One of my favorite shows growing up was the British sitcom "Yes Minister" and it's sequel, "Yes Prime Minister."
It followed a well-intentioned, if not too bright, politician named Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington), who constantly tries to cut government waste, only to find himself thwarted by a civil servant (Nigel Hawthorne) who works in the office.
Both shows contained clever satire about the absurdity of government (in this case, Britain's).
I bring this up because "Yes Prime Minister" has recently been revived on the London stage, with new actors taking over the familiar roles.
A few years ago, a critic wrote that "Frasier" should take to Broadway while the show was in summer hiatus. With classically trained theatre veterans like John Mahoney and David Hyde-Pierce in the cast, "Frasier" -- shot in the traditional multi-camera approach with just a few static sets (Frasier's apartment, his radio station and Cafe Nervosa) -- was perfect for the stage.
I think it was suggested that the cast could re-enact a couple of classic episodes as well as perform new material.
I thought it was a brilliant suggestion. Sadly, I don't think too many current shows on US TV would be candidates to hit the stage. Most shows these days are shot like "30 Rock" or "The Office," with a very distinctive style that would be hard to replicate on stage.
Still, "30 Rock" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) is sort of giving it a go, in the sense that the cast will soon be performing a live episode twice, once for the East Coast and once for the West Coast.
I guess it's the nature of how sitcoms change that it's hard to think of too many these days that could be performed on stage. "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" (FX, 10 p.m.) did perform a live stage show last summer, so I guess anything is possible.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: NBC's other sitcoms, "Community," "The Office" and "Outsourced," are also new tonight, as is "The Apprentice" at 10 p.m.
ABC yanked "My Generation" over the weekend, and will be replacing it currently with reruns of "Grey's Anatomy" at 8 p.m., followed by a new "Grey's" at 9 p.m. and "Private Practice" at 10 p.m.
Does any show do last-minute twists better than "Fringe" (Fox, 9 p.m.) these days? I loved how last week's episode ended after William Bell's will was read. A huge potential game-changer. (No spoilers, in case people aren't caught up). It follows a new "Bones" at 8 p.m.
"(Bleep) My Dad Says" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) has been one of the surprise hits for CBS, probably because the show is not good at all, but seems to have found the right place behind "Big Bang Theory." Also new tonight are "CSI" and "The Mentalist."
"The Vampire Diaries" (CW, 8 p.m.) is new, as is "Nikita" at 9 p.m.
Finally, the Braves open their postseason tonight at San Francisco (TBS, 9:30 p.m.) following the Yankees at Twins (TBS, 6 p.m.) Frankly, it will be difficult for either game to match up to last night's no-hitter thrown by Philadelphia's Roy Halladay.
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