In the nineties BBC 2 used to air double bills after 11 pm of Seinfeld and The Larry Sanders Show, both of which were considered to be at the forefront of modern comedy. Seinfeld has remained a classic, The Larry Sanders Show appears to have dated a bit.
We have to consider that this first episode was created before the famous Leno-Letterman fight over The Tonight Show. Since then the general public has learned more about life in that special area known as 'late nigh talk shows'. The recent Leno-O'Brien dispute has given us even more insight into the business side of things, the pettiness, the jealousy, etc.
As a result, a situation comedy about life behind the scenes of a talk show doesn't surprise any more. It's just another work environment sitcom. Garry Shandling plays a version of himself. The problems he faces, like the pressure of the advertisers, are hardly original. The other regular characters aren't fleshed out yet, ... except Jeffrey Tambor's Hank Kingsley. He's the only character who arrives as a fully formed classic comedy character. You don't even have to know which real people he's based on, it's the character you will remember after this pilot.