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Flops in Ratings, With Critics

Flops in Ratings, With Critics


The controversy surrounding ABC's critically reviled sitcom Work It, about two men pretending to be women to obtain employment, didn't translate into ratings, as the premiere received lower ratings than the quickly canceled series it replaced.

According toThe Hollywood Reporter, Work It premiered to "a 2.0 in the key demo according to fast affiliate ratings," which is a "17 percent drop from both its lead-in (Tim Allen's Last Man Standing) and the October debut of its time period predecessor Man-Up."

While there aren't transgender characters on Work It, numerous LGBT activists took umbrage at the advertising for the series, particularly a photo that showed the two males in drag standing before a urinal, which they found exploitive and trivializing of obstacles faced by transgender people in the workplace.

Drian Juarez, project manager for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Program at Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Center, released a statemen, saying, "What is clearly intended to be a humorous promotional ad for the show depicts the two lead characters, dressed as women, standing at a urinal. Sadly, it's very common for people to promote fear of sharing the bathroom with transgender people as a means to further their prejudice. We're frequently portrayed as sexual predators using the bathroom to make sexual advances."

Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker bemoaned the trite dialogue and the poor quality of the series, comparing it unfavorably with the 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies, which helped launch the career of Tom Hanks. "With Bosom Buddies, you always had the feeling that that Chris Thompson, Thomas Miller, and Bob Boyett creation left room in its scripts for Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari to improvise a bit, even if it was just a slow burn or a double-take or some slapstick playing off the cross-dressing," he writes.

Tucker also drew a comparison between actors Benjamin Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco, who, like the characters they portray, are forced to "take what they can get."

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