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  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 10, 1996
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7
Arli$$ Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: Michael Boatman, Jim Turner (I), Sandra Oh
  • Summary: It's tough being a professional athlete. Sure, there are big bucks. And big time glory. But there's also responsibility. Temptations. The media. Hangers on. More temptation. Diminishing skills. Lost endorsements. An uncertain future. Still more temptations. In the fast lane of pro sports, an athlete needs someone he can trust. He needs a friend. An adviser. A big brother. Today's sports superstar needs more than just an agent, he needs a super agent. He needs Arliss.


    Arliss Michaels: Arliss Michaels claims to be the "working man's friend." He is the super athlete's super-agent, wheeling and dealing in the higher echelons of the sports world--an arena filled with glamour, hypocrisy and money. Arliss Michaels, sports agent extraordinaire, is not above misbehaving as outrageously as his superstar clients in an effort to get what he wants when he wants it.

    Rita Wu Rita is Arliss' no-nonsense Girl Friday, seven days a week. As Arliss once said, "If there were a Franklin Day Planner event in the Olympics, Rita would take the gold." Rita's the one you want in your boat, ready to pass out life preservers and give directions. With enormous appeal and sass, she is often the moral voice in the AMM chorus, although she does have a certain weakness for Latin golf clients. Kirby Carlisle Kirby is an ex-football star turned agent as well as Arliss' old college buddy and first client. Endearingly ineffective, partially productive and effectively destructive, Kirby has a fondness for gambling, women and other distractions. The junior partner at Arliss Michaels Management (AMM), Kirby best orchestrates a night on the town for restless, action-seeking clients. Stanley Babson On the surface, Stanley appears to be Arliss' buttoned-up, straight-laced, conservative chief financial officer. Beneath his perfect three-piece suit lurks a buttoned-up, straight-laced, conservative chief financial officer. Stanley works magic with AMM clients' financial portfolios, with only an occasional investment blunder in a bum racehorse or pyramid scheme.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    Jun 17, 2013
    With its viciously sarcastic view of shameless business deals in sports, Arli$$ is ready for instant victories as a champion of television satire. [7 Aug 1996, p.53]
  2. Reviewed by: Frederic M. Biddle
    Jun 17, 2013
    Proof that the profane can be very, very funny, Arli$$ is not only a tour de force for star/writer/coproducer Robert Wuhl, but a reality-bending kindred spirit to HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," whose star, Garry Shandling, lurks in the opening-credits cameo. [9 Aug 1996, p.C1]
  3. Reviewed by: Lee Winfrey
    Jun 17, 2013
    Wuhl, who wrote the scripts for the first two episodes, is shrewd and witty in both the creation and delivery of dialogue, and outstanding in physical comedy. If sitcoms were judged like gymnastics, Sanders star Garry Shandling would grab the gold medal with a perfect score of 10 and Wuhl would be a cinch for the silver at 9.9. [7 Aug 1996, p.D01]
  4. Reviewed by: Robin Dougherty
    Jun 16, 2013
    It's hilarious...The series doesn't break new ground artistically, but it's got a main character who's already a classic. He seems as fully formed as Frasier or Seinfeld's Kramer. He could become television's new king of self-delusion. [10 Aug 1996, p.1G]
  5. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Jun 16, 2013
    Above all, Arli$$ succeeds because it has a sharp point of view and a subject worth lampooning. It might not be in the same league as The Larry Sanders Show but give it time. It definitely has the look of a winner. [10 Aug 1996, p.E1]
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Queenan
    Jun 26, 2013
    A pallid imitation of The Larry Sanders Show, the series works best when its real-life guests are funny.
  7. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Jun 16, 2013
    It tops out at mildly funny and is infrequently even that, suffering from clashing tones and from too much Wuhl. [10 Aug 1996, p.F6]

See all 15 Critic Reviews