Hit semi-improv sitcom ''Bonnie'' fires writers
Hey, Bonnie Hunt: Your new sitcom, ”Life With Bonnie,” is a big enough ratings hit after three weeks that ABC has guaranteed you a full season, and critics love the show’s witty repartee (Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker calls it ”the only… first-rate new sitcom of the season”). So what do you do now? Why, fire the writers, of course.
Then again, who needs writers? The show is half-improvised anyway, with the segments taking place at Hunt’s character’s morning TV talk show ad libbed. According to Variety, the rest of the scripts have been written by the show’s producers, led by Hunt and Don Lake, both improv-schooled alumni of Chicago’s Second City troupe.
Variety quotes insiders as saying that Touchstone Television, the Disney arm that produces the series, initially insisted on hiring a team of writers for ”Life With Bonnie” over the objections of Hunt and Lake. Now that the show is a hit, however, and since the none of the scripts by those four or five writers has been used, the studio agreed to let the scribes go. ”It wasn’t personal,” one insider told Variety. ”Bonnie said from the beginning that ‘You guys are great, but we did not want a writing staff.’ The writing was on the wall, especially now that the show is working.” Maybe some other series will pick up the stray writers; there are certainly plenty of other shows that could use the extra help.