NBC 2010-11 Comedy Trailers: OUTSOURCED, LOVE BITES, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, PERFECT COUPLES, THE PAUL REISER SHOW

     May 16, 2010

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With the release of NBC’s 2010-11 schedule comes a whole bunch of preview clips to promote the network’s new shows.  On the comedy side, we have short clips from new fall shows Outsourced and Love Bites as well as midseason offerings Friends with Benefits, Perfect Couples, and The Paul Reiser Show.  (For clips from NBC’s new dramas, click here.)  Check out the clips for yourself, as well as full synopses for each show, after the jump.

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OUTSOURCED, Thursday’s at 9:30/8:30c

“Outsourced” is a comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon — and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) is the new company’s manager who learns that he’s being transferred to India to run the operation.  Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job. Rizwan Manji (“Privileged”), Sacha Dhawan (BBC’s “Five Days II”), Rebecca Hazlewood (BBC’s “Doctors”), Parvesh Cheena (“Help Me Help You”), and Anisha Nagarajan (Broadway’s “Bombay Dreams”) also star as members of Dempsy’s off-shore team; Diedrich Bader (“The Drew Carey Show”) and Jessica Gower (Network Ten’s “The Secret Life of Us”) additionally star.  “Outsourced” is produced by Universal Media Studios. Robert Borden (“The Drew Carey Show” and “George Lopez”) is executive producer/writer. Ken Kwapis (“The Office”) developed the project through his company, In Cahoots, and serves as executive producer/director. Alex Beattie serves as co-executive producer.

Is it just me, or does this show seem like it’s going to be a bit . . . racist?  Be careful, Outsourced: these are the things I think about when I’m not laughing.

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LOVE BITES, Thursdays at 10/9c

From Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Cindy Chupack (“Sex and the City”), “Love Bites” is an hour-long romantic comedy anthology series featuring three loosely connected, modern stories of love, sex, marriage and dating. Each episode contains multiple vignettes, all illuminating the theme of love with an edgy, irreverent spin.  Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) stars as Annie and Jordana Spiro (“My Boys”) stars as Frannie, the last two single girls standing after all of their friends get married. Annie is an infectiously bubbly optimist and Frannie is an always-a-bridesmaid realist. Their story will anchor the series, while other romantically-challenged characters will come and go each week.  The pilot’s guest cast includes Jennifer Love Hewitt (“Ghost Whisperer”), Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”), Craig Robinson (“The Office”), Jason Lewis (“Sex and the City”), Lindsay Price (“Lipstick Jungle”), Larry Wilmore (“The Daily Show”), Charlyne Yi (“Knocked Up”), Pamela Adlon (“Californication”), Stacy Galina (“Hidden Hills”), Brian Hallisay (“Privileged”), Kyle Howard (“My Boys”) and Steve Howey (“Bride Wars”).  “Love Bites” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Working Title Television, which is a new division of Working Title Films (the U.K. production company behind box office hits including “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral”). Chupack is creator, executive producer and writer. Emmy Award-winning producer-director Marc Buckland (“My Name Is Earl”) also is executive producer and directs the pilot. Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Shelley McCrory from Working Title Television are executive producers. “Love Bites” is Working Title Television’s first U.S. commission.

I do love Becki Newton, but I don’t think this show is targeted toward me.  Still, this could become a guilty pleasure à la Ugly Betty that I am in theory too manly for.

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FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, Midseason

From Oscar and Emmy winner Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Arrested Development”), “Friends With Benefits” is a half-hour comedy revolving around a group of twenty-something singles as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating.  Ben Weymouth (Ryan Hansen, “Party Down”) is on the hunt for the perfect woman who meets his unique set of standards, while his best friend, Sara Maxwell (Danneel Harris, “One Tree Hill”), is just looking for a man to settle down with and raise a family.  Ben and Sara have fallen into the habit of turning to each other for moral and physical support as they wait for Mr. and Ms. Right to arrive.  Their friend Aaron (Fran Kranz, “Dollhouse”), a romantic at heart, doesn’t approve of Ben and Sara’s complicated friendship, but he, along with womanizer Hoon (Ian Reed Kesler) and straight shooter Riley (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), are all distracted with their own dating trials and tribulations.  David Nevins (“Lie to Me,” “Arrested Development”) joins Grazer as executive producer for Imagine Television.  Also serving as executive producers are David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”), who directs the pilot, writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“(500) Days of Summer”), and Jeff Kleeman.  “Friends With Benefits” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Big Kid Pictures.

This is my favorite of the new comedies from what I’ve seen, but I’m a sucker for Ryan Hansen after Veronica Mars and Party Down; I do worry what the pickup of Benefits means for the future of the Starz catering comedy, though.

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PERFECT COUPLES, Midseason

“Perfect Couples” depicts the misadventures of three engaging couples as they struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship — and how to maintain it through humorous trial-and-error.  The series explores their heroic journey in search of the perfect relationship without destroying each other in the process.  Dave (Kyle Howard, “My Boys”) and Julia (Christine Woods, “Flash Forward”) are the relatable, normal couple, but Julia’s hope of remaining the cool, low-maintenance chick is tested by Dave’s attempts to keep both his wife and his needy best friend Vance (David Walton, “Heist”) equally happy.  Vance, along with the neurotic Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), are the high-passion, high-drama couple who bring out the best and worst in each other.  The third duo features Rex (Hayes MacArthur, “She’s Out of My League”), a reformed party guy, and, and his wife, Leigh (Olivia Munn, “Attack of the Show”), who considers herself as the group’s mother hen.  Believing that they are relationship experts, Rex and Leigh have attended every class and seminar on relationships — and regard themselves as the “perfect couple.”  Jon Pollack (“30 Rock”) and Scott Silveri (“Friends”) are the executive producers while Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is the director.  The series is produced by Universal Media Studios.

I want to like this one a lot, but it seems to be a bit forced.  Maybe the laughs come together better in full episodes.

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THE PAUL REISER SHOW, Midseason

“The Paul Reiser Show” is a new single camera comedy from Emmy and Golden Globe nominated comedian-author-producer-actor Paul Reiser (“Mad About You”) and writer-producer Jonathan Shapiro (“Life”).  The show stars Paul Reiser as…Paul Reiser.  It’s been a few years since Paul’s hit TV series went off the air. Since then, he’s been enjoying the quiet life at home with his lovely wife and kids and generally minding his own business.  Lately, however, Paul has been thinking that it’s time he did something new, something meaningful.  As to what that next thing might be, he has no idea.  In his quest to figure it out, Paul is helped and hindered by his new “friends.”  Like most men his age, Paul didn’t choose these friends.  They’re the husbands of his wife’s friends, the dads of kids that his boys go to school with. Thrown together by circumstance, Paul and his friends form an unlikely comradeship — and a horrible basketball team.  In addition to Reiser, Ben Shenkman (“Angels in America”) stars as Jonathan, Omid Djalili (“The Infidel”) as Habib, Duane Martin (“All of Us”) as Fernando, Andrew Daly (“MADtv”) as Brad, Amy Landecker (“A Serious Man”) as Claire, Brock Waidmann as Zeke and Koby Rouviere (“Greenberg”) as Gabe. The pilot is executive produced and written by Reiser and Shapiro, produced by Craig Knizek (“Mad About You”), Merri Howard (“Cold Case”) and Peter Safran (“Heist”), and directed by Bryan Gordon (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”).  “The Paul Reiser Show” is a production of Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Nuance Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

This brought back fond memories of Mad About You reruns, although it kinda seems like Paul Reiser saw Curb Your Enthusiasm on TV and though “Hmm.  I could do that.”  As long as it remains funny as he “does that”, I won’t complain.

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