LateLine (1998)

NBC (ended 1999)


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LateLine (1998)

Show Summary

"LateLine" is set behind the scenes at a fictitious TV network's late-night news program based in Washington, D.C. The show follows anchorman Al Freundlich, who got the job when his predecessor Pearce McKenzie quit as a publicity stunt, and his co-workers Mona, Vic, Briana, Raji, and Gale. Broadcast History NBC: 3/17/1998--3/16/1999 Showtime: 2/4/1999-12/25/1999
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  • Al Franken

    I don't have a sense of humor - but even I laughed when the one episode opened with Al reporting from a location experiencing a Winter blizzard.

    This show could have been better if it were an hour long with a little more drama - but it still would have been canceled because it would have been too smart for the general public.

    The cast all had and have had respectable careers - especially Franken who is now essentially an United States Senator from - forgive me if I'm wrong - Minnesota. I might have to move there. Maybe I'll buy a lake.

    LL: RIPmoreless
  • A sitcom take on late night news programs. Showing the inner-workings of not only the office politics, but also the near catastrophies and difficulties with getting a new and cutting edge program on air each night.moreless

    Its closest relative must be Murphy Brown. Yet that program was a little crisper with better writing and much better continuity. The continuity of LateLine is so bad as to make it almost a joke, leaving the characters more like characatures. For example, when Mona gets a life/lover, she becomes a vibrant, assertive, newly born woman, yet the following program has returned to her mousey self again. It seems as though each episode must be taken as a separate entity, with the only connection being the characters basic characteristics.

    Also, it seems that each character gets his or her own episode. For example the episode where Raj becomes a virtual sex slave. Each episode seems to have one character step a little forward and take the spotlight for the moment. Almost as if ticking off a checklist, each one goes through an affair of either sex or love, as if there had to be a love interest for each character, yet, the aforementioned continuity errors make this a little contrived.

    All in all, not a bad program. The fact that it only had six episodes per season for three seasons, a little reminiscent of some Brit-com structures, means the gags and laughs were not stretched over three twenty plus episode seasons. , so they become acceptable and sometimes quite funny. One never feels that they are beating a dead horse, especially due to the spanning of three years. Being a news program they reference events from the three years, again cutting down the repetition, and making it fresh.

    A final note should go to the numerous, and sometimes hilarious, cameos by several politicians and actors. Dana Carvey does a great job as a Republican from SC, and many (real-life) politicians show great spirit and ability in a comedic role, often poking fun at themselves, which is very refreshing and adds a certain reality to the show. Too bad the other elements also don't strike the same realistic chord, or else it would be a winner!moreless