The New Adventures of Old Christine

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The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christine Logo.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Kari Lizer
Directed by Andy Ackerman
Starring
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 88 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Andy Ackerman
  • Ellen Kreamer
  • Jack Burditt
  • Jeff Astrof
  • Kari Lizer
  • Sherry Bilsing-Graham
Producer(s) Lisa Helfrich Jackson
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22-24 minutes
(excluding commercials)
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run March 13, 2006 (2006-03-13) – May 12, 2010 (2010-05-12)

The New Adventures of Old Christine is an American sitcom television series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It originally ran on CBS from March 13, 2006 to May 12, 2010, completing five seasons. The series received nine Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning one for Louis-Dreyfus' performance in the first season.[1]

Background[edit]

Christine Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a neurotic mother and owner of a women's gym who is in a constant struggle to keep pace with those around her. A fixture in her life is her irresponsible ex-husband Richard (Clark Gregg), whose new girlfriend (Emily Rutherfurd) is also named Christine, hence the nickname "Old Christine."

Louis-Dreyfus’s character Christine lives with her son Ritchie (Trevor Gagnon) and her brother Matthew (Hamish Linklater), while best friend and colleague Barb (Wanda Sykes) is constantly a shoulder for Christine to lean upon. Christine also struggles with her inferiority complex with the bitchy "meanie-moms," Marly Ehrhardt (Tricia O'Kelley) and Lindsay (Alex Kapp Horner), at her son's private school.

There are recurring appearances from actors including Blair Underwood, Dave Foley, Eric McCormack, Jason Alexander, Jennifer Grey, Megan Mullally, Scott Bakula, Ed Begley, Jr., Andy Richter, Lee Tergesen, and Jane Lynch.

Synopsis[edit]

Trevor Gagnon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the pilot

The first season consists of 13 episodes and premiered on March 13, 2006. In this season Christine has only just enrolled her son, Ritchie, at a new posh private school, where she is constantly being humiliated by Marly and Lindsay, some non-working mothers at the school. On top of all this, she has just discovered her ex-husband, Richard, has started dating a much younger woman who is also named Christine. Christine has a brief fling with Burton Schaefer, her on-and-off romantic interest, but they soon break up due to Christine not being able to commit to the relationship. In the season finale Christine kisses her ex-husband, Richard, causing him to tell New Christine, who promptly breaks up with him.

The second season consists of 22 episodes and premiered on September 18, 2006. Due to Richard and Christine's brief kiss, Ritchie believes that his parents have gotten back together, much to his parents' dismay. Christine starts dating an older man whom she later discovers is New Christine's father; this situation causes Richard and New Christine to rekindle their romance once again. Barb decides to start working at the gym with Christine, while Christine falls hard for Ritchie's new teacher, Mr. Harris. The season finale included Richard sleeping with Christine after breaking up with New Christine yet again. This causes a pregnancy scare for Christine, which is soon avoided. Eventually, New Christine takes Richard back and Mr. Harris takes a new teaching job at another school to be with Christine.

The third season was scheduled as a midseason replacement on CBS with 13 episodes scheduled. Due to the 2007 writer's strike, the third season consists of only 10 episodes. The third season premiered on February 4, 2008. Christine and Mr. Harris have a good relationship, until Christine's schedule becomes too hectic midway through the season; so they eventually break up. Meanwhile, Richard and New Christine buy a house together, which coincidentally is Christine's dream house, leaving her feeling jealous and confused. Barb leaves her husband and she has a short-lived fling with Matthew, much to Christine's horror.

The fourth season, consisting of 22 episodes, premiered on September 24, 2008. As Barb is divorced she is facing deportation from the U.S., so Christine decides to marry her in a sham lesbian marriage in order to keep her best friend in the country. Richard and New Christine become engaged while Matthew finds love with one of his clients. Christine has a brief relationship with an obsessive man named Patrick, while she and Barb decide to turn their gym into a spa which they later discover has turned into a brothel. On the day of Richard and New Christine's wedding, Christine briefly gets back together with New Christine's father, but is later left heartbroken when she discovers that he is engaged. This causes Richard to rush to Christine's side, provoking the jealous New Christine to leave him at the altar. Meanwhile Barb and Christine's sham marriage is discovered by an INS officer, leaving Barb imprisoned.

The fifth and final season, consisting of 21 episodes, premiered on September 23, 2009. Following Barb's arrest, she is rescued by Christine, Matthew and Barb's new boyfriend Dave. While Richard tries to win New Christine back, he temporarily moves into a new apartment with Matthew. Christine begins going to therapy, but she is attracted to her therapist, Max. They eventually abandon Christine's therapy and strike up a relationship instead. New Christine announces that she is pregnant, causing Richard to rekindle his relationship with her. New Christine eventually gives birth to a baby girl. Meanwhile, Barb becomes engaged to a reluctant Dave. At the conclusion of the season, Christine also becomes engaged to Max, but she feels intimidated by his very educated friends, so she decides to return to college.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Christine "Old Christine" Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the main character of the series, is a divorced mother who owns and operates a gym for women. She has a number of neuroses: although she suffers from feelings of inadequacy, she can also be highly self-centered and self-obsessed. Christine's bad luck with relationships continued after her divorce. Her age is unknown, although it was implied that she was born in the mid to late 1960s since she is younger than her ex-husband. Her brother constantly teases her about her age.
  • Richard Campbell, Sr. (Clark Gregg), is Christine's ex-husband, who maintains a frequent presence in her life. After divorcing Christine, he found love with another woman also named Christine, who is nicknamed "New Christine". He suffers from commitment issues; it took him four years to propose to New Christine. Richard's presence in his ex-wife's life caused a strain between himself and New Christine, which heightened when she walked out on their wedding. Richard accepted the fact she doesn't want him back, though he and New Christine reunite when she becomes pregnant.
  • Matthew Kimble (Hamish Linklater), is Christine's long-suffering, live-in brother who often acts as the straight man to his neurotic sister. Matthew had trouble finding a career path; he entered and then quit medical school and then pursued a career as a therapist. He suffers from an unhealthy attachment to his mother; whom he kisses on the mouth and speaks to several times daily. His romantic life is less than stellar. He constantly teases Christine's age, usually implying that she is "old". Despite his nerd-like features, Matthew was frequently called attractive by many women.
  • Barbara "Barb" Baran (Wanda Sykes), is Christine's sarcastic best friend and colleague at the gym. Barb, who in one episode was referred to as "my black friend, Barb" by Old Christine, is divorced and in the fourth season was revealed to be from the Bahamas and not an American citizen. She has a dry, droll sense of humor and is rarely enthused by any of Christine's plans. Barb and Christine got married early in season four to save Barb from deportation, but their same-sex marriage ended up resulting in them losing ownership of their gym. After they lost the gym, Barb sold her condo to build up a new business and married Richard to stave off deportation. She is fascinated by fire and has pyromaniac tendencies.
  • Christine "New Christine" Liesl Hunter (Emily Rutherfurd), is Richard's "dumb blonde" girlfriend, an often frustrated and confused young blonde who is nicknamed New Christine. She is annoyed by Richard's continued friendship with Old Christine, who treats her with derision, leading to friction between the two women. She is also frustrated with Richard's lack of commitment to their relationship. She walked out on their wedding, and has intense anger towards Richard for ruining it. She also became furious to learn she is pregnant, even though Richard told her he had a vasectomy. They re-kindle their relationship and Christine gives birth to a daughter named Dakota Christine Hunter-Campbell in the series finale.
  • Richard "Ritchie" Campbell, Jr. (Trevor Gagnon), Christine and Richard's son, who attends a posh private school. Often smothered by his mother, his lack of masculine traits had begun to worry his father.
  • Marly Ehrhardt[2] (Tricia O'Kelley), is a rich mother from Richie's private school who often puts Christine down for being divorced, having a low income and being a working mother. Christine often calls Marly and Lindsay the "meanie moms". Marly has a daughter, Ashley. She is said to have had much plastic surgery, and can evidently no longer blink. In the fourth season, Marly became pregnant again and her friend Lindsay became so too, so they could do it together.
  • Lindsay (Alex Kapp Horner), One of the "meanie moms" from Ritchie's school, who is best friends with Marly, although Marly is clearly dominant to the subservient Lindsay, who often does things against her will to earn Marly's approval. They frequently make Christine feel inferior, leading Christine to repeatedly find ways to get back at them. Lindsay has a daughter, Kelsey, whom Marly believes is a lesbian. In the fourth season, Lindsay became pregnant because Marly did so they could do it together.

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Mike Gay (Tom Papa), Christine's only friend at Westbridge, as he is similar to Christine in that he is not wealthy and is also divorced. (Season 3)
  • Stan (aka "Sad Dad"; Andy Richter), divorced father who Christine finds herself unable not to sleep with; she later realizes why she finds him so irresistible. (Seasons 1–3)
  • Jeff Hunter (Scott Bakula), also known as Papa Jeff, originally Christine's love interest, but she soon finds out he is New Christine's father. They continue to date for a while after but eventually becomes too much for Christine. At New Christine and Richard's wedding, Jeff and Christine rekindle their relationship. Christine realizes shortly after this he is engaged. (Seasons 2, 4 and 5)
  • Tom (Dave Foley), Richard's work associate who is obsessed with Old Christine; for years Christine believed his name was Todd. After he got sick on their disastrous first date, they bonded later in the series, but Christine still refused to see him. Richard set them up yet again, and this time Christine used him for his money, but Tom left her after he thought Christine's attempted seduction of him as "repulsive". (Seasons 2–3, 5)
  • Daniel Harris (Blair Underwood), Ritchie's former 4th grade teacher until he gave it up to date Old Christine, who had been in love with him for a long time. Although dating goes well, the relationship eventually fails, unsurprisingly. (Seasons 2–3, 5)
  • Ali (Amy Farrington), quiet, shy, but witty gym worker. (Seasons 1–4)
  • Mrs. Belt (Jordan Baker), Ritchie's third grade teacher. (Season 1)
  • Burton Schaefer (Matt Letscher), Old Christine's on-and-off romantic interest. She always finds herself stupidly splitting them up until Burton had therapy. They dated again but he was so different and strange Christine couldn't take it. (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Ashley Ehrhardt (Lily Goff), Marly's air-headed daughter. (Seasons 1–5)
  • Kelsey (Marissa Blanchard), Lindsay's daughter with lesbian tendencies. (Seasons 1–5)
  • Mrs. Marcie Nunley (Nancy Lenehan), peppy principal of Ritchie's school. Lenehan, before recurring as Mrs. Nunley, guest starred in season one as a completely different character named Kit. (Seasons 1–2, 5)
  • Pete (Anthony Holiday), ex-husband of Barb. Seems to have few emotions. (Seasons 1–2)
  • Mrs. Wilhoite (Mary Beth McDonough), teacher and mean mom at the school. (Seasons 1–5)
  • Ms. Hammond (Jane Lynch), ethics counselor/gym teacher at the school. AKA "The Stork," "Coach Hammond Eggs," "Coach Never Getting Married." She wears shorts year-round. (Season 2)
  • Lucy (Michaela Watkins), a former patient of Matthew's who becomes attracted to authority figures. Matthew cannot control himself and, thus the two begin to date. Unexpectedly the two fell in love and began a much more serious relationship. They moved in together but unfortunately both exhibited negative qualities which led to an upsetting break-up. (Seasons 4-5)
  • Patrick Harris (Tim DeKay), Old Christine's new boyfriend, who she meets in a video store and starts dating. Patrick turns out to have some serious rage issues when he 'loses' at something, and Christine fearfully broke up with him. (Season 4)
  • Todd Watski (Lee Tergesen), Old Christine's elementary school rival. When she discovers he's a fellow parent at the school, she gets revenge. Old Christine later uses him as her date at Richard and New Christine's wedding rehearsal dinner with the intention of showing Richard up, but his 'ass' qualities kick in and the plan backfires. (Season 4)
  • Joe Campbell (Charles Esten), Richard's brother. Joe spent the night at Christine's house during a visit and following this came out to her as gay. He lives in San Francisco and returned for Richard's bachelor party where he became jealous he wasn't the best man. (Seasons 2 and 4)
  • Amy Hunter (Constance Zimmer), New Christine's sister; she is quite different, in a positive way, from New Christine. She meets Matthew at Richard and New Christine's wedding rehearsal and the two hook up. (Season 4)
  • Principal Merrow (Stephen Tobolowsky), Westbridge Middle School's principal, who has very little tolerance for Old Christine's neurotic behavior. (Season 4)
  • Max (Eric McCormack), Old Christine's therapist/crush and Matthew's mentor. Christine and Max share a mutual attraction, although Christine is only his patient. He has had his license suspended multiple times for getting too close to patients. (Season 5)
  • Dave (James Lesure), a man Barb met at Richard and New Christine's wedding. Although he originally tried to deport her as he is an INS agent, he later found a way to keep her in the country because of his feelings for her, which later developed into hatred as their relationship progressed. He proposed to her thinking she'd break up with him, but instead the two became engaged. (Seasons 4–5)

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

"While it occasionally runs to the absurd – a blind date who won't eat food other people have touched and brings his own chicken to a restaurant – it stays for the most part within the realm of recognizable human relations, and lets you feel something for its characters. This was not a luxury Seinfeld ever afforded anyone, and it's nice to see the star getting to play something less cerebrally conceived, less obsessive-compulsive and more ordinarily well-rounded."

The New Adventures of Old Christine crew about the series

The review website Metacritic.com, which tabulates critics' reviews, gave it a 64—equating to their summary of "generally positive reviews", with 16 out of 26 critics reviews deemed as positive.[3] A Los Angeles Times review notes that "Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real" and the show has a "dry charm and a nice tone of affectionate irony."[4]

Nielsen ratings and broadcast history[edit]

The show's initial ratings success was the first example of a show breaking the "Seinfeld curse" (after the failures of The Michael Richards Show, Bob Patterson, Listen Up!, and Louis-Dreyfus' own Watching Ellie).[5] The series premiere reached 15.1 million viewers. Old Christine's time slot was changed mid-way through the second season, with a decline in ratings after losing its Two and a Half Men lead-in.

On May 16, 2007, it was announced that, despite the decline in ratings, CBS would renew the show for a third season 2007–2008 as a mid-season replacement.[6] On November 6, 2007, CBS said that production of Old Christine had been halted because of a strike by the Writers Guild of America.[7] On December 13, 2007 CBS announced that the series would return for its third season, which premiered on February 4, 2008, replacing Rules of Engagement.[8] However, only 10 episodes of the original 13-episode order were produced and aired for the third season because of the WGA strike.[9]

On May 14, 2008, CBS gave the sitcom a 22-episode order for the 2008–2009 season, where it aired on Wednesdays, opening up a second comedy night for the network.[10] Only 6.7 million viewers tuned in to the premiere. The following week, despite not having to go up against ratings success Dancing with the Stars, ratings tip-toed up, as it added a few hundred thousand. By the third episode, the show was over 7.5 million and had added more than one million to the premiere audience. Since then, the fourth season Old Christine had ratings close to 8 million viewers, and came first in its time slot multiple times.

The early ratings for the fifth season had been lower than previous seasons, but the 14th episode of the season reached 8.3 million viewers, the highest viewership the show had received in the Wednesday night timeslot. When the future of the show was uncertain at CBS, ABC showed interest in the series on several occasions, and on May 3, 2010, Deadline Hollywood reported that ABC was in negotiations with Fox to pick up Old Christine, should CBS cancel it. On May 18, 2010, CBS canceled Old Christine. Upon CBS canceling the show, creator Kari Lizer slammed the network and suggested the decision to cancel the show was sexist.[11]

Season Timeslot (EST) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 9:30/8:30c March 13, 2006 May 22, 2006 2005–2006 #29 12.57
2 Monday 9:30/8:30c September 18, 2006 May 7, 2007 2006–2007 #39 11.77
3 Monday 9:30/8:30c February 4, 2008 March 31, 2008 2007–2008 #42 10.41
4 Wednesday 8:00/7:00c September 24, 2008 May 20, 2009 2008–2009 #77 7.25
5 Wednesday 8:00/7:00c September 23, 2009 May 12, 2010 2009–2010 #66 6.74

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for The New Adventures of Old Christine
Year Award Title Recipient Result
2006 Emmy Award Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series Gregg Heschong Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
2007 Art Directors Guild Award Best Production Design for a Multi-Camera Series Cabot McMullen Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Gold Derby TV Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Humanitas Prize 30 Minute Category Won
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
2008 Emmy Award Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series Cabot McMullen, Amy Feldman Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Gold Derby TV Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Blair Underwood Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Women's Image Network Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Outstanding Comedy Series Won
Young Artist Award Best Performance by a Young Actor in a TV Series Trevor Gagnon Nominated
2009 Emmy Award Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series Cabot McMullen, Amy Feldman Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Individual Episode Won
Gold Derby TV Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Image Award Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Blair Underwood Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Wanda Sykes Nominated
2010 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series Cabot McMullen, Amy Feldman Nominated

Adaption[edit]

The New Adventures of Old Christine was adapted in Germany in 2013. The series is named Christine. Perfekt war gestern! and was canceled after its first season.

DVD releases[edit]

DVD Name Episodes Discs Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season 13 2 January 15, 2008 July 23, 2008 July 23, 2008
The Complete Second Season 22 4 June 24, 2008 TBA TBA
The Complete Third Season 10 2 July 27, 2010 [12] TBA TBA
The Complete Fourth Season 22 5 December 7, 2010[13] TBA TBA
The Complete Fifth and Final Season 21 3 February 21, 2012 TBA TBA

During the Warner Television and Animation Live Chat on April 5, 2010, executives from Warner Brothers said that they are "evaluating different options for release" regarding the remaining and possibly future seasons of Old Christine on DVD.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (2006) – Awards
  2. ^ Last name established in the season two episode "Crash".
  3. ^ "New Adventures Of Old Christine, The". Metacritic.com. Retrieved March 11, 2008. 
  4. ^ 'Christine' creates a life beyond Elaine, a March 2006 Los Angeles Times article
  5. ^ Sweet bump for CBS's 'Old Christine', a Media Life magazine article
  6. ^ "Breaking News – CBS ANNOUNCES 2007–2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Writers work picket lines as TV shows shut down, a L.A. Times article
  8. ^ "Breaking News – PREMIERES OF "WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN" AND "THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE" MOVE TO MONDAY, FEB. 4". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ Hooley, Danny (February 19, 2008). "He Has Work to Do". The News & Observer. Retrieved March 11, 2008. [dead link]
  10. ^ Surette, Tim (May 14, 2008). "CBS yuks up new schedule". TV.com. Retrieved May 16, 2008. 
  11. ^ "US TV – News – 'Old Christine' creator slams show axe". Digital Spy. May 20, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ "The New Adventures of Old Christine DVD news: Press Release for The New Adventures of Old Christine – The Complete 3rd Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Twitter / 700+ Films & TV: @losingstreak12 – Look for". Twitter.com. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Site News DVD news: Round-up of News for HTF's 2010 online chat with WHV TV & Animation". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 

External links[edit]