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September 3, 2013

New comedy show Package Deal promises a return to how sitcoms used to be


Staff / Metro News

There was a time when an audience would hear how a show was “filmed in front of a live studio audience” rather than the rumbling ha-ha-has of a laugh track. City’s new show Package Deal is a return to the old-school ways of comedy.

“It was my first time doing anything live,” admitted Julia Votch, who plays the woman who comes between three close brothers in this original series.

“I haven’t done theatre … so I was a bit nervous, but the first time hearing them laugh at you and what you are doing, it felt so great and it heightened everyone’s performance.”

Executive produced by Andrew Orenstein, and also staring Randal Edwards, Jay Malone and Harland Williams, the series was to premiere in the spring, and then summer, before being pushed into the fall by City.

It will now air Mondays starting Sept. 30, edged between How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls.

“For the first time in my career we were actually bumped for hockey,” joked Orenstein, who worked on Malcolm in the Middle and 3rd Rock from the Sun. “I think it is a nice vote of confidence for the show that, you know, they looked at our show, and they went and looked at the other shows that they are buying, and thought, ‘Well, heck, it would fit in nicely.’”

Orenstein says that in the last 10 or 15 years, the reality of situational comedy shows has changed. There used to be time to develop characters at the expense of rapid-fire jokes, but the reverse is now true.

“The world is quicker,” he said. “You have to be quicker and faster and funnier.”