Stark Raving Mad

NBC (ended 2000)


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Stark Raving Mad

Show Summary

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

Broadcast History

Sep 1999-Mar 2000, Thu 9:30-10:00 Jul 2000, Thu 9:30-10:00moreless
Tony Shalhoub

Tony Shalhoub

Ian Stark

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris

Henry McNeely

Eddie McClintock

Eddie McClintock

Jake Donovan

Dorie Barton

Dorie Barton

Tess Faraday (episodes 4-9, 11-22, guest previously)

Heather Paige Kent

Heather Paige Kent

Maddie Keller

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  • STARK RAVING MAD is Great Show!

    I only saw a few clips from some episodes on YouTube and what I saw is hilarious. To bad this show didn't last longer, but if it did Monk wouldn't have been born! I love Monk! Tony Shalhoub you're the best actor in the world!!!!

    The combination between Neal and Tony was too funny! They pretty much feed off each other. Tony can play any kind of role from drama to comedy in a TV show or even in movies. He is a very trained actor.

    Plus, it doesn't hurt that Tony is soft on the eyes. Very handsome man! Great Work Tony!moreless
  • Great Show, Funny Premises do not Insure A Great Series

    The NBC execs have quite a wierd streak going as they cancel great shows the general public loves and goes wild for in order to try shows that won't stand a chance. We've all seen Working, Unsolved Mysteries, Quantum Leap and the new Dark Shadows go down the pipe. Great shows, loved by whole cults of loyal fans, MURDERED by idiot and blind TV execs working at NBC. Stark Raving Mad was the Odd Couple of the 90s with Tony Shalhoub of Wings (another great show that ended too soon for me) playing a psychotic Stephen King horror writer with Neil Patrick Harris playing a Niles Crane literary agent as his foil and target of abuse. Rounded out with Ed McClintock, Heather Paige Kent and the beautiful Dorie Barton, the show had great scripts, funny jokes and hysterical unpredictable situations; Tony Shalhoub looked as if he was having fun with his Stephen King meets Charlie Manson role, and Harris was his perfect uptight patsy. It was Halloween all year round with this show, and Halloween itself was a little more surreal with this show on the air. The only thing that could possibly ruin this show would be an idiot tv exec with a grudge against a happy viewing public. This show will be sorely missed.moreless
  • Horror writer tortures his wimpy editor.

    Both Shaloub and Harris are lovable comic actors on television. I particularly enjoy the aspect of the show where Shaloub\'s character tortures Harris. In my opinion it is the best role that these actors have had on a sitcom. Shaloub\'s character on Wings was funny, but he was merely a bit player.
  • One Season was not Enough

    "Stark Raving Mad" was a very funny show that NBC only kept on the air for one year. Hopefully the USA Network will bring it back to life. Stark Raving Mad was a kind of Odd Couple with Tony Shalhoub of Wings playing a psychotic Stephen King type horror writer with Neil Patrick Harris playing his literary agent and target of his abuse. It was a great combo! Tony Shalhoub shows he has great range in characters. He shows no part of his famous Antonio character from Wings. Stark Raving Mad was a hysterical and brilliant show and far better than any other new NBC show that didn‘t get the ax. Stark Raving Mad had a great cast, hilarious plots and good directing, plus it did get good rating. This show could have lasted at least four of five seasons.


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