The Alphabet comedy, which stars Judy Greer as a guidance counselor working out her awkward demons at the same high school she attended in the early ’90s, originated as a spec script by Caroline Williams — part of her master plan to impress the producers of “The Office” and get onboard the Peacock’s top laffer, according to series exec producer Karey Burke.
Impressively, Williams not only managed to get herself a seat at the “Office” writers table, her script was purchased and developed by Ashton Kutcher’s Fox lot-based Katalyst Films.
After outbidding the Peacock, ABC placed a seven-episode order with plans for a midseason run and hopes that the single-cam comedy would fit in well with a programming lineup that skews female, slightly upscale and quirky.
In terms of finding success, “Miss Guided” faced challenges.
There were initial creative struggles, with the skein’s second showrunner, former “Malcolm in the Middle” table topper Todd Holland, reportedly ankling over disagreements regarding tone. (Former “That ’70s Show” scribe Mark Hudis eventually took over.)
Ratings weren’t terribly kind either, with the show’s viewer count descending from a slot-winning 9.93 million pairs of eyeballs for its March 18 debut to a fourth-place 4.34 million tally for its final episode April 3.
While not effusive across the board, however, reviews were generally positive, particularly for Greer, whose quirky vulnerability juxtaposed nicely against the cool austerity of her popular-girl nemesis, played by Brooke Burns. Other appealing turns included “SNL” vet Chris Parnell transitioning the acute ineptitude of his Dr. Spaceman character on “30 Rock” into the role of vice principal.