• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 17, 1996
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Mar 17, 2013
    60
    Spin City is television as culture, and I am not sure whether a show like this merely plugs into the cynicism already in place in our country or creates more and more of it by making it seem like the hip, in-the-know way to be.[17 Sept 1996, p.]
  2. Reviewed by: Renee Graham
    Mar 17, 2013
    50
    So, with all that talent in its back pocket, why isn't Spin City better? The much-hyped ABC comedy isn't a bad show, but it relies too heavily on Fox's charms and trademark double takes, lopsided grin and head scratches. And as considerable and familiar as they are, the quirks wear thin after a while. [17 Sept 1996, p.E6]
  3. Reviewed by: Monica Collins
    Mar 17, 2013
    90
    A devilishly discerning comedy. [17 Sept 1996, p.39]
  4. Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    Mar 17, 2013
    100
    Reunited with "Family Ties" creator Gary David Goldberg, movie star Michael J. Fox scores a landslide victory in his terrific TV comeback. [16 Sept 1996, p.35]
  5. Reviewed by: Yvonne Zipp and Kim Campbell
    Mar 17, 2013
    60
    But the concept of a smart political whip cleaning up after his bumbling boss is hardly original (anyone remember "Benson"?), and the otherwise smartly written series is racy and relies on crudity to fill slow moments - a trend all too prevalent this season. [17 Sept 1996, p.10]
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Feran
    Mar 17, 2013
    50
    The bigger question will be whether viewers accept the new character - and whether the writing, so far uneven, can match Fox's exertions. [17 Sept 1996, p.9E]
  7. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Mar 17, 2013
    90
    Based on both content and time slot - between "Home Improvement" and "NYPD Blue" - Spin City is potentially the breakout hit of the season. [17 Sept 1996]
  8. Reviewed by: Ann Hodges
    Mar 17, 2013
    40
    In this disappointing opener, though, the pace is more frantic than fun, and the plot about the token gay is neither clever nor funny...The one cinch about Spin City is that Fox wants a hit just as much as ABC wants one. They'll just have to try harder; you can bet they will. [17 Sept 1996, p.1]
  9. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Mar 17, 2013
    90
    Spin City just happens to be very funny. [17 Sept 1996, p.F1]
  10. Reviewed by: Robin Dougherty
    Mar 17, 2013
    75
    Fox's return to prime-time TV finds him hitting his mark...What's more, the actor is surrounded by a likable cast. [17 Sept 1996, p.1C]
  11. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Mar 17, 2013
    100
    Every few years, if we're lucky, a new sitcom arrives that is so effortlessly funny, its characters so perfectly realized, that it seems more like a third-season opener than a fresh-from-the-box pilot. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was that way; so were "Taxi," "Cheers" and "Frasier," to name a few others...I may be overstating things, but I don't think I am, by placing tonight's Michael J. Fox showcase, ABC's Spin City, in the same league. [17 Sept 1996, p.70]
  12. Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    Jul 12, 2013
    40
    "Spin City" doesn't have a good joke, other than Michael J. Fox. He has to carry the show himself. He has to be what makes you laugh. In the first three episodes he is not funny, he is cute. [7 Oct 1996]
  13. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Mar 17, 2013
    100
    Spin City has a premise with potential, a superb supporting cast and a leading man of great appeal. The sophisticated series should be the fall's winner by a landslide. [17 Sept 1996, p.E1]
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Queenan
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    Fox... retains his wonderful timing and delivery. ... But the political satire that makes up the rest of the show is toothless, corny, passé.
  15. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Mar 17, 2013
    60
    Just about everybody in this cast is superb. Maybe the production team, headed by Gary David Goldberg, who did Fox's "Family Ties" and the cuddly "Brooklyn Bridge", will fix all the first episode's flaws. Too many halfhearted gay and orgasm jokes bring to mind too many of last year's tired Friends imitators.[17 Sept 1996, p.D01]
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 17, 2013
    70
    Everything about City does not spin with equal balance. The pilot's plot (the mayor stumbles into a gay rights controversy) is so hackneyed and out-of-touch, it makes you wonder if the writers have been to New York in the last decade. But the spin doctors at Spin City insist the plot's creakiness is an aberration - and so many other things in the show go well, I'm inclined to believe them. [17 Sept 1996, p.D-4]
  17. Reviewed by: John Freeman
    Mar 17, 2013
    88
    It's one of those premiere episodes that look and feel as if the best is yet to come. [17 Sept 1996, p.E1]
  18. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Mar 17, 2013
    90
    But most importantly, Spin City should be a hit because of Fox, who's never been more likable than he is here. [17 Sept 1996, p.6D]
  19. Reviewed by: Miles Beller
    Mar 17, 2013
    40
    Spin City doesn't yet spin into a totally satisfying comic groove, instead going for the obvious and the expected when it comes to the ways and means of politics. [17 Sept 1996]
  20. Reviewed by: John J. O'Connor
    Mar 17, 2013
    70
    As might be expected with any Gary David Goldberg product, Spin City is smart stuff. The one-liners zing, Mr. Fox and company are disarming and the 22 minutes flow by effortlessly. The only snag is that concept of spin. Are those who toy with the truth all that funny?
  21. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jul 2, 2013
    80
    As homage to the unclean gymnastics of p.r., Spin City is certainly the season's most believable new sitcom. And also by far the best.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Mar 17, 2013
    100
    As you watch the smart, sophisticated, sharply written and slickly directed Spin City strut its stuff, memories of Murphy Brown's early days may come to mind. Dominating a volatile, high-profile workplace and supported by a crackerjack cast, Fox demonstrates superb and crafty comic timing in a tailor-made role. [17 Sept 1996, p.1D]
  23. Reviewed by: Jeremy Gerard
    Mar 17, 2013
    60
    While some of the humor scores, too much is of the red-herring variety one-liners that don't really have anything to do with anything. And anyone even mildly versed in Gotham politics will find Spin City low on the believability scale, which is probably a good thing, as you'd need a Robert Altman to find much humor in the real thing. [16 Sept 1996]
  24. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Mar 17, 2013
    70
    Spin City is firing on all cylinders. It's a slick little contraption custom-built by professionals, and if it's not exactly full of surprises, at least it's roaringly competent. [17 Sept 1996, p.B01]

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