Exclusive Video Interview with 'Do Not Disturb' Stars Jerry O'Connell and Niecy Nash
Exclusive Video Interview with 'Do Not Disturb' Stars Jerry O'Connell and Niecy Nash
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The newest FOX sitcom Do No Disturb is full of potential. Premiering tonight at 9:30pm, Do Not Disturb is created by Abraham Higginbottom, a writer/producer from Arrested Development. With that pedigree, you might expect something more than another crude, off-color traditional sitcom. But based on the pilot (both the one that will air tonight, and the original which was entirely reshot), Do Not Disturb will need a lot of time, work and patience for it to live up to its creator.

The problem is not with the stars, and when BuddyTV spoke to Jerry O'Connell and Niecy Nash, that became readily apparent. The two have a surprisingly natural chemistry, playing off each other with reckless abandon. They may seem like polar opposites, but watching them interact is enough to give you hope that Do Not Disturb could be a lot better than it is.

O'Connell's career has been a series of ups and downs, from his famously fat childhood where he became a star thanks to Stand By Me to underrated sci-fi gems like Sliders to awful films like Tomcats and Kangaroo Jack. Nash, on the other hand, is coming from the highly respected Comedy Central improv-based Reno: 911. Not only does O'Connell sing the praises of that show during the interview, but elsewhere during the FOX press junket, Prison Break's Wentworth Miller was trying to convince co-star Sarah Wayne Callies to watch it as well.

Yet somehow, despite their vastly different styles and careers, these two work well together. It's even more surprising when you consider the fact that they were cast independently and didn't meet until the show's first read through. Yet all this natural chemistry isn't enough to save Do Not Disturb from itself.

The show's flow is off. Occasionally there's a funny joke or moment, but for the most part, Do Not Disturb drifts along, cutting and pasting generic plot points and clichés into a semi-coherent storyline. Whether the show will live long enough to find its voice will be the hardest part.

FOX is not afraid to cancel a show without much concern. Drive only lasted four episodes. Reality shows like Nashville and Anchorwoman were canceled before anyone even knew they were on. And this past spring, The Return of Jezebel James and Unhitched suffered quick deaths even during a writers' strike that left FOX with few options.

Those last two seem very fitting while talking about Do Not Disturb. Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino created Jezebel James while the Farrelly brothers were behind Unhitched. Those shows starred such quality actors as Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose and Rashida Jones. Yet despite a respected creator and a solid cast, they failed.

This bodes poorly for Do Not Disturb, but on the bright side, it should give O'Connell more time to spend with his family, since he and wife Rebecca Romijn have twin daughters on the way. At least this way O'Connell will be able to drive his kids home from the club by himself.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer