Benched
Benched intertitle.png
GenreComedy
Created by
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Michaela Watkins
  • Damon Jones
  • John Enbom
  • Mark Gordon
  • Andrea Shay
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companiesThe Mark Gordon Company
ABC Signature
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkUSA Network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 28 (2014-10-28) –
December 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)

Benched is an American single-camera sitcom, created by Michaela Watkins and Damon Jones,[1] about a high-powered corporate lawyer's fall from grace into the rough-and-tumble world of a public defender. The series stars Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington in pivotal roles with Maria Bamford, Jolene Purdy, Carter MacIntyre and Oscar Nunez as the supporting cast. The show premiered on USA Network on October 28, 2014.[2]

On January 14, 2015, USA Network cancelled Benched after one season[3] because of low ratings. The series premiered to 870,000 viewers in October, and while it held steady for much of its 12-episode run, its showing remained modest.[4] Despite cancellation, Benched received mostly positive reviews during its short run with the pairing of Coupe and Harrington being pointed as the highlight of the show.[5]

Cast

Recurring

Development and production

On May 17, 2012, the American cable television network USA ordered a pilot presentation directed by Michael Fresco, from the script by Watkins and Jones. Eliza Coupe signed on to star in the lead role of the series, produced by John Enbom, Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay.[10] On January 24, 2014, a 12-episode first season was ordered, with Jay Harrington joining the series.[11]

Casting announcements on the remaining series regular roles began in the following February, with Oscar Nunez cast in the series regular role of Carlos, a public defender and new colleague of Nina's.[6] Shortly afterwards, Jolene Purdy was cast in the series regular role of Micah, an intern in the Public Defender's Office.[7] Carter MacIntyre was the last actor to join in the series regular role of Trent, Nina's former fiancée and professional nemesis.[8]

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
1"Pilot"Michael FrescoMichaela Watkins & Damon JonesOctober 28, 2014 (2014-10-28)0.87[12]
2"Downsizing"Claire ScanlonAndy BermanNovember 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)0.98[13]
3"Hooked & Booked"Claire ScanlonLindsey ShockleyNovember 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)0.77[14]
4"Sell It"Victor Nelli, Jr.Damon Jones & Michaela WatkinsNovember 18, 2014 (2014-11-18)0.75[15]
5"Shark, Actually"Tristram ShapeeroJoanna CaloNovember 25, 2014 (2014-11-25)0.78[16]
6"Rights & Wrongs"Victor Nelli, Jr.John EnbomDecember 2, 2014 (2014-12-02)0.93[17]
7"Curry Favor"John EnbomMichaela Watkins & Damon JonesDecember 9, 2014 (2014-12-09)1.00[18]
8"Diamond Is a Girl's Worst Friend"Tristram ShapeeroBen SmithDecember 16, 2014 (2014-12-16)0.75[19]
9"A New Development"Michael McDonaldJim CashmanDecember 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)0.87[20]
10"Solitary Refinement"Michael McDonaldJessica ConradDecember 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)0.64[20]
11"Campaign Contributions"Eric AppelAri Berkowitz & Scott HanscomDecember 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)0.85[21]
12"Brief Encounters"Eric AppelAndy Berman & Lindsey ShockleyDecember 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)0.72[21]

Reception

Benched received positive reviews from television critics and holds a score of 63/100 on Metacritic.[5] It also holds a 67% fresh ratings on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes with the site consensus stating, "Benched's talented ensemble raises the show above its trite writing, resulting in a nicely diverting half-hour of comedy."[22][23] Alexa Planje of The A.V. Club gave the series the most praise saying, "From the writing, to the cast, to impactful details like the spot-on styling and sets, Benched exudes confidence and commitment."[24] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly lauded the series and Eliza Coupe's performance and said, "Benched is more lightweight [than Enlightened], but it's encouragingly funny thanks to Coupe, whose attempts at anger management showcase impeccable comic timing."[25] Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post also gave a positive review writing, "It's rare to come across a comedy that displays such admirable focus and delivers such smartly packaged slices of diverting escapism. More, please."[26] On the negative side Los Angeles Times wrote, "Benched is nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is, mainly because Watkins and Jones seem to believe that the endless humiliations of a thin, attractive, previously well-compensated blond woman are all it takes to make people laugh."[27]

References

  1. ^ a b c "USA Network Picks-Up Half Hour Original Comedy Series Benched" (Press release). USA Network. 24 January 2014. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  2. ^ "USA Network to Premiere Original Comedy Series "Benched" on Tuesday, October 28th". The Futon Critic. September 22, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2015-01-15). "Comedy 'Benched' Cancelled By USA". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  4. ^ "USA Cancels 'Benched'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  5. ^ a b Benched, retrieved 2019-12-13
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (12 February 2014). "The Office's Oscar Nuñez Joins New USA Comedy Series Benched As Regular". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Jolene Purdy Joins News USA Network Comedy 'Benched'". TV by the Numbers. February 21, 2014. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "USA's Eliza Coupe Comedy 'Benched' Books Carter MacIntyre". The Hollywood Reporter. February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "Benched | Character Bio -- Sheryl". USA Network. 2014-09-22. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (23 October 2013). "USA Orders Comedy Presentation Starring Eliza Coupe & Produced By ABC Signature". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  11. ^ Ausiello, Michael (24 January 2014). "USA Network Picks Up Eliza Coupe-Jay Harrington Courtroom Comedy Benched". TVLine. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings:'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, '19 Kids & Counting', 'Ink Master', 'Face Off', 'Awkward' & More". TV by the Numbers. October 29, 2014. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  13. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + '19 Kids and Counting', Election Coverage & More". TV by the Numbers. November 5, 2014. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Tuesday Final Nationals: 'The Voice' and 'Chicago Fire' Lift NBC to Win Among Adults 18-49 - TV Media Insights - TV Ratings & News - Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings". TV Media Insights. November 12, 2014. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + College Basketball, 'Anarchy Afterword', 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' & More". TV by the Numbers. November 19, 2014. Archived from the original on November 21, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Curse of Oak Island' Wins Night, 'Ink Master', 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', 'Bad Girls Club', 'Awkward', 'Faking It' & More". TV by the Numbers. November 26, 2014. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  17. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + 'Anarchy Afterword', 'Moonshiners', 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' & More". TV by the Numbers. December 3, 2014. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  18. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, 'Anarchy Afterword', 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Benched', 'Ground Floor' & More". TV by the Numbers. December 10, 2014. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Ink Master' Tops Night + 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', 'The Curse of Oak Island', NBA Basketball & More". TV by the Numbers. December 17, 2014. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Tuesday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 12.23.2014". ShowBuzzDaily.com. December 24, 2014. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Tuesday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 12.30.2014". ShowBuzzDaily.com. December 31, 2014. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  22. ^ Benched, Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2019-12-13
  23. ^ Benched: Season 1, Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2019-12-13
  24. ^ "Benched is a legal comedy that's actually about something". TV Club. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  25. ^ "Entertainment Weekly: TV Recaps, Movie & Music News". EW.com. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  26. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2014-10-28). "Your Favorite Fabulous Comedy Veterans Are Back For 'Benched'". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  27. ^ "Review: 'Benched' is indefensibly cynical and not real funny". Los Angeles Times. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2019-12-13.