Fox’s 12 steps to sitcom mediocrity

  • Monday, July 24, 2006 9:00pm
  • Life

Usually, the signs are far more subtle.

When a show is doomed to failure, you can expect the fireworks around it to be that much greater. They’ll try to hook you up with a T-shirt, or face time with the stars, or the always welcome cookbook.

But you really know they’re in trouble when they simply offer you drinks … at 9:45 in the a.m.

The panel discussion for Fox’s new sitcom “Happy Hour” had been scheduled for the afternoon, but they didn’t let a little schedule rejiggering to deter their best-laid and most desperate plans.

So they busted out a variety of morning beverages, including Irish Coffees, Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

Fox hired servers to carry trays around the large ballroom in the 20 minutes before the session began, offering libations to the TV-weary masses. At first, the offers were met with giggles and shakes of the head.

Soon enough, the majority of folks in the house had a beverage on the table in front of them.

And it’s a good thing, because even a 90-second clip reel of “Happy Hour” would drive one to drink.

Now we’re 10 minutes into the panel and, as I finish writing this, I reserve the right envoke the 5th Amendment as to whether I took part in the early offering of the day.

But one of the actors just thought it was funny to portray himself as a pathetic, whiny, whimpering guy who’s under the thumb of his fiancee, resembling his character on the show.

Excuse me, server. Can I have another?

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