Friday, March 25, 2005


Former 'Dream On' star Brian Benben is set to star in ABC's 'Neighbors', which centers on dueling neighbors (Benben, Lenny Clarke) who have to contend with each other when their wives (Melinda McGraw and Ann Cusack, respectively) and kids become friends. Sarah Steele is set to play the daughter of Clark and Cusack's characters.

ABC had a great year as far as getting great word-of-mouth for two of its dramas, 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Lost', plus for their "reality" show 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' and its insta-spinoff, 'How'd They Do That?'

But when it came to comedy, it was a tragedy. None of their new sitcoms worked, and only 'According To Jim' actually made a significant showing in the ratings - much to the consternation of Entertainment Weekly.

So they really can't take many chances for next season. Which would mean situating this situation comedy geographically close by the location for 'According To Jim'.

It seems logical to me that Jim would hit it off with Lenny's character, although maybe not as lifelong pals. I think someone with a trained ear might hear the Chicago inflections in Jim Belushi's diction and the Boston accent for Clarke.

Still and all, it makes more sense for Jim and Cheryl to have 'Neighbors' than for the sitcom to be banished to Tulsa where they run the risk of residing near 'Rodney'.


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