‘Work It’, Cross-Dressing Unemployment Comedy, Is Laid Off

by | January 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM | TV News

Hey, Ben, your pink slip is showing: Ben Koldyke in "Work It" (Photo: ABC)

“Work It” got a pink slip from ABC.

The cross-dressing comedy about two unemployed manly men who dress up as women in order to get jobs in a hiring marketplace that seems to favor females has reportedly been yanked from the Tuesday schedule after just two episodes, various entertainment news sources are reporting.

The stories — including this one on the Hollywood Reporter Web site — say the series will be replaced Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c by repeats of the comedy that preceded it at 8/7c, Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing.” The lineup change is effective immediately, which means “Work It” won’t likely be seen again. “Work It” starred Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco as the two men who cross-dress for success in a sitcom that drew pans from critics and protests from transgender- and gay-rights activists.

The latter complained that the show’s depictions of men in women’s clothes were a drag — or, more to the point, the activists felt the show positioned men in women’s clothing as objects to be ridiculed, setting back their efforts to bring about equal rights for transgendered Americans. Our take: This point of view is debatable but they have a right to their opinions.

The former — the critics — largely panned the show because they felt it was silly, juvenile and, perhaps most importantly, wholly implausible since the two male leads were easily recognizable as men wearing dresses, pantyhose, lipstick, wigs and heels and could never pass for women in a million years. Our take: The critics’ opinions are debatable too. Yes, these two could be spotted as men in drag from a mile or two away, but nevertheless, and even against our better judgement, we found this ridiculous comedy to be hilarious, at least in spots. Oh well.

Viewers apparently agreed with the critics, if not the protesters, and rejected “Work It” in droves. The premiere on Jan. 3 drew a lowly 6.16 million viewers, and then fell off significantly in Week Two this past Tuesday — to 4.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Meanwhile, some observers expected the cancellation of “Work It” to present an opportunity for ABC to bring back “Cougar Town,” the Courteney Cox comedy that does not yet have a midseason premiere date. However, no date or time for “Cougar Town” seems to have materialized in the wake of “Work It’s” demise.

Judge for yourself whether “Work It” deserved to be cancelled — watch this week’s episode here:
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