BUCK – After the avalanche of ABC new series orders last night, here is another one this morning. The network has picked up single-camera comedy Uncle Buck, a new take on the hit 1989 movie. I’m told the series starring Mike Epps is eyed for midseason. I hear its order came later than the other because of last-minute negotiations between ABC and Universal TV, the studio that developed the project and co-produces it with ABC Studios. (ABC Studios boarded the comedy at the pilot stage.) I hear the talks involved ABC looking to get a bigger piece of the series, a common practice between a network and an outside studio in the series pickup stage these days. This may be the last order for ABC heading into the upfronts as neither of the remaining pilots appear in real contention.
Written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, the series centers on Uncle Buck (Mike Epps), a fun loving but irresponsible guy who needs a job and a place to stay. By happy coincidence, his nieces and nephew’s Nanny has just quit and his brother and sister-in-law need his help. His unconventional personality just may make him the right fit for the family and they may be the answer to his problems, too. Nia Long, James Lesure, Iman Benson, Sayeed Shahidi and Aalyrah Caldwell co-star.
That was my reaction when I read this story. John Candy must be rolling over in his beautiful grave. Uncle Buck is a cinematic classic, and one of John Candy’s best roles, which is saying something because he was a comedy icon. The incessant need to create sequels is bad enough, but creating a TV show sequel to a beloved movie without any of the original creators approval is just blasphemy. This is nothing against Mike Epps, but comparing him to John Candy is like putting me on the baseball field and comparing me to Willie Mays. They’re not even in the same stratosphere, and it’s a shame that he’s going to be carrying on the Uncle Buck name. The show shouldn’t be made in general, but adding Mike Epps into the conversation just makes this whole situation make less sense. I don’t know if the people who green lit this just want to ruin everyone’s childhood, but if that’s the goal, they’re doing a great job.