Tag Archives: Weird Loners

Queens sitcom ‘Weird Loners’ canceled after six episodes

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Michael Becker / FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

Updated Monday, May 18, 12:34 p.m.

“Weird Loners,” a new Fox comedy set in Queens, has been reportedly canceled after just six episodes following low ratings.

The sitcom, starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Meera Rohit Kumbhani and Nate Torrence, debuted to 1.8 million viewers and an 0.8 in the 18 to 49 age demographic, “making it the season’s lowest rated show on a major broadcast network,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

The show focused on four relationship-challenged 30-somethings who unexpectedly end up in each other’s lives and start bonding while living next door to each other in Queens.

Created by Michael J. Weithorn, who also co-created “The King of Queens,” “Weird Loners” was one of only a handful of shows in TV history to be set in the borough.

After setting “The King of Queens,” which ran on CBS from 1998 to 2007, in Rego Park, Weithorn decided to use Ridgewood as inspiration for the backdrop of “Weird Loners.”

Weithorn, in an email to The Courier, said he was disappointed by the cancellation, but believed its success would have been helped by a “promotional effort on the network’s part.”

“It’s very hard to launch a new show if it has no stars, no high concept to sell,” he said. “Character and dialogue-driven comedies like this one take a while to find and build an audience, and that only happens when the network is willing to commit to the show for at least a full season and spend money on its promotion. Six episodes, late in the season, with very light promotion — we never had a chance.”

Weithorn added that he was “thrilled” the show did make it to six episodes, and in this day, people will be able to find the show on streaming services.

As far as setting any future shows in Queens, Weithorn doesn’t have any current plans, but didn’t rule out the possibility in the future.

“There’s probably a good chance that I will if the show lends itself to that kind of setting, but I have no specific ideas at the moment.”

In creating “Weird Loners,” Weithorn had the set designer research the old buildings of Ridgewood for the Los Angeles-shot show, and a Polish delicatessen he visited in the area as a child helped him come up with the background of the two main male characters, who are children of Polish immigrants.

According to Weithorn, though the setting is based on Ridgewood, the show’s initial episodes did not mention the neighborhood directly. There were future plans, however, to more directly feature the neighborhood had the show continued.

To mark the show’s March 31 premiere and second episode the following week, a group of Ridgewood locals got together at a neighborhood bar, Queens Tavern.

Steven Lewis, co-owner of the bar, and Sarah Feldman from Ridgewood Social, who both had the idea to hold a screening party, were joined by about two dozen other people to cheer and jeer at the new sitcom.

Reactions were mixed during the debut episode, as some booed at the large living room of Becki Newton’s character Caryn, called the comedy “corny,” and questioned its portrayal of Ridgewood.

Others had positive reactions and one viewer even said it “had potential” and a “‘New Girl’ vibe.”

“New Girl,” unlike “Weird Loners,” will be on the Fox schedule this fall. Another canceled comedy on the network, “The Mindy Project,” which had previously been in the “Weird Loners” 9:30 p.m. Tuesday time slot behind “New Girl,” is set to be revived on Hulu. “Weird Loners,” however, appears to be a short-lived series.




New Fox comedy set in Queens premiering March 31

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Michael Becker / FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

The co-creator of “The King of Queens” is bringing the borough back to the small screen with a new Fox comedy premiering this month.

Weird Loners” focuses on four relationship-challenged 30-somethings who unexpectedly end up in each other’s lives and start bonding while living next door to each other in a neighborhood that’s supposed to be Ridgewood.

Unlike some sitcoms featuring single urbanites, the comedy speaks to the stigma of being older and still being alone, according to creator and executive producer Michael J. Weithorn.

“There is the feeling that their lives are getting away from them,” Weithorn said. “But they bond together because they find each other.”

The show stars Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) as Caryn Goldfarb — described as a cute but high-strung dental hygienist who is love-crazed and an ultra-romantic. Her overeagerness and infatuation in her dating life has left her chronically single.

Zachary Knighton (“Happy Endings”) plays Stosh Lewandoski who is handsome, charming, smart and great at seducing women, but can’t maintain an intimate relationship. After losing his corporate condo, he is forced to move in with his cousin in Queens.

Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

Michael Becker/FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

Nate Torrence (“Hello Ladies”) plays his cousin Eric — a toll collector who is described as a sweet, odd man-child. He lives in his family home with his parents until they pass away and Stosh moves in with him.

Newcomer Meera Rohit Kumbhani plays Zara Sandhu — a mysterious and ethereal woman who likes to live in the moment. A lifelong heartbreaker, men and women regularly fall in love with her. After leaving yet another lover, she moves in with Caryn, who lives next door to Eric and Stosh.

These four characters may be considered “Weird Loners,” but the title is somewhat ironic according to Weithorn because everyone is a weird loner in a way.

“They’re just like all of us…they just have not been able to figure out how to do this one thing,” he said.

Weithorn, a Fresh Meadows native, started creating relatable characters based in Queens with his hit sitcom “The King of Queens,” which ran on CBS from 1998 to 2007.

“I feel like I can write [characters] better if I can feel what it’s like when they walk out their front door,” he said.

Ray Mickshaw / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting.

Ray Mickshaw/FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

Weithorn’s shows haven’t been the only series set in the borough. “All in the Family” (1971-1979) was supposed to take place in Astoria, though the actual home is located in Glendale; and “Dear John” (1988–1992) was about a high school teacher who is forced to move to an apartment in Rego Park after divorcing his wife. Ugly Betty (2006–2010) focused on the title character’s job at the Manhattan offices of a top fashion magazine, but the dramedy also prominently featured the protagonist’s family home in Jackson Heights.

“The King of Queens” is the only one of the group to put the name of borough in the title, which was hard to sell at first, according to Weithorn. The title was given the go-ahead after the “Queens” was made into a street sign so people would know that Queens was a destination.

“I think we bombarded the American public with the image of Queens,” he said of the show, which is now in syndication.

After setting “The King of Queens” in Rego Park, Weithorn decided to use Ridgewood as the backdrop for “Weird Loners.”

Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting.

Michael Becker/FOX/Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting

Weithorn had the set designer research the old buildings of the neighborhood for the Los Angeles-shot show, and used a Polish delicatessen he visited in the area as a child for the inspiration for the background of Stosh and Eric.

The two characters are children of Polish immigrants, a fact that is displayed proudly in Stosh’s name and the Polish banter the two sometimes have.

Weithorn doesn’t believe the show’s current scripts contain any direct references to the neighborhood so far, but there are future plans to feature it more prominently in the comedy.

But there are scenes that demonstrate it’s a Queens show — Eric’s hardcore devotion to the Mets and a bonding moment between the group in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

“Hopefully we will get the chance to tell the world about Queens,” Weithorn said.

“Weird Loners” premieres on Fox Tuesday, March 31, at 9:30 p.m.


New Fox comedy to feature 30-somethings living in Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of 2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. / Michael Becker/FOX

A new Fox show, called “Weird Loners,” will use Queens as its backdrop.

The single-camera comedy, scheduled for 2015, focuses on “four single 30-something underdogs who are unexpectedly thrust into one another’s lives and form an unlikely bond in a Queens townhouse.” The show, which is still early in production, places the home in Ridgewood.

Nate Torrence and Zachary Knighton. (©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

From writer Michael J. Weithorn (“The King of Queens”) and director Jake Kasdan (“New Girl”), the show stars Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”), Zachary Knighton (“Happy Endings”), Nate Torrence (“Hello Ladies”) and newcomer Meera Khumbhani.

Newton plays Caryn Goldfarb: “A cute, but high-strung dental hygienist whose romantic life, unfortunately, is dictated by the love-crazed, ultra-romantic 13-year-old barricaded inside the control room of her brain. Each time a handsome new man crosses her field of vision, infatuation and extreme over-eagerness take over, and she inevitably winds up back at square one – single and not getting any younger.”

Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton. (©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

Knighton plays Stosh Lewandoski: Described as “handsome, charming and whip-smart,” he’s a “serial seducer who has never been able to maintain an intimate relationship with a woman for very long – a couple of hours, usually. When Stosh’s shenanigans result in him losing his corporate condo, he winds up moving in with his cousin Eric.”

Torrence plays Eric Lewandoski: “A sweet, odd man-child, whose “adult life has consisted of living at home with elderly parents and working as a toll collector on the Queensboro Bridge. After both of his parents pass away, he finds himself cast adrift in the world for the first time.”

Meera Khumbhani and Nate Torrence. (© 2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Becker/FOX)

Meera Khumbhani plays Zara Sandhu: “Drop-dead gorgeous, mysterious and ethereal, Zara is a lifelong heartbreaker who’s only capable of living one way – ‘in the moment.’  Men and women fall in love with her on a regular basis, and she often reciprocates their feelings with great passion, until… she doesn’t.”