FIRED UP (TV series)

4/10/1997- 2/9/1998. NBC. 1/2 hour.
Episodes 1-7, Thursday, 9:30; episodes 8-22, Monday, 8:30. 2 seasons, 28 episodes.
Pilot shot 6/5/1996.
Comedy.
Code: FUP 4/1997

EPISODES

SERIES PLOT

A women who is fired from her job as an ad exec tries to start a new life and a new business with her assistant as business partner and roommate.

REGULAR CAST

Sharon Lawrence as Gwen Leonard
Leah Remini as Terry Reynolds
Mark Feuerstein as Danny Reynolds
Jonathan Banks as Guy Mann, owner of "Clockworks."
Francesca P. Roberts as Mrs. Francis (Season 2)

CHARACTER

Guy Mann is the owner of "Clockworks," a bar. He is a romantic in pursuit of Gwen. Despite her rebuffs, he is persistent. He is a Vietnam vet with a mysterious past, including possible covert ops work. Copes and reacts quickly to unusual situations. Speaks fluent Spanish. Has mob connections for restaurant supplies. Once married to an actress, he is a loving and supportive father to his son Ashley, a female impersonator.

COMMENTS

The best moments for JB are scenes centered on Guy's relationship with his son, Ashley, a female impersonator. His speech in episode 7 is great; sentiment without sentimentality.

Mark Davis, the actor who played Ashley, had this to say about JB: "Jonathan Banks played my Dad on NBC's Fired-Up. He remains the most positive part of the entire experience. He was always my advocate onset and refused to recite any dialogue that made light or demeaned our primary on camera relationship as father and gay son." Mark Davis, http://www.markmavisdavis.com/jonathan_banks.htm

COSTUME

Shirts are usually grays, browns, and occasionally blue; many are plaid. In most episodes JB is wearing his wedding ring. For other costume information, see Episodes.

CRITICS

"...flighty Gwen helps a leering restauranteur (Jonathan Banks) create new ways to attract customers." Boston Herald, 3/23/1997, Television, p.6.

"Good cast chemistry..." Variety, 4/7/1997, p.74. "...fending off the grunting come-ons of Guy (played by Jonathan Banks, one of those instantly recognizable B-movie villains.)" Boston Globe, 4/10/1997, Living, p.E1.

"...restaurant owned by the lecherous Guy (Jonathan Banks of Wiseguy)..." Daily News, 4/10/1997, p.112.

"Once again, we're asked to laugh at the effusive attentions of a bar/restaurant owner, although gruff Jonathan Banks (Wiseguy) brings more original spin to the role..." USA Today, 4/10/1997, Life, p.3D.

"...playing the owner of the restaurant...is Jonathan Banks, who usually plays creepy crooks. This time he's just a creepy shnook. ...(the show) is not good enough to sit through." Washington Post, 4/10/1997, Style, p.B1.

"...and Wiseguy's Jonathan Banks as a smarmy restauranteur. ... Fired Up's loopy energy..." Entertainment Weekly, 4/11/1997, p.72. "...a top-notch cast. Lawrence and Banks are established pros... There's talent here. But there's no show." TV Guide, The Couch Critic, 4/19-25/1997. Jeff Jarvis.

"...in season 2... inspiration desperation has hit the Fired Up writers pretty early..." Entertainment Weekly, 10/17/1997, p.51.

JB ON "FIRED UP"

NBC.com interview:

JB said, "They hired me to bring something to it. And they trust me to bring something to it."

(What's your opinion of Kelsey Grammer?) "'Frasier' is legitimized. It's a funny show. So it's nice to be indirectly connected with that." (What can you tell us about the Gwen/Guy relationship?) "I think he solely relates to Gwen. He's enamored with Gwen and thinks she's a wonderful lady. So I mean he's kind of hooked." (How did the Guy character come about?)

Kelsey Grammer: Originally, there was some talk about turning this into a 'Sam and Diane' thing and I was pretty much against that. I love what Jonathan Banks is doing with that. He sort of provides the glue and a wiser element that's thrown into it. You can look at it from a distance and get some definition on the comedy.

Another comment from the web site:

JB: I feel good about doing a comedy right now. As the real-life dad of four (including two-year-old-twins), I have to be careful about them watching me on television. Now, I won't have to worry about my character on the show, and, of course, it's always fun for me to do a comedy."

Source: NBC Fired Up web site. www.nbc.com/entertainment/shows/firedup (NBC 4/97) (As of 1999, no longer active.)

SCREEN TIME

All episodes.

WORKED WITH

Dennis Lipscomb (WG 9/1987 episodes 2-9; 56.)
Vic Polizos (WG 9/1987, episode 2)
Al Ruscio (SNB 11/1981)
Jack Scalia (DCC 12/1982; SHO 4/1994; DB 1/1997)