Home > Reviews > Put Kevin Sorbo back on TV! Another Bobby Cannon review…

Put Kevin Sorbo back on TV! Another Bobby Cannon review…

Continuing my quest to get our beloved Kevin Sorbo (Hercules in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and Captain Dylan Hunt in “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda“) back on TV, here’s my review of his fantastic 2005 pilot, “Bobby Cannon”… Enjoy!

Bobby CannoBobbyCannon1n” is a long-lost, almost-happened television situation comedy (sitcom) pilot starring Kevin Sorbo, Kate Walsh, Rocky Carroll and Kevin Michael Richardson in an excellent ensemble cast comparable to “Seinfeld” that networks and cable stations ignored back in 2005. Pity… it’s not only their loss, but also the viewers’ who won’t see this well-acted, funny show come to fruition.

Written and directed by Barry Kemp, the genius behind “Coach,” “Newhart” and “Taxi,” its premise follows a popular, aging National FootballBobbyCannon3 League (NFL) star quarterback, Bobby Cannon (Sorbo), who owns an eponymous bar and is well-loved by his many fans. A book publisher contracts him to pen his memoirs, but the writer, London (Walsh), isn’t thrilled about her assignment because she has different ideas about what makes a great book, and self-absorbed, egomaniac athletes like Cannon isn’t one of them.

BobbyCannon8The two stereotypical, dichotomous, yet engaging characters – he, a sports jock and she, a book geek – eventually meet on common ground following the current NFL draft of a new, young quarterback, Dallas (Thad Luckinbill), who will presumably replace Cannon about which the star knew nothing until he, London and his bar patrons witness the draft on his bar’s TV. And whereas London has sought the “valleys” (low points) in Cannon’s charmed life in order to create a more sellable book, he disavows anything until clean-cut, virgin Dallas visits the bar to shake hands and even “carry the jock strap” of his football idol.

Cannon cannot relate to nor accept Dallas and leaves the bar in a huff. London delivers a compelling speech about camaraderie following his exit, stating that “An American icon has fallen. A man who has never lost anything has suddenly lost everything.” Then she appears at his door…BobbyCannon26

What ensues is typically described by TV critics as “sexual tension” as the pair meanders through verbal volleys and innuendo that, frankly, leave me wanting more… Are you listening, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CABLE STATIONS???

Yes, Cannon is a self-absorbed, womanizing, seemingly shallow egomaniac, but he is also a very real person. We see his public persona in the bar, not unlike athletic and celebrity stars of today, but his humanness surfaces when London invades his personal space and forces him to admit tBobbyCannon31hat perhaps she is right when she maintains, “You said you didn’t want to write a last chapter that ends like this… …This book could make millions of people feel better about themselves… People think you’re invincible, and they’re mere mortals. This proves that you’re no different…”

Sorbo is well-cast, and in many ways seems to take shots at his own career and life, such as women perpetually fawning all over him, his having been an all-star athlete (excelling in football, basketball, baseball and golf), and possibly having to step aside in Hollywood in favor of younger action heroes. He, like Cannon, writes an autobiography (True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life). I wonder: Did Sorbo choose Bobby Cannon or vice versa?

Great performances by the supporting cast led by Carroll as Cannon’s and Dallas’ agent and Richardson as Lincoln, Cannon’s biggest supporter and former teammate, help solidify this pilot’s tight script and ensure its flawless, even flow. I particularly like the interaction between Sorbo and Richardson because they’re just two guys hanging out at the bar… old friends who are very loyal to each other.BobbyCannon36

“Bobby Cannon” also offers interesting sets, costumes and props that appropriately define the show. Everything fits like a finely-crafted puzzle, especially Cannon’s automated-via-remote-control apartment from which London cannot escape when she tries to work the remote, and instead ignites the fireplace, activates romantic music and dims the lights. She then declares, “God, I’m seducing myself! How do you work this thing?!”

Sure, “Bobby Cannon” might be a throwback from the mid- to late-1970s and later sitcoms, reminiscent of womanizing characters like Fonzi (Henry Winkler) in “Happy Days” and Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) in “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Some reviewers compare it to “Cheers.” I understand and appreciate those points, but don’t see them negatively. Ideally, I don’t care about any of that! And, even if they’re correct, is that so bad? I love those shows that were hits for many years!

Some might even say that Kevin Sorbo’s “Bobby Cannon” may by today’s standards need some tweaking to accommodate the current politically correct crowd since it was first filmed in 2005, that it’s too sexist or no longer relevant for sensitive audiences. Oh, please… Based on its entertaining pilot,“Bobby Cannon” would be a welcome, refreshing change from the dreadful, formulaic sitcoms and banal rehashing of useless reality show tripe that unfortunately plague our viewing choices.

BobbyCannon40“Bobby Cannon” is a great project with stellar leads, an amazing supporting cast and a tight script. And maybe Sorbo’s current status is slightly beyond believability as an active, aging quarterback, but perhaps the story could be altered for him to be, say, a former star who is now a quarterback coach whose job is on the line unless he delivers? And maybe Cannon’s ego still sees him as the star so that when Dallas arrives as his equal or better, the story continues from there?

I believe that however this pilot could be updated, and should this excellent program ever be produced, Kevin Sorbo would bring hiBobbyCannon44s usual exciting energy, enthusiasm, humor, honesty, sheer joy of acting and perfect yet grossly underrated comedic timing to create another award-winning sitcom in Barry Kemp’s stable.

I, for one, would absolutely watch and record every single moment of “Bobby Cannon” because, well, it’s KEVIN FREAKIN’ SORBO who is an incredible, underrated, under-used actor… But also because this interesting, funny, skillfully written and acted program would be well worth my time and efforts to enjoy again and again and again…

Catch the “Bobby Cannon” trailer here:

(Screen caps by Jan; video courtesy of Teresa)

  1. March 7, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Put Kevin back on TV but also get Hercules who looks & sounds like Kevin to make more of HIS show too.

  2. March 8, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I watched sitcom and it is Bobby Cannon a hilarious comedy, really too bad it didn’t fly.

  3. rhondagemini
    March 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Enjoyed your review,Jan-it’s fantastic! I agree with everything you said!

  4. March 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Why not pitch it to Glenn Beck’s the blaze. Sam was fantastic with Dana Loesh ! I am sure Kevin could grab someone’s ear there. I am a devout fan of the blaze and this sounds like a show I would like to, at least, see the pilot of and maybe even a few episodes of. I watch very little, actually no, main stream tv. Kevin, the blaze might be your ticket. It’s a new revolution of internet entertainment! I watch/listen to 6-7 hours of the blaze a day. I watch maybe 1 -3 hours of things like discovery/animal planet/ history channel per week. I go to the blaze for news because they seem to, in my journalistic Opinion, give the most accurate version of current events. They are the 48th, I think, most viewed website in the world. Think out of the box my friend and come to the new media. Glenn is trying to add more culturally relative programming to the lineup. My household is middle aged but tech savvy. We would prefer to get rid of cable and support other mediums of entertainment. Please branch out Sorbo family! You have the support of us who supported you in our youths.

  5. blogalexg
    March 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    #TV needs Kevin Sorbo! Excellent Feature! His #Book True Strength is also fantastic!

  6. blogalexg
    March 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Reblogged this on blogalexg and commented:
    #TV needs Kevin Sorbo! Excellent Feature! His #Book True Strength is also fantastic!

  7. sorbowriter
    March 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks, everyone! Your support and comments are greatly appreciated. I think we all agree that Kevin needs to be back on TV! Let’s make that happen!! Yeah!!!! 🙂

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