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Series debut: Producing Parker

In animated, midseason 2009, series debut, talk show, television, tv on 05/03/2009 at 12:55 pm

Series name
Producing Parker (animated)

Monday, May 4, at 8:30 p.m. ET on specialty channel TVtropolis

Regularly airs
Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on specialty channel TVtropolis

Behind the scenes on a daytime TV talk show, hosted by a egomaniacal host named Dee, from the perspective of producer Parker, who must keep ratings high and keep Dee from destroying herself and everyone around her. Parker’s only solace is Massimo. If only he were a guy!

Primary cast and crew
Kristin Booth (TV’s ReGenesis, The Company and MVP and the film Young People Fucking) is the voice of Parker, ambitious enough to put up with Dee’s fits.

Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) is Dee, a hollow shell of a human but she’s got great hair and TV viewers love her. Off camera, she is something else.

Jamie Watson (he’s the voice of the Comedy Network, and the series Max and Ruby) is Massimo, Parker’s confidante, best friend, chef and roommate. Oh yeah, he’s a dog. Whose best intentions often go off the rails, but he means well.

Peter Keleghan (Red Green Show, The Newsroom) is Blake Bellamy, who owns the station that produces and broadcasts Dee’s show (as well as his other pet projects, like the reality-TV series Life with Zombies).

Sarah Cornell (Comedy Inc.) is Chicago, an untalented intern and cousin of Bellamy, whose non-intellectual assets are abundant.

Aaron Abrams (Slings and Arrows, the movie Flash of Genius) is Simon, series writer who is only slumming until someone hires him to do real journalism.

Kevin Gillis (Atomic Betty) is co-creator/exec producer.

Laura Kosterski (Naked Josh, Vampire High) is co-creator/exec producer.

Peter Williamson and Ira Levy (Atomic Betty, Kenny vs. Spenny, Paradise Falls) are exec producers.

Video (theme song)

But what do I know anyway? After having, indeed, seen the first two episodes, I predict…
Shows about talk shows have are sometimes a tough sell. 30 Rock, starring and created by Tina Fey, is a critical hit already renewed for 2009-10 that attracts many big stars for guest spots, but its ratings are in the basement, if just under 6 million (U.S.) viewers can be called low. There was the one-season wonder of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. One the high end of the spectrum, there is the Larry Sanders Show, a pay-cable (and therefore not widely known) darling from the ’90s starring Garry Shandling as the neurotic host and Rip Torn as his tough-love producer (with brilliant turns by Janeane Garofalo and Jeremy Piven on staff). Great stuff. How does Producing Parker fit into this spectrum? It’s clever taken aim at a ghettoized segment of the talk-show world: the women’s talk show. There is much to lampoon and, while the tone is overall light and humorous, this show takes broad shots that are sometimes thoughtful (Dee introducing a makeover guest: “She was homely and homeless and now she’s just homeless!”) and sometimes just cute blink-and-you’ll-miss-them sight gags (a segment on kitten heels shows a stick-figure model with actual kittens strapped to her shoes). Big-booty envy, babies as fashion accessories are the subjects of the first two shows and they have some good moments. Cattrall’s Dee is just a background character, which is too bad because I think she could have a lot of fun if she gets a longer leash. Booth’s Parker is great, especially with her dog confidante, who has his own flashes of laughs. Overall, it’s a fun half-hour show that leaves you wanting more. But will you call your cable company and order TVtroplis to see it? Hey Global! Got a spare half hour?

Buzz buzz
The Toronto Sun story last week, interviewing Booth, asks the very good question of why such a comer of a show as this is stuck on TVtropolis, one of Canwest’s many specialty stations, instead of Global. Asks, but does not seek an answer, although the Sun writer thinks that it “might find its niche among the audience of young females with which TVtropolis tends to do fairly well.”

Peter Keleghan points out to TV Guide Canada that cartoon nudity (breasts: you are warned) featured occasionally on Producing Parker is hard to come by and will be appreciated.

Official website
If you find one, lemme know.

— Denise Duguay


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