Saturday, May 19, 2018

Forgotten TV: Maybe This Time (1995)

With the success of Boy Meets World, producer Michael Jacobs was commissioned to deliver another sitcom to ABC. However, despite an ensemble cast that featured Marie Osmond, Betty White, and a future star in Craig Ferguson, Maybe This Time is considered a bomb. The series lasted less than six months, ending after 18 episodes in February 1996.

White was fresh from The Golden Girls and its sequel, The Golden Palace. Osmond hadn't done a sitcom before, and maybe ABC suits were thinking she could still pull in an audience, nearly 20 years after Donny & Marie first hit the air. Unfortunately, they weren't paying attention to the fact that Osmond's last primetime series, a solo variety show for NBC, was also a flop 15 years earlier.

In hindsight, Maybe This Time would've been better served being tested on Disney Channel before going to broadcast television. Jacobs was able to sneak in a minor crossover with Boy Meets World, but that wasn't going to be quite enough. Maybe was not part of ABC's TGIF block, airing instead on Saturday nights, back when you could still program first-run programming on that end of the weekend.

Ashley Johnson (Gracie) had previously appeared on Growing Pains, but may be better known today for her cartoon work. She would return to Disney for the animated series, Recess, and has also been heard on Teen Titans, Jumanji, Teen Titans Go!, and other cartoons.

Here's a sample episode:

Well, we can say Ashley has a face for cartoons. Had Maybe been instead packaged as part of TGIF, it may have succeeded.

Rating: B-.

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