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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A textbook example of why shows shouldn't be "retooled"

Author: TelevisionJunkie from Texas
5 March 2006

1995 was an incredible year for sitcoms... unfortunately, very few of the astronomical number of sitcoms made it past their freshman season. Among the few survivors were "The Naked Truth" and "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," both of which went though incredibly awkward transitions from ABC to NBC.

When this series premiered, it was radically different from the rest. Delving into the uncharted territory of "tabloid journalism," Tea Leoni starred as Nora Wilde, a Pulitzer-nominated photographer who, after losing her funds in a nasty divorce, reluctantly wound up working at The Comet, a "National Enquirer"-like tabloid newspaper. Celebrity cameos and inside-jokes abounded, and Leoni was heralded as the "new Lucille Ball" (a moniker that suited her zany antics). Among celeb cameos were Anna Nicole Smith (Nora was sent out to steal her urine for pregnancy testing), Tom Hanks (who got to be oddly perverse), Rip Taylor (in one of his funniest roles ever) and Michael York as Nora's ex, Leland.

The Comet was run by ruthless Camilla Dane (the irrepressible Holland Taylor) and owned by Sir Rudolph Halley (charasmatic Tim Curry, who made several guest appearances). Other photographers included Nicky Columbus, a handsome love-interest for Nora; T.J., a black dude who seemed blind since he was always clad in dark shades; and the aptly-named "Stupid Dave" Bippenwhacker, a developmentally challenged paparazzi member. Regularly seen were Mr. Donner, the owner of Nora's building (it should be noted that she originally lived in the same set that was used for "One Day at a Time" and the final seasons of "Gimme a Break") and her former step-daughter, Chloe -- who doubled as her best friend, since they were similar in age.

ABC rather abruptly pulled the plug on the series, but NBC gave it a new lease on life. Nearly a year after ABC aired the unofficial "season finale," "The Naked Truth" returned to the air on NBC. Gone were both Mr. Donner and Chloe, and added to the cast was Les Polanski (George Wendt), a meat-mogul who bought The Comet from Sir Rudolph Halley. While the series quickly slipped back into a groove (thanks in no small part to frequent guest-shots by Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal as Nora's parents, who eventually bought the apartment across the hall from Nora's), the outrageous antics from the season on ABC were significantly toned down as they molded it into the standard "girl-in-the-big-city-working-for-a-paper" niche that most of the other NBC sitcoms were into at the time. Dave was no longer "Stupid Dave," he was Dave Fontaine, who was slightly smarter than he'd been the previous season. Camilla and Les had a brief but torrid affair and the season eventually ended on a high note. As "The Naked Truth" finished its abridged second season, George Segal struck gold on "Just Shoot Me," another NBC girl-in-the-city-working-for-a-magazine series.

When the show returned for season three, gone was the majority of the cast. Camilla moved to editor The National Inquisitor and dragged Nora and Dave along with her. Now Dave was no longer "stupid" at all -- he was brilliant, in fact (I had a real hard time buying that transition). George Segal and Mary Tyler Moore were never mentioned again (though Dave did eventually move into their apartment, where Nora revealed that the former tenants were murdered -- "and you can thank me for that too"). New to the cast were Tom Verica as her new love-interest, Jake Sullivan; Amy Hill (who I ADORE but is certain death when it comes to series) as belligerent Suji; the illegitimate son of Bing Crosby, Bradley (Chris Elliot); and fastidious fact-checker Harris (Jim Rash). Unfortunately, the celebrity cameos completely deteriorated by this point, the writing was sub-par and the show was stuck on Monday nights with other soon-to-be canceled series "Suddenly Susan," "Caroline in the City" and (the hilarious) "Fired Up." As the third season progressed, Dave was eventually altogether written out of the show; then-unknown Sarah Silverman made an unfunny guest-appearance as an Alyssa-Milano-like former child star; and the possibility of a love-connection between Jake and Nora was quickly put to rest when Jake began having a secret affair with Camilla (though NBC aired the episodes totally out of order, creating confusion for viewers). As another commenter noted, the third season was "ugly." NBC pulled the plug for good long before the season had finished, and many of the episodes remained unaired until USA ran the series briefly during their USA.M. comedy block.

Ironically, the *tabloids* cited Leoni for the demise of the series -- they said that she'd become increasingly unruly since getting together with David Duchovney (whom she soon married -- and who provided one of the funniest jokes in the second-season finale). I can't blame her personally but instead I blame the constant retooling of the initial gem-of-a-show, coupled with increasingly bad writing. The final episodes of season three were among the best (for whatever that's worth) but NBC didn't even bother to air them.

Overwhelmingly fantastic first season, but as another commenter put it, in order of seasons, it went "the good, the bad and the ugly."

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

no way, it was so funny

Author: diego-salazar from Spain
18 February 2005

Come on, the naked truth was such a funny show. Tea Leoni is simply one of the funniest undiscovered actress in Hollywood. the show was specially funny when some stars appears there. i still remember one episode with Tom Hanks in a cafeteria, playing with his zipper and a couple of waiters trying to help him, while Tea Leoni was having an interview with a mayor newspaper editor, she couldn't resist the situation anymore, jump over the editor, grab a camera and took several pictures. Then she regret and gave the films to Mr. Hanks, and he whispered her: I do this all the time. Plop. Funniest Tom Hanks scene since his appearance in Family Ties

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I loved this show too!

Author: sanjecards from New Mexico
29 June 2004

I completely agree! I loved this show. I think it could have been around for a long time if the network didn't screw up so bad. My husband and I watched it the first time around and the second time. the other thing the network did was they changed her hair color. I think they thought she needed a makeover but the truth is all the show needed was a good time slot.

Thursday nights was perfect. Tea Leoni is awesome, of course so is her husband! I hate when they finally come up with a great show concept and then don't support it. Sometimes it takes awhile for a show to catch on anyway. Who would have thought Friends was going to be so big? And Cheers?

Seinfeld? My family used to watch another great show that never stood a chance. Early Edition. We loved it but now we watch it on reruns.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Author: Barbarella17 from Methuen, MA USA
25 July 2003

This is the only way I can describe the 3 seasons of this show. As with other shows that aren't in a league with "Friends" and "Frasier", the Powers That Be 'retooled' the show after the first season (the Good). Then the show just went from Bad to Ugly and was gone. I became a fan of Téa Leoni because of this show--back then, she was correctly described as "a cross between Lucille Ball and Sharon Stone"--and I was very disappointed when they 'retooled' and eventually cancelled the show (by that time, I was just happy they put it out of it's misery). This is a classic example of If-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it Syndrome. (And, by the way, calling Mark Roberts' character 'Stupid Dave' was funny!!!) I'm still a fan of Téa's (and her husband--I think his name is David-something;~}), and if this was the show that put her on the map, then it was worth it.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Didn't Have a Chance

Author: T-Pain from United States
19 September 1999

This was one of the best shows on the air. It had a good concept, funny story lines, and funny actors. Despite this, it didn't have a chance of making it. After the 1st season on NBC, they moved it out of it's Thursday night slot and took it off the air. As they did with LateLine, they brought it back weeks later on with almost no advertisements and almost no way for anyone to know that it was back on the air. By the time people began to realize it was back on, they moved it again, and again, and again, giving it less than a fighting chance to survive. They, eventually cancelled it, in the summer of 1998, showing the last episode, in which Nora and the cast all die at sea in a Hot Air balloon. It later came back in syndication on the USA network, where you can still see reruns of the show.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Cute, funny, worth a watch.

9/10
Author: Amber from Kalamazoo, MI
8 February 2004

I stumbled across rerun syndication of this show several years ago, and fell in love with it. It features Téa Leoni and Holland Taylor and kept me laughing, one episode after the next. I guess it didn't make it so big, and was cancelled after a few seasons, but I believe it was a good run, and would suggest watching it...if the opportunity arises.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Quirky Comedy

Author: tinkerbell04_04 from Baton Rouge, LA
22 January 2004

The ABC version of "The Naked Truth" is a cute, quirky comedy about Nora (Leoni) becoming a tabloid journalist after divorce. I enjoyed watching Nora and the gang get caught in awkward situations while trying to photograph celebrities. The NBC version is definitely less funny. But Tea Leoni shines in this series.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Both ABC and NBC suck!

Author: akira86 from St. Paul MN
9 August 2003

The first season of this show was brilliant! It was edgy, and took pot-shots at popular celebs. Unfortunately ABC canceled it. NBC picked it up, but destroyed it. They changed the tabloid to a magazine, made George Wendt the owner of the magazine, and immediately took the edge off (NBC can't be edgy at all, I think it must be in their charter). The show then sucked until the final episode, which took place in a hot air balloon. It was one of the only series finales that actually ended with style.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

They never gave this show a chance!

8/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
28 February 2008

Tea Leoni plays Nora Wilde, a serious photographer, who is going through a bad divorce. She wants her freedom but it comes at a cost. She wants to legitimate photography but is hired to work for the tabloids as a paparazzi. Her boss is played by the wonderful and divine Holland Taylor. The show was well-written most of the time. TEa's Nora was beginning to develop into quite a memorable character but the network just didn't support comedy and they still don't. Even when they brought in George Wendt from Cheers, they made unnecessary changes in casting and characters. The show was fine in the beginning and the audience was getting used to it but then the network botches it up like a bad plastic surgery.

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Cute, clownish, and wonderfully accident-prone ...

10/10
Author: Illy_croft from Kent, England
26 February 2006

A truly adorable heroine who, at turns, is surprised and terrified by giblets, wrestles with mattresses, runs full-on into closed doors ... just a few of the moments that sparkle in my memory of 'The Naked Truth'. I LOVED what I caught of this show: enjoyably daft plots and some good supporting characters provided the setting for the diamond of the show - Tea Leoni as, 'Nora Wilde'; cute, clownish, and wonderfully accident-prone - How refreshing to see an actress who can clown - it's no wonder Hollyood doesn't seem to know how to cast her. But where-oh-WHERE are the DVD releases? The amount of (bleep) they release, it's incredible me that this little gem continues to remain buried. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

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