The Geena Davis Show

Jim 2000s

Aired: 2000 ABC The Geena Davis Show

DAD: Max Ryan (Peter Horton) / Widower

DAD’S JOB: Political Writer

KIDS: Carter (John Francis Daley)(13), Eliza (Makenzie Vega)(6)


STAND-IN “MOM”: Gladys (Esther Scott) / live-in caregiver

Oh dear.

First, I could see arguments coming about this show, and whether or not it qualifies as a true TV Single Dad show. The title actress, in the role of Teddie Cochran, is the girlfriend of Peter Horton’s character. They are NOT married, although Geena does seem to spend a lot of time at his house. Is he truly a TV Single Dad if she’s there?

After the premiere, all I can say is: don’t worry about arguing – the show is doomed. The characters are as thin and watery as lettuce soup, the jokes are garbled, trite, and telegraphed. The daughter has treacle-filled lines that would gag Buffy from Family Affair, and a speech impediment used for comic effect that’s an embarrassment to the writers. Catch the show quick or you’ll never see it again.

Update Oct. 11, 2000: After receiving about two dozen emails from Alert Viewers hammering this show, I contacted ABC/Touchstone Television to find out the network’s reaction. A spokesperson said they’ve received “no negative comments at all, none whatsoever.” Fascinating, since the message board wass filling up with PAGES of negatives. Get out your crayons and color it gone, soon.

Here’s ABC’s spin on Geena’s show:

Academy Award–winning actress GEENA DAVIS stars in “The Geena Davis Show,” a fresh, new romantic comedy about Teddie Cochran (Ms. Davis), a glamorous career woman, who finally meets Max Ryan (PETER HORTON), the man of her dreams. There is only one catch: he already comes with an instant family – Eliza (MAKENZIE VEGA), an emotional six-year-old, Carter (JOHN FRANCIS DALEY), an unpredictable 13-year-old – and a house in the suburbs. Teddie soon realizes that being a mom is not as easy as she thought, and that keeping a relationship sexy with two kids around really isn’t as easy as she hoped. Back in the city, Teddie’s loyal group of single girlfriends are dubious of her momdom, especially acerbic Hillary (MIMI ROGERS), a serial divorcee who views Teddie’s new lifestyle choice as an act of sheer madness. As Teddie’s modern juggling act begins, she finds she needs her distinct brand of sarcastic humor and a lot more patience than she ever thought she’d have in order to help her balance it all.