‘Millers,’ blessed by an ideal timeslot
The new CBS comedy airs right after 'The Big Bang Theory'
August 20, 2013
One in a series of Media Life previews of the new shows debuting this fall.
CBS’s “The Millers”
Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.; premieres Oct. 3
After middle-aged news reporter Nathan Miller (“Arrested Development’s” Will Arnett) informs his parents that he’s getting a divorce, his dad, Todd (Beau Bridges), decides that his 43-year marriage is over as well.
Nathan’s mom comes to live with him, while sister Debbie (“Glee’s” Jayma Mays) inherits their dad. Living with their parents again drives the brother and sister crazy, but there’s no graceful way to refuse them.
The family tries to move forward without killing each other in this offbeat comedy created by Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl,” “Raising Hope”).
“The Millers” is similar to the other shows that Arnett has starred in since “Arrested” went off the air. Like “Up All Night” and “Running Wilde,” “Millers” is intermittently funny but not consistent enough to become must-see viewing.
Luckily for the show, it has such a great timeslot that the creative shortcomings may not matter.
“Millers” airs behind “The Big Bang Theory,” the No. 1 comedy on television.
Though “Bang” has yet to help launch a new hit show, the programs that have aired behind it always draw decent numbers, and “Millers” should be no different.
It has a huge advantage over the only other sitcom in the timeslot, NBC’s new “Welcome to the Family.” “Family’s” lead-in, “Parks and Recreation,” didn’t even average half the audience of “Bang” last season.
Garcia is a talented producer, and his quirky programs have a track record of getting significantly better creatively throughout their first seasons.
If “Millers” can follow the same path as “Earl” and “Hope” in that way, then the show could survive till May and perhaps even get a second season.
What media people are saying
Buyers say that “Millers’” strong timeslot will be a huge advantage in a new season with lots of new comedies.
Many liked the pilot and think it will be a good fit for CBS’s revamped Thursday night comedy block, which is expanding from one hour to two.
“I watched the pilot and thought it was very funny. In fact, it probably evoked the most laughter of any of the comedies shown at the primetime schedule presentations,” says Shari Cohen, GroupM national broadcast buyer.
“It has a terrific cast including Will Arnett, Margot Martindale and Beau Bridges. It contains good, multi-generational family banter and it’s well positioned for success given its lead-in and lead out.”
Our readers’ take
In a recent Media Life poll inviting readers to weigh in on the coming fall season, media buyers and planners voted “Millers” the third-most-promising new show on CBS’s fall schedule, behind “Hostages” and “The Crazy Ones.”
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