Back To You: Season 1

A hefty production price tag for big name actors and producers was likely the deciding factor in the cancellation of Back to You after its first season received moderate ratings and mixed, but relatively positive, reviews. The jokes, characters, execution and formatting were all extremely familiar and unremarkable, and the show brought nothing new to the comedy table, but that ubiquitous nature is ultimately what would make a show of this nature appealing to fans of either Grammer or Heaton, whose previous comedy hits trudged through similar territory. Shot as a typical multi-camera situational comedy, with Frasier scribes Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd at the helm, the show follows the return of big time news anchor Chuck Darling (Kelsey Grammer) to his small town Pittsburgh roots where he worked ten years earlier. Still working at Channel Nine News is co-anchor Kelly Carr (Patricia Heaton), with whom Chuck had an affair prior to leaving, which led to the conception of the now ten-year-old Gracie (Laura Marano and Lily Jackson), who Chuck was not aware of. Inevitably, the pair bicker relentlessly, which one can only assume represents their hidden sexual tensions, which are none-too-obvious to co-workers Gary Crezyzewski (Ty Burrell), a cynical reporter who wants to be an anchor, and Marsh McGinley (Fred Willard), the Sports reporter. While inappropriate jokes from Willard involving Korean bakeries, lemon tarts and Poland’s role during WWII are quite amusing, little else on the show is. It glides along as passable, yet forgettable, sit-com fare with constant inconsistencies like the ever-changing age of Gracie and the multiple actresses that play her. The first season DVD box set includes all 17 episodes in the order they were aired rather than filmed, which leads to some additional continuity issues. The gag reel is worth a viewing just to see Willard go off and the two "behind-the-scenes” featurettes are slightly more involving than the majority of those on television DVDs. Fans of the show may lament the lack of commentary tracks, however. (Fox)