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Rules of Engagement aired from February 2007 until May 2013 on CBS.


After dating for seven months Adam ( Oliver Hudson) had just gotten engaged to perky Jennifer ( Bianca Kajlich) and moved into her New York apartment. The couple living next door, sour Jeff ( Patrick Warburton) and sarcastic Audrey ( Megyn Price), had been married for 12 years. Big deep-voiced Jeff was constantly giving Adam advice on how to deal with Jennifer, but Jeff's cynical attitude about relationships between the sexes didn't give Adam much comfort. Adam's sleazy best friend , Russell ( David Spade), a commitment-phobic male chauvinest pig, provided even less encouragement for his dicision to be with Jennifer.



A Review from the Seattle Pilot


On TV: 'Rules of Engagement' sucks out all the love and calls it a sitcom


By MELANIE MCFARLAND, P-I TELEVISION CRITIC Updated 10:00 pm PST, Thursday, February 1, 2007


When you're single, you're exactly as happy as you are. When you're married, you can only be as happy as the least happy person in the relationship.


And while watching these opening statements of "Rules of Engagement" play out, the mind wanders through the various possibilities of what you'd rather be doing. Talking on the phone with your in-laws is preferable to paying attention, as is scrubbing the grout in your kitchen.


Here's a brave suggestion by this sitcom's standards -- you might try having a good time with the one you love or people you genuinely enjoy. Other options for fun are easily attainable on a Monday at 9:30 in the evening. Finding them could be as simple as: a) pick up remote, and b) change channel.


But I suppose it depends on what you consider to be a good time. "Rules of Engagement," another examination of all the ways marriage is akin to a walking coma and engagement is a suffocating trap, might do the job. If you're loving Fox's " 'Til Death," then you'll probably take a shine to this.


The main difference between the CBS sitcom and Fox's Brad Garrett vehicle is that "Rules of Engagement" has Patrick Warburton playing the part of "large man resigned to sticking out sexless marriage." Otherwise, "Rules" is "'Til Death's" fraternal twin.


As unwise as it would seem to have two series mining the same premise in the same season, plunking one on the schedule months after most people soundly rejected the other can only be interpreted as a mildly sadistic act toward viewers.


No, please, not again, you may be thinking. Sorry, but yes. Here we are once more.


Interesting how the 2006-07 season has treated modern marriage. No longer is it a war of the sexes between you and the person you choose to hunker down with in life's foxhole. Nor is it a Mexican standoff.


Nowadays, TV commitment can be measured by the trips to Pottery Barn, or registering for all the merchandise needed to fill the pit that opens up after intimacy abandons the cottage.


We're getting ahead of ourselves. "Rules" involves the simple concept of examining the challenges faced by the newly engaged Adam and Jennifer (Oliver Hudson and Seattle native Bianca Kajlich), the most daunting being whether they're heading too quickly to the altar after only knowing each other for seven months.


That's the main concern of Adam's single pal Russell (David Spade), who lives for no-strings-attached sexual conquests (David Spade? Really?) and ogles every woman in the way he'd eye a porterhouse steak. When Russell isn't chasing tail, he reminds Adam of all the ways in which he's making a mistake. After that, he finds a dingbat to bang.


The couple's married friends Jeff and Audrey (Warburton and Megyn Price) don't make the institution look all that attractive either. Jeff, in particular, exists to lower all of Adam's expectations on how happy he's going to be -- warning him, for instance, that sex will soon be replaced by David Letterman.


Bright-eyed and happy Adam refuses to believe it. Jennifer's hot! She still looks good in low-cut jeans. "You know, I think marriage is going to be really great!" he squeaks.


Then, horror of horrors, he sees the registry list -- Gulp! There's a cake plate! More gulping!


Then Jeff informs Adam that this is just the start of the unnecessary clutter that stifles a marriage. The cake plate, Jeff assures him, will never hold a cake.


Adam freaks out. Cakeless marriage? Say it ain't so. "There has to be cake!" he blurts.


Yeah, well I'd take that over a mirthless sitcom.


Besides making every aspect of dating and mating look depressing, it's hard to come up with a reason to spend time with any of these characters. Warburton's could be the exception, but credit the actor for his appeal, not the way Jeff is written. Warburton is a hoot in almost everything he does.


Spade, though, lacks the spark and burn for which he is famous. Russell has his moments, but as horndogs go, this one's neutered.


Surely there's a way to spin laughter out of the complicated negotiation of engagement and marriage, but neither "Rules" nor "Death" have stumbled upon it.



A Review from Variety


Rules of Engagement
(Series; CBS, Mon. Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m.)
By BRIAN LOWRY


Taped in Los Angeles by Happy Madison Prods. and CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Tom Hertz, Jack Giarraputo, Doug Robinson, Andy Ackerman; producer, Barbara Stoll; director, Ackerman; writer, Hertz.

Adam - Oliver Hudson
Jennifer - Bianca Kajlich
Audrey - Megyn Price
Russell - David Spade
Jeff - Patrick Warburton


Providing further evidence that execution trumps premise every time, "Rules of Engagement" covers virtually the same territory as Fox's dreary "'Til Death" in a far livelier and funnier manner, buoyed by Patrick Warburton's dry-to-the-bone turn as the 12-years-married guy to Oliver Hudson's just-engaged neighbor. David Spade triangulates the stages-of-romance field as a bar-trawling sleazebag, and even he's less annoying than usual, with two of the first three episodes revealing an assured, risque, semi-cynical air that should dovetail nicely with "Two and a Half Men," even versus muscular competition from "24" and "Heroes."


Adam (Hudson) has somewhat impulsively proposed to Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich), but his enthusiasm and dreams of a passionate lifelong romp are rained on by Jeff (Warburton), who gloomily sad-sacks his way through the highs and lows of marriage to Audrey (Megyn Price).


"We've sort of wrapped up the sex portion of the marriage," he deadpans to Adam. "It's been replaced by Letterman."


Adam's friends include Spade's Russell, who's all about getting laid and, approaches the suggestion of commitment with tangible scorn. He also has considerable fun baiting the towering Warburton, whom he refers to at various times as a "friendly giant" and "Magilla."


Written by Tom Hertz (most recently of "Freddie") and directed by Andy Ackerman (the "Seinfeld" alum whose feather-filled headdress includes the sitcom that "Rules" supplants, the consistently amusing "The New Adventures of Old Christine"), "Rules," like "Two and a Half Men," is raunchy and more than a little sex obsessed. That peaks in the second installment when Jeff speaks mysteriously of his "birthday deal," something Audrey does for him every year, triggering speculation by Jeff and Russell. There's also a clever bit in this early batch of episodes where Adam and Jennifer begin fretting about the notches on their respective bedposts.


Warburton, his eyes narrow slits and voice a low rumble, makes the best use of his lovable-lug assets since the short-lived and underappreciated live-action version of "The Tick." Price proves a good match, and Kajlich is highly appealing as Jennifer -- sexy and energetic in an extremely natural way.


As for cautionary flags, Hudson's "What am I getting into?" reaction to virtually every situation already begins to feel a trifle repetitious, and the third episode (in which Jeff tests his dating chops after Audrey challenges him) is notably weaker, though the cast still musters a few moments.


Perhaps the best news for CBS is that "Rules" feels like a more natural bridge from "Men" into "CSI: Miami," provided that the inevitable blitz of Super Bowl promos can lure viewers (and especially men) into the tent. If nothing else, the Eye net continues to be the only web stoking the fading embers of traditional multicamera sitcoms, as NBC (with some success) and ABC (without much) have shifted their focus toward single-camera film.


Whatever the format, half-hours won't bounce back until more of them engage the first rule of comedy: Be funny.


A Review from The New York Times


TV Review | 'Rules of Engagement'
The Sitcom Question: Tie the Knot or Not?
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: February 5, 2007


On Rules of Engagement, a sitcom that begins tonight on CBS, David Spade plays Russell, an aging, skirt-chasing bachelor who prefers sex with strangers. I do what I want, I date who I want, he tells a friend. And I sleep with whoever will let me.


The average age of CBS viewers is 53, and plugs for heedless promiscuity could be fatally misinterpreted by a generation that came of age before AIDS, S.T.D.'s and safe-sex practices.


The only redeeming factor is that unlike the CBS sitcom that immediately precedes it, Rules of Engagement does not give the cad the last word on romance. Charlie Sheen's bad-boy behavior on Two and a Half Men goes unchecked; his only foil is his pathetic divorced brother. The new sitcom tries to redress the balance by pitting the randy rou against two contentedly committed couples.


Marriage is a little like Churchill's definition of democracy the worst form of relationship, except for all the others. Rules of Engagement illustrates that axiom by focusing on the three stages of sitcom love: a sex-obsessed bachelor, a young engaged couple and a long-married husband and wife.


It's not a groundbreaking new series by any means, but it has some redeeming virtues.


Promos and much of the pilot suggest, a bit unfairly, that the show is one long Henny Youngman routine about the wife as ball and chain. The newly minted fiance, Adam (Oliver Hudson), happily tells his older, more beaten-down neighbor, Jeff (Patrick Warburton), I think marriage is going to be great. Jeff replies in a gravelly deadpan, Based on what?


What saves Rules from its own deadening laugh track and ping-pong punch lines is Mr. Warburton. This large, deep-voiced actor who played an anchorman on Less Than Perfect, and Elaine's boyfriend Puddy on Seinfeld, is very funny, mostly because he never seems to be trying. His poker-faced timing makes the most of even mediocre one-liners, and beneath sequoian impassivity lurks an engagingly warm persona. As Jeff, Mr. Warburton is the exact opposite of the smooth, glib and antic network executive played by Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, but he is just as much of a scene-stealer.


Accordingly Jeff's spirited relationship with his wife of 12 years, Audrey (Megyn Price), takes on a certain Mad About You charm, even when she is complaining about his beer consumption.


Audrey accuses him of having too many beers after a baseball game. I had maybe four, he retorts indignantly. Then three lite ones, so five.


Networks settle into patterns of comedy that are hard to shake. NBC has always done best with workplace sitcoms or ersatz family units in which friendship, not marriage, is the central force. It was true of Cheers, Seinfeld, Frasier and Will & Grace, and is still true in the era of The Office and 30 Rock.


ABC still has a few classic mom-and-dad sitcoms on its roster, like According to Jim, but it always harbored a hankering for swoony romance, from the days of Moonlighting and Dynasty to the current crop of comedies about sex and love: Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and Men in Trees.


CBS, home of The King of Queens, cannot quite let the home and hearth formula go. For every sitcom about single people, like The New Adventures of Old Christine or Two and a Half Men, CBS reverts to a more traditional kitchen-table sitcom. Jeff and Audrey, who are childless, have roots that go all the way back to CBS classics like The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy in the days before Little Ricky.


Jeff is a deflating influence on Adam, who impulsively proposed to his girlfriend of seven months, Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich), and is only beginning to understand what he is in for. He wonders if couples have as much sex when husband and wife as they did when dating. Actually we've wrapped up the sex portion of our marriage, Jeff says placidly. It's been replaced by Letterman.


Russell is, of course, appalled that his best friend, Adam, has decided to get married. Mr. Spade ( Just Shoot Me ) has a gift for playing wise-cracking cynics and can be quite funny. A ditsy young waitress explains why she left the Midwest. You moved from Ohio to New York to become an actress? he says flatly. Wow, that's a great plan. I'm surprised more girls don't do that.


But some of his lines are too canned. When he dismisses his best friend's sappy behavior as so gay, as he does in the pilot, he is using one of the most overused gags of sitcoms straining to be hip.


Mr. Spade, who is no longer boyishly slim and here sports a goatee and ghastly leather jackets, is wisely set up as more of a cautionary tale than a role model. And that may well be CBS's subliminal message to its core audience. As men get older, their efforts to seduce sexy young women look seedy and sad prompted less by an lan vital than Viagra.


Marriage may seem like just another form of assisted living, but there is even less to be said for assisted swinging.


RULES OF ENGAGEMENT


CBS, tonight at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.


Tom Hertz, Jack Giarraputo and Doug Robinson, executive producers. Produced by Happy Madison Productions and CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Sony Pictures Television.


WITH: Oliver Hudson (Adam), Bianca Kajlich (Jennifer), Megyn Price (Audrey), David Spade (Russell), Patrick Warburton (Jeff) and Lauren Stamile (Karen).





A Review from Entertainment Weekly


TV Review
Rules of Engagement
B
By Gillian Flynn


Men are oafish, smelly, barely sensate creatures who never do anything instinctually thoughtful and must be trained like dent-headed monkey-slobs to perform even the most basic of tasks. This is my primary objection to ''couples comedies'': They insist that men are idiots, and that women, perforce, are eye-rolling harridan-saints who nag and hector their husbands, yet ultimately understand their limitations. Monkey-slobs drink too much beer and don't appreciate things like art, but that's to be expected because they're so dumb. The entire scenario is as old as the hair scarf of Andy Capp's wife Flo, reeking of cigarette smoke and dead dreams and ridicule. And maybe ham salad.


Rules of Engagement, CBS' latest offering to the genre, follows two couples. One pair, Adam and Jennifer, has just gotten engaged (The Mountain's Oliver Hudson and Vanished's Bianca Kajlich); the other, Jeff and Audrey, has been married for over a decade (The Tick's Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price, who already served four years in marital purgatory on Grounded for Life). Sooooo one duo still has lots of sex and the other, less. It's funny because it's true! Or it's not that funny at all. Rules is similar to Fox's grimly unamusing comedy 'Til Death, but it has one major advantage: deadpan, rubbery Patrick Warburton. In Rules, he plays his married version of Puddy on Seinfeld, which enables him to get laughs out of used-up jokes like, Men don't like foreplay but they really like football. ''Be ready for sex more than three minutes before SportsCenter,'' he advises his wife after she complains about the briefness of their encounters. This mountain-size dude with a voice from a beef commercial and the cockiness of a cologne salesman makes a few of the gags work through sheer force of personality. And as the token womanizing best friend, Russell, David Spade pops up like a rangy meerkat, and swipes a few laughs before scuttling away.


But the central problem remains: These comedies are based on shortcomings and disappointment. And unless their writing is as frank as Roseanne or as slightly surreal as Curb Your Enthusiasm, the shows are less amusing than depressing. Sure, the guy comes through in the end (the lug lets his wife shop, for instance) and the girl suffers through the silliness (thanks to a bottle of wine and some new shoes). But are we all truly that quietly desperate and deeply, deeply boring? Why not a fresher take of the Thin Man variety with a clever couple who actually doted on each other, who bantered rather than mocked? It would require nimbler writing and a much cheerier outlook. But it would be nice to think that men and women had more interesting topics of conversation than mortgages and forgotten birthdays. C-


A Review from Entertainment Weekly
Published on September 4, 2007


TV Preview
Rules of Engagement
More 9:30-10 PM CBS Returns Sept. 24


What's the secret of Rules' existence in this sitcom-slim era? ''This is a very dude-like comedy that fits very well with Two and a Half Men,'' says exec producer Tom Hertz. ''David Spade, some people love, some people don't, but he's just plain funny. Patrick Warburton is great.'' For the second season, says Hertz, ''we're going to stick to nuts-and-bolts relationship things. Adam [Oliver Hudson] and Jennifer [Bianca Kajlich] will decide to make a sex tape and learn the fantasy in your head is better than the reality. Jeff [Warburton] is going to have a snoring problem that causes a lot of conflict.'' Speaking of snores, Hertz adds that ''David Spade had some interesting things going on in his personal life he knows a lot of ladies, some of whom we might like to have on.'' Did someone say Heather Locklear? Woo-hoo! She'll pop by for two episodes.



An Interview with Patrick Warburton



[03/01/10 - 12:08 AM]
Interview: "Rules of Engagement" Co-Star Patrick Warburton
By Jim Halterman (TFC)

While CBS's sitcom "Rules of Engagement" has been a steady performer over the last few years as a midseason series, star Patrick Warburton, who plays Jeff Bingham on the show, was not shy about saying that he thinks this new season is the best yet and that the show deserves a full season of episodes for once and for all. To make the case, Warburton recently shared with our Jim Halterman his excitement over what is coming with the new group of "Rules" episodes starting tonight as well as how close the cast really is to their on-screen personas and if he'd like to step outside the comedy box and venture into drama.


Jim Halterman: Your character has a storyline in the season premiere about his inability to text. Do you text, Tweet, etc., in your real life?


Patrick Warburton: I look at technology as a runaway train and with four kids, it's impossible really to keep up. I didn't even have a true email address that I used until four and a half years ago. I felt like I was the very last one to jump on that. I don't play video games with my boys because I just get sick of getting my ass handed to me. My eldest kids both have iPhones and I'm still using the old flip phones. I keep wanting to try to catch up and hang in there but it's a struggle.


JH: On the show this year, Jeff and Audrey [played by Megyn Price] are going to focus on having a baby. What's going to happen there?


PW: Jamie Pressly is going to be on our season finale and she'll be with us next season, which I think is huge. She's such a talented actress and would be a huge addition to any cast. I love the idea that there's this really sexy surrogate in the mix. I just think it's going to add for so much fun and awkward situations. I thought the show had transitioned from last season to this season really well. I thought last season the show worked well but this season it really came together. One thing is that Adhir Kalyan came on for all shows [this season] and they really took advantage of that character Timmy and Russell [played by David Spade] together. I think the show is better now, personally.


JH: Do you think it usually takes some time for any show to find its legs?


PW: It always takes a show a little time to find its legs. I think if you have a show that's going to be a really big hit show it usually takes two seasons to find itself. That's really what it took us. We only did seven episodes our first season [due to the WGA strike] and then we've done 13 episodes every season since then since we've been mid-season. In a real TV show life, that would only be two seasons. I think the show has found itself. I think the show is what it was supposed to be. The cast has really great chemistry and the show has gotten smarter and the producers have figured out what works and what doesn't. This last season was the first season where every day we'd show up to work we have big smiles on our faces.


JH: Do the writers lift a lot of the ideas about marriage and relationships from your own lives?


PW: I have to tell you. It's just stupid how it's become that way. It's all so relatable. For me, when I came to the first reading for Tom Hertz and Doug Robinson, Tom said 'I thought about you and had you in mind when I wrote this role.' I was able to relate to the role immediately and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it.


JH: What about the other cast members?


PW: I'm not going to say and I'm trying not to be judgmental when I say that David and Russell have a lot of similarities. [Laughs.] The rest of us... Ollie [Hudson], Bianca [Kajlich]... they are going through the same things in their lives as their characters. Every week we all can relate and we've all had experiences in our own lives and so it's life imitating art and art imitating life.


JH: The show airs all over the world. Do you know if the relationships translate in different countries?


PW: That's fun to hear. I know it's in Australia and it's in Italy. We took the kids to Europe for the first time and we stayed in student housing with my sister and brother-in-law with their five children so we were there for two weeks with nine kids! We got a good deal on everything because my brother-in-law is a professor. After a day and a half of travel, changing flights, terrible turbulence and then we get to the student housing room and the bed that we had was about 2-3 inches thick and there was no air conditioning and there was a heat wave and there's no cable TV so we had maybe two television channels. It was like going back to the 70s. On one channel we saw Family Affair and the other was Pippi Longstocking but then the kids started screaming and yelling and 'Rules of Engagement' was on. They had two episodes back to back but it was all dubbed in Italian and the kids were laughing and screaming as they saw their father speaking in Italian. I'm sure the relationship stuff is relatable because it's just basic difference between the sexes and, culturally or language wise, even if things might translate a little differently, the way it effects us is going to be relatable.


JH: Do people still associate you with 'Puddy' from 'Seinfeld?'


PW: Yeah, sure. There are those people who watched 'Seinfeld' who probably have never seen anything else that I've done. It's the one thing I've done that has had the widest reach and the biggest profile than anything else. That will always be that way. I'd hazard to say I will never do anything that has as wide a reach as 'Seinfeld.'


JH: You're known primarily for comedy but any desire to venture into drama?


PW: Well, I do but those opportunities don't present themselves as often as the comedies. I love the schedule of half-hour TV. I don't travel, my days are short and then I'm home. The downside of that is because of those commitments throughout the year there have been other lost opportunities to do things and venture outside. So when I usually get the opportunity to venture outside I usually jump on it. I just did 'Flicka 2,' which I knew when I went into it that it would be a direct-to-DVD movie but I liked the story, thought it was a real sweet story and as a father of four I like to do stuff that's family. It's a very family story but it's also not comedy so I said 'Sure.' It was a really nice experience to get to do something different. Some people, for the most part, are just familiar with me from half-hour TV and that's been somewhat my lot in this career.


JH: If you weren't acting, what else would you be doing?


PW: Well, I'm qualified to do so little else. I know in school I was always somewhat intrigued by a life in marine science but that was never going to be a possibility because I didn't have the grades and I couldn't get into a worthwhile University and there are all kinds of smart people things like math and equations... I would probably have to be out there selling, like Puddy.


The fourth season of "Rules of Engagement" begins tonight on CBS at 8:30/7:30c.





An Article from The Hollywood Reporter


'Rules of Engagement' Creator: 6 Rules of Resilience


00 AM PDT 5/17/2013 by Philiana Ng


As CBS' just-canceled David Spade comedy reaches its 100th-episode milestone May 20, show runner Tom Hertz describes the drama of always having been on the bubble.


This story first appeared in the May 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.


Rules of Engagement is the ultimate underdog. From surviving the threat of cancellation to almost calling Saturday nights home, CBS' perennial bubble show about different stages of relationships began with high expectations. Launching the day after the 2007 Super Bowl as a midseason entry, Rules, which stars David Spade and Patrick Warburton, premiered strong to 14.9 million viewers and a 5.2 rating among the key adults 18-to-49 demo following then-juggernaut Two and a Half Men. (The debut remains Rules' most-watched and highest-rated episode.) But the writers strike from 2007-08 would quash any stability had by the half-hour series, then in its sophomore season. "Everything was tumultuous after the strike," says series creator Tom Hertz (The King of Queens, Spin City).


For better or worse, Rules -- with a season-seven average of 7.7 million viewers in live-plus-7 ratings -- became a utility player, patching up holes in CBS' schedule following rookie failures. During the course of the next few years, Rules would go on to replace such short-lived comedies as Worst Week (2008-09), How to Be a Gentleman (2011) and Rob (2012), among others, mending troubled time slots as a steady, under-the-radar ratings performer. The fifth season, which ran from 2010-11 during Charlie Sheen's infamous Men breakdown, would be the only time Rules aired more than 15 episodes. Credit its longevity to its value in syndication, as Rules is shown in more than 95 percent of the U.S. market and is actively licensed in 144 international markets. "Male-driven shows, in terms of audience skew, always perform well in syndication," says John Weiser, president of distribution at Sony Pictures Television, which co-produces the show with CBS Television.





As Rules airs its 100th episode May 20, doubling as a series finale, Hertz says he is almost certain that this time it is the end of the road but remained philosophical about the cancellation: "Psychologically, it's better to say: 'We hit 100. That's it.' " (CBS declined requests for interviews.) Even so, Hertz -- who admits he often was unaware of how closely Rules skirted cancellation before -- has a fallback plan should it ever return. "There is a way to keep the show going. If it does come back, it will be driven by zero percent creative and a hundred percent financial," says Hertz pragmatically, who shares with THR his six rules for having survived being on the chopping block for this long.


RULE 1: NOT BEING THE BIG BANG THEORY CAN BE A GOOD THING


Hertz initially found himself optimistic about the show's level of success: "I'm at the tapings, I hear the laughs and I see the final product, which is really solid, thinking Rules should get a full season." He continues: "What I learned is, it's business. CBS wanted a huge break -- they wanted another Big Bang Theory or Two and a Half Men, and after the second season, they realized Rules wasn't a breakout hit. It's not going to catch fire and become giant, but it's not a failure by any stretch, so, 'It'll be good in our back pockets.' " The series creator says it took a while before he understood that Rules' ability to play ratings pinch hitter contributed to its long life: "In CBS' mind, Rules became a fill-in, like a backup or a go-to, when something failed. I didn't know or realize that for a couple of seasons."


RULE 2: BE BETTER THAN THE YEAR'S WORST


CBS saw ratings rise whenever they put Rules on the schedule, even with little promotion. "We'd be a clear improvement from any new show that wasn't making it," says Hertz. The parade of shows put through the network's paces included Partners (2012, six episodes), Accidentally on Purpose (2009-10, 18 episodes) and Welcome to the Captain (2008, five episodes) -- "nothing against those shows that the network took a shot with," he adds. On why the sitcom is a stable performer: "I think the show is consistently funny, and the subject matter is relatable."





RULE 3: INJECT NEW BLOOD TO PROLONG THE SHOW'S LIFE


Hertz says that the addition of castmember Adhir Kalyan to play Spade's assistant was the result of network direction: "Maybe CBS wanted Rules to mix things up, maybe that was the impetus: 'They've got to add something if the show wants to continue.' '' The showrunner cast Kalyan, who was on The CW's Aliens in America, which ran for 18 episodes from 2007-08, because, says Hertz, "I'm always a fan of any British humor, and he's got the South African accent. Midway through the meeting, I said, 'You'd be great with David Spade.' Adding Adhir gave us a huge boost as far as CBS was concerned. Adhir might be the closest our show had to a breakout guy. His addition just gave the show a jolt. Creatively, it gave the show a voice."


RULE 4: USE GRAPHS AND PIE CHARTS TO SAVE YOUR SHOW


Once or twice over the course of Rules' seven-season run, says Hertz, "My non-writing producing partner Doug Robinson sensed that we weren't getting the love we thought we deserved, or it was getting close to pickup time and we were still a question mark." Robinson called a couple of meetings with CBS. "We brought charts with statistics and graphs, showing the huge jump in ratings from the show Rules replaced, and that really helped put all our positive points in their heads as they were flying to New York for upfronts," recalls Hertz. "Last year, we didn't get a season-seven pickup until a week after upfront presentations. Doug knows it's easy to get lost in a network of this size and it's easy for them to forget about you if you're not a giant hit. Doug was very good about making CBS focus on what they had, and it really worked."


STORY: ABC Orders Multi-Camera Comedy Pilot From 'Rules of Engagement' Producer


RULE 5: KNOW WHEN TO STAY QUIET


Hertz readily admits that his strongest skill set doesn't include talking at those critical presentations: "In those meetings, I would sit there, silently stewing. I think I was asked not to talk because I would go on and on and interrupt people and I would get upset. 'Forget the charts and the graphs and the pie charts, it's funny and people like it! If you put it on, people will like your network.' Literally, sometimes I would be biting my fingers so I wouldn't talk."


RULE 6: UNDERSTAND THE SHOW'S PLACE


Hertz is no stranger to the gut-clenching, breath-holding suspense of having your show picked up but not scheduled. Early on in the show's run, "I got the call before upfronts from CBS saying Rules was not on the fall schedule. 'We don't know when it'll be on.' I just laughed because it was like, 'Here we go again.' " By the time season six rolled around, the showrunner was amenable to being put on the graveyard shift: "When I found out that CBS would air the show on Saturday, I was fine with it. At that point, it was better to be on at some point than to be canceled. I also knew from [studio] Sony's business people that they were trying to get to 90 or 100, so 13 episodes whenever they were on was good. I was over thinking it was going to be a hit show, and I understood its place. Something [How to Be a Gentleman] failed very quickly and, all of a sudden, CBS had to promote us and get us back on Thursdays. CBS developed an appreciation for the stability Rules gave them."


To watch clips of Rules of Engagement go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rules+of+engagement+tv+show


For the Official Site of Rules of Engagement go to http://www.rulesofengagement-tv.com/





For the Megyn Price Picture Gallery go to http://www.watt-up.com/j_gallery/Megyn_Price/Megyn_Price.html


For the Official Website of David Spade go to http://www.davidspade.com/


To go to the set of Rules of Engagement go to http://www.laist.com/2010/09/20/tv_junkie_a_visit_to_the_rules_of_e.php


For an article about Rules of Engagement go to https://tv.avclub.com/rules-of-engagement-1798170087


For a Review of Rules of Engagement go to https://www.popmatters.com/rules-of-engagement-2495802234.html


To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a5VczhWEWk and for the full theme song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4o8OnZ2N14
Date: Thu June 12, 2008 � Filesize: 23.5kb � Dimensions: 320 x 240 �
Keywords: Rules of Engagement

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