|Veröffentlicht:||vor 7 Jahren, am 06.05.2011 um 00:05|
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Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of staff writers for Martha Stewart Weddings, who steal all their best ideas from me? in the new new media capitol of the world? St. Petersburg, Florida!
By BOB ANDELMAN
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A wedding seems the appropriate analogy to finish out the first season of the NBC sitcom "Outsourced."
The show, about a white bread American exiled to run a Mombai, India call center, seemed more out of this world to TV critics and many viewers when it debuted in September 2010 than even Star Trek?s blue-skinned, antennaed Andorians.
"Outsourced" took a critical drubbing before most Americans even knew it was on the air.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the Mid American Novelties? annual shareholders meeting: NBC renewed "Outsourced" for a full season. Somebody, somewhere believed in the show.
And I think you can even make a case that putting it at the end of the network?s three-hour Thursday comedy block was a loving, protective move. Slotted at 10:30 p.m. took the pressure off, giving audiences a chance to discover it on their own terms at a time of night when expectations were low.
I would also argue that both moves took the pressure off the writing staff, who shaped a lump of coal into a shimmering diamond. Characters developed and blossomed. Storylines ? such as assistant manager Rajiv?s efforts to woo his beloved and her stony, disapproving father ? were given gentle showcases and, as they say, hilarity ensued.
We learned that Rajiv ? played by Rizwan Manji ? had a heart. And that despite all his efforts to be disdained by his employees, they loved him nonetheless.
So this marriage, unspooling in a two-part episode starting May 5 and concluding on May 12, represents not just the coming together of Rajiv & Vimi. It also marks the union of an Indian cast of sitcom characters and an American TV audience.
Just this morning I read in Variety that the show has won over the Natl. Assn. for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications as well as South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment, both of which are actively lobbying NBC to give "Outsourced" a second season. That?s important because the network might respond if it sees a chance to market to a welcoming, niche audience it hasn?t programmed to in the past.
RIZWAN MANJI audio excerpt: "('Outsourced') is such a different kind of TV than we've ever seen... These characters are so endearing and lovable, you're just rooting for them to succeed."
Bob Andelman is the author or co-author of 12 books, including 'The Consulate' with Thomas R. Stutler, 'The Profiler' with Pat Brown, 'Built From Scratch' with the founders of The Home Depot, 'The Profit Zone' with Adrian Slywotzky, 'Mean Business' with Albert J. Dunlap, and 'Will Eisner: A Spirited Life.'
Copyright 2011 Bob Andelman. Click here for copyright permissions!