The Emmy® Award-winner Alley portrays successful Broadway star Madison Banks who has been in the limelight so long that she doesn’t know how to relate to “everyday” people. That is about to change as she meets Arlo (Eric Petersen), the son she gave up for adoption, for the very first time. Arlo’s adopted mother has recently passed away and he became curious about finding his birth mom. Helping Madison get over this shock is her personal assistant, Thelma (Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman) and limo driver Frank (Seinfeld’s Michael Richards). In the pilot episode, the cast also featured Gilles Marini as Madison’s personal chef, but must have been dropped after the initial episode as he isn’t seen or mentioned in the subsequent episodes.
Once you get through the initial pilot episode of the series, Kirstie is a pleasant surprise. Writer and Executive Producer, Marco Pennette, rushes the story’s premise within two minutes of the start of the show and bombards the audience with joke upon joke. Not all of them fly and some are just tasteless. Watching it will make you wish that they would just slow down a bit and develop the characters more. Overall though, the pilot is saved because of its heart.
By the second episode, the show slows it’s pace down a bit. We get to know the characters a bit better and both Perlman and Richards prove that they can play more characters than just Carla and Kramer. Perlman is still sarcastic, but shows her loving side as well. It’s great to see her again. For Richards, only glimpses of his old friend Cosmo Kramer appear in some of his mannerisms. His new character is a bit of a mystery. Is he a limo driver with a past or is he slightly crazy?
Even though the show has Alley’s name in it, it really operates as a ensemble show. The veteran stars work well with relative newcomer, Petersen, who portrayed “Shrek” in the national tour of the Broadway musical. Thelma refers to the Madison and Arlo as two diamonds in the rough and it will be fun to see how these two navigate their new roles as mother and son. Though the show is crass at times, the overall theme is one that people of faith can appreciate. It’s a show about redemption, forgiveness, second chances and love.
Kirstie is an “old fashioned” sitcom filmed with multiple cameras, shot in front of a live studio audience and features only one storyline. It cleverly weaves in guest stars in each episode including Cloris Leachman as Madison’s mother. Other guest stars include John Travolta, Jason Alexander, George Wendt, Kristin Chenoweth, Kristen Johnston and Kathy Griffin.
Now seen in over 98 million U.S. homes, TV Land’s target audience is that of those in their 40’s and 50’s. The programming consists of original programming, classic and contemporary television series acquisitions, hit movies and a full-service Web site.