Whitney (TV series)

Genre Sitcom
Created by Whitney Cummings
Composer(s) Ed Alton
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 38 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Nancy Haas
Editor(s) Richard Candib
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) – March 27, 2013 (2013-03-27)
External links

Whitney is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from September 22, 2011, to March 27, 2013. The series originally aired in the 9:30 pm (E/P)/8:30 pm (C) Thursday night timeslot.[1] The show stars Whitney Cummings and is based on her real-life experience and her comedy routines. On September 25, 2011, the pilot of Whitney was multipurposed on various Universal Television networks, including Oxygen, E!, Style, and Bravo.

On May 9, 2013, Whitney was canceled by NBC after two seasons.[2]


The series follows Whitney Cummings, as she portrays a fictionalized version of herself, and her very supportive live-in boyfriend, Alex. Even though the two have decided that they will not commit to marriage, she does question how committed they are in their 3-year relationship and tries to go as far to prove a point. She begins to fear what she sees as "relationship boredom" and worries what will happen next that could possibly end their relationship. Because of what she sees and hears around her involving other relationships, she uses unconventional methods to keep the romantic flames glowing with Alex, often seeking the help of her close friends. The sitcom is set in Chicago.[3]

Cast and characters

Main cast and characters

Recurring cast and characters


Development and production

Whitney was one of two network television shows created by Whitney Cummings to premiere during the 2011-12 United States television season. The other, which she shares creator credit with Michael Patrick King and does not star in, is the CBS series 2 Broke Girls which is produced by Warner Bros. Television.[7]

For Whitney, Cummings serves as the executive producer, creator and writer with Scott Stuber, Quan Phung, and Betsy Thomas for Universal Television.[8] Beverly D'Angelo originally played Patti, Whitney's mother, in the pilot episode before being replaced by Jane Kaczmarek, with parts of the pilot being reshot as a consequence.[9] The tabloid, New York Post reported that Cummings received $60,000 per episode for the first three episodes, and was to receive a salary increase after the show ordered for a full season because of good ratings.[10]

NBC moved the series to Wednesday beginning January 11, 2012.[11] On May 11, 2012, NBC renewed the series for a second season, which was to premiere on October 19, 2012. On October 8, 2012, the premiere date for Whitney was delayed by NBC to give it proper marketing.[12] On October 18, 2012, NBC announced it would air the season 2 premiere of Whitney on November 14, 2012.[13]

After the poor critical reception of the show upon its debut that was largely directed at Cummings herself, the producers of Whitney changed the direction of the series to a more ensemble-like show in the style of Friends to reduce the pressure on Cummings, who was also experiencing personal troubles. At the time, her mother had suffered a stroke, and her sister was entering rehab.[14] Wil Calhoun replaced Betsy Thomas as showrunner for the second season.[15] Additionally, Maulik Pancholy did not return to the show for the new season as the show focused more on the relationship between the two leads and less on the ensemble cast as seen in the later part of the previous season.[16] It was also announced that NBC Stand Up For Diversity winner Tone Bell would join the cast as a character named "RJ".[6]

On November 9, 2012, NBC ordered five additional scripts for the television series, but only picked up three, increasing its season order to sixteen.[17]

International broadcasts

The series had been picked up in Canada by CTV, where it premiered on September 19, 2011, after the season premiere of Two and a Half Men. It continued air on the same night as the NBC telecasts, but was also scheduled in different timeslots by region. Whitney ended up becoming the No.1 new comedy of the season during 2011-12 in Canada on CTV. The second season began airing on October 20, 2012.[18] In the United Kingdom, India, and Ireland, Whitney had been picked up by Comedy Central, and began airing on July 3, 2012.[19]

The series premiered in Australia on the Seven Network on October 11, 2012.[20]

The series has aired on M-Net in South Africa and on Universal Channel in Poland .

The series currently airs on Comedy Central in India and on Super RTL in Germany.


Critical reception

Whitney premiere received mixed reviews from critics, with Cummings herself receiving criticism in online articles and reviews for the series. The first season holds a Metacritic score of 49/100.[21][22][23] The New Yorker magazine's Emily Nussbaum suggested that Cummings was 2011's "sexy-girl hate magnet", experiencing a disproportionate amount of attention for being successful as well as attractive.[22] An example of this saw Andrew Goldman of The New York Times asking Cummings in an interview if she had slept her way to success.[24] Much criticism was also aimed at what was perceived as an overly aggressive ad campaign for the show by the network. The critics also found issue with the content of the ads, which were described as "regressive" and "old-fashioned".[25][26][27][28] Upon its debut, the pilot episode received mixed reviews, holding a score of 49 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic.[29] Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times found that the episode was the funnier of the two shows by Cummings debuting that season because the humor was more original.[30] Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times found that despite some missteps, the series was promising, writing that "[e]ventually the mood relaxes, even as the slapstick amps up, and what may prove to be a charming comedy begins to emerge."[31] The bulk of the reviews however found the series to be a retread of past sitcoms, with dated jokes.[29] One such review came from The Huffington Post website, which found the series to be uninspired, and many of the characters to be tenuous at best.[32] The premiere was given a D− by The A.V. Club reviewers Erik Adams and Steve Heisler, who highlighted the weakness of Cummings' acting.[33]

As the series progressed, some reviewers remarked about improvements in the show. Willa Paskin of online magazine Salon found that the series improved structurally from the eighth episode onwards, while the chemistry of the two leads was brought to the forefront. However, she still found that the jokes were not good enough.[34] Jaime Weinman from Canadian news magazine Maclean's agreed with Paskin, additionally noting that the series depicted a more realistic relationship compared with other freshmen sitcoms such as New Girl.[35] Stephan Lee writing for Entertainment Weekly magazine compared Whitney favorably to Cummings' other series, 2 Broke Girls, citing what he perceived to be an increasingly stronger and more multi-dimensional supporting cast in the former.[36] Jesse Fox of Splitsider, a sister site of current events website The Awl also found that the series began to find its footing as it progressed from its pilot and misleading initial ad campaign.[37]


The series debuted on Canada's CTV on September 19, 2011, three days before its U.S. premiere on NBC. The show won its timeslot with two million viewers, buoyed by its lead-in, the much-anticipated ninth-season premiere of Two and a Half Men.[38]

The series made a modest debut in the US, scoring with 6.8 million viewers and a 4.0/6 rating. However, it premiered more importantly to a strong 3.2 18–49 demo rating (on which the cost of advertisement is often dependent).[39] By December it had dropped to 4 million viewers and a 1.9 rating, being described by Entertainment Weekly as in "a ratings murk".[40]

The show moved to Wednesdays at 8 pm midway through its first season, getting 4.5 million viewers and a 1.7 18–49 demo rating on its first airing.[41]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes Premiered Ended TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Thursday 9:30 pm (2011)
Wednesday 8:00 pm (2012)
September 22, 2011
March 28, 2012
4.09[43] 2011–2012 #109[44] 5.11[44]
Wednesday 8:00 pm
November 14, 2012
March 27, 2013
2.88[46] 2012–2013 #107[47] 4.19[47]

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations for Whitney
Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy Whitney Nominated
Women's Image Network Awards Comedy Series Nominated
Actress Comedy Series Whitney Cummings Won
Film/Show Produced by a Woman Nominated


  1. Seidman, Robert (July 6, 2011). "NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates - 'Chuck,' 'Grimm' Premiere October 21; Early Premiere for 'Parenthood'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  2. Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2013). "UPDATE: NBC's 'Whitney' & '1600 Penn' Cancelled, 'Parks & Recreation' Renewed". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  3. "Whitney - A Decent Proposal - Video". NBC. October 13, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  4. Andreeva, Nellie (August 22, 2012). "Maulik Pancholy Departs 'Whitney', Returns To '30 Rock'". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  5. Buckman, Adam (March 14, 2012). Gay or Straight? Little Bit o’ Both as Whitney Explores Bisexuality. Xfinity. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 Goldberg, Lesley (September 5, 2012). "'Whitney' Adds NBC Diversity Program Winner as New Series Regular". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  7. ""Person of Interest," "Two Broke Girls" First to Series at CBS; Sarah Michelle Gellar-Led "Ringer" Shifts to The CW". The Futon Critic. May 13, 2011.
  8. "Updated: NBC Picks Up "Smash", "Prime Suspects" and Two More Sitcoms to Series". TV By the Numbers. May 11, 2011.
  9. Andreeva, N. (August 11, 2011). "Jane Kaczmarek Joins New NBC Comedy Series 'Whitney'". Deadline.com.
  10. "Cummings into her own". NYPOST.com. October 9, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  11. "NBC Mid-Season Schedule: 'Harry's Law' To Sunday, 'Grimm' Stays Put, 'Up All Night' Moves Later, 'Whitney' To Wednesday, 'Chuck' Series Finale Set & More". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. November 14, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  12. "Community and Whitney Premiere Dates Delayed". E! Online. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  13. O'Connell, Michael (October 18, 2012). "NBC Cancels 'Animal Practice,' Adds 'Whitney' to Schedule". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  14. "Whitney drops stockings - The Howard Stern Show". Howardstern.com. March 13, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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  24. Jessica Wakeman (September 19, 2011). "NY Times Reporter Asks Whitney Cummings About Sleeping Her Way To The Top". The Frisky. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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  26. Carlos Cabrera (September 15, 2011). "People don't like ads for "Whitney"". Nerve.com. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  27. Flock, Elizabeth (September 16, 2011). "'Whitney' advertised as another sexist TV show - BlogPost". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  28. Wightman, Catriona (August 25, 2011). "Is it just us, or... Did TV just get really sexist?". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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  30. Stanley, Alessandra (September 18, 2011). "Three New Sitcoms Put the Focus on Young Single Women - NYTimes.com". Tv.nytimes.com. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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  40. Hibberd, James (December 2, 2011). "Chelsea Handler can't boost 'Whitney' ratings". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
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