How-to-Live-with-Your-Parents-for-the-Rest-of-Your-Life

When Does It Start: Wednesday 3rd April at 9.30pm EST on ABC

In A Nutshell: An uptight single mom moves back home with her kooky parents. You can guess the rest…

What’s It About: Polly (Sarah Chalke) is a divorced single mom, forced by the recession to move back in with her parents, Max (Brad Garrett) and Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins). The problem? Polly is uptight and tightly wound while Max is super laid back and Elaine is sexually uninhibited. Cue fireworks, culture clashes and lots of sex jokes from Perkins. Take a look…

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 Plus Points: Okay first things first… am I the only person who thinks the How To Live trailer is actually really funny?

I’m already loving Elizabeth Perkins’ line readings and comic mannerisms – proof that as an actor you either have ‘it’ or you don’t. Critics have been snippy towards the How To Live, but many of the one-liners landed for me, and Perkins (Big, The Flintstones, Weeds) takes a comedy cliché – the oversexed granny – and based on this evidence makes it work!

Of course Perkins isn’t the only comedy veteran in the cast. Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond, Til Death) and Sarah Chalke (Roseanne, Scrubs) both know their way around the sitcom world. Together this threesome have years of experience. If the writing is up to scratch How To Live could be a real winner.

Try as they might, ABC just can’t seem to find a successful follow up to Modern Family in the Wednesday at 9.30pm timeslot. The network stuck with Happy Endings for far too long, Don’t Trust The B**** In Apt 23 never really took off and Suburgatory has lost steam fast in season 2. All 3 shows waste a huge chunk of the Modern Family audience, dragging down the fabulous Nashville at 10pm.

But How To Live With Your Parents feels like it could be very compatible with the Modern Family brand. The show feels broad and accessible – but with the edge that gives Family its bite. It’s not too young like Endings and Apt 23 and not too ‘weird’ like Suburgatory. If How To Live does work it will be a huge help for ABC when it comes to solidifying their Wednesday night line up.

On The Downside: Let’s be honest, 2013 has not been a good year for new network TV launches. So far this year Red Widow, Zero Hour, Deception, The Carrie Diaries, Splash, The Taste, Golden Boy, Cult, 1600 Penn, Do No Harm, The Job have all debuted with middling to disastrous results and we’ve had exactly one new hit – the Following. 1 in 12 is not a great strike rate – so the odds are definitely stacked against How To Live With Your Parents.

ABC have given the new sitcom a perfunctory push – but hardly a big launch compared to the likes of the upcoming Hannibal. And the show’s been sat on the shelf for a while. Hardly auspicious signs. Critical response so far has been unenthusiastic – but then again that hardly matters when it comes to audiences (if it did 30 Rock would have been a blockbuster)

How To Live with inherit a big audience (and share) from Modern Family but it’s also up against a weakened – but still strong – American Idol. Many of the Family follow-ups have been losing 1-2 share points in the 18-49 demo. Will How To Live follow suit? I doubt ABC will be as patient with a mid-season entry as they were with Happy Endings and Apt 23. If How To Live doesn’t deliver it’s unlikely to get a second chance come the Fall.

Prediction: The trailer made me laugh. The cast is good. And the show fits with Modern Family. Maybe this could be the new sitcom hit ABC have been waiting for…?