1600 Penn – NBC’s latest attempt to attract fans of family sitcoms is already receiving mixed reviews across social after an early release of the pilot on Hulu and a special airing after The Voice.
The largest driver of tune-in was accredited to the cast in which Josh Gad, coming fresh from his run on The Book of Mormon was the biggest draw. A unique insight related to the cast was the high association viewers had with Bill Pullman and his previous presidential role in Independence Day. Conversations from dark comedy viewers suggested that a show featuring Bill Pullman’s Independence Day character, focused on his fifth presidential term, and set in a post-alien invasion timeline sounded like a really good idea.
However while viewers did have strong positive opinions for Bill Pullman, there was a marked negative reaction to the writer’s choice to make the president and his family white, which does not mirror our current White House. Ultimately this might alienate potential viewers.
Overall viewer reactions to the pilot of 1600 Penn indicate that there is a clear division between the individuals that enjoyed the show, separated by those who fondly remember the cast members from previous projects, and those who don’t. The viewers unaware of the cast are looking for a new comedy that challenges some of the traditional boundaries we find too often on broadcast television. So will 1600 Penn last? It might if it can develop its own unique personality, but so far a single meatball (named Josh Gad) doesn’t go very far.