Hmm, do we sense a trend here? Similar to what happened to the Steven Weber comedy last February, NBC is using the November sweeps to give its post-Friends sitcom Inside Schwartz a much-needed time-out. Though Schwartz, about an aspiring sportscaster (Breckin Meyer) with an athletics-themed fantasy life, remains the highest-rated new comedy among adults 18-49, the Peacock wants producers to start retooling. Explains NBC’s head of current programming Ted Frank, ”Our sense was that the show needed to make some course corrections…based on our reactions and what research was saying.” As a result, the fantasy sequences and sports-figure cameos have been scaled way back to give Schwartz a more ”universal appeal.” But even Frank admits that it’s an uphill battle to keep viewers tuned in at 8:30 p.m. ”This show is in a Dickens time period—it’s the best of time periods and the worst of time periods. You have the greatest lead-in, but Friends is so hot this season, you could even [air] any game of the World Series and it still would be falling off from Friends.” Unless Rachel was throwing out the first pitch.
Mild, Mild ‘West’
Sorry, Josh and Donna, West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin has no plans to relieve that sexual tension anytime soon. The two-time Emmy winner explained that he’d like to make the NBC drama sexier and more romantic, but he just can’t ”seem to pull the trigger on writing it. It’s been a two-and-a-half-year cold shower.” Not helping matters: He didn’t keep the home fires burning between the prostitute law student (Lisa Edelstein) and Sam (Rob Lowe), and Timothy Busfield’s Danny went missing in action before we ever saw a smitten C.J. (Allison Janney) give him that big exclusive. Asked when his characters will take that overdue trip to nookieville, the recently separated Sorkin shoots back, ”Not until I do.” Uh, more information than we needed there.
Mick at Night
When it comes to finding an audience on Thursdays, ABC can’t get no satisfaction. Maybe now it will: ABC is giving Primetime Thursday the night off on Thanksgiving to air Being Mick, an hour-long documentary directed by Kevin MacDonald (One Day in September) that shows a year in the life of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, who even shot some of the footage himself. ”It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while—a documentary on the life of a music star,” says ABC head of specials Andrea Wong. ”Having seen Madonna’s Truth or Dare, I wondered whether we could do something like that for TV.” Among the rockin’ moments caught on tape is Jagger reflecting on tabloid accounts of his busy dating life, to which daughter Jade Jagger quips: ”Don’t bring anyone younger than me.” Says Wong of the special, ”It’s pretty incredible and really intimate.”