Elisha Cuthbert is awfully charming in One Big Happy, a romp of a traditional sitcom with a few modern twists. It’s traditional for being a four camera set-up filmed in front of a live audience. A little less traditional are the characters–it’s sort of a Three’s Company meets Modern Family. (Cuthbert’s character Lizzy gets inseminated and plans to raise a child with Luke, her nextdoor neighbor growing up, but then–wouldn’t you know it–Luke falls for a hot woman named Prudence.)
Cuthbert is a TV veteran, shooting to fame as Jack Bauer’s daughter in 24 –and posing for lots of magazines in her underwear–before moving onto comedy. One Big Happy is her second sitcom this decade (Happy Endings, her first, didn’t have one). Cuthbert had only one reservation about the role–and it wasn’t playing gay. (She’s an actress, after all.) She told the producers, including Ellen DeGeneres, that she was concerned about the format. “I knew I could do the part, but could I do it in front of 200 people? That’s a different ball game,” the actress told reporters in Canada. Cuthbert is obviously a quick study. One Big Happy, which is getting mixed reviews, is on NBC Tuesdays at 9:30pm.