Comedy series: The new breed
He’s patient about it, but if Josh Goldsmith’s responses to questions about the single-camera vs. multicamera issue were TV episodes, the series would be in its fourth syndication cycle by now.
The former “King of Queens” writer, who created and now runs another Sony-produced traditional multi-cam laffer, “‘Til Death,” gets asked about that a lot.
“There seems to be a fire raging with this whole question,” Goldsmith says. “Let’s all settle down. I don’t think there needs to be a decision where we say one works and the other doesn’t.”
Fortunately for Goldsmith, the traditional route still does work, with both Fox’s “‘Til Death” and CBS’ “Rules of Engagement” surviving the tough-to-surmount odds of the network comedy biz and getting life for season two.
Interestingly, Goldsmith says “‘Till Death” gestated from talks with Fox TV topper Peter Liguori and other network officials about relationships and wasn’t dreamed up as a vehicle for star Brad Garrett.
“‘Mad About You’ was about new marriage, and I wondered, ‘What would a show about old marriage look like?’ ” Goldsmith explains.
Besides securing the services of Garrett, the former “Everybody Loves Raymond” ensemble wiz, Goldsmith and his team passed the chemistry test by casting Joely Fisher as his wife.
“We knew we wanted to have a dark show about an older couple, but the chemistry between them had to be good,” Goldsmith explains. “You had to know that they love each other despite what they’re saying. And when Joely walked into the room and read with Brad, it was like they were two old friends who never met.”
Funniest episode: “Dream Weaver.” Eddie (Garrett) is his usual joyless self when Joy (Fisher) talks him to a weekend mountain excursion with the Woodcocks, their newlywed neighbors. He perks up when he finds out that Steph Woodcock (Kat Foster) had an erotic dream about him.
Funniest character: The whole “‘Til Death” enterprise lives and dies on Garrett’s Eddie.
Funniest line: In the pilot, Joy asks Eddie, “When did we get to a point in our marriage where I couldn’t have patio furniture for sex?” Eddie shoots back, “When did they cancel ‘Knight Rider?’ “