NBC (ended 2000)
Tony Award nominee Tony Shalhoub and Neil Patrick Harris return to series television in this comedy series from Emmy Award winner Steven Levitan. Harris stars as Henry McNeely, a young, book editor who is thrust into the dark and chaotic world of best-selling horror writer Ian Stark. Providing distractions as Henry tries to keep Stark on track, are Stark's dazed writing assistant Jake Donavan, sassy bartender/college student Maddie Keller and Stark's overly affectionate dog, Edgar. (NBC press release)
Yet another could've-been hit blundered by the collaborative incompetence of former entertainment president Garth Ancier and former (notice a pattern?) West Coast president Scott Sassa, Stark Raving Mad received a full season pickup. And that's where the network's support began and ended. Stark never clicked with the audience watching the show it followed on the schedule, Frasier, rendering it a time slot hit -- and not much of one at that. Though common sense would have suggested that's because their brand of humor was incompatible... well, it was on NBC, after all. After the original 13 episodes were broadcast by January, 2000, (at which time Regis Philbin stepped in and sent the show into a deep Nielsen gorge), the series bounced off and on -- mostly off -- the schedule, and nearly half of the back nine that the network ordered in November, 1999 were never broadcast at all. Although NBC executives believe that sitcoms that don't work on Thursday won't work anywhere, your editor doesn't. He does, though, wonder what might have been had Stark Raving Mad aired on Tuesday after Just Shoot Me -- which it was perfectly compatible with. Guess we'll never know. Besides, three years later, and Ancier's/Sassa's even more incompetent replacement, Jeff Zucker, was playing the same hide-and-seek games with JSM that they were with SRM.
"Batty, bonkers, crazy, loopy, loony, hazy Chaotic, neurotic, peculiar and amazing Demented, deranged, particularly strange Frantic, ranting, shaky, flaky, making me insane." -- theme song
Stark Raving Mad is produced by Steven Levitan Productions, in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Sep 1999-Mar 2000, Thu 9:30-10:00 Jul 2000, Thu 9:30-10:00moreless