Less than Perfect
|Less Than Perfect|
Season Four title card
|Created by||Terri Minsky|
|Theme music composer||Cary R. Beare
Jason Thomas Gordon
Rich Ragsdale (2002-04)
Scott Clausen (2004-06)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||81 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Nina Wass
Terri Minsky (2002-03)
Christine Zander (2003-06)
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Wass/Stein Productions
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||October 1, 2002– June 6, 2006|
Less Than Perfect is an American sitcom created by Terri Minsky and starring Sara Rue and Sherri Shepherd which originally aired on ABC from October 1, 2002 to June 6, 2006. It follows Claude (Rue), who works at a television network named GNB, as well as her friends and colleagues.
Overview and premise
The show centers on Claude (Sara Rue), who works at a television network called GNB. Though at first a temp who fills in on other assignments, in the pilot Claude is hired by anchor Will Butler (Eric Roberts) as his assistant. Comedians Andy Dick, Will Sasso, and Sherri Shepherd play her co-workers and friends, while Zachary Levi and Andrea Parker play her rivals at work. Patrick Warburton joined the cast in Season 2, playing a news anchor who dates Parker's character while trying to climb the ladder at GNB.
Much was made at the time of the show's premiere about the central character of the show being a "full figured" woman, and that the title correlated to Claude being "Less Than Perfect." Over the course of the series, Rue lost 30 pounds (14 kg; 2.1 st). She has since become a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and lost a total of 50 pounds (23 kg; 3.6 st).
Less Than Perfect debuted in a Tuesday evening time-slot and received steady ratings for its first two seasons. When the series was moved in its third season to a Friday-night time-slot, ratings began to fall sharply, and the show was considered to be in danger of cancellation.
TVGuide.com featured the show on a list of "Endangered Series." Ratings in the coveted 18–49 demographic were high enough, and the show was near the threshold for number of episodes needed for syndication, so a limited fourth season of 13 episodes was ordered.
After a long hiatus from ABC's schedule, the show returned as a late-season replacement for ABC with its fourth season premiere on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 9:30 p.m.
Despite the pickup, the future of the series was not assured. Cast member Zachary Levi stated many cast members were ready to move on, and series lead Sara Rue had filmed a pilot for CBS starring as a woman who runs a toy company with her brother in the comedy Play Nice.
ABC confirmed on May 17, 2006 that the fourth season would be its last. ABC showed only part of the fourth season as scheduled. After five of the 13 episodes aired, ABC ceased broadcasting the show, with the last episode broadcast on June 6, 2006. However, those episodes which were not broadcast in the US have been shown in other countries.
The show joined Lifetime Television's lineup on June 1, 2009 in syndication. The network aired all 81 episodes, including the eight Season 4 episodes previously not broadcast in the US. But as of 2010, it was no longer on Lifetime's schedule.
- Sara Rue as Claudia "Claude" Casey, a sweet and hard-working executive assistant. She is bright with her co-workers and her con-artist frenemy, Lydia. She is always the lead character and is seen in all episodes of the show.
- Sherri Shepherd as Ramona Platt, a coworker of Owen and good friend of Claude. She is sometimes bossy with her coworkers.
- Andrea Parker as Lydia Weston, one of Claude's "frenemies". She is shallow, snobby and professionally ambitious. Eventually, she has a relationship with Jeb Denton.
- Zachary Levi as Kipp Steadman, Claude's other frenemy who later becomes Jeb Denton's assistant. He is shown to be just as shallow and snobby as Lydia.
- Andy Dick as Owen Kronsky, an offbeat and sometimes clumsy office supply manager with GNB.
- Eric Roberts as Will Butler, (2002–2005) (Seasons 1–3, 57 episodes) a national newsanchor at GNB with several ex-wives. Claude serves as his assistant.
- Will Sasso as Carl Monari (2003–2006) (Seasons 2–4 [guest starring in season 1], 40 episodes). He lives across the hall from Claude and works at GNB as the cafeteria manager.
- Patrick Warburton as Jeb Denton, (2003–2006) the boyfriend of Claude's biggest enemy, Lydia. He's a very energetic, quiet, funny, serious, and greedy news anchor climbing the ladder at GNB. His favorite food is Crab Cakes. He never refers to Kipp by name, but merely as "Secretary."
- Josh Braaten as Charlie, Claude's boyfriend from the travel department. (2002–2003 & 2005, Seasons 1 & 3, 8 episodes)
- William Ragsdale as Mitch Calgrove, a producer at GNB who Claude dates (2004, Season 2, 4 episodes)
- John Eric Bentley as an assistant director who becomes a director (2002 & 2006, Seasons 1 & 4, 3 episodes)
- George Wyner as Alan Turnbach, head of GNB news (2003 & 2006, Seasons 1 & 4, 3 episodes)
- French Stewart as Gene Schmidtline, an employee at GNB (2003–2005, Seasons 2–3, 3 episodes)
- Jenny McCarthy as Dani, Will's on-and-off girlfriend (2003, Season 2, 3 episodes)
- Diana-Maria Riva as Vivian, Carl's ex-girlfriend (2004–2005, Seasons 2–3, 3 episodes)
- Jonna Tamases as Irene, a co-worker at GNB who offers Claude a job (2006, Season 4, 3 episodes)
- Valerie Harper as Judith, Owen's mom (2003–2004, Seasons 2–3, 2 episodes)
- Joanna Kerns as Judy, Owen's other mom (2003–2004, Seasons 2–3, 2 episodes)
- Michael Boatman as Ted Elliot, a director who employs Claude (2003, Seasons 1–2, 2 episodes)
- Michael Angarano as George Denton, Jeb's son (2004, Seasons 2–3, 2 episodes)
- Nicole Sullivan as Deirdre Bishop, Owen's love interest (2003, Season 1, 2 episodes)
One-off guest stars
- Martin Mull as Mr Buddy Casey, Claude's dad (2002, Season 1)
- Cindy Williams as Mrs Joan Casey, Claude's mom (2002, Season 1)
- Joanna Cassidy as Norma (2003, Season 1)
- Trista Rehn as Herself (2003, Season 1)
- Richard Ruccolo as Bobby Casey, Claude's brother (2003, Season 1)
- Barry Bostwick as Max Damarius (2003, Season 1)
- Randee Heller as Mrs. Ross (2003, season 2)
- Gordon Clapp as Detective Martin (2003, Season 2)
- Pamela Anderson as Vicki Devorski (2003, Season 2)
- Bill Walton as Himself (2004, Season 2)
- Lesley Ann Warren as Diane Steadman, Kipp's mom (2004, Season 2)
- Brooke Burke as Nurse Benson (2004, Season 2)
- James Belushi as sandwich vendor Eddie Smirkoff (2004, Season 2)
- John McEnroe as Himself (2004, Season 2)
- Tori Spelling as Roxanne Fiedler (2004, Season 2)
- Lucy Lawless as Tracy Fletcher (2004, Season 3)
- Richard Kind as Lance Corcoran (2004, Season 3)
- John Di Maggio as Bartender (2004, Season 3)
- David Cassidy as Vince (2005, Season 3)
- Paula Abdul as Kathleen (2005, Season 3)
- Kimberly Williams as Laura (2005, Season 3)
- Regis Philbin as Xin Xao Pi (2005, Season 3)
- Joan Rivers as Louise (2005, Season 3)
- Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson & Michael Moloney as themselves, as the cast of Extreme Makeover (2005, Season 3)
- Star Jones as Dr Curtis (2005, Season 3)
- Christopher Knight as Waiter (2005, Season 3)
- Tony Plana as The Owl Inspector did not really have a name. Claude and Carl were refereeing him as the "Owl Specialist". He has a frustrating personality because Claude didn't want him to take away or shoot her kind owls. He only made his appearance in "The Owl Specialist".
Less Than Perfect is currently showing on ATV in Austria, on Nelonen in Finland, on FOX8 (pay TV) and the Seven Network (free to air) in Australia, on MTV Russia in Russia, on Star World for the rest of Asia, on yesSTARS in Israel, on Cuatro in Spain, on Sky Italia's Fox and MTV Italia in Italy, on Kanal 5 in Denmark, on HRT and Fox Life in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Poland and Bulgaria, on TV-First in Belarus. The first seven episodes and episode nine of the final season of Less Than Perfect aired on TV2 in New Zealand, with the remaining episodes (eight and 10 through 13) yet to be scheduled. The show also aired on MBC 4 to Arabic speaking viewers. In Turkey, TNT Turkey airs. And ComedyMax currently airs the show for Digiturk subscribers and Comedy Smart airs for D-Smart subscribers. The show has previously been aired on RTÉ TWO in Ireland and on Comedy Central in the UK and Ireland, although it is not currently being shown on either of these two networks. As of April 2013, ABC Spark in Canada are broadcasting the show in quadruple bills, twice daily.
Opening credits and theme song
From the beginning, Less than Pefect had a simple opening sequence, credits which were played over the opening scene of each episode of season one. However, in season two a new opening sequence, along with a theme song, was introduced. The music for this theme song can be heard briefly in scenes during the show's run. The new opening credits for season two lasted only five episodes, then reverted to the previous basic credits which lasted until the end of season three. Season four introduced a five-second opening, in which the title can be seen on post-it notes on an office desk, while a brief instrumental version of the theme tune is played.
Early reviews for the show found the characterization generally stereotypical, but critics often praised the performance of Sara Rue. USA Today asserted that "in just two episodes, the good guys/bad guys structure and the exaggerated characterizations already are showing signs of wear," although it called Rue a "welcome addition" to TV sitcoms. People magazine likewise criticized the stereotypical characters, but summarized the show as "Hardly perfect but happily Rueful." However, by Season 3, USA Today said the show had "hit its stride."
|Season||Episodes||Premiere||Season finale||U.S. ratings|
|1||2002–2003||22||October 1, 2002||May 20, 2003||8.1 million (85th place)|
|2||2003–2004||24||September 23, 2003||May 18, 2004||8.8 million (66th place)|
|3||2004–2005||22||September 24, 2004||April 15, 2005||6.2 million (94th place)|
|4||2006||13 (8 unaired)||April 18, 2006||June 6, 2006||4.9 million (115th place)|
|Season||Episodes||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season 1||22||September 7, 2010||TBA||TBA|
- Rizzo, Monica (October 11, 2010). "Sara Rue Finishes Half-Marathon". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
- "Sara Paxton, JoJo, Emma Roberts Bonded on Pic - Netscape Celebrity". Channels.isp.netscape.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Digital Spy
- "Less Than Perfect Theme Song". televisiontunes.com. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- Bianco, Robert (October 1, 2002), "'Less Than Perfect' aptly named, but Rue is nearly flawless". USA Today.
- Kelleher, Terry (October 28, 2002), "Less Than Perfect (TV program)". People. 58 (18):30
- Robert Bianco (November 26, 2004), "Unwind, rewind, watch these shows". USA Today.
- "Nielsen's TOP 156 Shows for 2002–03 Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "2003–2004 TV Ratings Archived May 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "2004–2005 TV Ratings Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "2005–2006 TV Ratings Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- "Less Than Perfect DVD news: Announcement for Less Than Perfect - Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.