Rest In Peace, Better Off Ted

By Stefanie Lee

Mar 11, 2010

After 24 glorious episodes full of corporation-mocking satire and slapstick-y situations, Better Off Ted is dead at the tender age of two (seasons, that is). While the exact cause of death is uncertain, it's likely that Ted's untimely demise came at the hands of its former Tuesday-night counterpart, Scrubs, which has been suffering from the terminal (and apparently contagious) low-ratings disease for quite some time.

Instead of giving Ted the chance to join its more-successful Wednesday-night comedy lineup—which features The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar Town, and the void left by Hank when it was axed after just two episodes—ABC opted to let Ted keep suffering on Tuesdays while it replaced Hank with Modern Family reruns. And as of tonight, the network will air new Scrubs episodes in the Wednesday-at-8pm time slot.

Ted is survived by its talented and under-appreciated cast members, some of whom have already landed starring roles on other shows even though the cancellation hasn't been (and probably won't be) formally announced.

Jay Harrington, who played the titular Ted Crisp, will bring his wholesome charm (and hopefully his raunchy sense of humor) to Nathan vs. Nurture, a new NBC comedy from the executive producers of Aliens in America. Prior to Better Off Ted, Harrington had several multi-episode arcs on big shows like Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, and Summerland.

Andrea Anders, who starred opposite Harrington as Linda Zwordling, has also joined a new show. She'll be starring opposite Friends alum Matthew Perry in Mr. Sunshine, a forthcoming ABC comedy.

But not all of Ted's cast members will be making such a smooth transition. This cancellation is the second suffered by Portia de Rossi, who played Veridian Dynamics boss Veronica Palmer. De Rossi previously starred in the similarly short-lived-but-beloved FOX comedy Arrested Development. At least we can take comfort in the fact that the Arrested movie is in the works.

Jonathan Slavin, who played ambiguously effeminate scientist Phil Myman, hasn't yet announced his post-Ted plans. Like Harrington, Slavin has a few multi-episode arcs under his belt, including one on Summerland. He also starred in Fox's gone-too-soon comedy Andy Richter Controls the Universe.

Malcolm Barrett, who played the yang to Slavin's yin as the lovably goofy scientist Lem Hewitt is also in limbo. Before Ted, Barrett had bit parts on Monk, Psych, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He also starred in the 2009 film Imaginary Larry and appeared in this year's Academy Award-winner The Hurt Locker.

Services will be held in front of televisions and computer screens everywhere, after which the show's quick-witted puns and unresolved sexual tension will forever live on in our memories. And whenever ABC decides to release the show on DVD.

Mourn with writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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  • iychee Apr 06, 2010

    You guys can still save Better off Ted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's made the top 5 in "save one show".
    Vote here:;=&13718=75072&poll;_uword=still

  • abelav78 Mar 22, 2010

    ABC has decent shows from time to time but they cancel em. No more than 1 or 2 seasons and bye bye. This comedy will be missed.

  • cchance Mar 22, 2010

    ABC Sucks, this should have been a wednesday comedy block show, and scrubs should have been left to die last year. BOT deserves to keep going its witty, and funny and just a great show, my wife threw a fit when we started watching it and then i told her that it was probably getting canceled.


  • OrSoIThought Mar 20, 2010

    ABC is horrible at managing shows. They usually fail to see a way to save a decent show. Its rather sad really. And it doesn't do a whole lot for their fan base.

  • ellyca Mar 19, 2010

    What this people have after fantastic shows as Testees and Better off ted???

    I can't see this everlasting Scrubs anymore and was so happy surprised with

    these two shows. And then they last one or two seasons and goodbye.

    It is a shame!!!!!

  • isee4ofus Mar 19, 2010

    aww so upset about this, this show was funny had a great cast and I watched every Tuesday, Portia is soooo funny and well come on Ted is adorable! Arrested Development was one of the best shows on t.v and it was canceled this leads me to believe maybe we should re-think who is rating these shows and maybe get some fresh young eyes in there.

  • NicoleEbat Mar 18, 2010

    I have to say I'm a bit confused, but optimistic. A Chicago Sun-Times columnist (and long time supporter of BOT) put out an article the day after this was posted with quotes from ABC PR specifically saying that BOT has not actually been cancelled. They are saying we'll know more for sure in May. But, as far as I'm concerned, until it comes from official mouths we should stay optimistic and perhaps throw a few letters or e-mails their way.

  • Zelda_of_Arel Mar 17, 2010

    I liked this show. It often reminded me of my own workplace. At least I could laugh at the corporate stuff that way.

  • DeviousT22 Mar 17, 2010

    Fail ABC, fail.

  • electricbetty Mar 15, 2010

    I'll miss Better of Ted, even though it wasn't the best show.

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