Friday, February 16, 2018

YouTube Channel Profile: Defunctland

            Ever miss particular theme park rides?  Wish you could know more about closed ride history, plus other aspects of theme parks?  Well, here is your YouTube channel.   Created November 2, 2016, with the first video posted on February 15, 2017, Defunctland focuses on all things defunct from theme parks from around the United States.  Defunctland is founded, written and hosted by Kevin Perjurer, a deep-voiced man of mystery since his profile picture is of Brad Pitt (or a wax sculpture of Brad Pitt).   Here is a profile of the YouTube channel Defunctland.
           Defunctland began with a look at of the one of the most notorious closed Disney rides, ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter, a ride meant to provide genuine scares to people attending the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, as opposed to the gentle thrills of Haunted Mansion.  Opening in 1994, the ride lasted for almost a decade until closing in 2003.  Perjurer profiles the entire history of the ride, from its conception to closing, along with any interesting trivia along the way.  Perjurer shows a huge love of closed Disney Rides and Attractions, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Disneyland's Videopolis, Captain EO, and Pleasure Island, along with smaller aspects such as the Sorcerer's Hat from Disney's Hollywood Studios and the walk-around characters who no longer roam the park.  A personal favorite of mine is Disneyland's America Sings because I had no knowledge of the ride before I viewed the video:

         Of course, the other major player in the theme park game is also profiled, Universal Studios, with 7 videos about closed rides, attractions and other shows from the theme parks.  The major closed rides profiled include Jaws, Kongfrontation, and Earthquake: The Big One, as well as shows such as Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue.    But Purjurer also expands beyond the Disney and Universal theme parks to include rides from King's Island in Ohio (Son of Beast) and Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Drachen Fire), plus the history of Action Park.  He also released a bonus video with compiled archive footage from his research into closed theme park rides and attractions.  Check out the history of Disaster Transport from Cedar Point, which wanted to be a themed space ride on the level of Disney or Universal but failed miserably: 

        In addition, Kevin Perjurer started the Defunctland Podcast on August 24, 2017, where he talks about everything related to theme parks.  By far the best of the podcast feature his interviews with people who actually work in the theme parks, including a Universal Studios employee and a three-part podcast with Imagineer and Puppeteer Terri Hardin, the Muppet performer who worked on Captian EO and many other Disney attraction-related projects.  Kevin Perjurer also hosted a live stream debate between him and Rob Plays, about the future of the Theme Park Industry.  Check out Purjurer's interview with Terri Hardin, if you have a few hours:

      Kevin is also working on (with others) a VR theme park with the closed attractions profiled.  He released a short VR-enabled 360-Degree Proof-of-Concept video with the Sorcerer's Hat.   Kevin has talked about the virtual theme park and its aspects several times on the Defunctland Podcast, giving hints to the design and layout.  
      One final bonus tidbit: Kevin released his first non-theme park-related content on December 31st, 2017, with the history of Mac Tonight, a McDonald's character no longer used by the company.   
       Overall, there are 29 official episodes of Defunctland, and 11 podcasts available in addition to the live stream.   Kevin Perjurer, disguised as a Brad Pitt wax figure, continues to shed light on closed rides, attractions, and theme parks.  Check out Kevin Perjurer's Defunctland YouTube channel:

         This is the 248th post on this blog.  To celebrate my 250th blog, I am doing a post with stats from the last 249 blog posts, plus a 10-question trivia contest, where the winner will receive a $5 Amazon gift card, plus a signed copy of my book, Romance is for Other People!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Foreign Adaptations of The Nanny, Part 2 (European Versions)

            Last week, four Latin American versions of the US sitcom The Nanny were covered.   In addition, the show was adapted in European countries, showing that the concept has appeal across the ocean as well. Here are three European adaptations of The Nanny:
            The Greek version of the Nanny, Η Νταντά (The Nanny) premiered in 2003 on the Mega Channel.  Mary Papadakis (Μαίρη Παπαδάκη), played by Maria Lekaki (Μαρία Λεκάκη), goes to work as a nanny for wealthy Aris Bakopoulos (Άρης Μπακόπουλος), played by Kostas Apostolidis (Κώστας Αποστολίδης).  There Mary meets the three children, Natalia (Ναταλία), played by Iphigenia Voyiatzaki (Ιφιγένεια Βογιατζάκη); Phoebus (Φοίβος), played by Vassilis Karagiannis (Βασίλης Καραγιάννης); and Evita (Εβίτα) played by Natalia Dara (Ναταλία Δάρα).  She also interacts with the butler Dionysis Hatzimichael (Διονύσης Χατζημιχαήλ), played by Christos Simardanis (Χρήστος Σιμαρδάνης), and Aris' business partner Smaragda Plauputa (Σμαράγδα Πλαπούτα), played by Kalliroi Myriangou (Καλλιρρόη Μυριαγκού).   Η Νταντά lasted two seasons and 70 episodes, from 2003 to 2005.  (Opening Titles start at 2:00 on the video below:)
           The version of The Nanny from Poland, Niania, premiered in 2005 on channel TVN. Franciszka "Frania" Skalska (Agnieszka Dygant) goes to work as a nanny for wealthy Maksymilian "Maks" Skalski (Tomasz Kot) in Warsaw.  Frania is put in charge of three children, Małgorzata (Maria Maciejowska), Adam (Roger Karwiński) and Zuzanna (Emilia Stachurska), and meets butler Konrad (Adam Ferency) and Maks' business partner Karolina Łapińska (Tamara Arciuch).   The Polish Niania was a huge success in Poland, lasting 9 seasons and 134 episodes (typical season consisted of 15 episodes), from 2005 to 2009.  On the one-hundredth episode ("Miłość aż po Hel"/"Love up to Hel" which is an adaptation of "From Flushing with Love"), Fran Dresher, the original Nanny, pays a visit to the set of the Polish Niania. (Opening titles start at 2:50, and then see Fran Dresher's appearance during the closing credits at 21:28 in the video below:)
            In 2004, Моя́ прекра́сная ня́ня (My Fair Nanny) premiered on channel STS/CTC in Russia.  Viktoria Vladimirovna Prutkovskaya (Виктория Владимировна Прутковская), played by Anastasia Zavorotnyuk (Анастасия Заворотнюк) goes to work in Moscow as a nanny for Maksim Viktoroviс Shatalin (Максим Викторович Шаталин), played by Sergei Zhigunov (Сергей Жигунов).  She meets Maks' three children, Maria (Мария), played by Ekaterina Dubakina (Екатерина Дубакина); Denis (Денис), played by Pavel Serdyuk (Павел Сердюк), and Kseniya (Ксения), played by Irina Andreeva (Ирина Андреева).   Viktoria also interacts with the butler Konstantin Nikolaeviс Semyonov (Константин Николаевич Семёнов), played by Boris Smolkin (Борис Смолкин), and Maks' business partner, Janna Arkadyevna Izhevskaya (Жанна Аркадьевна Ижевская), played by Olga Prokofieva (Ольга Прокофьева).  Моя́ прекра́сная ня́ня was another huge success, lasting 7 seasons and 173 episodes, from 2004 to 2009. Since the original Nanny ended at the sixth season and 146 episodes, the Russian producers brought the American writers in to help write the additional seventh season.  (Opening titles start at 1:35 in the video below:)
           These European versions of the Nanny enjoyed incredible success, one version even going one season beyond the original show's run.  For Russia and Poland (and possibly for Greese as well), their country's version probably became as beloved as the original Nanny was in the US.  Check out these European adaptations of The Nanny.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Foreign Adaptations of The Nanny, Part 1 (Latin American versions)

           The Nanny has such typical set-up it's surprising the show didn't premiere until the 1990s.  Fran Dresher stars as Fran Fine, the nasal-voiced fashionista who becomes the titular Nanny for a wealthy family in Manhattan headed by British widower Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy), who has three children, Maggie (Nicholle Tom), Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury), Grace (Madeline Zima).  Rounding out the cast is the sharp-tongued butler Niles (Daniel Davis) and Maxwell's business partner, C.C. Babcock.  While the children were present throughout the show, the funniest moments occurred in the dynamic between the four adult leads, with Fran being outlandish, Maxwell usually playing the straight man and Niles and C.C. trading barbs with each other and Fran and Max.  In the US, the original show lasted six seasons and 146 episodes, from 1993 to 1999.  The show became a huge international hit, playing in more than eighty countries.  With such a successful concept, it's no wonder that several countries tried to adapt The Nanny into their own language.  Before we begin that list, check out the catchy original opening credits:
    In 2004, Argentina adapted The Nanny as La Niñera.  In this show, Flor Finkle (Florencia Peña) works as the nanny for Juan Manuel Iraola (Boy Olmi) in Buenos Aires, with his three children Maggie (Augustina Córdova), Juan Agustín (Mariano Colombo) and Micaela (Malena Luchetti).  The butler Fidel was played by Roberto Carnaghi and Juan Manuel's business partner Teté López Lynch was played by Carola Reyna.  Unlike US sitcoms, which run on a 22-27 episode season, in the first season, 175 episodes were broadcast on the channel Telefe in 2004.  In the second season, 39 episodes aired, until the show was canceled in March of 2005.  The show also holds the distinction of being the first sitcom made in Argentina. In all, the show ran for two seasons and 214 total episodes, 68 more episodes more than the original series.
     In 2005, Chile adapted The Nanny as La Nany.  Eliana Melina Tapia Cárdenas (Alejandra Herrera) goes to work as a nanny for Max Valdivieso (Alex Zisis) in the La Dehesa neighborhood in Lo Barnechea, near Santiago.  She meets his three children, Catalina (Camila López), Tomás (Maximiliano Valenzuela) and Sofia (Vania Vilas), as well as the butler Bruno Órdenes (Fernando Larraín) and Max' business partner Loreto López, or Lolo (Francisca Castillo).   La Nany aired on Chilean channel Mega from 2005 to 2006 and ran for one season and 106 episodes.
     Around 2006, Ecuador made its own version of La Niñera.  Mary Zambrano (Paola Farías) goes to work for Carlos Eduardo Saenz de Tejada (Frank Bonilla in the 1st and 2nd season, Juan Carlos Salazar in the 3rd season), who lives in Samborondón.  She nannies for Carlos' three children Mauli (Andrea Calderón), Junior (Adrián Avilés), and Graciela "Gracielita" (Arlette Cabrera) and meets butler Jorge (Marcelo Gálvez) and Carlos' business partner Leticia Buckman (Gizella Garbezza).  La Niñera aired on channel Ecuavista and lasted three seasons. 
         In 2007, Mexico released La Niñera, which aired on TV Azteca.  Lisset stars as Fran Flores, who goes to work for Maximiliano Fabregas (Francisco De La O), who lives in the neighborhood of Polanco.  She becomes the nanny to Julieta (Daniela Wong), Fausto (Carlos Hayes), Elenita (Gala Montes) and interacts with the butler Nicolas (Roberto Leyva) and Max's business partner Sisi (Luciana Silveyra). La Niñera lasted one season and 20 episodes, with Lisset singing the theme for the title sequence.
         These Latin American sitcom adaptations provide an interesting look into the how a sitcom changes for its audience while keeping the concept the same.  Its also interesting to note that four Latin American counties wanted to do their version of the Nanny, set in their wealthy cities and neighborhoods.  Check out these South American adaptions of the Nanny.

Friday, January 26, 2018

US TV Series Remade as UK TV Series, Part 2

         Last week, we profiled three UK sitcoms that were remakes of three US sitcoms.  While two of them lasted one series, one, The Upper Hand, lasted a successful seven years.   In this post, we examine three more UK series based on US sitcoms.
          Good Times originated as a spin-off of Maude, intended to the first TV sitcom to portray an African American family at the center.  Florida (Esther Rolle) and James (John Amos) Evans live in a low-class Chicago high-rise apartment and struggle to make ends meet.  They have three children, seventeen-year-old JJ (Jimmie Walker), sixteen-year-old Thelma (Bern Nanette Stanis), and eleven-year-old Michael (Ralph Carter).   Good Times is mostly remembered for JJ being the breakout character and yelling "Dy-No-Mite!"  The show had a more realistic, grounded approach in the first season versus the zanier and goofier tone in the later seasons.  Good Times lasted six seasons, from 1974 to 1979.  In 1976, ITV adapted Good Times, into The Fosters, which, like Good Times for the US was the first British family sitcom with an entirely black cast.   In the Fosters, Samuel Foster (Norman Beaton), is the hardworking patriarch of a family living in a South London council flat.  He is joined by his wife, Pearl Foster (Isabelle Lucas), his older teenage son Sonny (Lenny Henry), teenage daughter Shirley (Sharon Rosita), and Lawrie Mark as preteen son Benjamin Foster.  The Fosters lasted two series and 27 episodes, from 1976 to 1977.
           The Golden Girls originated in 1984 and was about four older women living in the same house together.  Blanche (Rue McClanahan) owned a house in Miami, Florida.  Living in the house with her was dumb but sweet Rose (Betty White), sarcastic Dorthy (Beatrice Arthur) and Dorthy's sharp-tongued mother Sophia (Estelle Getty).  The show was a huge success, lasting eight seasons and 180 episodes, from 1984 to 1992.  In 1993, ITV attempted to remake The Golden Girls as The Brighten Belles.  In The Brighton Belles, Bridget (Shelia Gish) owed a house in Brighton, and living with her were three other older ladies, dumb but sweet Annie (Wendy Craig), sarcastic Francis (Shelia Hancock), and Francis' sharp-tongued mother Josephine (Jean Boht).  Unfortunately, The Brighten Belles was not the runaway success that The Golden Girls was in the US.  The show had a seven-episode first series and a shortened four-episode second series, from 1993 to 1994.
                                   Grounded For Life first aired on Fox in 2001, and was set in an Irish neighborhood in Staten Island, New York.  Sean (Donal Logue) and Claudia (Megyn Price)  Finnerty were married at age 18 and now, in their 30s, struggle to raise their three children, spoiled Lily (Lynsey Bartilson), smart "black sheep" Jimmy (Griffin Frazen), and optimistic Henry (Jake Burbage).  The show struggled in ratings, even being canceled after only two episodes aired in the third season, but was brought back to air on the former network The WB.  The show lasted the rest of the third season and two more seasons on the WB, making a total of five seasons and 91 episodes, from 2001 to 2005.  In 2011, BBC One adapted Grounded for Life into In with the Flynns, which was set in Manchester, northern England.  Liam (Will Melor) and Caroline (Niky Wardley) Flynn married as teenagers, and now in their 30's, struggle to raise Chloe (Orla Poole series 1/Nadine Rose Mulkerrin in series 2), Steve (Daniel Rodgers) and Mikey (Lorenzo Rodriguez).  In with The Flynns lasted 2 series and 12 episodes, from 2011 to 2012.  (In the clip below, "having a snog" specifically means kissing.)
         These UK adaptations only lasted two seasons (or series) each.  It's fascinating to consider how the British writers attempted to keep the concept intact while changing the location, and many times, the main character's names as well.  Check out these UK remakes of US sitcoms.

Friday, January 19, 2018

US TV series remade as UK TV series, Part 1

         It is well known that several UK shows had American adaptations (The Office, for example).  But there were also times that the United Kingdom also tried to adapt well known US shows for a British audience.  Here are three examples of a US TV series which was remade as a UK TV series.
        That 70's Show was a successful teen comedy about six high school friends who come of age in the late 1970s in fictional Point Place, Wisconsin.  Topher Grace played geeky Eric Forman, Mila Kunis played shallow Jackie, Ashton Kutcher played dumb Michael Kelso, Danny Masterson played lazy and sarcastic Stephen Hyde, Laura Prepon played smart and sharp Donna Pinciotti, and Wilmer Valderrama played horny foreign exchange student Fez.  Since the majority of the show took place in Eric's basement, Eric's parents, Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) were main characters, as well as Donna's father Bob (Don Stark), because the Pinciottis lived next door  The show lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006.   In 1999, ITV aired the UK adaption Days Like These.  The show was moved to Luton, England and the main area was moved to Eric's garage.  In this show, Max Wrottesley played Eric Foreman, Rosie Marcel played Donna Palmer, Harry Peacock played Dylan Jones (Stephen Hyde), James Carlton played Michael McGuire (Kelso), Emma Pierson played Jackie Burget, Jamie Beck played Torbjorn Rasmussen (Fez), with Trevor Cooper and Ann Bryson playing Ron and Kitty, and Steve Steen and Sarah Stockbridge playing Bob and his wife Midge.  The show aired from February 12 to July 14, 1999, with three episodes left unaired.

        Who's the Boss? was a popular 1980's and early 90's TV show set in an upscale house in Fairfield, Connecticut.  Retired baseball star Tony Mincelli (Tony Danza) and his daughter Samantha (Alyssa Milano) move into the house of divorced Angela Bower (Judith Light) and her son Jonathan (Danny Pintauro), and her mother Mona (Katherine Helmond), so that Tony can take a job as the housekeeper.  The show lasted for eight seasons, from 1984 to 1992.  In 1990, The Upper Hand premiered on ITV, and was set in Henly-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.  In The Upper Hand, a former footballer named Charlie Burrows (Joe McGann) and his daughter Joanna (Kellie Bright) move into the house of single mother Caroline Wheatley (Diana Weston) her son Tom (William Puttock), and her mother Laura (Honor Blackman), so that Charlie can be the housekeeper.  The show lasted for seven series (seasons), from 1990 to 1996, and even took the final season's plot beyond the original series' ending.

        Married...with Children was one of Fox network's first big hits.  In the show, former high school football star Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) is reduced to selling women's shoes, living with his do-nothing, annoying wife Peggy (Katy Segal), promiscuous daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate), and girl-crazy, sarcastic son Bud (David Faustino).   Amanda Bearse played neighbor Marcy Rhodes and David Garrison played her husband Steve, for the first four seasons.  Bearse's character divorced and remarried to Jefferson D'Arcy (Ted McGinley) in season five.  The show lasted for eleven seasons, from 1987 to 1997.  In 1996, Married for Life aired on ITV.  In Married for Life, down on his luck Ted Butler (Russ Abbot) is married to Pam (Susan Kyd) with daughter Nikki (Lucy Blakely) and son Lee (Peter England).  Hugh Bonneville and Julie Dawn Cole played neighbors Steve and Judy Hollingsworth.  The show lasted for one series (season) with seven episodes aired, from March 5 to April 16, 1996.   

       Translating a US television show to the UK does not always result in UK audiences connecting with the show, as is the case with Days Like These and Married for Life.  However, the success of The Upper Hand shows that, if given the right premise (cast and crew as well), the translation of a US show to a UK series can become just a much a beloved and long-running show as the original.   Check out these UK shows adapted from US sitcoms.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Short-Lived Spin-offs of Matt LeBlanc

          Matt LeBlanc is currently on CBS, headlining his own show, Man with a Plan.  The show is currently in its second season, so time will tell if the show is successful enough for a long run.  He also just finished a successful run in Episodes, playing a fictional version of himself.  Here is a preview clip of Episodes where Matt auditions for playing himself:

        But before Man with a Plan, before Episodes, Matt LeBlanc headlined three different spin-offs which lasted only one or two seasons. Here are the three short-lived spin-offs of Matt LeBlanc.  (Note: the previews below contains content not meant for children).
         In 1991, Matt LeBlanc starred in two episodes of the successful sitcom Married...with Children as Vinnie Verducci, Kelly Bundy's boyfriend, with Joseph Bolonga starring as Charlie Verducci, Vinnie's father and Al Bundy's friend.  These two episodes were meant to set up the spin-off Top of the Heap, the first episode of which was a backdoor pilot which appeared as an episode of Married...with Children.  In the series itself, Charlie tried to get Vinnie to marry into a wealthy family, even though the both of them lived in a small apartment.  Vinnie got a job on a country club and becomes tries to win the affections of the manager (Rita Moreno).  Other characters include Mona Mullins (Joey Lauren Adams), a young girl in the apartment complex who has a crush on Vinnie, and Bobby Grazzo (Robert Torti), Vinnie's best friend.  Christina Applegate, David Faustino, and Ed O'Neill all made appearances in the series as their Bundy characters (though not all in the same episode).  The show lasted seven episodes, from April 7, 1991 to May 19, 1991.  

        Matt LeBlanc subsequently appeared in one more episode of Married...with Children in November 1991.   The following summer, Matt LeBlanc headlined a new sitcom starring the same Vinnie character, Vinnie and Bobby.  In this show, Vinnie had the same apartment but now he was a construction worker with his friend Bobby, who now shares the apartment with him.  Charlie does appear in this series.  Mona Mullins returns as the girl in the apartment complex who has an unrequited crush on Vinnie.   The cast was rounded out with construction workers Bill (John Pinette), Stanley (Ron Taylor) and Fred (Fred Stoller).  Vinnie and Bobby lasted seven episodes, from May 30, 1992 to July 11, 1992.
       LeBlanc rose in popularity and fame in the ensemble show Friends, which lasted for 10 seasons on NBC.  Matt played Joey Tribbiani, a slightly dumb struggling actor with a good heart, who lived in New York City with his friends Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross and Chandler.  After the show ended in 2004, LeBlanc was given the chance to headline his own show, titled Joey.  In the show, Joey moved from NYC to LA, moving in with his sister Gina (Drea de Matteo) and his nephew Michael (Paulo Constanzo), as he struggles find acting jobs.  Also appearing is Alex (Andrea Anders), the next door neighbor who starts an on-again, off-again relationship with Joey, and Joey's agent Bobbie (Jennifer Coolidge).  Joey premiered on September 9, 2004 with 18 million, but ultimately fell to 8 million when the season finale aired on May 12, 2005.  Joey was renewed for a second season, but only 14 of the 22 episodes filmed were aired in the US; the March 7 episode only received 4 million viewers.  The last eight episodes were ultimately aired in Ireland, Latin America and Norway.  The show lasted for two seasons from 2004 to 2006, and 46 episodes (38 in the US).  

        Despite the efforts of LeBlanc, the supporting cast, the writers and producers, these spin-offs lasted only one or two seasons.  It's interesting to think how the television landscape would be different if one of these shows went on to a successful run for many years, but these shows faded into obscurity. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Short-Lived Sitcoms of Bonnie Hunt

         Bonnie Hunt is a successful comedian and actress, with significant supporting roles in serious movies like Rain Man and The Green Mile to comedies like Beethoven and Cheaper by the Dozen. She voiced characters in seven of Pixar's movies, including A Bug's Life, Cars, and Toy Story 3. But she also attempted to headline her own sitcom, not once but three times. Unfortunately, none of those series lasted past one or two seasons, despite positive critical reviews for all three attempts.  Here are the three short-lived sitcoms of Bonnie Hunt.
        The first sitcom Bonnie Hunt starred in was in 1993, near the beginning of her professional and onscreen comedy career.  It was called The Building, and was co-produced by David Letterman.  In the series, Bonnie Hunt played Bonnie Kennedy, an actress in commercials, who is dumped by her fiance in the pilot episode (played by a pre-ER George Clooney).  Ms. Kennedy decides to move to Chicago, into apartment beside Wrigley Field (hence the title).  The Building, using many Second City members, features an improvisational style not seen in many sitcoms.  The series costarred Holly Wortell, Don Lake and Tom Virtue.  Six episodes were shot and aired in from August 20 to September 17, 1993, each featuring a different guest star, including David Letterman for the second episode, Richard Kind for the fifth episode and Jim Belushi for the sixth episode.  The show can be found in its entirety on YouTube; here's a clip where Bonnie auditions for a soap commercial and Richard Kind is the casting director (with a young Andy Dick as the cameraman):

      The second Bonnie Hunt headliner premiered in 1995. The title was first The Bonnie Hunt Show, but later it was shortened to Bonnie. In this sitcom, Bonnie Hunt plays Bonnie Kelly, a television reporter who moves from Wisconsin to Chicago, with an eclectic group of coworkers. The show was made in the same style and with all of the same actors from Hunt's previous sitcom, including Wrotell, Lake and Virtue.  One of the unique things about the show was Bonnie Kelly interviewing real people, asking them crazy, unlikely questions.  There were 13 episodes produced but only eleven aired.  The first six aired from September 22 to October 27, 1995 and the next five aired from March 10 to April 7, 1996, before the show was taken off the air.  Clips of the interviews can be found on YouTube with under the title The Bonnie Hunt Show. In this clip, Bonnie Kelly interviews kids about their first day of school: 

      Life with Bonnie is Bonnie Hunt's third and probably most famous sitcom.  Premiering in 2002, Bonnie Hunt played Bonnie Malloy, a local television talk show host called Morning Chicago who also juggles being a wife and mother.  Mart Derwin played her husband, Mark, and Charlie Stewart and Samantha Browne-Walters played the children Charlie and Samantha, respectively (Samantha only for season 1).  Marianne Muellerliele played Gloria, the Malloy's live in housekeeper/nanny who does nothing around the house.  David Alan Grier Anthony Russell, Holly Wortell and Chris Barnes played her Morning Chicago crew.  Like Hunt's previous efforts, the show was largely improvised.  Life with Bonnie did last a full two seasons from 2002 to 2004, with a total of forty-four episodes, which is more than can be said for The Building or The Bonnie Hunt Show.  While the first season did good but not great on Tuesdays, the second season was moved to Fridays and struggled in the ratings.  This clip, from the second half of the third episode Dream, shows Bonnie, suffering from a cough, is given prescription cough syrup with a high alcoholic content...and well, see for yourself:
       Bonnie Hunt's show all featured her native Chicago, and all used her preference for improvisational comedy.  It's too bad none of them took off with viewers and became iconic, well-remembered sitcoms.  Nevertheless, here are Bonnie Hunt's three glorious but short-lived television sitcoms that showcase her unique style.