TV TUESDAY S02E10: ED [2000-2004]

Tom Cavanaugh is Ed Stevens

In the fall of 2000, several of what would become HERC's favorite television shows premiered: Gilmore Girls, CSI, Dora The Explorer, Yes Dear, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ed.

Each sixty minute episode of Ed is a unique blend of comedy, romance and drama.  It was talky (like a male Gilmore Girls), snarky and wacky, unlike any other prime time show on at the time.  HERC taped every episode while he watched them live in case he found time to re-watch them during the week.  

The cast is engaging and likable, led by Tom Cavanaugh as the title character, Ed Stevens.  After losing his job over a million-dollar mistake at the New York City law firm, Ed returns to his apartment to find her getting a special delivery from the mailman.  Or as she corrects Ed: "He's not THE mailman, he's A mailman.  He just happens to be one."

Wounded, Ed returns to his hometown of Stuckeyville, Ohio, reconnects with his old friend Mike (Josh Randall), with whom he has a running series of $10 bets/dares, and decides to pursue his high school crush, Carol Vessey (Julie Bowen), who's now a teacher at their alma mater.

Determined to stay in town and win Carol's heart, Ed hastily 
buys a bowling alley and sets up is own law office inside. Ed also inherits the bowling alley's three quirky employees: Phil (Michael Ian Black), Shirley (Rachel Cronin) and Kenny (Mike Starr).  

Justin Long, in his first major role, stars as Warren Cheswick, a student of Carol's who has a crush on her. There are at least half a dozen characters that HERC hasn't even mentioned.

Despite all of this goodness or maybe because of it, Ed never cracked the Top 48 in the ratings during its four year run but was mercifully given advance notice of its cancellation so loose ends could be tied up and story lines concluded.  HERC won't ruin it for you but he will say everyone lived happily ever after.

This episode of Ed originally aired thirteen years ago today!

Before you go running (clicking?) over to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or Redbox, Ed is nowhere to be found at those outlets. Nearly half of the show's 83 episodes are currently on YouTube (HERC stuck the first nine on today's post), in surprisingly good VHS rip quality.  The show has never been released on DVD nor Blu-Ray.  

The music clearance rights, as is often the case, appear to be the major sticking point as nearly 200 songs were heard in those 83 episodes.  The credited music supervisors for the show are Alicen Catron Schneider, Larry Teng and Chris Tergesen.

Musically, the show is all over the map; from the Foo Fighters song used as the show's theme during all but one of its four seasons ("Last Year") to soft rock staples such as Chicago and Captain & Tennille, from New Wave to disco, Seventies to Nineties and all genres in between, Ed never failed to surprise musically.  The playlist below is one that requires no shuffling for maximum effect.

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