TV Club: Best Time Ever

It’s difficult to imagine the amount of scrutiny Neil Patrick Harris and the Best Time Ever team must have been under as they developed the show. A variety hour based on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (hailing from the UK, currently much warmer to this goofy stiltedness than the States), premiering on the heels of the network’s big talent show, in a tentpole 10 pm slot but under pressure to be family-friendly enough to maximize return on NBC’s investment, and ahead of the overstuffed late-night landscape that borrows liberally from the variety-show tradition.

In an era where audiences are cynical, sketch comedy’s best talent is more likely to be found on cable than on network TV (unless you want to head online for SNL Digital Shorts), and anyone who wants to see a lineup of quick-hit random nonsense can just click on a YouTube …

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