NBC’s upcoming romantic comedy series “Love Bites” can be officially be deemed troubled. It’s been at the center of a flurry of news over the past week, none of it good.
First, co-star Jordana Spiro was cut loose from the series because of her commitment to “My Boys” over on TBS. It’s kinda a mess for all involved. That sitcom begins its fourth season July 25, but hasn’t been renewed for a fifth season yet. But TBS’ contract has priority, so if they renew the show, NBC would have been left in the lurch. And if TBS announced that they weren’t planning on another season of “My Boys” and released Spiro, they were afraid it would hurt ratings this summer. So long story short, Spiro is back where she started.
Then on Thursday, word came out that “Love Bites” has been taken off NBC’s fall lineup and its production is being delayed. The issue? Co-star Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) is pregnant. And she’s supposed to play a virgin on the show, so yeah, that’s a problem. And on top of that, the series’ creative force, Cindy Chupack, has stepped down as showrunner and will instead be a writer. Chupack was a top writer for “Sex and the City” and lent “Love Bites” a lot of its credibility with critics. It’s nice that she’s staying on as a writer, but her reduced responsibilities leave the show’s direction a huge unanswered question.
The series will have a revolving ensemble cast, so Newton’s pregnancy should only delay things by a matter of weeks, not months. Still, the whole shakeup is a shame because “Love Bites” was one of the more promising series of the fall. The loss of Spiro hurts a bunch too — she’s such a likable, charismatic actress.
It’s good news for “My Boys” fans though. The chances of a fifth season are now looking better, and the series might keep co-star Kyle Howard too. He’s penciled in for an NBC romantic comedy, “Perfect Couples,” in the fall (hmmm, sounds familiar), but rumor has it that NBC may cut him loose too, and replace him with Bret Harrison (“Reaper”). We shall see . . . . UPDATE: Oops, sounds like he’s just been replaced by another Kyle. So more good news for “My Boys.”
Here’s what “Love Bites” was going to look like: