May 14, 2007
More Britcoms on NBC
Today's fall line-up announcement from NBC reveals that there is only one new comedy planned for next year, amidst all the time-travel serial dramas and the "Bionic Woman" remake. The lone sitcom (scheduled to be a mid-season replacement) is another UK import, "The IT Crowd", about the tech department of a big company and their geeky hijinks.
The original version of the show has only been on for one 6-episode season, and features a lot of pratfalls and other slapstick-y shtick. Some of what I've seen is pretty funny, such as a recurring joke about how Roy, the main IT guy, always answers the help line (video). Another bit from the first episode, in which a young, attractive woman starts her first day as the company's new IT Director is kind of sloppy, but there is some potential (video).
The Wikipedia entry for the UK version includes some of the show's better cultural references:
- Roy's t-shirts include "RTFM", an alien from Space Invaders, the Flash's lightning bolt, the 256th level of Pac-Man, Guided by Voices, and the number 42
- Stickers decorating the office include 'MP3 is not a Crime'; 'Fair Use has a posse'; the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and an O rly? Owl
Even if the ratings still aren't so great, NBC has been successful with importing the UK's "The Office" and developing it into its own entity. The material of the original "The IT Crowd" isn't as good to begin with, so hopefully NBC will get creative. I almost wish Judah Friedlander from "30 Rock" was available so he could play the main IT guy... BUT thank you NBC for standing your ground and not canceling "30 Rock".
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