NBC has come up with a new idea for a show to help scrape up a few of the ratings points they’ve surrendered to the American Idol avalanche:
Improv? Yup. Celebrity improv (we guess the “celebrity mime” idea got stuck in development). The network is rushing to get six episodes of an improvisational comedy show on the air by the end of the season. Thank God You’re Here is the name. And if doesn’t manage to rate, at least they’ve come up with another way to avoid having to pay writers!The hour-long series goes into production immediately. They’re billing it as something completely different. But of course it’s not original. And no, we’re not talking about ripping off Whose Line Is It Anway?. Thank God was launched in Australia three years ago, and the format has already spread to territories around the world. Celebrity contestants get a costume and a prop and enter an improv scene that’s already in progress. The celeb is greeted with the words “Thank God you’re here,” and the hilarity of improv ensues.
David Alan Grier from In Living Color hosts the new version. One time comedy king contender and poker show host Dave Foley judges the performers. The pilot featured Christopher Guest movie vet Jennifer Coolidge, Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle, Wayne Knight from Seinfeld and Joel McHale from The Soup (Joel McHale from The Soup?).
So what if “improv” is an acquired taste in the USA? They’re not about to run Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip marathons. NBC bought the show from FremantleMedia. That’s the same company that gave them their Idol headaches.
Question: Will TV stations in the Southern United States air a comedy show with the word “God” in the title? Seriously.