Sunday, November 12, 2017
In case you've forgotten about it, Man With a Plan returns for Season 2 at 7:30 p.m. Monday on CBS.
Evidently, the sophomore sitcom was waiting quietly on the bench for the first fall show to stumble. That turned out to be the freshman Bobby Moynihan comedy Me, Myself & I, which tried to do something different by showing the main character at three stages in his life.
The series has been pulled from the schedule after six dismal episodes. A respectable 7.5 million viewers sampled the pilot on Sept. 25, but by the sixth episode on Oct. 30, only 3.9 million were left. That'll get you kicked to the curb on broadcast TV without even the pretense of crocodile tears.
The networks realize this sort of thing happens every fall. In essence, they just throw a bunch of shows at the wall to see what sticks. Me, Myself & I didn't stick and Man With a Plan was waiting to fill the void.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, the new CBS lineup will be Kevin Can Wait, Man With a Plan, Superior Donuts, 9JKL and, at 9 p.m., the action drama Scorpion.
Me, Myself & I will go ahead and finish production on its original 13-episode order and, according to CBS, "will return at a later date." There's no word when the remaining episodes will be burned off, but for all practicable purposes, the show is canceled.
Man With a Plan will be especially enjoyed by those who fondly remember Matt LeBlanc from his years as Joey Tribbiani on Friends (1994-2004). Since then, LeBlanc starred in the unfortunate spinoff Joey (2004-2006), and earned a Golden Globe for portraying a fictional version of himself on the BBC/Showtime comedy Episodes.
As with the rest of the CBS Monday lineup, LeBlanc's series does not reinvent the family sitcom wheel, but for those who need an old-school comedy chuckle these days, here's your show.
LeBlanc stars as Adam Burns, a co-owner of Burns Brothers Construction company, who begins to spend more time with the kids when his wife goes back to work after 13 years as a stay-at-home mom.
For Adam, it's a rude awakening learning how to deal with three messy children once Andi (Liza Snyder), returns to her job as a medical lab technician. Adam is initially confident, but wrangling the brood turns out to be a challenge.
The kids are preteen daughter, Kate (Grace Kaufman), middle child Teddy (Matthew McCann) and their precious youngest, Emme (Hala Finley), who has begun kindergarten under the supervision of Mrs. Rodriguez (Diana Maria Riva).
Kevin Nealon stars as Don Burns, Adam's older brother and business partner. In recurring roles, Stacy Keach plays Adam's and Don's father, and Swoosie Kurtz plays their mom, Beverly.
Adam also finds himself volunteered as a room parent. There, he finds advice from a couple of equally stressed out parents, Marie and Lowell (Jessica Chaffin, Matt Cook).
All the above happens Monday. Meanwhile, there is something educational and entertaining on AETN, and informative and enlightening on cable tonight.
• Independent Lens, 10 p.m. today on PBS and AETN. Season 19 of the documentary series opens with "Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary,"
If you don't want to stay up to watch this special on the life of the legendary jazz musician, be sure to put it on your DVR for later viewing.
"Chasing Trane" features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies as well as newly found footage of the saxophone great (1926-1967) and his band in the studio.
About the documentary, Independent Lens says, "It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all, it is the incredible spiritual journey of a man who found himself and, in the process, created an extraordinary body of work that transcends all barriers of geography, race, religion and age."
• Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography, Part 1 airs at 8 p.m. today on A&E; Part 2 follows at the same time Monday.
Remember Elizabeth Smart? She was the pretty blond Mormon teenager who was abducted at knife point from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002 and finally rescued nine months later with the help of America's Most Wanted. Her story captivated the country.
Held by a religious fanatic named Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, Smart was "married" to Mitchell, who repeatedly raped her. She was drugged, forced to endure religious rituals and threatened with death.
In the special, the 29-year-old Smart, now an activist and author, reveals untold details of her abduction and discusses the efforts made to find and save her.
Why didn't she simply run away? Smart says, "People still say to me, 'Did you sympathize with your captors?' It makes me feel so defensive. The truth is, I made my rescue possible."
At 9 p.m. Nov. 20, A&E will present an hour special, Elizabeth Smart: Questions Answered in which Smart will discuss her journey. Dr. Drew Pinsky hosts.
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