Jim 2000s

Aired: 2001 CBS Danny

DAD: Danny (Daniel Stern) / Divorced

DAD’S JOB: Manager of a local community center

KIDS: Henry(15)(Jon Foster), Sally(14)(Julia McIlvaine)

WHERE’S MOM?: Somewhere nearby

STAND-IN “MOM”: Grandpa (Robert Prosky)

Formerly called American Wreck, the show was re-titled with a less disasterous-sounding name. To no avail, however. Danny went down in ratings flames after only three aired episodes, the first casualty of the 2001 CBS season.

Richard Dreyfuss was the “grown-up narrator voice” of Stand By Me. Daniel Stern was the “grown-up narrator voice” of Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years. And they both star in TV Single Dad shows the same year?

From the CBS press blurb:

The familiar star of such smash movies as Home Alone and City Slickers, who was last seen–well, last heard–on television as the voice of grown-up Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years, writer-actor-director Daniel Stern makes his television comedy debut as the star of AMERICAN WRECK.

Stern plays Danny, a recently separated father of two trying to make sense of his changing life. And with a new dating life, his two fast-growing teenagers and a job running the local community center, the changes are flying. By the way, did we mention that he’s turning 40, and is a bit wigged out by the transition into real adulthood?

Stern, who created the show, serves as an executive producer, along with veteran comedy producer Howard Morris (Home Improvement).

Oh dear. After watching the first two episodes, this show appeared to be in serious trouble. Episode Two, for example, dealt with the comedic aspects of Danny’s 15-year-old son’s drinking. Danny recommended to his son that he “open a beer” at a party to “fit in.” The plot probably sounded better on paper than it played out on screen.

A saving grace in this show was Julia McIlvaine, playing daughter Sally with subtle teen aggravation. She was already a veteran of a near-TV Single Dad show earlier in the decade, on Normal, Ohio

Single Dad Trivia: Robert Prosky played the live-action version of famous animated TV Single Dad Inspector Fenwick in 1999’s feature, Dudley Do-Right.