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|Andy Richter Controls the Universe|
|Created by||Victor Fresco|
James Patrick Stuart
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||19 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||20–22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Garfield Grove Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Paramount Network Television
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution (U.S.)
20th Television (Global)
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV
|Original run||March 19, 2002– January 12, 2003|
Andy Richter Controls the Universe is a sitcom which aired from 2002–2003 on the Fox network. The series was Andy Richter's first starring role after leaving NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2000.
It ran for two seasons, totaling nineteen episodes, and was canceled due in part to poor ratings. The show was a joint production of 20th Century Fox Television and Paramount Network Television. Paramount's successor CBS Television Distribution has distribution rights to the series in the United States while Fox retains global distribution rights.
The surnames of the characters are very rarely mentioned - with the exception of Andy, most are only mentioned once in the entire series.
The character, sharing his name with the actor, is an aspiring writer living in Chicago who wants to write short stories. However, he is forced to work as a technical manual writer for Pickering Industries, the fifth largest company in America, to pay the bills. Andy is shy and not good with women. He doesn't really want to be working at the company, though he is very good at his job.
Played by Paget Brewster, Jessica worked with Andy for years before she became the head of Andy's department, and thus, his boss. They tried dating once, but it didn't work out. She often has to act as an intermediary between her superiors, and Andy and his co-workers, forcing her to take sides. She is fairly superficial when it comes to men.
Played by James Patrick Stuart, Keith is Andy's best friend and co-worker and one usually sticks-up for the other. He is the handsome guy in the office who has things handed to him because he's good-looking.
Played by Irene Molloy, Wendy is the receptionist at Andy's office. As of the pilot, she had only been working there a month. Andy is attracted to her, but found out that since he had not made a move in a month, Keith has started to date her.
Played by Jonathan Slavin, Byron is a new illustrator who moves into Andy's office, which causes Andy annoyance in the pilot episode. Byron is fairly insecure and shy.
Pickering Industries is founded by Mr. Pickering (John Bliss) in 1880. Despite being over 170 years old, and dead, he appears in several episodes and has discussions with Andy within his imagination. His viewpoints are typically antiquated and contrary to political correctness to an extreme degree. His comments often seem to represent a negative aspect of Andy's mind, such as guilt, or self-doubt.
Teak (Charlie Finn) and Phil (Sean Gunn) live in the same building as Andy. They had been members of the same fraternity as Andy, ten years after Andy was a member. As such, they look up to him. It is hinted that Phil might be homosexual.
Conan O'Brien appears as Pickering's new CEO in the episode "Crazy in Rio." Other stars to have guest roles include Cedric Yarbrough, Jon Cryer, Molly Sims, Beth Littleford, Rick Peters, Bree Turner, Jarrad Paul, Rex Lee, Lola Glaudini, and June Lockhart, who plays Andy's grandmother.
The series' plots were fairly typical of sitcoms with Andy getting himself into a situation and having to find a solution. The unique aspects were several unusual devices that defined the show.
First was Richter's voiceover which essentially narrated the plot, as well as Andy's thought processes in each episode. Secondly, and connected to the first was Andy's imagination, which was presented onscreen as if it were reality until it was revealed in a smash cut accompanied by the sound of rewinding audio tape. This is often used to demonstrate alternatives to what actually happened for a given event.
A theme of the show which uses these techniques was its original working title, Anything Can Happen; a thought which Richter imparts to the audience in the narration of the opening teaser of the series premiere.
Although canceled after two mid-season runs (totaling 19 episodes), reruns currently air on HDNet. It was also shown on the Paramount Comedy Channel, the Irish network TV3 and on the Polish edition of Comedy Central.
The outside shots of Andy's office are taken from the Duke & Duke building from Trading Places.
U.S. Television Ratings
|Season||Episodes||Season Premiere||Season Finale||Ranking||Viewers
|1||2001–02||6||March 19, 2002||April 23, 2002||#91||7.4|
|2||2002–03||13||December 1, 2002||June 14, 2003||#111||7.0|
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment holds the international DVD rights, but has yet to make a release anywhere.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date||Additional Information|
|Andy Richter Controls the Universe: The Complete Series||19||March 24, 2009||
All music from the show was written by Greg Burns, Jeff Burns, and Brian Kirk. The theme song is sung by Jason Cropper, the original guitarist for Weezer. The song was written for the show, and there is not a full version beyond the short clip in the beginning. However, a slightly longer version of the song is evident on the pilot episode.
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