The New Adventures of Old Christine
is an American sitcom
starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as a single, American
mother. The series debuted as a midseason replacement
on March 13, 2006 and is currently broadcasting its fourth season, which debuted September 2008. Old Christine
, as it is sometimes called, is a Warner Bros. Television
production and was created by writer Kari Lizer
, who is also the show's executive producer.
The show stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell, a divorced mother and owner of a women's gym. The program revolves around Christine finding herself trying to keep pace with everyone around her such as the 'meanie moms' (Alex Kapp Horner, Tricia O'Kelley) at her son's new private school after things complicate when her ex-husband (Clark Gregg) starts to date another, or new, Christine (Emily Rutherfurd). Hamish Linklater plays Matthew, "Old" Christine's live-in brother and Emmy winner Wanda Sykes portrays Christine's best friend Barb.
The show features a broad ensemble, and includes Blair Underwood
, Dave Foley
, Scott Bakula
, Andy Richter
and Jane Lynch
as recurring performers.
Season one of The New Adventures of Old Christine
consisted of 13 episodes, kicked off by setting up the show's premise. Christine
found out at her son's new posh private school that her ex-husband and friend
is dating a new, younger girlfriend
, also named Christine. Christine then sets out to find some happiness, and begins to date Burton until Christine can't tell him she loves him, leading to a breakup. Christine also had some showdowns with meanie moms Marly and Lindsay, and in the season finale, Christine had a chance to get back with Burton, which was plagued when he found out that she'd kissed
with Richard the previous day. New Christine
left Richard when he told her, closing the season with a cliffhanger
Season two had a full 22-episode order, and continued the explosive season 1 finale where Ritchie incorrectly told his new class that Richard and Christine had reconciled. Christine
and Richard, following this, unsuccessfully give their relationship
another try. The next episode found Christine meet a handsome man and begin to date him, as Richard and New Christine reconciled. However, when Christine, New
Christine, Richard and the stranger are in the house, New
Christine calls out the man as her father, effectively complicating the once strong relationship. Shortly after in the season, the two broke up.
Still early, Christine and Ritchie's new teacher expressed their feelings for each other but established they couldn't get romantically involved. As the season progressed, Christine sent out an email that found Mr. Harris nearly fired, and Christine realized she had to move on, and she began dating Tom, but the date was ruined when he had diarrhea. Christine and Mr. Harris once again hit it off. As the season began to conclude, Matthew and Barb started to express feelings for each other after a messy wedding where Christine ruined the bride's time and New Christine, again, left Richard. Christine and Richard again slept together where Christine suffered a pregnancy scare, which thankfully was avoided. The season finished with Richard and New Christine together and Christine and Mr. Harris together.
In a 10-episode third season, Shortened due to the WGA
strike, Christine and Mr. Harris had a smooth going relationship, until Christine's schedule became too hectic midway through the season, and to her dismay, he left her. Christine
made a new friend earlier, Mike, who tried to help her through the breakup. Christine then tried dating again but then dated a guy who proved to still be in high school
, obviously not going well. Richard and New
Christine bought a house and it turned out to be Christine's dream house, not sitting right with her. Matthew and Barb slept together and stayed together to punish Christine, although not into each other in reality. They split up at the end of the season. The finale featured Jason Alexander
, as the episode set up a Seinfeld
The fourth season, currently airing, debuted on September
24, 2008, and consists of 22 episodes. In the season premier, Barb discovered that due to her divorce, she would have to be temporarily deported until her paperwork would sort out due to her foreign status. Christine offered to marry her to keep her in the country and Barb reluctantly accepted, even though it was apparent that Christine was much more into the marriage concept than she was. Richard, after many failed attempts, successfully proposed to New Christine. Marly showed up to school a few months pregnant to save her marriage, and moments later a less-pregnant Lindsay comes, who was pressured into pregnancy to revive her friendship with Marly.
Meanwhile, Matthew began his work as a therapist and his first patient had a problem with a lack of boundaries with authority figures, and this included Matthew. Matthew tried to control himself but the two ended up kissing.
Cast and characters
- Christine Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the main character of the series, Christine is seen as the average American mom. She owns a 30-minute workout gym for women, is divorced, has a son, doesn't vote unless it's for American Idol and is completely self-centered.
- Richard Campbell (Clark Gregg), Christine's ex-husband and friend. He was married to Christine for over ten years before finding love in New Christine, who complicates Christine's life. Richard is a contractor and went to a two-year community college in Nevada.
- Matthew Kimble (Hamish Linklater), Christine's live-in brother, as well as a serving nanny. Matthew often finds himself having to tend to Christine's strange problems and emotions. After a short stint in medical school, Matthew began to pursue a career as a therapist in late season 3
- Barb (Wanda Sykes), Christine's rough-around-the-edges best friend. Barb is notably unemotional and very rough, as in the later seasons her role increases in the series, we see her go through split-ups and eventually a divorce with her husband Pete, and subsequent second marriage to Christine.
- Ritchie Campbell (Trevor Gagnon), Christine and Richard's only son. Ritchie began the series in third grade and has progressed in age. Ritchie can be seen as often oblivious to strange events that transpire around him, and can be viewed as a bit air-headed at times, made more obvious at his posh private school.
- Christine Hunter (Emily Rutherfurd), Richard's live-in girlfriend and unknowingly to her, Christine's nemesis. Christine's youth and beauty often intimidates Christine, creating a lot of friction. 'New' Christine is seen as very oblivious and 'out-of-it', as she often finds herself making ridiculous comments and not able to work things.
- Marly and Lindsay (Alex Kapp Horner and Tricia O'Kelley), the mean, spoiled mothers at Ritchie's school. Marly and Lindsay are looked at as the 'queen bees' of the school and are always together despite their vast differences in personality. Marly is clearly above her, and Lindsay will do anything she says, including getting pregnant so Marly wasn't the only one. Lindsay has shown that she has a little bit of heart as on the odd occasion she'll connect with Christine. Marly, however, hasn't yet shown signs of humility or sensitivity.Supporting
- Mike Gay (Tom Papa),Christine's only friend at Westbridge, as he is similar to Christine in not wealthy and divorced.
- Sad Stan (Andy Richter), divorced and mocked father at Westbridge that Christine finds herself unable to not sleep with. She later announces why she finds him so irresistible.
- Jeff Hunter (Scott Bakula), originally Christine's love interest, but soon 'New' Christine's father! They continue to date for a while after but eventually becomes too much for Christine.
- Tom (Dave Foley), Richard's work associate and obsesser of Christine. After he got sick on their first date, they slightly bonded later in the series.
- Daniel Harris (Blair Underwood), former teacher of Ritchie until he gave it up to date Christine. Christine had been in love with him for a long time and although dating goes well, it eventually becomes too much for Daniel because of Christine's schedule.
- Ali (Amy Farrington), quiet, shy and surprisingly witty worker at the gym.
- Mrs. Belt (Jordan Baker), Ritchie's likeable third grade teacher. In her last appearance she find out strange things about Christine.
- Burton Shaffer (Matt Letscher), Christine's on-and-off romantic interest. She always finds herself stupidly splitting them up until Burton had therapy. They dated again but he was so different and strange Christine couldn't take it.
- Ashley (Lily Goff), Marly's air-headed daughter.
- Kelsey (Marissa Blanchard), Lindsay's daughter with lesbian tendencies.
- Kit/Mrs. Nunley (Nancy Lenehan), peppy principal of Ritchie's school.
- Pete (Anthony Holiday), ex-husband of Barb. Seems to have little emotions.
- Mrs. Wilhoite (Mary Beth McDonough), opular and meanie mom at the school.
- Ms. Hammond (Jane Lynch), ethics Counselor and gym teacher at the school.
- Lucy (Michaela Watkins), a patient of Matthew's that becomes attracted to authority figures. Matthew cannot control himself and, thus, the two begin to date.Notable Guest Stars
- Dr. Palmer (Jason Alexander), Christine's gynecologist.
- Audrey (Sandra Bernhard), an activist promoting offshore oil drilling, which Christine's opposed to.
- Claire (Rachael Harris), Christine's college friend's fiance.
- Joe (Charles Esten), Richard's gay brother.
- Hillary (Rebecca Creskoff), Christine and Richard's old marriage counselor
- Belinda (Ana Ortiz), A down-to-Earth Portuguese mother at Ritchie's school
- Timmy (Ben Feldman), A young ambitious lawyer whom New Christine set up with Christine.
- Shelley (Gigi Rice), Timmy's protective mother
- Ben (Matthew Glave), Christine's friend from college and Claire's fiance.
- Geoff (Ernie Grunwald), a salesman perplexed by Christine and Richard's relationship.
- Neil (Jeffrey Tambor), owner of a reptile club Ritchie wants to get into. Christine agrees to go on a date with him to allow Ritchie in the club.
The review website Metacritic.com, which tabulates critics' reviews, gave it a 64 — equating to their summary of "generally positive reviews", with 16 out of 26 critics reviews deemed as positive. A Los Angeles Times review notes that "Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real" and the show has a "dry charm and a nice tone of affectionate irony. The review continues:
The series had broadcast three seasons, and its viewing ride has been a bumpy one. After gaining 12 million or more viewers consistently in the first season and start of the second season, fans responded poorly to its time slot change, as it lost around 5 million viewers. In the third season, it reprized its original slot and gained back a few million. As the season progressed, comedies included in the night it aired began to broadcast new episodes, and Old Christine had their viewers up where they originally were, as in the final episode of the season, total viewers estimated to 12.41 million.
Although the series is one of the most successful comedies viewer-wise on CBS, and was part of its 'Monday Night Comedy Night', the show was put on hiatus. At the CBS upfronts it was officially picked up for 22 episodes. However, it has been leading a new mini-comedy lineup, as it acts as a lead-in to newbie Gary Unmarried. Due to the unfamiliarity of the new comedy lineup ratings dropped severely originally, but have been steadily increasing over the past few weeks. It appears clear that throughout the seasons it has maintained consistency, as it has received multiple Emmy nominations for each of its first three seasons including a win for Dreyfus in 2006.
Nielsen ratings and broadcast history
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The New Adventures of Old Christine
The show's initial ratings success is the first example of a show breaking the "Seinfeld curse" (after the failures of The Michael Richards Show, Bob Patterson, Listen Up, and Louis-Dreyfus' own Watching Ellie). On October 3, 2006, The Futon Critic announced that the show had been given a full 22-episode order.
Old Christine's time slot was changed during the second season, thus eliciting a decline in ratings after losing its Two and a Half Men lead-in.
On May 16, 2007, it was announced that, despite the decline in ratings, CBS would renew the show for the 2007-2008 season as a mid-season replacement. On November 6, 2007, CBS said that production of Old Christine had been halted due to a strike by the Writers Guild of America. On December 13, 2007 CBS announced that the series would return for its third season, which premiered on February 4, 2008, replacing Rules of Engagement. However, only ten episodes of the original 13-episode order were produced and aired for the third season due to the Writers Guild of America strike.
On May 14, 2008, CBS gave the sitcom a 22-episode order for the 2008-2009 season, where it now airs on Wednesdays, opening up a second comedy night for the network. The premier, as expected, generated a disappointing audience, as only 6.7 million viewers tuned in. This was largely due to the fact that the season received little promotion compared to fellow comedies and the new comedy lineup wasn't ready to handle a major audience. Christine's follower, Gary Unmarried struggled too, barely edging out Christine in viewers. Gary Unmarried wasn't received as well by critics which may take viewers away from The New Adventures of Old Christine. The following week, despite not having to go up against ratings success Dancing With the Stars, ratings tip-toed up although not much as liked, as it added a few hundred thousand. By the third episode, the show was over 7.5 million and had added more than one million to the premier audience.
|| Time slot
|| TV Season
|| Monday 9:30 P.M. (March 13, 2006 - May 22, 2006)
|| March 13, 2006
|| May 22, 2006 || 2005-2006
|| Monday 9:30 P.M. (September 18, 2006 - January 22, 2007)|
Monday 8:30 P.M. (March 12, 2007 - May 7, 2007)
| September 18, 2006
|| May 7, 2007 || 2006-2007
|| Monday 9:30 P.M. (February 4, 2008 - March 31, 2008)|
Monday 8:30 P.M. (March 10, 2008)
| February 4, 2008
|| March 31, 2008 || 2007-2008
|| Wednesday 8:00 P.M. (September 24, 2008 - 2009)
|| September 24, 2008
|| 2009 || 2008-2009
| The Complete First Season
|| Set details
- 13 episodes
- 278 minutes
- 2-disc set
- 5.1 Surround Sound
- Gag Reel
- Unaired Scenes
- The Real Christine
| Release dates
| 15 January 2008
| The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete 2nd Season
|| Set details
- 22 episodes
- 481 minutes
- 4-disc set
- 5.1 Surround Sound
- Gag Reel
- Unaired Scenes
- The Real Christine
| Release dates
| 24 June 2008
Awards and nominations