WPIX Hits, Misses...And Missed

posted by Vinnie Penn -

I recently mourned the loss of a good syndicated sitcom in the coveted 11PM slot on WPIX. As a kid I'd stay awake in the summer just to watch "The Honeymooners." (If memory serves, it was either sometimes even "My favorite Martian" or "The Twilight Zone," or they aired alternately in the slot immediately following.)

I see nothing as worthy of this time-honored slot and - to be sure - channel as Ralph, Norton and the gang, their successor "Seinfeld," and that show's successor "Friends." 

Others disagree. Among the series that have danced in the PIX 11PM end zone:

Star Trek Oof. I recall this scheduling mishap vividly. My cousin Blaze was ecstatic that Kirk, Spock and co. inherited the 11 on 11, but it actually ruined one summer of my youth.  

The Odd Couple Shame on me. Brilliant, and I loved it. I watched it when it was actually still in production, my sister and I finding Tony Randall laugh-out-loud funny as Felix (even if The Pigeon Sisters were overrated), and surely on 11 at 11, too. A worthy heir. 

Happy Days Look, this is one of my favorite shows of all time, but damned if I recall it ever being on WPIX. However, I'm not entirely sure this beloved sitcom necessarily works for me here. Maybe I'm feeling like I'd just be Molinaro'd out. (Al Molinaro appeared on both "The Odd Couple" and "Happy Days" - they were both Garry Marshall productions.) 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air No. Loved this show, but no. In fact, seeing that Will Smith's star-making sitcom made the cut and my knee-jerk reaction being a thumbs-down helped me to realize exactly what I need(ed) in my WPIX 11PM slot: A NY-based sitcom. Which makes total sense, if you stop and think about it; PIX is New York. The Big Apple permeates its logos and promos, and its biggest successes in that slot were TV shows where NY was practically a character. 

Will & Grace Eh. I mean, the show was (and is again!) straight-up hilarious, has the zany and/or quirky factor required, and is even New York-based. I've laughed out loud at it, time and again. I can see it working for the PIX decision-makers and the WPIX audience, but I wouldn't rush home for it. And I did for "Honeymooners," "Seinfeld," and still do for "Friends." 

Two & A Half Men No, no, no. Again, the West Coast has no place here, and ya know what? Too risque, even if it sure as hell was a knee-slapper.  

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