The following changes were made when the show went from ABC to NBC: Anita Barone was replaced by Ann Cusack. Jeff's mother was alive in the first season but was never shown along with his father. In season two she was dead and his father was brought on played by G.W. Bailey. Jeff had a baby daughter in the last episode of the first season. In the second season she was gone and he had a second son named Justin played by Jonathan Lipnicki. Jeff's brother Wayne, played by Jay Mohr, and his girlfriend DeeDee, played by Michelle Clunie disappeared in the second season along with his father-in-law Elliot, played by Dakin Matthews, his mother-in-law Lois, played by Bibi Besch, and his sister-in-law Gayle, played by Debra Jo Rupp. Other people added in season two were Bill, played by Bill Engvall, Florus, played by Neil Giuntoli, Livie Ann, played by Jeanine Jackson, and Nettie, played by Kathryn Zaremba. In season one Jeff lived Bloomington, Indiana. In season two he lived in Briarton, Georgia. In season one Jeff owned his own heating and air conditioning shop. In season two he worked on a loading dock. The family lived in a completely new house. See more »
The original series on ABC had some funny moments, but most of the scripts seemed forced. It's also generally never a good idea to have the female lead get pregnant one or two shows in to the series.
The series on NBC was a good one, and should have gotten at least another year to build up an audience - which I think it would have. I didn't care for Cusack as the new Karen, but that version of the show was a lot more "Foxworthy" than the ABC version.
Jay Mohr... was just awful. Bill Engvall was a better (and funnier) foil for Jeff. The addition of his character (and Michelle Clunie as Dee Dee Landreaux) was a vain attempt by ABC to boost up the ratings on the show.
The only thing that could have saved the original ABC show was different writers - but by the time that happened, it was on a new network. NBC was just as forgiving as ABC was.
This show doesn't taint Jeff's comedy at all, but I can only imagine that he didn't care much for the ABC storyline.
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