THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: CBS COMEDIES

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distefano

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Distefano

Logline: Izzy and Chris are twentysomethings raising their newborn daughter and merging their loud families – one Puerto Rican, one Italian. Inspred by the comedy of Chris Distefano.
Cast: Chris Distefano, Annie Potts, Diane Guerrero
Creators: Carter Bays (W / EP), Craig Thomas (W / EP), Chris Distefano (CoEP), Brian Bockrath (EP), Pamela Fryman (D / EP)
Studios: Sony TV

Since How I Met Your Mother went off the air, CBS has been trying to find the right show for creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Nothing has really stuck yet. But will this return to hybrid comedy, a pairing of family comedy and multi-cultural comedy, finally do the trick?

In voiceover and scenes, we see 29-year-old Chris Destefano was a bit of a player, the type of guy that would live for his Saturday nights. Then he spots fiercely independent Puerto Rican Izzy, and it’s love at first sight. They instantly connect and tell each other their backstories. Fast forward a year, and Chris is living with Izzy and her five-year-old son Nino Jr, and they have a three-month-old baby together.

Our lead couple is looking forward to a nice anniversary night out. We meet the respective Irish and Puerto Rican mothers of our two leads. And we see flashbacks on how life used to be for Chris and Izzy, and important moments in their relationship. Act One ends with water spewing everywhere and Chris trying his best to fix it. Act Two has more and more family members stopping by, and it becoming clear that an anniversary dinner out isn’t going to be so simple.

This is a cute pilot. I like the ambition behind most of the action happening in one night. Flashbacks are used to good effect, as they were in How I Met Your Mother. The major issue we have here is a premise that’s been done repeatedly — a couple with families from two very different backgrounds — and that this is on CBS. Almost ever comedy on air at the network, save for Life in Pieces and Superior Donuts, goes for very jokey jokes. And this pilot plays it a bit more subtle. Is that to the pilot’s benefit?

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