Midseason 2012/2013 Pilot Reviews: 1600 Penn

Premise: A look at the Gilcrests – the somewhat dysfunctional First Family

Initial Thoughts: The idea didn’t particularly appeal to me during upfronts. I hadn’t seen any other promos for it before the sneak preview, so that was all I had to go on.

Series Premiere: 12/17/12 (preview); 1/10/13 (timeslot premiere)

Timeslot Competition: Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Person of Interest (CBS), Glee (FOX), Beauty and the Beast (CW)

Post-show Thoughts: If they tone down Skip’s character, I might be willing to give the show another chance.As it is, I really didn’t like his character. The constant screw-up trope isn’t one that I enjoy watching at all, so the first few minutes of this show were particuarly irritating to me. I saw glimpses of what this show could be when it focused on the bond between family members, but I’m afraid that Skip screwing things up will always take center stage. I’d be interested to see how Becca’s pregnancy affects her relationship with Emily, mostly because I think their dynamic is an interesting on to explore. Overall, this wasn’t the show for me.

Predictions: NBC wants this to be their answer to Modern Family and I think they missed the mark a little bit. It’s hard to judge what ratings will be, since it did premiere after the final performance episode of The Voice, but I don’t see this being a hit. Even with one of the best lead-ins that NBC could give the show, it didn’t do anything spectacular in the ratings. They need something with a large appeal and I don’t think a show about the First Family is going to do that. Politics were definitely not the focus of the episode, but they are always going to have to be a part of the show, which may not appeal to a wider audience. I don’t see this lasting long although I doubt it will be bad enough to get the episodes pulled before they all air. Unfortunately, NBC doesn’t have a strong Thursday-night line-up at all (just looking at the ratings, I think most the shows are fantastic) and so expectations will probably be a bit lower because of that.  

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