Andy Barker, P.I.
|Andy Barker, P.I.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
Red Pulley Productions|
NBC Universal Television Studio
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Original release||March 15 – April 14, 2007|
Richter plays Andy Barker, a certified public accountant who reluctantly becomes a private investigator after he is mistaken for the former office tenant, a private eye, now retired. Andy develops a taste for solving cases, assisted by the former P.I., a film buff owner of the downstairs video store, a surveillance-expert restaurateur and, as time goes on, his wife.
The show was produced for one season, and was scheduled to run a six-episode, five-week course starting Thursday, March 15, 2007 on NBC. However, the series was cancelled and removed from the Thursday lineup after the fourth episode aired. The final two episodes aired on Saturday, April 14. The series now airs on Universal HD.
Development and production
On March 7, 2006, NBC announced the ordering of the pilot episode, which was written by creators and executive producers Conan O'Brien and Jonathan Groff. The series is shot single-camera, and is presented without a laugh track. In early March 2007, NBC published all six episodes of Andy Barker, P.I. on the NBC website prior to its broadcast premiere.
Early promotional images released to promote the series feature the early cast set for the show — Andy, Simon, Lew, Wally, Ruth and Jessica. The roles of Ruth (Andy's wife) and Jessica (Andy's "assistant") were later renamed and recast before the show's debut. Ruth Barker, later renamed Jenny Barker (performed by Clea Lewis), was portrayed by Amy Farrington. Jessica, later renamed and reworked into Nicole (performed by Nicole Randall Johnson), was portrayed by Ion Overman in these images. These roles were presumably recast after the early photo shoot and prior to the filming and further development of the series as Farrington and Overman were not seen in the series itself.
- Andy Richter as Andrew "Andy" Barker: A middle-aged Certified Public Accountant, who, after starting his own firm in the pilot, reluctantly takes on a missing-person case brought to him by a mysterious Russian-accented woman who mistakes Andy for the former tenant, a real P.I. In subsequent episodes, Andy takes on (or is thrust into) cases that usually involve his friends and family and which he must solve in addition to his accounting duties.
- Clea Lewis as Jenny Barker: Andy's wife, who first disapproves, but gradually warms to his new side profession. She and Andy have an infant daughter named Molly and at least one son.
- Harve Presnell as Lew Staziak: The retired tough-as-nails cynical P.I. and prior tenant of Andy's rental office. Lew becomes Andy's mentor and aide, with mixed consequences. Lew antagonizes Simon, suffers from alektorophobia (fear of chickens), and his memory lapses cause trouble for Andy. Mickey Doyle, Lew's unscrupulous former partner, was the villain of the episode "The Lady Varnishes."
- Tony Hale as Simon: Manager of the "Video Riot" rental store who has extensive knowledge of movie trivia. He befriends Andy, and designates himself an investigative partner.
- Marshall Manesh as Wally: An Afghan restaurant owner who "went overboard with patriotism after 9/11," and has excellent surveillance equipment.
Notable guest stars
- Nicole Randall Johnson as Nicole: An unmotivated file clerk with attitude that appears in the pilot episode. However, after Andy costs her the clerk job by stealing files, she matter-of-factly hires herself as his unwanted assistant in Fairway My Lovely. Simon is infatuated with her, but she ignores his advances. She has a deaf brother and is fluent in reading lips. Nicole is heavily featured in promotions, but is a supporting character in just two episodes.
- Vanessa Branch as Nadia Kerensky ("Pilot")
- Gary Anthony Williams as Ron ("Pilot")
- Traci Lords as Loretta Crispin ("Dial M For Laptop")
- Sarah Christine Smith as Alicia ("The Big No Sleep")
- Amy Sedaris as Rita Spaulding ("The Lady Varnishes")
- Edward Asner as Mickey Doyle ("The Lady Varnishes")
- James Hong as Jon Leibowitz ("The Lady Varnishes")
- Peter Allen Vogt as Guy Helverson ("Fairway, My Lovely")
- Jesse L. Martin as his Law & Order character Detective Ed Green ("The Big No Sleep")
- Nestor Carbonell as Dr. Cey ("The Big No Sleep")
Season 1: 2007
The titles of all of the episodes are plays on the titles of actual classic mystery and private investigator films. The title "Fairway, My Lovely" is based on Farewell, My Lovely; "Three Days of the Chicken" is based on Three Days of the Condor; "Dial M for Laptop" is based on Dial M for Murder; "The Big No Sleep" is based on The Big Sleep; and "The Lady Varnishes" is based on The Lady Vanishes.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|| Production|
|1||"Pilot"||Jason Ensler||Conan O'Brien & Jonathan Groff||March 15, 2007||101|
|Mild-mannered accountant Andy Barker begins a double life as a P.I. when he is hired to solve a case involving the Russian mafia.|
|2||"Fairway, My Lovely"||Jason Ensler||Jane Espenson & Alex Herschlag||March 22, 2007||104|
|After Guy Helverson, an overweight tax client dies, seemingly of natural causes, his wife insists that he was murdered. Andy is doubtful until he discovers that Guy was having an affair.|
|3||"Three Days of the Chicken"||Jason Ensler||Gail Lerner||March 29, 2007||103|
|Wally is blackmailed by Transcor, an evil chicken cartel that murders anyone who gets in their way. Andy is determined to stop them, but Lew warns that Transcor is too powerful.|
|4||"Dial M for Laptop"||Jason Ensler||Chuck Tatham||April 5, 2007||102|
|Andy gets caught up in a credit fraud case while trying to simultaneously file his father-in-law's taxes.|
|5||"The Big No Sleep"||Jason Ensler||Josh Bycel||April 14, 2007||106|
|A dishonest doc pains Andy, until a baby toy provides the clues Andy needed.|
|6||"The Lady Varnishes"||Jason Ensler||Jon Ross||April 14, 2007||105|
|Series finale. Andy discovers a forty-year-old letter from a woman convicted of murder that explains she was framed. However, Lew's former partner, the real murderer, will stop at nothing to keep the truth from coming out.|
- Note: the final two episodes were aired on a Saturday at a special time of 8 and 8:30.
Shout! Factory released Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series on DVD on November 17, 2009.
Critic reviews were positive in L.A. Times ("quietly delightful"), Entertainment Weekly (B+), and a 73% score based on 24 critic reviews at Metacritic. Some reviewers were reserved: Chicago Tribune ("some laughs, but the show fails to truly catch fire").
U.S. television ratings
|#||Episode||Air Date||Timeslot (EST)||Season||Rating||Share||18–49||Viewers||Rank|
|1||"Pilot"||March 15, 2007||Thursday 9:30PM||2006–2007||3.7||6||2.4||6.0||# 63|
|2||"Fairway, My Lovely"||March 22, 2007||Thursday 9:30PM||2006–2007||3.5||5||2.2||5.3||# 72|
|3||"Three Days of the Chicken"||March 29, 2007||Thursday 9:30PM||2006–2007||2.6||4||2.1||4.2||# 92|
|4||"Dial M for Laptop"||April 5, 2007||Thursday 9:30PM||2006–2007||2.6||4||1.7||4.1||# 95|
|5||"The Big No Sleep"||April 14, 2007||Saturday 8:00PM||2006–2007||TBA||TBA||TBA||2.1||TBA|
|6||"The Lady Varnishes"||April 14, 2007||Saturday 8:30PM||2006–2007||TBA||TBA||TBA||2.0||TBA|
- NBC Sets Dates for Donnelly, Andy Archived December 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Zap2it.com, February 2, 2007
- "Andy Barker, P.I.: NBC Cancels Andy Richter Sitcom". Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2007-04-10. TV Series Finale
- Andy mentions that his son went through a unicorn phase in "Dial M for Laptop."
- Shout! Factory Store Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- Review in L.A. Times Robert Lloyd, March 14, 2007
- Review by Entertainment Weekly EW.com. Gillian Flynn
- Andy Barker Score Metacritic. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
- Review-a-palooza Part 2. Chicago Tribune. Maureen Ryan, March 14, 2007
- Zap2It Ratings: Rating and Share.
- L.A. Times Calendar Live Ratings: Viewers and Rankings.
- 18-49 Ratings: Media Life Magazine (18-49 numbers)
- "Hollywood Reporter: 2006-07 primetime wrap". Hollywood Reporter. May 25, 2007. Archived from the original on June 30, 2007.
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