Paul Reiser slams NBC for show cancellation: 'When you're the last place network, you don't want to jeopardize that.'

Jay Leno was probably looking for some awkward fun when he kept his plans to have Paul Reiser on his show even after NBC axed Reiser’s new show last week after only two episodes. Encouraged to address the cancellation, Reiser told Leno that the dismal numbers were to blame, but, “NBC, to my knowledge, they don’t traditionally make bad decisions. I don’t know what your experience is.” Leno doubled over his desk in laughter as Reiser continued. “[NBC said] ‘It’s a great spot. You’re opposite American Idol.‘ … It turns out, [they] enjoy missing you more than having you.”

As “knuckleheaded” as Reiser thinks the decision to be, he said he doesn’t blame the network. “When you’re the last place network, you don’t want to jeopardize that. You found your niche, stay there.”

Fellow guest Christina Aguilera, whose show The Voice premieres tonight on, oh yeah, NBC, sat silently to Reiser’s right as he spewed the sarcasm until Leno turned attention to her, “Have fun on NBC, Christina.” “Yeah, now that you scared the living crap out of me,” she joked.

Then, perhaps not so jokingly, Reiser said: “No, no, no. The reason they didn’t promote our show, it all went to you.” She giggled uncomfortably. I cringed. (NBC is not commenting.)

Did you watch this, PopWatchers? Was it painful for you to watch, too?

Read more:
‘The Paul Reiser Show’: It’s easy to curb your enthusiasm for this thing
Paul Reiser’s new NBC sitcom to replace ‘Perfect Couples’

Comments (210 total) Add your comment
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  • Brenda Barrett

    I didn’t watch, but Reiser’s Tonight Show comments sound funnier than his actual show probably was.

    • somet

      I watched, a bad copy of Curb you Enthusisam. Deserved to be canceled.

      • UncleWalty

        yep. It sucked.

      • Samantha

        Reiser is an unfunny P.O.S. Efff him and eefff EW for giving that cretin any more publicity.

      • Welcome to 2011

        Paul who?

      • tgh

        Exactly right. A complete copy, except it was painfully unfunny.

      • thebasa

        no doubt! cheap having larry david on in the first ep to boost ratings. how about where’s curb season 7??? now there’s a show

      • Sina

        That was the problem, Curb is so freakin funny that you should never even try to copy it. On NBC, they could never do an episode titled “Beloved C*nt”

      • Tom

        the only people you have left to blame is the audience naturally

      • The show sucked

        The show was awful with no redeeming qualities, it was a pale rip off of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He’s not Larry David. That is why it was cancelled. And having Jay in your corner is not the best situation

    • Jason

      I watched it – absolutely horrible. Not one laugh. Every radio/tv promo he did for it was all about his lack of interest in being involved in the industry (I didn’t want to Act again, I didn’t want to be a Comic again, etc)- well, you got your wish, buddy!

      • K

        Hilarious – you got it right.

    • David

      Next headline: “NBC Slams Paul Reiser For Making A Show Nobody Wnated to Watch” Oh, and poor Leno, he paid such a price! (Sarcasm IS fun!) Do you think the description of that night’s guests just read “NBC promotion”

      • Annette

        Yet, they won’t fire Jay Leno! He’s so not funny!

    • Jane

      Probably was? No, definitely was. I saw the first episode and it was awful. How can you feel sorry for Paul Reiser when he’s being Mr. Sourgrapes? NBC probably won’t be calling again. Guilt works on your kids, Paul. Not on your employer.

      • DFSF

        Mad About You was a good show. Thousands of actors would give their right arm just to have one good show. Reiser needs to be grateful and get over it.

      • RK

        He has had two. Did you forget My Two Dads?

      • @ RK

        DFSF said “good” show.

      • Mon

        Ha!

    • Bob

      It was a horrible show. They promoted it a lot (not as much as the Voice, but still), but nothing could save that crappy show. Not funny.

      • Anya

        There’s no way he can possibly compare his show to “The Voice”. Saw a preview of the first 18 minutes and I will definitely watch tonight.

        It was the Kiss of Death to put it opposite AI. The only way it might have had a chance (if it had actually been funny) would’ve been if NBC had used The Voice as a lead in to The PR Show.

    • mela

      Yeah. Mad about you was funny. This new show of his…not so much. I forced myself to sit though an episode, and then decided life is too short.

      • Bebe

        Ha ha! Nice use of “not so much”!

      • J.Norman

        Reiser seems to forget that this time around he didn’t have someone of the ability and stature of Helen Hunt to carry him

      • @ J.Norman

        I hope you’re kidding.

      • Suzie

        Actually, J.Norman is right but that’s just aspect of the many problems of the new show.

    • LOL

      Finally, something funny on Leno? Incredible!

      • Deena

        HA!

      • @LOL

        Yikes you thought that was funny? It wasn’t.

    • Bebe

      They should have given it more than two weeks, though. That was pretty nasty of NBC. Like they have something BETTER to put on in its place?

      • Dorimifah Solatido

        That just shows you how bad it was.

      • Jason C.

        Reruns of The Office are better than Rieser’s show, and they’ll probably bring in more viewers too.

    • katie

      It wasn’t a great show, that’s for sure. But Paul does have a point that it wasn’t promoted. I saw one commercial for it total. And it was never a good fit for NBC’s Thursday lineup. NBC screwed him, but NBC always screws everything up.

      • Jason C.

        I saw a lot of advertisements and news articles about it. It was promoted. The problem was that a lot of people were upset that they yanked Perfect Couples for it, and obviously with good reason. It was a Seinfeld/ Curb Your Enthusiasm knock off.

      • katie

        Really? I saw stuff on EW about it, but only one commercial on NBC the week before it came on. Granted, I really only watch NBC on Thursdays. I was a fan of Perfect Couples, and Paul Reiser’s show didn’t seem to fit into the demo for NBC Thursday nights (which to me is a younger demo). I am 29 and my husband had never heard of Paul Reiser or Mad About You. But we love Parks and Rec, Office, 30 Rock and also really liked Perfect Couples. Oh well….typical NBC.

      • Shawnuel

        I agree, Katie. It was a bad show, but apparently, NBC called up Reiser and asked him to develop it. He seemed perfectly happy at home, raising his family. The fact that the promotion was terrible is so typical. btw, I thought Reiser was hilarious on Leno. He is a comedian…..his observational riffing was spot on!

    • Marie

      I watched the pilot and hated it. Couldn’t bring myself to watch episode 2.

      • YH

        same for me

    • janet

      believe me, they were!

    • Ken jones

      After all these years, Reiser still cannot accept the fact that he is NOT funny. His only success was saved by Helen Hunt.

  • Richard

    Hasbeen.
    Why not take notes from Matthew Perry?

    • Meli

      Mr. Sunshine, believe it or not, is funnier than that piece of crap Paul Reiser tried to foist on the viewers. The fact Mr. Sunshine really isn’t all that funny speaks volumes about how bad Reiser’s show was.

      • T2

        I think Mr. Sunshine is a good show – but I never watched Friends. I think I’m just a Matthew Perry late-to-the-party fan.
        I liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip too.

      • alan of montreal

        Mr. Sunshine’s gotten a lot better the past few episodes

    • Jane

      Mr. Sunshine is a funnier show, but my dog that threw up because he ate a bad burrito when we walked in the park is funnier too. Matthew Perry acts like he doesn’t want to be liked anymore.

  • Katie

    If anyone watched the Paul Reiser monstrosity (I can’t even call it a “show”), they know the network wasn’t to blame since he wrote and starred in it and it was AWFUL. The only mistake the network made was putting it on the air in the first place. The only sure way to stay in last place would be to leave it on. Keep it classy, Paul.

    • SaraS

      I can only say that I saw the commercials for the Paul Reiser show SEVERAL times, it seems as if they promoted it way more than ABC is promoting, say, Happy Endings, which is an awesome show that i hope sticks around.

      • katie

        Happy Endings is really funny, I agree. I’ve seen a ton of commercials for it lately – talking about all the good reviews and tweets about it.

    • jen

      He sounds much worse than James Franco blaming everyone but himself for the Oscars debacle. Yes, I agree keep it classy- especially if you desperately needing a job.

  • J. Doe

    I watched the show cause I read all the reviews about how bad it was. It wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying. It was very mediocre, but not as terrible as the media was making it out to be. Most of what Paul is saying it right, they were just desperately trying to fill the gap left by Perfect Couples and it was a poor choice to stick his show in a comedy block where the dominant audience is younger people who probably don’t remember who Paul was

    • Dorimifah Solatido

      No, they were counter-programming AI – they figured on an older audience. I might have been one of them if the show didn’t suck the sh!t out of a dead horse’s a$$.

    • Sue1

      J. is right, I think. The show needed work but it wasn’t as bad as the reviews made it out to be. If as many people who say “It sucked!” actually watched it the ratings wouldn’t have been that bad. No promos, no time to improve, no chance.

  • HD

    I caught one episode and wondered how anything so unfunny got greenlit in the first place.

    • Ray

      Well, you actually saw 50%!!!

    • Apos

      @HD: Heh…The one PROMO for it had me wondering that very thing.

  • Eva

    Christina Aguilera needs to hire a better stylist. Her current person is not dressing her properly for her body type.

    • benjy

      WTF does that have to do with Paul Reiser’s appearance on the Tonight Show?

      • Jason

        It at least shows that Paul Reiser isn’t even interesting when he’s being interviewed.

      • Anya

        I think she mentioned it because Christina was there with Paul on the couch.

    • pete

      she is a hot mess-always been

      • NJmom

        pete…i wonder just how hot a mess YOU are

  • Clete

    He needs to go over to the history channel. All he needs do is run a pawnshop, go to yard sales, chop down trees, kill crocodiles, stuff animals or search for aliens. Instant hit.

    • Morris

      You forgot bake cupcakes.

      • T2

        And becoming a hoarder.

      • LOL

        And becoming morbidly obese so you can lop off heaps of fat for our viewing pleasure

      • Alex

        Why not a show where he’s a morbidly obese man trying to lose all the weight while running a pawn shop, going to yard sales, baking cupcakes, chopping down trees, killing crocodiles, stuffing animals and searching for aliens on the side, all while combating a hoarding addiction?

    • LL

      Then give birth to sextuplets!

      • Anya

        …while fishing for Crab in Alaska.

      • Jesse

        @Anya – heh heh heh !

  • David T

    I saw the second episode, and it felt like the show was holding back, trying to be a family sitcom instead of being more adult. Lets see, Paul had two story arcs – that Henry Rollins was mad at him for saying he was not funny, and he picked up the wrong kid. Meanwhile his wife was tired because of a cat (which turned out to be Rollins’) and kept saying she was a bad mother……then there was some Iranian Cat Whisperer (so they could make a joke about being allergic to Persians). It played out like a lame sitcom that really didn’t need the ‘celebrity’ of Reiser.

    It would have been funnier if Reiser sort of confronted Rollins about what he said, and Rollins shoots back with his scenes from The Chase, and standup work, instead of reading lines badly for a unfunny screenplay. Meanwhile, maybe the wife dug herself in deep by flying off the handle because of her lack of sleep.

    Oh, and recast/rewrite the friends – they feel like they stepped out of sitcom Stereocastville – the most modest character from Mad About you had more depth than most of the main cast of this show.

    • mrclean

      Henry Rollins? Really???

  • SLB

    Paul Reiser has never been funny.

    • Andy F.

      Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner.

  • Elizabeth

    Hey Paul… there’s a reason your show was a plug in at the end of the regular season. Its like the kids from Triple-A who get called up at the end of the baseball season when the rosters are expanded: they weren’t good enough to be on the major league club all season.

  • Mr. Holloway

    Paul Reiser is slamming NBC for cancelling his show?

    He should’ve been kissing NBC’s feet for giving him a show in the first place! (I mean, was anyone clamoring for more or any Paul Reiser in 2011?)

    • PN

      I think he’s slamming the network for not promoting it enough. I saw commercials only one or 2 times for the show, versus 10 or 12 for the overpromoted Apr. 26th debut of The Voice. But I think NBC wanting to recapture their ’80s/’90s comedy formula that they had with Cosby and Seinfeld on Thursday nights didn’t work for Paul Reiser in 2011. That formula with bringing back Reiser just never mixed in that lineup when Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell are the well known names there.

      • Jane

        You must not watch a lot of NBC (and good for you if that’s the case). Everytime they ran his promo about how his show is a reminder that Will Farrell will be on The Office, I’d groan in agony and I did a lot of groaning. And yeah, they are going crazy promoting “The Voice” but NBC has promoted the heck out of Reiser’s show. It’s almost as bad as their campaign for Seinfeld’s stupid “Bee Movie.”

      • @ Jane

        No they didn’t promote the heck out of the show. I watch a lot of TV and listen to the radio, surf the web etc., but all I saw were two commercials

      • Dorimifah Solatido

        I’d almost forgotten that POS “Bee Movie” until you went & reminded me….GOD that was garbage.

  • jpratm

    I never saw the ADS cus there werent any- I would of watched. Sorry PAUL …

  • Mike

    I watched the first episode, and as someone who watched pretty much everything at least once, I can honestly say it was the worst show on TV this year. And it wasn’t even close.

    • Elbyem

      Bang on. It was unwatchable.

      • Meli

        That’s what happens when a supposedly brilliant comic actor and writer is simply phoning it in on the company dime. He actually had more brilliant moments in the less than 10 minutes that he’s in any of the Beverly Hills Cop movies.

  • Flech

    Lol i forget there are other networks besides Fox and HBO. You really only need these 2 but would be better if Fox dropped Glee, NASCAR, AI,So you think you can whatever… and Bobs Burgers

    • Elizabeth

      Fox makes a ton of money off NASCAR, genius.

  • David T

    I think some of you are missing a point, Paul Reiser is and can be funny. THe great thing about Mad About You was he never tried to make his character likable – He was part of a strong, headstrong couple that would clash. He holds grudges, sticks his foot in his mouth, and doesn’t hold back. THe problem with this show was it seemed like he was trying to make everyone like him. The show did not work because him being Paul Reiser brought nothing to the story. Stereotypical friends, lame story arcs, the show was bad.

    They should have had him get the gameshow job, and deal with contestants that were would-be comics and actors asking him to help them get roles during commercial breaks. Have him approach Helen Hunt about a reunion of Mad About You and getting laughed out of the room, wondering where all his syndication money went, Having people ask him how much he made for his work for IBM servers….stuff like that…..Really play on the celebrity angle, as it seams from all the TV I have watched celebrities love to get paid for a day or two to be on TV and make fun of themselves to show they can laugh at themselves. Oh, and John Goodman, it should have included some frequent cameos of John Goodman.

    • Jen

      Really the problem with tv today is not enough John Goodman.

      • Greta

        ITA.

    • Zakry

      They don’t have a point, David. They would rather just snark.

      Like a lot of sitcoms, Reiser’s needed time to find a rhythm. Sometimes, it takes a while to grab it (The Office, HIMYM), and sometimes, it just doesn’t come (Outsourced), but considering how much time NBC gave Outsourced, two eps for a comedy veteran like Reiser is a bit outrageous, and considering it was against Idol, what did NBC honestly expect?

      • Zoe

        Agree 100%. The first two episodes of 30 Rock are painful to watch–even Tina Fey says as much in her book. Office and Parks and Rec weren’t much better. But some shows need time to find a groove, and geez–why not just run all 6 eps or so they produced?

      • asher

        Disagree with you on Outsourced, that is a consistently funny show.

      • @ asher

        You mean consistently and painfully unfunny. It’s one large stereotype with lowest common denominator humor (and I hate to say it has humor at all).

    • matt

      A lot of people find Paul Reiser highly irritating. I’m pretty sure that’s why he was canceled. It’s Leno humor, which is why this appearance is ironic.

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