Back to You This is not so much a season-ending review of Back to You as a public request for the renewal of this saucy, still-under-construction sitcom. Back… Back to You This is not so much a season-ending review of Back to You as a public request for the renewal of this saucy, still-under-construction sitcom. Back… 2007-09-19 Comedy Kelsey Grammer Patricia Heaton Ty Burrell Fox
TV Review

Back to You (2007)

Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, ... | BRING IT BACK This just in: The witty Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton newsroom comedy Back to You deserves another year, says Ken Tucker
BRING IT BACK This just in: The witty Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton newsroom comedy Back to You deserves another year, says Ken Tucker
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Start Date: Sep 19, 2007; Genre: Comedy; With: Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton; Network: Fox

This is not so much a season-ending review of Back to You as a public request for the renewal of this saucy, still-under-construction sitcom. Back is about two unmarried Pittsburgh anchors — Chuck Darling (Kelsey Grammer) and Kelly Carr (Patricia Heaton) — who bicker but share a 10-year-old daughter from a one-night stand. The gimmick (just resolved) has been that Kelly, a harried control freak, doesn't want the child to know that Chuck, an incorrigible bachelor, is her father.

What we viewers have known from episode 1 is that the big laughs emanate not from secret-family dynamics but from the newsroom, where Grammer, Heaton, and a terrific supporting cast (including the fantastic Fred Willard as a grinning-moron sportscaster) banter and complain. If these scenes have the crackle of sitcoms like Cheers and Taxi, well, it's because the grandmaster of the form, James Burrows, has directed every episode.

But with low ratings, the producers are centering on domestic issues and last-minute fixes. They recently replaced the perfectly fine actress (Laura Marano) who played daughter Gracie with a perfectly fine different girl (Lily Jackson). Why?

Back to You could evolve into a show with classic star interplay; it just needs to calm down behind the scenes and place its office laughs front and center. If Fox won't do it, memo to NBC's Ben Silverman: This should be your replacement for Scrubs. B+

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Originally posted May 02, 2008 Published in issue #990 May 09, 2008 Order article reprints
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