Bruce Cameron, this sitcom revolves around the Hennessys, a typical middle class family living in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.Sportswriter and father Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) feels guilty about missing out on his children’s’ early years.In a media culture hurtling by at an increasingly frantic pace, a percentage of the audience can be counted upon to seek out any such novelty.
Cameron captures the angst that every father of a teenage daughter feels.” —Charles Shyer, writer/director of Father of the Bride I and II“W.Director James Widdoes and the four credited writers clearly sought to be sensitive, and there was something irresistibly emotional about the fictitious family’s pain given its real-life underpinnings.Still, most of the stabs at comedy felt forced, including cameos by John Ratzenberger and Patrick Warburton, expressing their condolences. Each scene was connected by melancholy guitar chords, working overtime to create a properly somber tone.Yet just because she cuddled up with kids at the end doesn’t mean everything’s going to be alright. Bruce Cameron’s book, the series hinged on Ritter’s deft exasperation dealing with his teenagers. Executive producers, Tracy Gamble, Flody Suarez, Michael Bostick, Tom Shadyac; co-executive producer, Gayle Abrams, Seth Kurland, Ric Swartzlander, Martin Weiss; supervising producer, Bill Callahan; producer, Bonnie Kallman; director, James Widdoes; writers, David Flebotte, Weiss, Kallman, Gamble; Crew: Camera, Bruce Finn; editor, Marco Zappia; music, Dan Foliart; production design, Jay Pelissier; casting, Lori Openden. The re-engineered dramedy might work as a “very special episode,” but it will likely offer little allure to viewers now that they’ve seen where the show is headed.
Predictably, if morbidly, Tuesday’s one-hour return episode drew a vast audience, bolstering ABC’s sweeps bottom line.