What is The Critic ?
The Critic is an animated half-hour comedy from producers
Al Jean and Mike Reiss of The Simpsons. The show takes
viewers into the world of acerbic New York film critic Jay
Sherman (Jon Lovitz). Pudgy, balding Jay Sherman is the
host of cable channel 67's "Coming Attractions," reviewing
classic and current films, which although loved by the public,
fall far short of his high critical standards. Jay's constant
struggle to balance his contempt for popular taste with his
need to be loved and his search for success is the premise
for this irreverent comedy.
How it all began.
On January 26, 1994, The Critic first made its debut on ABC.
The first episode entitled "Pilot" was seen across America.
This was the first appearance of the character Jay Sherman
(Jon Lovitz) and his not so ordinary life as a TV film critic.
Cancelled not for the first time.
The Critic aired for one season on ABC with exactly 13
episodes. Shortly after the season ended, it was dropped
from the network. With more episodes already in production
and ready to be shown, the show was picked up and moved
to a different network.
Cancelled Again, for Good
The Fox network picked up the series right after it was
dropped from ABC in 1994. Ten more episodes were
shown along with a cross over episode where Jay Sherman
made a special guest appearance in The Simpsons episode
"A Star is Burns". Producing under average ratings near the
end of 1995, FOX cancelled the show for good.
Why Was it Cancelled ?
Besides the not so average ratings, it is a mystery as to
why the show was cancelled. It was just beginning to build
a fan base audience. The episodes that were shown are
some of the funniest scenes ever to come from an animated show. The characters were great and the jokes got better with each episode. So why was it cancelled ? My guess is because of the chimpanzees that run TV networks. They wouldn't know a good show if it jumped out and slapped them in the face.
Comedy Central now has the rights for showing repeat episodes of The Critic and does so every now and then. Although, there are only 23 episodes, they keep repeating them over and over again. They can play them over forever and people would still laugh at the jokes. The episodes get better with each viewing. Thank goodness for Comedy Central ! They have done an excellent job keeping The Critic alive through the repeats.
The Internet Brings The Critic Back to Life
Shockwave.com along with Atomfilms.com began to show new 2 - 4 minute episodes of The Critic designed exclusively for the internet in 2001. These "webisodes" were fantastic ! They brought back the type of humor you would expect to see from the original series. And best of all, Jon Lovitz signed on to do the voice of Jay Sherman once again. Click Here to view them all ! They should not be missed !
The Critic Webisodes Come to an End
The webisodes were indeed fun while they lasted... but unfortunately in 2002 the company making them went bankrupt and was forced to stop production after only making 10 webisodes in total.
The Critic Complete Series on DVD
After almost one year since we posted a petition to have The Critic released on DVD, the studios answered our call. On January 27th, 2004 Sony and Columbia Tri Star released the The Critic: The Complete Series on DVD ! Click Here to view our fantastic reveiw of the DVD set which features pictures and details along with a link to order directly from Amazon.com.
The Future for The Critic
Now that the show has made a small comeback with the internet episodes and recent DVD set, more people have become interested in this wonderful animated show. If this is the end to The Critic it is great to see the show go out in style with a DVD set featuring the complete series. The show can now live on and be enjoyed by future generations. Who knows ? Maybe one day new material will be made.
We will just have to wait and see.....
Please email us if you have any new information about The Critic. Thank you.
A Toupee Production ™
starring Jon Lovitz