In Depth

NBC, Take Heed

Network’s Four Fall Premieres Join Fox’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ Among Top 5 Worst Shows

“Do Not Disturb” may have had a short life, but it made a big impression on critics.

The three airings Fox gave its hotel-set comedy were enough to convince participants in TelevisionWeek’s semiannual Critics Poll to declare it the worst show on TV this winter.

But while Fox claimed the top of the poll, the worst list this year really belongs to NBC. All four of the network’s new scripted series—“Knight Rider,” “Kath & Kim,” “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Crusoe”—made the top five.

First, though, some thoughts on “Do Not Disturb”:

“What a waste of talent. What a painfully unfunny show,” lamented Mekeisha Madden Toby of the Detroit News.

“I want to believe Kevin Reilly had nothing to do with this,” added Florida Sun-Sentinel critic Tom Jicha, referring to Fox’s head of entertainment.

Mr. Reilly did, indeed, have something to do with “Do Not Disturb.” He was not, however, involved in any of the new NBC series that had critics depressed.

That includes “Knight Rider,” the No. 2 series on the worst list and a series that Daily Variety Assistant Managing Editor of Features Stuart Levine declared simply “an embarrassment.”

“Just knowing that show is on makes small portions of my brain melt every day,” added Melanie McFarland of IMDb.com.

NBC newcomer “Kath & Kim,” No. 3 on the worst list, also had critics hurling invectives at executives. Alan Sepinwall of New Jersey’s Star-Ledger summed up his reaction to the show thus: “Ben Silverman hates us, part one.” (Part two of the hate saga, per Mr. Sepinwall: “Knight Rider.”)

The presence of Christian Slater didn’t stop “My Own Worst Enemy” from landing in fourth place. “Ludicrous and lame,” declared John Griffiths of US Weekly. “Should have never gotten past the scribble-on-a-cocktail-napkin phase.”

“Crusoe,” which was stranded on Fridays before moving to Saturdays, generated enough ill will to land at No. 5 on the list, tied with Fox’s silly stunt show “Hole in the Wall.”

Another game show, ABC’s “Opportunity Knocks,” tied for No. 7 with NBC’s failed attempt at reviving variety, “Rosie Live.” James Poniewozik of Time called the latter event “a self-indulgent retro-cheese nightmare, Broadway-style.”

CBS squeezed into the worst top 10 with its short-lived Friday soap “The Ex List.” “It had one of the least appealing main characters of any recent network show I can remember,” said John Crook of Tribune Media Services.

Rounding out the top 10: A tie between ABC’s perennially maligned, apparently unstoppable “According to Jim” and CBS’ own male-centric domestic comedy, “Gary Unmarried.”