The Critic (TV Series 1994–1995) Poster



Though it has a cult following, "The Critic" is most famous for flip-flopping networks. It started on ABC, where it stayed for less than a month then it was canceled and Fox picked it up where it stayed for an entire season, then Comedy Central had it for a few months as part of their Sunday night animation block, then UPN was slated to pick it up but dropped it. Then it got a good run as a series of shorts at Atomfilms.com. Even still, it has retained a cult status.
The show was meant as a "love letter to NYC" by the show's creators and producers. Ironically, it received very low ratings in NYC, as well as other major cities in the U.S., but did extremely well in the Midwest.
The restaurant that Jay dines at, L'âne Riche, is French for "The Rich Donkey", but is here better translated by its double-entendre meaning, "The Rich Jackass".
This is the only TV show ever reviewed on Siskel and Ebert. Due to the fact that it was a television show and not a movie, they decided to fore-go the thumb vote. Both critics generally liked the show but gave the advice that it needed to focus more on the movie parodies and less on sitcom staples.
The only TV show Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewed. They were generally lukewarm towards the show but they praised Charles Napier as Duke Phillips.
Actress Cartwright, Nancy uses her natural voice playing Jay's sister Margo.
Jay Sherman is deliberately created as a cross between Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
After the show was cancelled, UPN offered to pick it up. About 9 or 10 Season 3 scripts were written.
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert famously turned down offers to guest star on TV shows and in movies because they felt it would have been a conflict of interest. But this turned out to be the exception and this is the only show in which they guest starred together. The episode was called "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice" and the story is a parody of Sleepless in Seattle (1993) in which Jay and Alice attempt to patch things up between the duo when one of their verbal feuds causes them to split up.
This series marks the second (and by extent, the final) time the late Doris Grau portrayed a character named Doris. Prior to this, she portrayed Lunchlady Doris on The Simpsons.
Originally conceived as a live-action show.
Originally aired on ABC, but then switched to the FOX network.
Following the show's second cancellation, the show was revived briefly on Atomfilms.com.
According to the DVD commentary, the character of Duke Phillips was based on Ted Turner.
The awards that Jay has won over the years are two Pulitzer Prizes for criticism, a People's Choice award, a B'nai B'rith award, five Golden Glodes, a PhD in film, and an Emmy.
In the episode "A Pig-Boy and his Dog", Jay gives his puppy the full name "Un Chien Andalou", after Luis Buñuel's 1929 film.
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