- Starring: Dondre T. Whitfield, Bryan Callen, Maggie Lawson
"This sporting comedy provides a novel take on the life and times of young Adam Schwartz (Breckin Meyer, Rat Race, Clueless), an athletics-obsessed sportscaster whose inner thoughts and fantasies are revealed through personal conversations with sports figures. The series focuses on Schwartz as he struggles to come to terms with both his love of sports – where there are definite rules and official referees – and his personal life, where there are no designated foul lines."
"As the occasional voice of a minor-league baseball team, Schwartz takes a brushback pitch when his longtime girlfriend Eve (Maggie Lawson, Cheaters) dumps him, but he dusts himself off and gets back into the dating game with the help of his friends, including the attractive and adoring Julie (Miriam Shor, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), the uncensored David (Bryan Callen, MAD TV), David's driven wife, Emily (Jennifer Irwin, Exit Wounds) and Schwartz' gregarious father, Gene (Richard Kline, Three's Company), the owner of a pita sandwich-shop chain [St. Pita's, for which Schwartz serves as vice president of operations]. Three-time Emmy nominee Dondré T. Whitfield (All My Children) stars as Schwartz's cocky and ambitious agent William Morris."
"This ambitious comedy is more than a sports series, maintains creator and executive producer Stephen Engel (NBC's Just Shoot Me, Mad About You). You don't need to know a thing about sports to enjoy this show," says Engel. "If it's going to work, it has to be a romantic comedy first and foremost." (NBC press release)
Originally an absurdist sitcom in the vein of My World and Welcome to It, Herman's Head, Dream On and The People Next Door, the first few episodes of Inside Schwartz had satirical segments that looked like a real sports news show. Sports legends like Dick Butkus, Terry Bradshaw and Magic Johnson (playing themselves) would show up in Schwartz's imagination to offer commentary on his pathetic romantic life, and sportscasters Kevin Frazier and Van Earl Wright (also playing themselves) would cut in every now and again to give the score. After a month on the air, NBC did as they had done a season earlier with Cursed, and carefully sucked each and every element out of Inside Schwartz that made it unique, until they were left with another Friends clone. The series was pulled, scripts were revised, and Frazier and Wright and virtually the entire sports angle were dropped. When it returned to the air following a four-week leave of absence, Inside Schwartz quickly became unrecognizable from every other single twentysomethings-in-the-city sitcom that NBC had ever put on Thursday. After three episodes in the new format, Schwartz was cancelled, the victim of a critical drubbing and alarming tune-out from the show the network tried to turn it into.
Although he received the "And" credit for all episodes, Richard Kline was an afterthought, rarely appearing in some and not appearing at all in others, and seemed to be on the verge of being dropped himself.
"Inside Schwartz was just a bad show." - Jeff Zucker
Inside Schwartz is produced by Stephen Engel Productions / NBC Studios, in association with 20th Century Fox Television
- Genre(s): Comedy
- Show Type: Ended
- Season 1 premiere date: Sep 27, 2001
- Episode Length: 30
- Air Time: 08:30 PM
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