Last night saw the series premiere of ABC’s MR. SUNSHINE and with apologies in advance to stars Matthew Perry, Allison Janney and the supremely talented cast and creative both in front and behind the camera, it’s programming decisions like these that have us wishing somebody would give us a corner office of our very own on the ABC lot.
While we have nothing against MR. SUNSHINE per se — a show that while not quite laugh-out-loud funny generated more than enough chuckles (see: Allison Janney’s pill-popping arena owner) to entice us back for a second go around next week — the facts are these. America, or to be more specific — the precise number of eyeballs needed to make shows like MR. SUNSHINE financially viable on a major network — has already voted. And if ratings for smart and sophisticated single-camera comedies such as BETTER OFF TED, RUNNING WILDE, and to a lesser extent COUGAR TOWN are any indication, MR. SUNSHINE has failure written all over it.
Again, we really hate to be the one to rain on creator and star Matthew Perry’s parade. But we’ve spent enough time observing this business we call show to know how things will more than likely play out. An impressive premiere number as a result of a MODERN FAMILY lead-in coupled with an overall interest in the return of a former FRIENDS star to series television will quickly dissipate once ABC’s marketing department moves on to next weeks flavor of the week. Which once again raises the slightly awkward albeit painfully obvious question: Whose bright idea was it to give this series the green light, and more importantly, should we start picking out office wallpaper now, or wait until a large chunk of the show’s audience disappears next week?