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Abby aired on UPN from January until March 2003.
This comedy centured on the personal and professional life of Abby Walker (Sydney Tamilia Poitier), who had recently been promoted to producer of the West Coast Sports Report on WCSR-TV in San Francisco.Pretty Abby had just broken up with Will ( Kadeem Hardison), her self-absorbed, professional photographer boyfriend, but was attempting to maintain a platonic live-in relationship with him so that they could keep their rent-controlled apartment. Will still had the hots for Abby and spent considerable time trying to rekindle their romance. Roger (Sean O'Bryan), Abby's chauvinistic boss and Will's buddy wanted to get them back together, while her outspoken sister Jo ( Tangie Ambrose), thought it was time for Abby to move on. Max ( Randy J. Goodwin), the handsome anchor of the West Coast Sports Report, was Abby's uncomfortable confidant-he had a crush on Abby that was obvious to everyone but her.
An Article from The New York Daily News
Another Poitier's Making A Name For Herself
BY DONNA PETROZZELLO DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, January 03, 2003
Sydney Tamiia Poitier has survived her share of awkward dates.
So she won't pretend the dating scene is an easy endeavor for Abby Walker, the single, twentysomething character Poitier plays on UPN's latest sitcom, "Abby," airing Monday and Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. before hitting its regular slot, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
"Dating can be a messy, obnoxious and difficult process," said Poitier, 29, the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier and actress Johanna Shimkus.
"I've gone out with some sweet guys, but also others that have turned out to be complete idiots," added the actress, whose regular steady is musician Dorian Heartsong.
In her first sitcom, Poitier plays the producer of a sports TV show who is looking for a mate while she lives in a rent-controlled apartment with an ex-boyfriend, Will (Kadeem Hardison).
As the sitcom was conceived, Abby's roommate was white, but that changed and Hardison, who starred in the sitcom "A Different World," joined the cast.
The series' creator, Mitchel Katlin, explained the switch in an earlier interview. "We had wanted to have an interracial relationship, but not make the show about an interracial relationship," he said.
Katlin added that "the test audience for the original pilot asked, 'Why aren't you dealing with it?' "
There will be interracial relationships in Abby's romantic world, a fact of life the actress says is missing from most shows.
"If you're a young person these days, you have friends of different races, you work with people of many races, but on TV, you get the homogenized version of life," said Poitier, the child of an interracial marriage.
"TV is behind other media in that respect," she added. "I don't think it's intentional segregation, but there are too many shows whose casts are all-white, or all-black or all-Hispanic."
Poitier hopes to make a name for herself with the show, even though it's a name she shares with her dad.
"I think my name carries with it certain connotations for each person, depending on what they think of my father," said Poitier, who said she once briefly considered changing her name.
"My dad told me people wanted him to change his name when he got into acting because it sounded too lyrical," she added. But he refused.
"He wanted to do well by his family name. I thought, he's right."
A Review from Variety
January 5, 2003 3:57PM PT
By Michael Speier
A single woman deals with the job of her dreams and an ex-boyfriend from hell in UPN’s “Abby.” Potentially sassy and smart, series will hopefully become something more than the innuendo fest it’s pilot suggests, since solid perfs by Sydney Tamiia Poitier (daughter of the Oscar-winning thesp) and Kadeem Hardison are the major selling points. And right now, UPN needs all the selling points it can get.
Poitier plays the title character, a San Francisco producer for a semi-hit show called “The West Coast Sports Report.” Anchored by the sweet, dweebish Max (Randy J. Goodwin), the “SportsCenter” knockoff is Abby’s first big gig, and she can’t wait to share the moment, along with a small afterparty, with her charming beau, Will (Hardison).
Undeniably self-absorbed, Will arrives late, misses everything and also forgets to buy his sweetie an anniversary present days later. Thinking of a perfect remedy, he decides to propose instead, hoping she’ll forgive his trail of sins and jump into his arms.
She doesn’t, and instead of moving apart, they try to remain cordial roommates (they both love the rent-controlled apartment and can’t really stand the sight of each other leaving for good). While Will ventures back and forth between handling the breakup and feeling jealous, Abby’s goal is to get on with her life, which is complicated by Max, who is falling in love with her.
A real natural, Poitier, who had a shot on NBC’s “First Years,” carries the load here, reacting with proper nuance and appropriate tones to males who come from various macho molds. Tall and beautiful, she has a knack for physical comedy as well as the indefinable trait required to bridge a laffer from one laugh to the next without overdoing it.
What doesn’t work — and it’s becoming a resounding criticism of UPN — is its reliance on booty humor. In “Abby’s” first episode, there are separate discussions about hot sex, about messy sex and about dirty sex. Considering the appeal of the debut, it may make sense for the producers to step up to the plate and focus on the more intelligent aspects while leaving the vulgarity to someone else.
“Abby” gets a 9:30 run tonight and Wednesday before moving to 9 p.m. for good Tuesdays.
UPN, Tues. Jan. 6, 9:30 p.m.
Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Katlin/Bernstein Prods. and CBS Prods. Executive producers, Mitchel Katlin, Nat Bernstein; co-executive producer, Jacque Edmonds; director, Leonard R. Garner; writers, Katlin, Bernstein.
Crew: Camera, Joseph Calloway; editor, Sheila Hall; production designer, Dan Maltese; music, Rick Marotta; casting, Gilda Stratton, Dava White. 30 MIN.
Cast: Abby - Sydney Tamiia Poitier Will - Kadeem Hardison Max - Randy J. GoodwinWith: Tangi Ambrose, Sean O'Bryan.
A Review from The New York Daily News
Advice For Upn: Get Rid Of 'Abby'
BY DAVID BIANCULLI
Monday, January 06, 2003
Watching Sidney Poitier's daughter Sydney Tamiia Poitier in the new UPN sitcom "Abby" is like watching Renee Zellweger in "The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre." You can sense enough talent to wonder, even at such an early stage in their careers, how they got involved in such tacky travesties.
It's not fair to compare father and daughter, or to expect the young Poitier to automatically take up her father's defiantly dignified string of positive role-model characters. It's sad, though, to see such an obviously talented and bright young woman accepting a sitcom role that might make Christina Aguilera blush, or Martin Lawrence feel superior.
There's no sport, and absolutely no joy, in recounting the many sins of "Abby," so I won't bother. After tonight's premiere, "Abby" moves to its regular time slot of Tuesdays at 9:30, the final salvo in a newly amassed "Girls Night" on UPN that also includes "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Girlfriends."
"Girlfriends," a good, smart comedy, doesn't necessarily make for a bad pairing, though what UPN should do is rescue Joss Whedon's "Firefly" from its Fox doghouse and put "Buffy" and "Firefly," two Whedon shows, together on Tuesdays. The only shows that seem worthy of pairing with "Abby" are long-gone train wrecks like "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer" and "Homeboys in Outer Space."
In "Abby," Poitier plays the producer of a TV sports program in San Francisco. Her apartment is rent-controlled, so even when she and her boyfriend, Will (played by Kadeem Hardison, Dwayne on "A Different World"), break up, they continue to live together. Meanwhile, one of her anchormen, Max (Randy J. Goodwin), has an unrequited crush on her.
While keeping a platonic distance from her now ex-boyfriend, she connives to make him jealous, using Max as bait and aggressively suggestive remarks and sounds as weapons. In the show airing tomorrow night, she expends further sexual energy by setting her sights on real-life R & B singer Kenny Lattimore.
The situation is no more leering, except in its updated and more risque content, than "Three's Company." It's just that Poitier deserves so much better - and in 2003, so do TV viewers.
It's easy to understand why CBS, which now programs UPN and generates "Abby" via CBS Productions, wanted to build a series around Poitier. It's even easy to understand why Michael Katlin and Nat Bernstein, whose credits include the dignified and very funny "Gregory Hines Show," would be handed the reins as creators and executive producers.
It's difficult to fathom, though, how they accepted "Abby" as the result. Viewers should not consider making the same mistake.
A Review from the Houston Chronicle
Review: 'Abby' can't get mouth out of gutter
SEX AND THE SITCOM
Romantic comedy 'Abby' can't get its mouth out of the gutter
ANN HODGES, Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle TV Critic Published 6:30 am CST, Monday, January 6, 2003
Abby stumbles into TV's midseasonal makeover tonight on UPN, and what a waste.
The star of this "aren't-we-cute?" thing is Sydney Tamiia Poitier, who has proved herself as an actress. And, yes, she is Sidney Poitier's daughter, which wouldn't hurt a baby.
What hurts her here, though, is trying to play comedy in a sitcom that doesn't seem to know the meaning of funny. The idea behind this creation -- if you can call it that -- is to do "a distinctively 21st-century take on the romantic-comedy genre."
What that means, in today's TV vernacular, is that sex is the only topic of humor. And, as usually happens in such tunnel-vision sitcoms, the jokes about it are ones only a laugh track could love.
When Abby and her lying, cheating live-in boyfriend Will (Kadeem Hardison) decide to split the blanket, they also decide to continue sharing their San Francisco apartment. It's nice, and the rent is right, and they're both too lazy to move out and look for another one. They'd rather stay there and bicker about everything.
Cohabitation is a bigger problem for the insecure Abby than for the egotistical Will. While Abby thinks up ways to make her one-time lover jealous, he's scouting for new partners to bring back to their place. And when he stoops to a proposal that Abby should marry him -- "the perfect gift for you: me!" -- she recognizes it for what it is, just another tricky way to wiggle out of looking like a jerk.
The really unfortunate thing about Abby is that it could be kind of fun if they'd get their minds off sex for a minute or so.
Abby has a good job that's prime sitcom material: She's the producer of a top regional TV sports show. Max (Randy J. Goodwin), the likable anchor of that show, has a major crush on her, and Roger (Sean O'Bryan), the station boss, could make for fun comedy.
When Max is with Abby, things look up -- occasionally. "But why," Max asks her, "do you feel compelled to share your dirty sex details with me?" I was asking myself the same thing.
Here's another thing I'm wondering: If Abby's smart enough to do that job, why is she wasting her time on all those stupid lines this smutty little script gives her to say?
But that's Abby, all yech and no yuks, a sophomoric, oversexed bore.
Abby, 8:30 tonight, with another episode at 8:30 Tuesday, and in its regular time slot of 8 p.m. Jan. 6, beginning Jan. 14, on UPN/Channel 20. Grade: D.
From TrekToday.com News....
UPN's new comedy series Abby premieres tonight, before settling into its new Tuesday timeslot as a companion to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The show stars Sydney Tamiia Poitier as the titular Abby Walker, a young professional TV producer for a programme called West Coast Sports Report. She is in the unique position of being "one of the few women in the testosterone-laden world of sports broadcasting," according to the UPN web site. Joining Abby are: Max (Randy J. Goodwin), her co-anchor and secret admirer; Roger (Sean O'Bryan), her eccentic boss; and Jo (Tangie Ambrose), her flirtatious sister.
Once settled in its Tuesday slot at 9p.m., Abby will be the replacement for the short-lived Haunted, the failed attempt to replace the underperforming Roswell. With two genre shows not working in the spot, UPN is taking a different tact with Abby. It will be the first time that a genre show hasn't aired there in over two years.
Reviewers don't seem overly impressed with the new addition, however. "Pleasant but not funny," is how Robert Bianco for USA Today sees the show. "There's little in Abby that could give offense, and if that's all you want from a sitcom, you might be pleased. Unfortunately, there's also virtually nothing that could provide amusement, not a single funny line nor a single convincing characterization." Bianco believes UPN is showing a pattern. "It's as if UPN thinks no comedy with black actors can be complete without someone talking about 'getting some.' The truth, as UPN might someday learn, is that no comedy is complete without comedy. It would be nice if shows like Abby would figure that out."
Michael Speier writing for Variety shares similar thoughts. "What doesn't work -- and it's becoming a resounding criticism of UPN -- is its reliance on booty humor. In Abby's first episode, there are separate discussions about hot sex, about messy sex and about dirty sex. Considering the appeal of the debut, it may make sense for the producers to step up to the plate and focus on the more intelligent aspects while leaving the vulgarity to someone else." He did have praise for the lead actress though. "A real natural, Poitier [...] carries the load here, reacting with proper nuance and appropriate tones to males who come from various macho molds."
Marc Berman at Mediaweek doesn't give high hopes to it lasting. "Without the benefit of airing in UPN's protected Monday sitcom block, Abby on Tuesday is a long shot at best. Like corporate cousin CBS, airing a comedy outside of Monday generally leads to disaster ... err ... cancellation." He gives the show a 9-1 chance of surviving no Tuesdays.
The first episode, 'The Break Up', sees the end of Abby's relationship with self-centered boyfriend Will. But as he won't leave the apartment, they become roommates. In 'Moving On', friend Roger tries to get Abby and Will back together. It's obviously unsucessful, because in the third episode, 'Abby's First Date', Abby asks a stranger on a date, her first since her breakup with Will.
Abby makes its debut tonight at 9:30p.m. ET/PT. Episode two will air tomorrow at the same time. It will then enter its normal time slot of Tuesdays at 9p.m. ET/PT
An Article from the Chicago Tribune
Poitier's daughter confronts harsh reality of TV
February 27, 2003|By Mike Duffy, Knight Ridder/Tribune news.
So, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, what's the upside of having a famous Hollywood father?
"I have someone to go to at all times for advice in this crazy business," says Poitier. "And this is a hard, weird business."
The 29-year-old daughter of Sidney Poitier -- and now the star of her own sitcom -- Sydney Tamiia Poitier is discovering new levels of crazy, hard and weird.
Because UPN's "Abby," Poitier's affable odd-couple romantic comedy about an upwardly mobile TV sports show producer who shares an apartment with her ex-boyfriend, currently resides on the bottom rung of ratings reality.
Of 146 shows ranked by A.C. Nielsen this season, "Abby" is No. 146 in total viewership. Ouch. And the series is drawing a meager average of 1.7 million viewers each week.
"It's a hard slot. It's very difficult," Poitier acknowledges. "They were hoping we'd be able to bring some of that Monday night [UPN comedy] audience over to Tuesdays."
UPN successfully reaches African-American viewers with a popular Monday night sitcom lineup that includes "The Parkers," "One on One," "Girlfriends" and "Half and Half."
But "Abby" has been wiped out Tuesdays in a competitive 8 p.m. spot that also features "Frasier," "24," "The Guardian" and "Smallville."
Poitier, who grew up in Los Angeles and studied acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, is familiar with TV series that come and go quickly. She briefly played a young attorney on the NBC legal drama "First Years," which surfaced for a handful of episodes before departing in 2001.
"You question your choice of being an actor sometimes, when you aren't getting any parts or making any money," Poitier says.
With "Abby" likely headed toward cancellation, Poitier may have to fall back on the comfort of show business wisdom from her father.
"He's always told me, `Don't take it so seriously. Just do your work and don't worry about all the things you can't control. Not everybody's going to like what you do,'" she says.
Good advice. Especially when you're rated No. 146.
To watch clips of Abby go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=abby+Sydney+Tamiia+Poitier
For more on Abby go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abby_(TV_series)
For an article from JET Magazine go to https://books.google.com/books?id=Fr4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA58#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Keywords: The Cast of Abby