ABC must be loving LateNightGate. While the TV world's attention is diverted to Jay and Conan and NBC, ABC is getting away with the quiet murder Better Off Ted. E!'s Watch with Kristen reported yesterday that neither Better Off Ted nor Scrubs have been canned for the time being. But ABC President Stephen McPherson was quoted as saying, "We didn't feel those shows were compatible with Wednesday night. That night is very strong, and we can find a replacement for the Hank time slot."
McPherson knows that Better Off Ted is a quality comedy, right? Not to mention that it's just as funny as ABC's other Wednesday-night shows—whereas BOT's pathetic Tuesday-evening partner, Scrubs, is on its last legs. Even Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence knows his once-popular sitcom is not aging gracefully, and he's got other things to worry about.
Scrubs (as well as Jay Leno) has overstayed its TV welcome, and shouldn't be allowed to drag Better Off Ted (or Conan O'Brien) down with it. (Seriously, the resemblance between the Jay/Conan and Scrubs/Better Off Ted situation is uncanny: A worn-out franchise screwing over fresh talent.) I've been crusading for Better Off Ted for quite some time, and I'm not about to step off my soapbox. Does ABC really have a show in the bullpen that's better than Better Off Ted? Here's a thought: What if Better Off Ted moved to NBC and singlehandedly saved the network from total failure? It's far-fetched, but plausible, no?
Oh, and by the way, Tuesday's episodes of Better Off Ted were true to form. The PG-rated insults in "The Impertence of Communicationizing" were fantastic (their unaired R-rated counterparts are even better), and the boob jokes in "The Long and Winding High Road" never seemed to get old. Both Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington) and Veronica Palmer (Portia de Rossi) are loosening up, with delightful results. And the show is slowly introducing quirky new characters—including Dr. Bhamba (Maz Jobrani), Sheila (Merrin Dungey), and Debbie (Vivian Bang)—who enhance the scenes without overpowering them.