replies.
Next week's episode centers on Zoe thinking that she might want to have sex -- "just to get it over with."
I think it's a clever and even touching episode. But, then, I am not the parent of a teen-ager. I have a feeling some parents will have a much different reaction.
The series is not being written for parents. The bedrock of the WB is teen girls -- the audience that came to everyone's attention after it made "Titanic" a monster hit -- and that is clearly the target here.
One of the most consistent findings of research on teen viewers is that they identify with television characters who are slightly older. In fact, most teen-agers generally see themselves as older than they are.
And "Zoe" has that covered, too. Blair and Rosenbaum are 26, and Moscow is 24. Skye is the only real teen at 17.
Executive producer Michael Jacobs says you can't "write down to teens." He says you have to address them as adults.
The talk in "Zoe" about sex is decidedly adult. Lenny, Squiggy, LaVerne and Shirley were pushing 30 and still not having these kinds of conversations down at the Shotz Brewery.
All of which should make for a show that teens will love and many parents will hate.
Whatever your feelings about its values and potential messages, "Zoe" is a well-crafted and smart sitcom right down to the ad campaign, with the four characters crossing the street in such a way as to mimic the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album cover.
The title itself has echoes of the feature film "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice." The theme song, "Charmed" by the group My Friend Steve, opens and closes each episode with an undeniable jolt of high spirits and energy.
Most of all, writers Sue and Daniel Paige have provided the kind of care and imagination that it takes to create a sitcom universe intriguing enough to make you want to explore it.
The world of "Zoe" is subway-tile stark, leather-jacketed, graffiti-marked and heavily sexualized -- a darker, urban, postmodern version of "Happy Days" that seems dedicated to the proposition that sitcoms should not try to offer moral lessons.
And, yet, there is also warmth, support, tenderness and optimism among these friends.
I admire "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane," but I won't go out of my way to watch it. The sitcom makes me feel old. It makes me feel like we're 20,000, not 20, years away from "Happy Days" with Potsie, Richie and the Fonz at Arnold's.
`Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane'
When: Tomorrow, 9 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m.
Where: WB (WNUV, Channel 54)
To watch clips of Zoe, duncan, jack & Jane go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=zoe+duncan+jack+and+jane
For more on Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoe,_Duncan,_Jack_and_Jane
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IhEcHhX00
***and with this all of the link pages from the 1950's -the 1990's have been updated. None of these have been updated for at least some 10 years. I found a lot of dead links. They all should work now. I'll update the more current ones in the 2000's in the coming months but it will take time. I'm not as interested in them as I am the classics so I'll probably do a few a week. Some of the websites were no longer around so of course I used the Wayback machine. It's nice to see the old sites again that I first visited when I discovered Sitcoms Online as a lurker back in March 2000.
� Date: Wed April 5, 2017 � Filesize: 70.2kb, 483.9kb � Dimensions: 1024 x 929 �
Keywords: The Cast of Zoe, Duncan, Jane & (Links Updated 8/5/18)