The Famous Teddy Z
When The Famous Teddy Z left the air for a dreaded ”hiatus” in January, the show’s creator, witty Hugh Wilson, gave a few interviews saying he was trying to figure out why his smart sitcom about a smart kid’s success as a show-biz agent wasn’t finding a large, smart audience.
It apparently never occurred to Wilson that he made one crucial error in creating Teddy Z: He gave the lead part to Jon Cryer, a singularly charmless actor. With Cryer’s wiseacre smirk dominating this show, its solid writing and strong supporting cast never could be fully appreciated.
Now back from limbo, Teddy Z is still fitfully funny and still a bit awkward. Its best moments invariably involve Alex Rocco’s Al Floss, a genial sleaze of an agent, and Milton Selzer’s Abe Werkfinder, an older, delightfully polite agent.
Together, they achieve what Hugh Wilson always wanted from this show: a satire in which the Old Hollywood meets the New Hollywood, and each finds the other appalling.
For a show whose early episodes promised so much, The Famous Teddy Z is a disappointment, but it’s still a cut above most weekly half-hours.