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the early word

Pilot Preview: TNT’s ‘Truth in Advertising’ Is the Will & Ed Show

Photo: Ben Kaller, Courtesy TNT


This week, Vulture's taking a look at the best and worst of the fall season's picked-up TV shows. Which are good? Can anything replace Cavemen? And, most important, what's worth a DVR season pass?

Title: Truth in Advertising

Stars: Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Tom Cavanagh (Ed), Monica Potter (Boston Legal), Sarah Clarke (24), Griffin Dunne

Network: TNT, premiering late in the year

The pitch: Two sitcom lawyers return, in an ad-agency drama.

Pilot report: When new girl Sarah (Potter) finds her Chicago ad agency's creative director dead on the floor of his office, Mason (McCormack) and his creative-director glasses get promoted. This doesn't sit well with Mason's longtime collaborator, Conner (Cavanagh), but Conner has a change of heart when, while speaking at the old CD's sparsely attended funeral, he realizes he doesn't want to end up like his former boss. Meanwhile, the group head (Dunne) has demanded that Mason win a cell-phone campaign over a competing team within the company, so Mason heads to the client presentation sans partner, and sans ideas. When the client asks for the tagline, Mason looks at his phone and his buddy Conner has texted it to him. Hooray for teamwork!

Representative dialogue:

Conner: You promise me you'll give up coffee?
Mason: I have never been healthier.
Conner: Promise.
Mason: No.
Conner: Promise.
Mason: No.
Conner: Promise.
Mason: I'll do half-caf.
Conner: Great, good, let's get to work. Let me just take a nap first.

Breakout star: Well, McCormack is basically playing straitlaced Will, Cavanagh is basically playing wacky Ed, and Potter is annoying, so … man, we are tired. Coffee would sure help. Starbucks sounds delightful. What? Oh, breakout star? Um, we guess the product placement.

Worth a season pass? Probably not. The inevitable comparisons to fellow ad-agency series Mad Men won't help; it's hard to beat a Reason to Love New York, especially when you're set in Chicago.
—Lori Fradkin