writing a post about the show saying I was curious to see what it’s like – the process and the contrasting experience of witnessing the broadcast and then seeing it on television.
This was my second attempt at this. Thankfully, there were no worldwide catastrophic events that caused cancellation. I understood why the producers and network cancelled last week and understand even more having now seen the process. It’s a party.
UNDATEABLE LIVE does two performances – one for the East Coast at 5:00 PM (8:00 back East) and 8:00 for the West Coast. Some changes are made between shows.
|Me and Bill Lawrence|
The half-hour warm up is streamed on Periscope. Show runner Bill Lawrence also interacts with fans. Ironically, years ago only union photographers were allowed to take pictures on a sound stage. And now everyone including the dog is snapping photos and selfies.
Because of the looseness of the format and storytelling, scripts are only about 22 pages long. CHEERS scripts used to be almost double that. (Of course we also had more program time and no musical guests... except the Righteous Brothers).
|Me and Phill Lewis|
During the show the writers all Tweet. The goal is to get the show trending. I remember Desi was very big on this during I LOVE LUCY’S heyday.
There is a running time that shows how many seconds or minutes they are over or under. During commercial breaks, Bill Lawrence goes out on the stage and makes cuts on the fly.
During the show it’s organized chaos. After the first scene they moved the bandstand and sixty people had to clear out. To my knowledge, no one was trampled. Even the network executives were forewarned.
The show seems to go by like a shot. Of course, we’re not seeing the endless parade of commercials.
I then went home and watched the West Coast version. It captures some of the craziness but not all. It’s obviously more of a delightful surprise when an actor says a line you know is an ad lib. Or when an actor does something physical that improves upon what he did in the first show. I imagine watching the Presicope pre-game and following the live-Tweets helps the home viewer feel like he’s part of the inner circle.
Unfortunately, for UNDATEABLE it airs on a bad night and has an awful show that follows it. The audience for UNDATEABLE is out dating on Friday night. And 8:00 is a little early for some of the humor. The ratings have been bad, but what can you expect? What I’d like to see is NBC airing it one night after THE VOICE to really give the show a chance to prove itself. I don’t think NBC could get numbers Friday night at 8:00 with Kardashian sex tapes.