The Michael Richards Show
The Michael Richards Show is a short-lived American sitcom that aired on NBC from October to December of 2000, created by Spike Feresten, Gregg Kavet, Andy Robin and Michael Richards, all of whom previously worked on Seinfeld, and starring Michael Richards, William Devane, Tim Meadows, Bill Cobbs and Amy Farrington.
The show revolved around Vic Nardozza (Michael Richards), an inept and clumsy private investigator working for McKay Investigative Services. Throughout the show, misunderstandings and poor decisions get in the way of the cases, but Nardozza always ends up getting the job done.
Why It Sucks
- The title is somewhat confusing. While it does feature Michael Richards in the lead role, he actually stars as a P.I. named Vic Nardozza. Logically, it should've been named after the character rather than the actor, or just have the character sharing the name with the actor. It seems as though the show tried to copy Seinfeld with a similar naming scheme, the difference being that Seinfeld was named after the actor and character Jerry Seinfeld.
- Executive meddling: Michael Richards and the writers wanted Vic Nardozza to differentiate from Richards' Seinfeld character, Cosmo Kramer, and be written as a comedic take on a hard-boiled detective, similar to Columbo, but NBC wanted the character to be more clumsy and aloof, behaving more like Kramer, resulting in a somewhat inconsistent tone, as Nardozza would be portrayed as a smooth-talking, calm detective at the start of the episodes, only to become more bumbling as the episodes go on, which sometimes feels forced.
- Most of the episodes introduce plot elements as if they're going to be important cases, only for them to be completely forgotten after one scene.
- The writing seems to be more focused on Vic's wacky scenarios and slapstick rather than the mystery of the cases that he solves, instead of trying to make it more balanced between the two.
- It feels like a failed Seinfeld spin-off starring Cosmo Kramer, since many scenes in the show seem to recycle material from Seinfeld, and three of the show's creators worked as writers on that show.
- This show marked the start of the decline of Michael Richards' career.
- Despite being bogged down by prioritizing comedy over mystery, the idea of a show starring a private investigator that combines comedy and mystery is pretty intriguing, and it would be pulled off to a much better effect in Monk, which premiered almost two years later.
- Some B-plots involving the other detectives are more interesting than the A-plots involving Vic Nardozza.
The Michael Richards Show received negative reviews and poor ratings, which resulted in the show getting cancelled after two months. The show's failure, along with the failures of other shows by Richards' Seinfeld co-stars, helped coin the term "The Seinfeld curse".
William Devane, one of the co-stars on The Michael Richards Show, stated that making the show was "a nightmare", possibly due to creative differences between the writers and NBC executives.