Ad Agency Sitcom

(Above: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale. Source: Facebook)

Bartlett, a “musically inspired” comedy series about “the topsy-turvy, cut-throat world of advertising,” is slated to debut January 30 on Vimeo.

Martin Edwards, a former advertising executive, co-created and directed the six-episode series about “advertising agency bad boy Roger Newhouse” (Anthony Veneziale), who’s not having a good day. Maggie Knowland, played by series co-creator Chrissy Mazzeo, “the true brains” at the agency, leaves him and the company for a “bitter rival.” As the agency starts losing clients, Roger reaches a personal epiphany through folk, rap and pop videos produced in his head by the imaginary “Anxiety Records.” His conclusion? He should “quit his job and fulfill his longtime dream to leave everything behind and become a professional musician.”

The cast also includes Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chrissy Mazzeo, Don Reed, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Eirinie Carson. eshapTV’s Evan Shapiro is executive producer.

Veneziale wrote the original songs. The series features a score by Peter Golub.

Below, Roger performs a song for Jesus (Miranda):

The entire six-episode season takes place over the course of the one day.

Advertising isn’t exactly unchartered territory for TV comedy. The classic sitcom, Bewitched (1964- 1972), starring Elizabeth Montgomery, featured a beleaguered advertising executive (Dick York then Dick Sargent) dealing with a demanding boss and clients – not to mention witches and warlocks. David E Kelley’s The Crazy Ones, starring Robin Williams as unorthodox ad agency boss Simon Roberts, ran for one season (2013-2014) on CBS.

In the non-comedy field, of course, Mad Men (AMC, 2007-2015), starring Jon Hamm as Donald Draper, explored the ad world of the 1960s.

All eight seasons (254 episodes) of Bewitched are available on Amazon for $1.99 per episode.

All 22 episodes of The Crazy Ones can be streamed with a Netflix subscription. Individual episodes are also available starting at $1.99 from Fandango and other providers.

All seven seasons (92 episodes) of Mad Men are available with a Netflix subscription. Individual episodes are also available starting at $2.99 from Amazon  and other providers.


About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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