TV Article

'Inside' Job

The benched NBC sports-themed sitcom will return after November sweeps

Breckin Meyer, Inside Schwartz | JOCK GLITCH ''Inside,'' starring Meyer (left, with Bo Jackson) gets sidelined
Image credit: Inside Schwartz: Chris Haston
JOCK GLITCH ''Inside,'' starring Meyer (left, with Bo Jackson) gets sidelined

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.

Originally posted Nov 21, 2001
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