Fall TV's 7 flops: What went wrong?


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Welcome to the Family (NBC)
Why it might have worked
: Family comedies are the backbone of the sitcom genre. Mike O’Malley is an affable presence.
Why it so didn’t: The pilot tells the story of two families thrown into chaos over a teenage girl’s unplanned pregnancy. Now on our planet, the initial drama in this idea would be from the question “What’s the girl going to do?” But in the land of terrified network sitcoms, the drama was from “the two wacky dads hate each other!” Not one character utters the suggestion that this problem could be handled another way. I’m not saying that if a character had said the word “abortion” that Welcome to the Family would have been a good show. But running manic circles around the elephant in the room just adds to the sense that these characters weren’t remotely authentic. Just imagine how Modern Family would have handled this same situation and you have a different show, one that might have worked.



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