Noah: Luke doesn’t speak for me.
Reid: You might want to tell him that.
— Noah and Reid, January 29, 2010

Eric Sheffer Stevens cast in Fox’s first sitcom pilot of the season, ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter’

Updated, 13th March 2011, 5.41pm GMT: It looks like the casting call has gone

Updated, 12th March 2011, 7:23pm GMT: Waking up to this news this morning, a broken website, and two young children at home all day was not the easiest combination to work around today. But researching in blocks of five-minutes at a time, I finally have my own take on this that I’ll share.

Okay, I have nothing material to add to this yet because I just woke to find read this news, For starters, I’ll leave the original source where I saw the story, Michael Fairman’s blog (via a link on the Reid Oliver Facebook):

TV Guide Canada’s Soap Opera Spirit Award winner for Outstanding Actor in a Recurring Role or Guest Star Role, Eric Sheffer-Stevens, has landed a role in the upcoming primetime comedy pilot, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, playing the ex-husband of Annie  played by Jaime Pressly, according to an item out from Deadline.com!

Okay, so following the jump:

  • Known history and production team of I Hate My Teenage Daughter
  • What’s the big deal about a multicamera sitcom (coming soon)
  • The Buzz so far

Highlights:

  • From TVGuide.com: “Eric Sheffer Stevens will also star.” Hard to argue with a major entertainment publication saying he will star! Not have a small role, not “be featured,” but STAR!
  • From Futon Critic: “He’ll play Matt Gutierrez (‘great looking, in a scruffy Javier Bardem kind of way’), Annie’s ex and Sophie’s dad.”
  • From TV.com: 20 TV Pilots We Hope Get Made Into Series – “This is a terrific spin on mother-daughter relationships, and the flashback possibilities are endless.”


Timeline and Production Team of I Hate My Teenage Daughter

The earliest post I have seen was on 12th January at Deadline Hollywood who wrote:

At Fox’s TCA session yesterday, entertainment president Kevin Reilly noted that the network is not giving up on multicamera comedy, and its first comedy pilot order this season will go to a traditional sitcom. That is now a reality – Fox has just closed a deal to greenlight I Hate My Teenage Daughter, from Warner Bros. TV and writers/executive producers Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer. It centers on two women who now have daughters just like the girls who picked on them in high school. Veteran sitcom helmer Andy Ackerman is attached to direct.

The Futon Critic site described it as a “half-hour, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.”

ScreenRant added a few days later:

While many of the details surrounding the show are scant, it is known that sitcom vet Andy Ackerman will direct several episodes. Television viewers should know Ackerman as the director of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. He’s also directed episodes of Wings, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Two and a Half Men. Ackerman has recently handled several episodes of NBC’s upcoming comedy Perfect Couples.

DigitalSpy later added credits for the keyplayers:

Fox has reportedly ordered a new half-hour comedy pilot titled I Hate My Teenage Daughter.
The project will be produced and written by The New Adventures of Old Christine executives Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Kreamer also wrote eight episodes of the CBS sitcom, while Bilsing-Graham previously worked on NBC’s Friends and its spinoff Joey.

Their new sitcom will focus on two women who are shocked when they realise that their daughters are turning into the type of mean girls that previously tormented them in their youth.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter is in development for the 2011-12 television season.

In February, numerous sources reported the signing of the first of the show’s two leads, Katie Finneran. Deadline.com reported on Katie’s signing and added the names of the two lead characters, Nikki (Katie) and Annie:

image Katie Finneran has been cast as one of the two leads of Fox’s multicamera comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The project, from Warner Bros. TV and writers/executive producers Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, centers on two women, Annie  and Nikki (Finneran), who now have daughters just like the girls who picked on them in high school. Finneran is a familiar face at Fox. She co-starred on two series for the network, dramas The Inside and Wonderfalls.

In the last few weeks, as widely reported, Jaime Pressly was signed on to play Annie, the second lead. As noted on Defamer.com.au:

What a rollercoaster of a career it has been for Jaime Pressly. She was popular-ish in the late-’90s, doing movies like Can’t Hardly Wait and Ringmaster and doing a season or two of that WB show Jack & Jill. Then she kind of disappeared for a while, wandering around in Not Another Teen Movie and the BAFTA-winning costume drama Demon Island.

But then came My Name Is Earl, and though she played trashy, she finally earned respect, and even an Emmy award! She’d made it. Until Earl got canceled and then a little while later a DUI arrest was splashed all over gossip sites and there was something about her owing $US600,000 in back taxes and things were not looking bright.

imageBut now! Now she’s been cast as one of the leads on the new Fox pilot I Hate My Teenage Daughter.

And though she is only 34 years old and it’s kind of distressing to think about her having a teenage kid, it’s still good news. Sure it’s only a pilot, might not even make it to air, but you know what they say: work breeds work.

So maybe ol’ Pressly’s still got some gas left in her. I hope so. She’s one of those actors I’ve been oddly rooting for for a while now. Not watching everything she’s in, but just content to know she’s working. You know? Like Sela Ward or Laura Leighton. It’s just nice to know that Hollywood isn’t completely littered with the shards of shattered dreams. Just mostly.

Let’s hope the above writer is correct for ALL the show’s cast (not that I’m biased or anything…)

And on 7th March, TV Guide described Eric’s role as:

I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Comedy). Two women (Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran) fret that their daughters are turning into the type of girls who picked on them in high school. Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer will executive-produce. Eric Sheffer Stevens will also star.

Deadline Hollywood picked it up on the 10th of March, and added Eric’s role (Annie’s ex-husband):

Eric Sheffer Stevens, repped by Gage Group and Vanguard, has been cast in the Fox comedy pilot I Hate My Teenage Daughter, playing the ex-husband of Annie (Jaime Pressly).

And then this was picked up by everyone else and their brother yesterday (except me – I was offline most of the day and didn’t get a chance to check in until today). Daytime Confidential’s update features a nice big photo (no watermark!)

Incidentally, the Futon Critic site describes his role, and notes that the daughters are yet to be cast:

Eric Sheffer Stevens ("As the World Turns") has boarded the comedy pilot, about two women – Annie Watson (Jaime Pressly) and Nikki Miller (Katie Finneran) – who now have daughters – Sophie and Mackenzie (yet to be cast) – just like the girls who picked on them in high school. He’ll play Matt Gutierrez ("great looking, in a scruffy Javier Bardem kind of way"), Annie’s ex and Sophie’s dad. Andy Ackerman is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which was created by Ellen Kreamer and Sherry Bilsing-Graham.

Well, DUH! on the “great looking” part, but just in case I’m not the only one who asked, “Javier WHO? here are some pics:

image image image

After seeing these pictures, I wonder if they’ll either darken Eric’s hair or change the character’s name because I definitely don’t “Gutierrez” in Eric (sorry, not to stereotype, but usually when network television creates a character with an ethnically recognizable name, they usually build it into the character’s backstory and cast someone stereotyped – after all, when was the last time you saw a blonde Mike Takahashi or a brunette and olive-skinned Inga Eriksson?

The Buzz

From what I could find, the buzz on the concept and script is mixed, but the known cast and crew (not mentioning Eric…yet) generally get good reviews from people saying they want to see the show. Jaime Pressly is an Emmy winner, and the writers generally have gotten good reviews as well.

I have seen some raised eyebrows over the believability of the blonde bombshell Jaime Pressly being among the “picked on” rather than the queen bee crowd (she’s ranked as high as #8 in Stuff magazine’s 102 Sexiest Women, #30 in Maxim’s Hot 100, and #17 in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women" lists), and from others questioning that the 33-year-old (I think Defamer.com.au has her age wrong, assuming that IMDb has her birthdate right) would actually have a teenage daughter!

For starters, Tim Surette, a TV.com staff writer posted his list of 20 TV Pilots We Hope Get Made Into Series and included I Hate My Teenage Daughter, writing:

Why this show should be made: This is a terrific spin on mother-daughter relationships, and the flashback possibilities are endless (we’re hoping the teenage daughters play their moms’ tormentors in the FBs). Pressly, even with an Emmy win, is terribly underrated as a comedic actress.

Why it might not get made: Fox has a history with live-action comedies. And that history sucks.

MamaPop (a site that boasts “MamaPop is smart pop culture analysis, commentary, merciless fun-making and other sundry awesome, dished up daily by parents, for parents, and anyone else who understands that playtime is better with vodka.”) argues, sight unseen, that:

I see what Fox is trying to do with the “shocking” title (sure to ire many a “We do not use that word in this house!” parent), but beyond that, how funny can this one-note show really be? It would be way more engaging as a drama, I think, but that territory has already been expertly conquered by movies like Thirteen.

As it is, the whole thing feels tired and hack to me already, and they probably haven’t even begun filming. While I’m glad to see Fox veering away from reality-heavy programming, is it too much to ask to have a fresh idea up in this mother? Next thing you know, we’ll be watching My Toddler Acts Like An Obstinate Hobo and I Resent My Mother-in-Law From Time to Time. Not exactly uncharted waters, my friends.

Based on some of the snark, I’m not sure that they’ve actually read the full (two-line) plot synopsis (because they make it sound like the girls are just nightmares for the moms, it completely misses out the fact that they’re queen-bee b*tches to their peers). But the commentary has some amusing takes on the alternative shows proposed (My Toddler…) and pokes fun at Fox’s reality programming as well.

There are some interesting comments on the Deadline Hollywood post on Jaime’s signing has some particularly interesting observations by people who seem to have read the script. Namely:

Comment by team sheen — Monday February 28, 2011 @ 7:07pm PST

teenage daughter” script is utter crap..no way it gets on the air..btw, wasnt jamie just arrested for a dui? Shes winning!

Comment by Kayla Jane — Monday February 28, 2011 @ 9:17pm PST 

Wow. Completely subjective I guess because I thought it was the funniest thing out there this season. You can tell it had writers from FRIENDS. As with all things the angels are in the chemistry of the casting. But I read it and called it a winner.

TVScriptDude.com agrees with team sheen, saying:

I Hate My Teenage Daughter is plain awful. Aside the fact that I didn’t even smile once during these 52 pages, I despised each character more than the other. I don’t have a teenage daughter but I’m pretty sure that I would lock her up if she turned out that bad. While the plot of the pilot is incredebly predictable, I Hate my Teenage Daughter does make a decent job at showing how tough raising teenagers can be but the show is more of a terrifying look at what our youth is turning out than a comedy. It scared me a hell of a lot more than it made me laugh (because it didn’t) and the only thing I liked about it was that the comedy is only half an hour because another 50 pages of this poor excuse for a comedy would have probably put me asleep. I sincerely don’t have one good thing to say about this new comedy and I hope none of you get the misfortune of seeing it. I Hate My Teenage Daughter is plain awful.

Interesting. Judging by the screen names, it seems like there is a gender divide here, with both “guys” hating it and the lone female comment being favorable. Particularly interesting given that there are four female leads (assuming the daughters have to be pretty major characters) and two prominent women writers.

Given the estrogen involved in the show, the sensationalist, very “Fox”title undermines its credibility as a show FOR women, even prompting a post headlined, “Sexism Watch: New Fox Pilot Title – I Hate My Teenage Daughter” on the Women and Hollywood blog, which noted:

I get it.  It’s tongue and cheek and supposed to be funny.  I even like the description, but I hate the TITLE.  Teenage years are tough enough for parents and kids without the TV box making things worse.  The issue to me is that no one would ever create a show entitled “I Hate My Son” cause we know that would never fly.

I have some hope that the title is just a fluke because the show is written by by two women Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer who worked on The New Adventures of Old Christine which I loved.

Here’s hoping commenter Kayla Jane is right – since we know they’ve got a real angel in their casting, let’s hope we all have winner on their hands!

2 Responses to “Eric Sheffer Stevens cast in Fox’s first sitcom pilot of the season, ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter’”

  1. Gretchen p says:

    I think that they tried to hard with
    This company my they should have used the same
    Writing team from atwt those lines were
    Great bring back some of those actors too
    Then they would have jobs too

  2. lucas says:

    It’s so exciting!! I look forward to ESS’s new drama.

Leave a Reply

See also:

%d bloggers like this: