×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Johnny Bago

Unlike most summer pilots, "Johnny Bago" is fresh and entertaining. Show incorporates the cartoonish touch of Robert Zemeckis in a black comedy about a small-time hood who's running from the mob, the police and his ex-wife in a Winnebago (thus the name). Pilot is a wild, funny ride, but whether future episodes can match the horsepower of the premise will make or break this quirky crew.

With:
Cast: Peter Dobson, Rose Abdoo, Dub Taylor, Richard Romanus, Brion James, Anna Berger, Michael V. Gazzo, Art La Fleur, Barry Henley, Rosemary Murphy, Marsha Dietlein, Jose Rey, Patricia Kennedy, Michael Kopelow, Gene Borkan, Patrika Darbo, Timothy Stack, Frazer Smith, Theresa St. Clair, Greg Lewis.

Unlike most summer pilots, “Johnny Bago” is fresh and entertaining. Show incorporates the cartoonish touch of Robert Zemeckis in a black comedy about a small-time hood who’s running from the mob, the police and his ex-wife in a Winnebago (thus the name). Pilot is a wild, funny ride, but whether future episodes can match the horsepower of the premise will make or break this quirky crew.

Opening two scenes of Bago (Peter Dobson) being released from prison and then set-up to take the fall for a mob hit are hilarious. Though Parker Lewis couldn’t lose, Bago can’t win, as every bad break imaginable falls upon him, including discovering that his ex-wife (Rose Abdoo) is his parole officer who is determined to put him back in jail.

But his ex-wife and police are secondary, as Bago goes on the run from the mob seeking revenge for the hit. After escaping the grip of hit man Tommy Testeroni (played perfectly silly by Brion James), Bago meets Hick (Dub Taylor), who becomes his sage.

Dobson performs his role as realistically as possible, but everyone else is like a cartoon character, as might be expected in a show from many of the creators of “Roger Rabbit.”

Abdoo is hilariously overzealous in pursuing her wayward husband, Taylor is a crack-up; and Rosemary Murphy, as an elderly, chain-smoking, wheelchair-bound ice queen, steals the show.

Under the direction of Zemeckis, each scene is right and flows nicely into the next. Script by Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price also has plenty of jokes that will slip by the non-attentive viewer. Skein, though, is shot much of the time in a dark tone begging for a little more lighting.

If the show keeps up its quality, a pickup by CBS would seem to be a natural. However, the idea of Bago on the run from the same people may wear out the tires to this skein quickly.

But who knows, if Bago’s bad luck continues and the cartoon-like characters around him stay, this recreational vid may find happy parking in some web lot.

Johnny Bago

(Fri. (25), 10-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Chicago 5 Prods. and Papazian Hirsch Entertainment in association with Universal Television. Executive producers, Frank Marshall, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Steve Starkey; producers, Bob Papazian, Jim Hirsch, Hal Gail; director, Robert Zemeckis; writers, Seaman, Price.

Crew: Camera, Tim Suhrstedt; editor, Harry Keramidas; production designer, Gregory Melton; sound, Vince Garcia; music, Phil Marshall.

Cast: Cast: Peter Dobson, Rose Abdoo, Dub Taylor, Richard Romanus, Brion James, Anna Berger, Michael V. Gazzo, Art La Fleur, Barry Henley, Rosemary Murphy, Marsha Dietlein, Jose Rey, Patricia Kennedy, Michael Kopelow, Gene Borkan, Patrika Darbo, Timothy Stack, Frazer Smith, Theresa St. Clair, Greg Lewis.

More TV

  • Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama

    Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama ‘Butterfly’

    Hulu has snagged U.S. rights to “Butterfly,” the family drama about separated parents who disagree over how to deal with their youngest child, Max, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl. The series was commissioned by ITV in the U.K. “Marcella” star Anna Friel plays Max’s mother, Vicky, and Emmett J. Scanlon [...]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    BBC Orders Documentary Series on Rupert Murdoch’s Print Empire

    The BBC has ordered “A Tabloid Empire,” a three-part documentary series on Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the British press. The series will air on BBC Two in the U.K. and examine in detail Britain’s popular press between 1997 and 2012, a period that covers phone hacking and corruption but that also saw Murdoch’s and other [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Elseworlds, Part 3" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 3' Recap: 2019 ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover Theme Revealed

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2,” the final part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 11. After John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) got another go at using the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality, the “Elseworlds” finale saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephan Amell) facing [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    TV Roundup: Netflix Orders Ted Bundy Docu-Series

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has ordered a docu-series on serial killer Ted Bundy and “Love, Gilda” sets a premiere date on CNN FIRST LOOKS Variety has obtained an exclusive clip of “Into the Okavango,” the upcoming National Geographic film. Premiering Dec. 14 on Nat Geo, the film, six years in the making, follows a [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Liz Meriwether Lake Bell

    Lake Bell, Liz Meriwether Comedy 'Bless This Mess' Moves From Fox to ABC With Series Order

    “Bless This Mess,” the single-camera comedy co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, has been ordered to series at ABC, Variety has learned. The series had previously been in contention at Fox and is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Bell also stars in the series alongside Dax Shepard. In the series, a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content