If you’ve been waiting for that little NBC relationship comedy, Friends with Benefits, that they ordered to series during the upfronts of 2010, to actually premiere…well, you probably gave up hope by now, right? It was slated for mid-season but never materialized on the schedule. And then the summer schedule was released, and it wasn’t there either. Fans of Danneel Harris-Ackles and Jessica Lucas probably assumed it was just going to end up on the cutting room floor of NBC’s programming department, tucked away in an archive, never to be seen. But yesterday The Futon Critic announced that NBC was planning to “burn off” the episodes they paid for and shot on Saturdays this summer, starting June 25th.
“Sources close to” The Futon Critic were who prompted the site to post the news, but LA TV Insider Examiner still has not received confirmation from NBC (the official NBC site still just says “Coming Soon” on the show page) on whether or not the “back to back” episodes airing at 8pm are a definite, but we can’t imagine why not. Summer is a time when so many stay in with their air conditioning, and NBC has this original programming to offer, so why not offer it up and see who bites?
**UPDATED July 10 2011** Series star Harris Tweeted: “Well, I guess Friends with Benefits will air after all! The new date is Friday August 5th at 8pm. Can’t wait!”
So it looks like sources may have been wrong earlier, but at least we’ll get to see the show after all!
After all, Friends with Benefits received early buzz not for its same-name-ness with the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis movie but because it comes from Brian Grazer and stars The CW stars Harris and Lucas. The show is a half-hour comedy revolving on a group of twenty-something singles as they “navigate the difficult, sometimes rewarding, yet often confusing, world of dating.” Anyone in Happy Endings withdrawal will want to check this one out! Plus, they reference cupcakes almost immediately in the pilot episode, and you really can’t go wrong there, right?
Loyal and devoted to one another, these friends are never too busy to help a member of the group who might be in need. In fact, their companionship often extends into a more intimate setting… Harris is Sara Maxwell, a busy young doctor just looking for a nice, compatible man to settle down and with whom to raise a family, but in the meantime she is settling for helping her buddy Ben (Ryan Hansen) try to meet his own ridiculously high set of standards in the dating world. Perhaps he is just setting himself up to fail because what he really wants is right in front of him, he just can’t admit it?
Meanwhile, their group of ecclectic friends– tech genius Aaron (Zach Cregger), ladykiller Fitz (Andre Holland), and free-spirited Riley (Lucas) have their own dating trials and tribulations but always seem to get sucked into the issues of Ben and Sara, who find their way back to each other for comfort, and well, physical intimacy, time and again. Literally. Through the years. Expect an awesome flashback in which we will see them in younger years but unlike we’ve ever seen these two actors before!
Since NBC has not been readying this for immediate release, LA TV Insider Examiner has not yet seen the premiere episode but we hope to be able to bring you an advance review soon! Stay tuned!
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