DOA at CBS: Accidentally on Purpose: Can This Show Be Saved?


accidentally on purpose

First of all, we are huge fans of the smart, sexy and playfully sassy Jenna Elfman.
We looked forward to her return to network TV on the sitcom, Accidentally on Purpose. But somewhere between when this show was pitched to the network and its premiere on CBS this fall, something went terribly wrong.

According to the Comedy Centric, each airing of the show has registered lower Nielsen ratings than the previous episode. And if that wasn't bad enough, the show is losing the audience of its lead-in, How I Met Your Mother (which, by the way. might have been a better name for Jenna's show).

So what's the problem?
It isn't as if Jenna isn't trying. She seems to be working hard to keep the sinking ship afloat with her considerable charm and comic timing.

But creating greater drag than her lift is an unfortunate amalgam of poor casting, poor scripting and a poor premise.



Perhaps the greatest disappointment is the casting of Jon Foster opposite Jenna.
Not because he's so weak in the part (though he certainly is) but because we -- and we're sure the network -- expected so much more from him.

Jon, in his career, has kind of hit the Cougar jackpot, so to speak, making his debut as the love/sex interest of Kim Basinger in 2004's The Door in the Floor.

In that film, Jon held his own against the talented likes of Kim and Jeff Bridges. His portrayal of a teenager in a Summer of 42 romance with an older woman is what gives this well-done film both heart and soul.



And therein lies the problem.
We're sure that the producers and the network expected him to bring the same level of sensitivity and energy to this show. He didn't.

Not to say that Jon is the only problem.
The show seems to be searching each week for a reason for being. Why do these two people live together? What attracted them to each other in the first place? Why should we care?

Chuck Lorre to the rescue?
With the success of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre -- the brains behind Jenna's Dharma and Greg hit -- is the reigning master of TV's Odd Couple genre. When we first heard about Accidentally on Purpose, we hoped that Lorre might be associated with it in some way. He isn't.

But perhaps even he couldn't sort this one out at this point.

Come on, Jenna. We're pulling for you. Make us proud.

jenna elfman