The Loop (U.S. TV series)
|Theme music composer||James Kochalka Superstar and the Zambonis|
|Opening theme||"Hockey Monkey"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||17 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Picture format||480i, (SDTV)
|Original run||March 15, 2006– July 1, 2007|
The Loop is an American sitcom that ran from March 15, 2006 to July 1, 2007 on Fox. The show starred Bret Harrison as Sam Sullivan, a young professional trying to balance the needs of his social life with the pressures of working at the corporate headquarters of TransAlliance Airways, a major U.S. airline. Set in the city of Chicago, whose downtown loop area acted as the setting for most of the show. The show's theme song is "Hockey Monkey" by James Kochalka Superstar and the Zambonis.
The Loop focuses on the life of its main character, Sam Sullivan (Bret Harrison). The show is shot with a single-camera setup instead of a multiple-camera setup more typical for situation comedies. The series follows Sam, his friends and his co-workers, as they try to survive both their personal and professional lives. In every episode most of the characters say many "situation comedy" style lines, which are often a result of improvisation. A complete script is written for each episode of The Loop; however, actors are given opportunities to improvise their lines during the shooting process.
Cast and characters
- Bret Harrison as Sam Sullivan: A young professional trying to balance the needs of his social life with the pressures of working at the corporate headquarters of TransAlliance Airways.
- Philip Baker Hall as Russ McDonald: Head executive of TransAlliance Airways and one of Sam's bosses. He's lived a wildlife in aviation, from Air Force pilot to head of the company, which occasionally comes back to haunt him.
- Eric Christian Olsen as Sully Sullivan: Sam's goofy, carefree and jobless older brother and roommate.
- Mimi Rogers as Meryl: Sexually adventurous, she is an executive at TransAlliance Airways, and one of Sam's bosses.
- Joy Osmanski as Darcy: Sam's personal assistant and former student at MIT. She frequently laments that most of her classmates are in space, suggesting she couldn't get security clearance, because a colorful past, which she's hiding from.
- Ian Reed Kesler as Derek Rene Tricolli: An obnoxious businessman for Goldman Sachs, who constantly gets under Sam's skin. In the second season, it's suggested that he's omnisexual. In an episdoe of the second season, he makes a deal to trade business contacts with Sam (Bret Harrison), for a night of passion with Darcy (Joy Osmanski); and, she readily agrees to him pimping [her] out" "pimping [her] out".
- Howard Miller as DeKeyser: Executive of TransAlliance Airways
- Michael D. Roberts as Hibbert: Executive of TransAlliance Airways
- Amanda Loncar as Piper: One of Sam's friends, whom he has had a crush on since they met freshman year of college. She is also his roommate. In the first season. she was studying to become a doctor.
- Sarah Mason as Lizzy: One of Sam's friends and roommate. Her job in the first season was a bartender.
Development and production
The series was filmed in 480i (SDTV), 720p (HDTV). The Loop lasted only two seasons, season 1 lasted only 7 episodes. The show was renewed for a second season consisting of 13 episodes on May 12 by Fox. It was one of only two live-action sitcoms renewed for the 2006-2007 season on Fox, along with The War at Home. The Loop's second season took place mainly in the workplace, and less of it with Sam's friends. The producers stated they "found most of the comedy to be with Sam and his co-workers and they wanted to expand on that." On November 28, 2006, it was announced that the show's second and final season episode order had been reduced from thirteen to ten, with Fox's crowded spring schedule believed to be the main reason for the reduction. The show was cancelled on May 17, 2007, before the second and final season was even broadcast. Fox eventually burned off the remaining episodes on Sundays beginning June 10, 2007.
Season 1: 2006
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||"Pilot"||Betty Thomas & Dennie Gordon||Pam Brady & Will Gluck||March 15, 2006||1AKK79|
|Sam thinks he just might have a chance with longtime crush Piper when she and her boyfriend Marco break up days before her birthday. Sam, Sully and Lizzy go all out on plans to make her birthday special, with Sam hoping Marco's absence will finally give him the chance to express to Piper how he feels about her. But Sam's feelings for Piper get in the way when he generously makes her an offer he soon regrets.|
|2||"Jack Air"||Betty Thomas||Pam Brady & Will Gluck||March 16, 2006||1AKK04|
|When Sam's boss Russ gives Sam the assignment of creating a low-cost airline carrier for their company, Sam relishes the challenge. Meanwhile Lizzy's friend Jenna, a VP ("veteran partier") for a tequila company, tries to convince Sam to compete against her in a tequila challenge. Sam is determined to excel at both, but Jenna's persuasiveness lands him on the beach in Cabo San Lucas the morning his presentation is due, forcing him to think on his feet and come up with the big idea that will prove to Russ he is up to the challenge.|
|3||"Tiger Express"||Jay Chandrasekhar||Ira Ungerleider||March 23, 2006||1AKK03|
|Sam reconnects at the bar with Jolie, a girl he ditched on their third date. Meanwhile, Sam's boss Russ claims they're being beaten in the airline business by Virgin Airlines and Sir Richard Branson. Russ has assigned Sam to take the Virgin flight to Hong Kong and investigate all the first class amenities Virgin offers in order to beef up their own TransAlliance airline.|
|4||"Trouble In The Saddle"||Rawson Thurber||Pam Brady & Will Gluck||March 30, 2006||1AKK02|
|On his way to an important business meeting at Russ's ranch, Sam stops off at home to put on some ranch attire. Sully has connected a zipline to the falafel cart across the street from their second-floor apartment and Sam gets pushed down it without the handle, smashing into the falafel cart below. He's rushed to the hospital with massive burns on his hands and a groin injury, but insists on leaving so he can get to his meeting on time. The doctor agrees to release him, but not until he can prove his groin area is in proper working condition.|
|5||"Year Of The Dog"||Dennie Gordon||Ira Ungerleider & Theresa Mulligan||April 6, 2006||1AKK05|
|Sam's college experience in Beijing, China, pays off when Meryl seeks his expertise to assist with a vital presentation she's giving to the Chinese Department of Transportation in order to save Trans Alliance Air from potential downfall. Meanwhile, things at home get out of line when Sully starts a dog-sitting business. Sully mistakes Sam's flash drive, containing his presentation information, for a dog biscuit. As the presentation meeting approaches, Sam and his roommates scramble to come up with a quick-fix idea to retrieve the flash drive.|
|6||"Bear Drop Soup"||Daisy von Scherler Mayer||Robin Shorr||April 12, 2006||1AKK01|
|When Sam’s boss Russ gives him a raise and an assignment to do a profit analysis of all the divisions, Sam comes up with a quick solution to the budget problem: cutting back the frequent flyer program. Not realizing this idea would translate to Russ’s eliminating the program completely, Sam finds himself in a bit of a predicament when his carpool buddy, who heads up the frequent flyer program, is fired – and all his coworkers turn against him. At home, Sully convinces Sam to buy a hot tub to celebrate his raise.|
|7||"Rusty Trombone"||Jay Chandrasekhar||Will Gluck & Pam Brady||April 13, 2006||1AKK06|
|Piper's favorite band, The Dandy Warhols, are in town and Sam sees this as the perfect opportunity for him to take Piper out on a date. After hitting Meryl up for Trans Alliance company tickets to the concert, and promising Piper tickets to the show, Sam gets stuck at a brainstorming session at work, leaving Piper, desperate to go to the show, forced to take Derek up on his offer to go with him. Knowing Sam has to work, Russ gives the company tickets to his son Keith.|
Season 2: 2007
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|8||"Windows"||Andrew Fleming||Sam Laybourne||June 10, 2007||2AKK09|
|To increase profits at the company, Nordic clients are brought in for a new airport. After a gift for the clients turns out to be a terrible idea, the plan seems shot. That is until one of the clients offers to go clubbing with Sam, ruining his chances with the hot new secretary.|
|9||"The Phantom"||Dennie Gordon||Robia Rashid||June 10, 2007||2AKK10|
|When Russ destroys Sam's car, he starts treating him nicely by sending him to Hawaii and lending him his motorcycle. When Sully accidentally wrecks the motorcycle, Sam is forced to take a medical trial to make money. However the side effects ruin his date with the secretary, and when Sam realizes Russ was the one that wrecked his car, the surprise he had in store is ruined.|
|10||"Yeah, Presents"||Dennie Gordon||Pam Brady & Will Gluck||June 17, 2007||2AKK08|
|A scramble to find the perfect gift ensues as Russ' birthday approaches. Sam discovers Russ once owned an exotic bird, so he sets out to track one down.|
|11||"CSI: Donut Idol Bowl"||Jay Chandrasekhar||Ira Ungerleider||June 17, 2007||2AKK05|
|Russ wants the airline to have a family-friendly icon, and Sam submits an idea from Darcy. Though Russ likes the icon, he opts for a doodle drawn by Sully that inevitably causes more than a few headaches.|
|12||"The Dutch"||Jay Chandrasekhar||Robin Shorr||June 24, 2007||2AKK07|
|Sam is invited to lunch with airline-industry power players, including Russ' rival the Dutch. When Sam donates to the Dutch's charity, it leads to unexpected consequences.|
|13||"Lady Business"||Mike Mitchell||Robia Rashid||June 24, 2007||2AKK02|
|Sam nominates Meryl for an award for female executives and unexpectedly draws her ire.|
|14||"Stride"||Tommy O'Haver||Theresa Mulligan||June 24, 2007||2AKK04|
|Sam is put in charge of a product-placement partnership between the airline and a chewing-gum company. He ends up hooking up with the sales rep (Christine Lakin) and allows the branding to get way out of hand.|
|15||"Crazy Goat"||Roger Nygard||Andy Gordon||July 1, 2007||2AKK03|
|Russ pressures his staff to generate some moneymaking ideas. With this in mind, Sam looks to facilitate a business merger by arranging a date between Derek and Darcy.|
|16||"Fatty"||Dennie Gordon||Pam Brady & Will Gluck||July 1, 2007||2AKK01|
|Sam wears a fat suit to better understand how obese people experience air travel. During the flight, Russ wants Sam to keep an eye on his girlfriend, who he suspects is cheating.|
|17||"The Stranger"||Millicent Shelton||Sam Laybourne||July 1, 2007||2AKK06|
|Sam chooses Russ' friend Ralph (Dale Dye) over Meryl to help him on a project. When the assignment gets out of hand, Sam goes crawling back to Meryl.|
U.S. television ratings
Below is a table of the seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Loop on Fox.
- Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (EST)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||Viewers
|1||7||Wednesday 9:30 PM (premiere)
Tuesday 9:00 PM
|March 15, 2006||April 13, 2006||3.86|
|2||10||Sunday 8:30 PM and 9:30 PM||June 10, 2007||July 1, 2007||2.36|
Broadcast and distribution
In the U.S., both the first and second seasons of the show are available for purchase on the iTunes Store, as well as the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace or for free on Hulu. In an aggressive marketing campaign by Fox, the pilot episode was released across a broad range of mediums from satellite broadcasting to popular social networking websites such as Facebook, shown on United Airlines flights, freely distributed on video on demand on about 30 cable and satellite systems including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Dish Network, on Yahoo, and from Amazon Unbox. Also, prior to the airing of The Loop in the United Kingdom the pilot episode was released as a free temporary download on iTunes.
|Country||TV network(s)||Series premiere|
|Argentina||FX Network||March 2007|
|Australia||Seven Network||December 7, 2006|
|The Comedy Channel||July 14, 2009|
|Brazil||FX Network||September 2007|
|Croatia||RTL Televizija||March 2009|
|Finland||MTV3||January 13, 2010|
|France||NRJ 12||August 25, 2008|
|Ireland||RTÉ Two||June 8, 2007|
|Israel||yes Stars||February 7, 2007|
|E4||July 30, 2009|
|New Zealand||C4||May 19, 2008|
|Philippines||Jack TV||September 5, 2007|
|Russia||MTV Russia||December 2009|
|Ukraine||Novyi Kanal||June 2009|
|Thailand||True Series||December 19, 2006|
|Turkey||ComedyMax||January 27, 2008|
|Showtime Arabia (ShowComedy)||2007|
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