With Fox’s new Pittsburgh-set sitcom “Back To You” set to debut next week, Scott Tady looks back at the “hall of lame” — TV shows set in Western Pennsylvania that were critical or marketplace flops.
How could a show like ABC’s “Sirens” fail? “Maybe it had something to do with the no-name cast, predictable plots and low-budget production,” writes Tady, of the Beaver County Times, in the current issue of the newspaper’s sister publication, Go! magazine.
He also remembers the short-lived NBC drama “Skag,” about a Polish steelworker: “The rest of America ignored the show, probably because they were jealous that Pittsburgh had just won its fourth Super Bowl.”
“Back To You” stars Kelsey Grammer (“Cheers” and “Frasier”) and Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as rival newscasters at fictional WURG-TV in Pittsburgh. (On Channel 9, if you’re curious. In a parallel universe, WTOV’s lawyers are already filing an objection to that new license.) It’s produced by James Burrows (“The Simpsons”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”).
“With seven Emmy awards between them, Grammer and Heaton bring considerable clout to a program Fox will air in its cozy 8 p.m. Wednesday timeslot starting Sept. 19,” Tady says. “Pittsburgh deserves a hit, after all the short-lived and forgettable TV shows that were set here.”