Better with You

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Better with You
Better with You sitcom logo.png
Genre Sitcom
Created by Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Starring Joanna Garcia Swisher
Jennifer Finnigan
Josh Cooke
Jake Lacy
Kurt Fuller
Debra Jo Rupp
Opening theme "Better With You"
by Ben Kweller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Greg Malins
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
Bonanza Productions Inc.
Silver and Gold Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 22, 2010 (2010-09-22) – May 11, 2011 (2011-05-11)

Better with You is an American romantic sitcom TV show starring Joanna Garcia Swisher and Jennifer Finnigan. The series aired on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central on ABC and ran from September 22, 2010 to May 11, 2011.[1][2][3]

The series was officially canceled on May 13, 2011 by ABC.[4]

Plot[edit]

The series revolved around three different relationships that are tightly intertwined in one family, as it follows a couple, Maddie and Ben, who had been dating for nine years and are happy just living together despite not taking the next step, marriage. Maddie's life is thrown for a loop when her younger sister Mia announces that she is pregnant and is about to marry Casey, a guy whom she has only known for seven weeks. To make matters worse, Maddie is stunned that their parents, who have been married for 35 years and have their issues, approve of the union, leaving Maddie and Ben questioning themselves about their own relationship. The story follows their lives and struggles with a hilarious view on the show.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Better with You was previously known as Better Together, Couples, Leapfrog,[5] and then briefly as That Couple.[6][7] On January 15, 2010, ABC green-lit the pilot, which was written by Friends writer and executive producer Shana Goldberg-Meehan and directed by James Burrows.[8] The show was produced by Bonanza Productions, Silver and Gold Productions, and Warner Bros. Television. Better with You aired on Wednesday at 8:30 after The Middle and before Modern Family.[9] On October 26, ABC announced that Better with You was picked up for a full 22-episode season.[10]

Ben Kweller wrote the theme song for the show.[11] Country music singer Reba McEntire made an appearance in episode 8 of season 1, "Better with Flirting," as wedding planner Lorraine Ashley. Series regular Joanna Garcia Swisher and McEntire both starred in the WB/CW series Reba.

Better with You marked the second time Josh Cooke and Jennifer Finnigan have co-starred on a sitcom, the first being the short-lived 2005 NBC series Committed; it is also the second time that Cooke and Kurt Fuller co-starred in a sitcom, having previously starred in the short-lived 2006 ABC series Big Day.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(million)
1 "Pilot" James Burrows Shana Goldberg-Meehan September 22, 2010 (2010-09-22) 296777 7.97[12]
Mia invites her sister Maddie and her boyfriend Ben to meet Casey her new boyfriend and to let them know that they are engaged. Maddie is very surprised by the news and gets jealous that her little sister is getting married before her. Maddie tries to be supportive of her little sister and let her parents Vicky and Joel be the critical ones, but, to Maddie's surprise, their parents are very supportive of Mia's quick engagement. Only for things to get even worse when Maddie finds out that Ben knows that Mia is also pregnant and that she wasn't told. 
2 "Better with Firehouse" John Pasquin Lon Zimmet & Dan Rubin September 29, 2010 (2010-09-29) 2J5805 6.99[13]
Mia and Casey go house hunting when they realize that their apartment will be too small when the baby arrives. But Casey has unusual tastes when it come to home selection and wants a dilapidated old firehouse to be their new home. Maddie tells Mia just to go along with the choice because, before a man turns 27, he never really knows what he wants anyway. Meanwhile, now that Joel has finally retired, the already retired Vickey finds that Joel is really getting on her nerves because he doesn't know what to do with his new, free time. 
3 "Better with Ben" Andy Cadiff Kat Likkel & John Hoberg October 6, 2010 (2010-10-06) 2J5804 6.87[14]
Everybody hates the Christmas photo card that Joel obsesses over every year. But, when Ben is left out of the card, he gets really hurt when Joel invites Casey instead, so he and Maddie devise a revenge Christmas card. Meanwhile, Mia and Casey are finding it hard to say "no", so they ask Maddie and Ben to do the hard work for their future baby. 
4 "Better with Fighting" Andy Cadiff Shana Goldberg-Meehan October 13, 2010 (2010-10-13) 2J5802 6.38[15]
When Casey and Mia have their very first fight as an engaged couple, Casey implements his own plan to stop the arguments. In an attempt to help them, Maddie decides to show them how arguing can actually be healthy for a relationship, but instead, she ends up exposing a fault in her own nine-year relationship with Ben. Meanwhile, Vicky and Joel quietly resolve their arguments by hiding each others things. 
5 "Better with Little Buddy" Andy Cadiff Greg Malins October 20, 2010 (2010-10-20) 2J5806 6.83[16]
Maddie thinks that the best way to get someone to do something is to make them think that it was all their idea. So she makes a deal with Ben to see if he can make Vicky stop sending frivolous emails to his workplace. Meanwhile, after her ultrasound, Mia finds it very difficult to convince Casey that their romantic activities won't harm the baby, so Maddie suggests that Mia try to find a way to make Casey see her as the sexy woman he fell in love with. 
6 "Better with Halloween" John Pasquin Mathew Harawitz October 27, 2010 (2010-10-27) 2J5807 7.67[17]
It's Halloween, which is also the date of Maddie's birthday. Because Maddie feels like she can never really celebrate her own birthday, since the holiday steals the spotlight, Mia and Casey offer to throw her a birthday party at their new house, the renovated firehouse. Ben, however, wasn't listening to Maddie when she told him what she wanted for a birthday present, so Joel tells him whatever he does when he messes things up. Meanwhile, Maddie and Vicky warn Mia that when couples live together they should never look behind each others "curtain," just in case they learn things they shouldn't know about each other. 
7 "Better with Road Joel" Shelley Jensen Zachary Rosenblatt November 3, 2010 (2010-11-03) 2J5808 7.73[18]
Joel and Ben decide to accompany Casey on a road trip to Vermont, so he can move stuff out of his storage. Ben sees the trip as an opportunity to bond with Casey; But Joel sees this trip as a way to go far off his salt free diet. Meanwhile, Mia, Vicky, and Maddie start organizing Mia's baby shower, and Casey's hard-to-please mother, Ariel, comes for a visit. Mia goes out of her way to be accepted by Ariel, but things get heated between Vicky and Ariel when they both want the baby to call them "Nana." 
8 "Better with Flirting" Shelley Jensen Greg Malins November 17, 2010 (2010-11-17) 2J5811 7.11[19]
Mia and Casey are over the moon when Maddie scores them a meeting with Lorraine Ashley, one of the top wedding planners in the city. However, suddenly everything takes a turn for the worse, when it seems as though Lorraine is trying to upstage their wedding. Meanwhile, Ben feels as though he has lost his flirting skills since he met and started dating Maddie. Reba McEntire (formerly Joanna Garcia's mother on Reba) guest stars. 
9 "Better with Thanksgiving" Gary Halvorson Adam Chase November 24, 2010 (2010-11-24) 2J5809 6.85[20]
It's Thanksgiving and everyone but Vicky is relieved when her oven breaks down, as for once, everyone can enjoy a regular Thanksgiving feast, instead of enduring some horrible concoction that Vicky made up on the brim. Meanwhile, while everyone is spending Thanksgiving at Maddie and Ben's apartment, Mia stumbles across her late grandmother's "stolen" ring, hidden in a closet. 
10 "Better with Christmas Crap" Gary Halvorson Margee Magee & Angeli Millan December 8, 2010 (2010-12-08) 2J5810 7.15[21]
Maddie and Mia know that if they don't attend a family Christmas dinner with their parents at the lake house, Vicky and Joel will just pile the guilt on them, so Mia and Casey try to use the excuse that she is pregnant but as Maddie finds out, she tries to make up an excuse so that she and Ben won't have to go either. 
11 "Better with Skinny Jeans" Rob Schiller Kat Likkel & John Hoberg January 5, 2011 (2011-01-05) 2J5813 7.44[22]
Mia accuses Ben of destroying a pair of her jeans, so she takes him to buy her another pair, but he must break the news that she has to start wearing pregnancy pants. Meanwhile, Joel reads Vicky and her girlfriends' fantasy husband draft website and when he sees he is ranked last, he tries to get back into shape and Maddie tries to impress Casey with her high regard for the U.S. Postal Service. 
12 "Better with a Cat" Shelley Jensen Christopher Luccy January 19, 2011 (2011-01-19) 2J5812 6.37[23]
When Mia and Casey adopt a stray cat, their pediatrician tells them that it's not a good idea for them to have a pet around the baby. So Maddie & Ben and Vicky & Joel all enter a competition under the impression that if one of them takes in the cat, then Mia and Casey will make them their baby's guardians. 
13 "Better with Valentine's Day" Gary Halvorson Greg Malins & Shana Goldberg-Meehan February 9, 2011 (2011-02-09) 2J5816 6.80[24]

Casey makes some big plans for his and Mia's first Valentine's Day and is warned by Ben and Joel to never buy an expensive gift because then every gift afterward would have to be just as costly. Still, Casey goes through with his plans anyway, which makes Ben realize he wants to show Maddie how he feels, and when Joel finds out, he hires the singer/pianist Michael Feinstein to perform.

Note: From this episode onwards, Joanna Garcia is credited as Joanna Garcia Swisher. 
14 "Better with a Leather Jacket" Gary Halvorson Eve Weston & Dan Holden February 16, 2011 (2011-02-16) 2J5815 5.86[25]
Casey has a job interview and without telling anyone, he borrows a leather jacket that gives bad luck to anyone who wears it. Everyone then recalls all their bad experiences while wearing the jacket, and even Ben, who once dropped a blanket on the New York Yankee Nick Swisher when he was about to catch a fly ball. 
15 "Better with a Shamrock" Gary Halvorson Lon Zimmet & Dan Rubin February 23, 2011 (2011-02-23) 2J5817 5.73[26]
Ben wants to have his name posted on a shamrock on the wall of his favorite bar, but is disappointed to learn that it may not happen because the bar is owned by the New York Yankee Nick Swisher, making Ben hope that he doesn't remember the time he dropped a blanket on him while he was trying to catch a fly ball during a baseball game. Meanwhile, Mia and Maddie try to avoid accompanying Vicky to a charity event. 
16 "Better Without a Couch" Andrew Weyman Teleplay: Zachary Rosenblatt
Story by: Lon Zimmet & Dan Rubin
March 2, 2011 (2011-03-02) 2J5814 5.66[27]
When Casey finds out that one of his ex-girlfriends wants her couch back, the one he and Mia are currently using, Ben decides to help him get rid of it without Mia ever finding out the real reason for them losing it. Meanwhile, when Maddie updates her parents wills, she finds out that they don't take her professional efforts seriously. (Originally scheduled to air on January 12, 2011; preempted due to coverage of the 2011 Tucson shooting memorial service.) 
17 "Better without a Job" Gary Halvorson Shana Goldberg-Meehan & Greg Malins April 13, 2011 (2011-04-13) 2J5820 4.85[28]
After Maddie is told that she has been promoted to a partner at her firm, she is fired and, to save some face, she lies to her family, telling them that she quit because she was offered a better job. Meanwhile, Vicky decides to give Mia and Casey a children's book that has been passed through her family for generations. 
18 "Better with Lying" Andy Cadiff Greg Malins April 20, 2011 (2011-04-20) 2J5803 5.25[29]
On the day before Mia and Casey's engagement party, Maddie has a hard time believing Mia's story of how she met Casey, while Mia starts to doubt Maddie's story of how she meet Ben when they were building houses for the less fortunate. Meanwhile, during the engagement party, Vicky and Joel realize they can save some money by promoting Joel's campaign for becoming the club's treasurer. 
19 "Better with Dancing" Gary Halvorson Teleplay: Christopher Luccy
Story by: Eve Weston
April 25, 2011 (2011-04-25) 2J5818 11.23[30]
While taking dance classes for their wedding, Casey realizes that Mia isn't a good dancer so he decides to pretend that he is a bad dancer to make her look better. Meanwhile, Ben runs into Larry King whilst at a hotel and seizes the opportunity to ask him on advice about a fight he had with Maddie over her parents. 
20 "Better with Crying" Gary Halvorson Mathew Harawitz April 27, 2011 (2011-04-27) 2J5819 4.65[31]
When Mia realizes that she won't be able to be in her wedding party due to her pregnancy, she and Casey decide it would be best to postpone the wedding, but then Mia runs into trouble when the bridal shop won't refund her money for her wedding dress. Meanwhile, Joel tries to hold back from crying with his toast, so Ben uses the opportunity to make Joel cry as revenge for Joel making fun of him when he cried over his childhood pet dying. 
21 "Better with a Bargain" Gary Halvorson Margee Magee & Angeli Millan May 4, 2011 (2011-05-04) 2J5821 5.41[32]
Joel decides to use his old bargaining skills to try to buy Mia a high end baby stroller that shes really wants. Meanwhile, Maddie is worried that she has lost her passion for being a lawyer now that she is unemployed. 
22 "Better with the Baby" Gary Halvorson Teleplay by: Zachary Rosenblatt & Greg Malins
Story by: Adam Chase
May 11, 2011 (2011-05-11) 2J5822 5.95[33]
When Mia goes into labor, she and Casey decide that they should be married before she gives birth, so Casey and Ben rush to City Hall to get the marriage license, while Maddie tries to find someone to perform the ceremony and Vicky and Joel look in the gift shop for the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" items. 

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Better with You received generally positive reviews and had a Metacritic Metascore of 64.[34]

Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Timeslot (EDT) Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Network
Season premiere Season finale TV Season
1 22 Wednesday 8:30 pm (September 22, 2010 – May 11, 2011) Monday 9:30 pm (April 25, 2011) September 22, 2010 (2010-09-22) May 11, 2011 (2011-05-11)[35] 2010–2011 #75 6.60 ABC

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Presenter Award Result
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy Nominated

International broadcasts[edit]

Country Network Start date
Latin America (orthographic projection).svg Latin America Warner Channel November 1, 2010
Brazil Brazil Warner Channel Latin America
SBT
November 1, 2010
August 14, 2012–December 04, 2012
New Zealand New Zealand TV2 January 19, 2011
Poland Poland HBO Comedy March 1, 2011
Serbia Serbia
United Kingdom United Kingdom 5USA March 9, 2011
Italy Italy Mya July 25, 2011
Australia Australia Nine Network September 19, 2011
Bulgaria Bulgaria bTV April 6, 2013
Israel Israel HOT 3
Croatia Croatia Doma TV March 5, 2012
Iceland Iceland Stöð 2 March, 2012
India India Zee Café
Philippines Philippines 2nd Avenue/(RJTV)
Portugal Portugal Fox Life
Romania Romania HBO Comedy
Turkey Turkey CNBC-E
Republic of Ireland Ireland 3e

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hanh Nguyen (May 18, 2010). "ABC's fall TV schedule, night by night". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Fall 2010 Day-By-Day TV Schedule". TVGuide.com. 
  3. ^ ABC Announces Fall Series Premiere Dates, TV By the Numbers, July 8, 2010
  4. ^ "‘Better With You’ Cancelled By ABC - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Development Update: Friday, September 18". The Futon Critic. September 18, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ ""Chuck", "V," Eight Pilots Make the Cut for 2010-11". The Futon Critic. May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ Berman, Marc (May 18, 2010). "ABC: Seven New Series; Changes Affect Four Nights". Media Week. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Development Update: Friday, January 15". The Futon Critic. January 15, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ ABC Announces 2010-11 Primetime Schedule, TV By the Numbers, May 18, 2010
  10. ^ "Love That TV | Boston Herald". News.bostonherald.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  11. ^ "‘Better With You’: Theme songs are better with Ben Kweller - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  12. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2010). "TV Ratings Wednesday: 'Modern Family' Leads Night; Survivor, Criminal Minds Very Strong; 'Undercovers' Middling; 'The Whole Truth' Bombs". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  13. ^ Gorman, Bill (September 30, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Better With You, The Middle, Modern Family, Survivor, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: LA Adjusted Up; Cougar Town, Whole Truth Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 7, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: 'Survivor,' 'The Middle,' 'Modern Family,' 'SVU,' 'The Defenders' Up; 'Cougar Town,' 'The Whole Truth' Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  15. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 14, 2010). "Wednesday Finals: Survivor, Middle, Modern Family, L&O:SVU, Top Model Adjusted Up; 20/20, Undercovers Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
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  20. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 29, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: The Middle, Hell's Kitchen Adjusted Up; Cougar Town Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ Gorman, Bill (December 9, 2010). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'The Sing Off' Adjusted Up; 'The Middle' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ Gorman, Bill (January 6, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Cougar Town' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  23. ^ Gorman, Bill (January 20, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The Middle,' 'Better With You,' 'Cougar Town' Adjusted Down; 'Criminal Minds' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
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  25. ^ Gorman, Bill (February 17, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  26. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 24, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Mr. Sunshine,' 'Survivor,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'CM: Suspect Behavior' All Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  27. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 3, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; 'Better With You' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 7, 2011. 
  28. ^ Gorman, Bill (April 14, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Modern Family,' 'Happy Endings,' 'Survivor,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Suspect Behavior' Adjusted Up; 'Breaking In,' 'Minute,' 'Shedding' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  29. ^ Seidman, Robert (April 26, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The Middle,' 'Modern Family,' 'American Idol,' 'Survivor' Adjusted Up; 'Cougar Town' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  30. ^ Gorman, Bill (April 26, 2011). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Dancing With The Stars' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  31. ^ Gorman, Bill (April 28, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Survivor,' 'Top Model,' 'Voice' Repeat Adjusted Up; 'Breaking In' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  32. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 5, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Survivor,' 'Modern Family,' 'Law & Order: SVU' Adjusted Up; 'Breaking In' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Wednesday Final Ratings: ‘American Idol,’ ‘The Middle’ ‘Better With You,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Survivor’ Adjusted Up; ‘Breaking In,’ ‘Cougar Town’ Adj. Down - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  34. ^ "Better With You - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  35. ^ "ABC Announces Season Finale Dates (‘Castle,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ and More) - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 

External links[edit]