Ken Tucker's got some suggestions for other bizarre pairings that could help save TV

By Ken Tucker
Updated March 14, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
Sisqo: Lucy Fitter/Retna ;Newhart: Vince Bucci/ImageDirect

Sisqo and Bob Newhart, together in prime time?

The news last week that singing star Sisqó may team up with Bob Newhart for an NBC sitcom prompted some thoughts.

Does the thong obsessed hip hopper realize that his future costar made his first big splash with a comedy album called ”The Buttoned-Down Mind of Bob Newhart”? This fundamental differing philosophy — Newhart’s repressed id versus Sisqó’s ”let it all hang out” superego — may be a disaster… or an odd couple comedy gold mine!

But even a TV acting novice like Sisqó has gotta be an improvement over the immensely talented Newhart’s last sitcom partner, ”Taxi”’s Judd Hirsch, who always seemed to be grumpy, vaguely angry, and looking for the exit door during their doomed sitcom ”George and Leo.”

If a Sisqó/ Newhart show succeeds, won’t it lead to other such hybrids — what might come to be called ”hipcoms”? Here are my pitches to the networks…

”Will, Em, Grace” — Eminem replaces Sean Hayes and joshes around with Eric McCormack and Debra Messing to prove that all the homophobic ranting on his CDs was just an attention getting put-on.

Puff Daddy joins ”The Practice” Who better than Dylan McDermott’s Bobby Donnell and company to get Puffy off the hook, so to speak?

A ”Black Scorpion” you can believe in Eve joins the cast of Sci-Fi Channel’s ”The Black Scorpion.” The randy rapper, whose new CD is titled ”Scorpion,” is bound to be more of an audience draw for Sci-Fi’s currently lame action-adventure series.

Ja Rule joins ”The West Wing” Could Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett appoint a more appropriately named new Supreme Court justice?

What new hipcoms would you suggest?