Cross heads to England as daffy American - East Valley Tribune: Television

TV Outlook Cross heads to England as daffy American

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Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 6:00 am

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - David Cross loves the awkward idiot. And in “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” (10 p.m. EDT Friday, IFC), he gets to play one a daffy American who moves to England to head up a sales team in his employer’s newly established London office.

His job seems easy enough. Todd must sell a dozen container loads of a Korean energy drink in a week. It might be a simple feat for most people.

However, he knows nothing about British culture or sales. Don’t tell Todd about his limits. He won’t listen.

“Todd’s perception of reality is much different from everyone else’s perception,” says Cross, seated in a hotel room. “You see it sometimes (in Hollywood): People who have a lot of bluster and confidence.”

On a comedic level, “one of the great things about Todd is his lack of self-awareness,” says co-star Blake Harrison, who plays Dave, Todd’s only employee. “He has no idea (my character) is laughing at him behind his back.”

Cross co-created the series, which he says is the first time he has developed a series “with perimeters,” with those being that the comedy will be shown in the United States and England at the same time.

In that, “Todd Margaret” has to appeal to the sensibilities of Americans and Brits, not an easy task.

“I didn’t want to do a fish-out-of-water, American-ignorance type of thing,” Cross says. “Each episode is the next day in this story, so all the problems are compounded in a very realistic way.”

The urgency mounts because Todd has seven days to make the sale before his buffoon of a boss (played by Will Arnett) arrives to decide his fate.

After the first season’s six episodes, Cross says “Todd Margaret” has many places left to go. “There are twists and turns, and many characters aren’t what they seem,” he says.

“I really hope we get to do more seasons of this to see all of that.”

Other highlights for the week of Oct. 3-9. All times EDT. Listings are subject change:


“Farm Aid” (6 p.m., DirecTV). The 25th annual concert features Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones and Neil Young.

“Lies in Plain Sight” (8 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network). A blind woman hunts for answers to her cousin’s suicide and uncovers a family secret.

“The Next Iron Chef” (9 p.m., Food Network). With skillets in hand, 10 chefs prepare to hammer the competition for a third season.

“American Dad” (9:30 p.m., Fox). Stan’s daughter runs off to get married, and he offers a $50,000 reward to stop the wedding.

“IRT Deadliest Roads” (10 p.m., History). Think you have a bad commute? Truckers attempt to navigate the Himalayas and other tricky spots.

“Law & Order: UK” (10:30 p.m., BBC America). Replace the judge’s white wig, give the cops a few guns and you have the same “Law & Order” we have.


“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (9 p.m., Bravo). The argumentative women down South are back for a new season of conflicts.

“The Arrangement” (11 p.m., Logo). A reality competition built around flower-arranging? Have we hit the bottom of the barrel on ideas?


“Dog the Bounty Hunter” (9 p.m., A&E). Dog tries to sniff out a drug runner and his pregnant girlfriend on the lam in this seventh-season opener.

“Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook” (8 p.m., PBS). The vocalist dives into a history of popular music in America.

“South Park” (10 p.m., Comedy Central). School is in session again for the animated scamps.

“Harry Loves Lisa” (10 p.m., TV Land). In this reality show, Harry Hamlin loves Lisa Rinna and her silicone-enhanced lips.


“The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town” (9 p.m., HBO). This documentary traces the behind-the-scenes work of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal album.

“Savage Country” (11 p.m., MTV). In this made-for-MTV film, teens find that their prank backfired and now they are the target of a killer.


“Monster Wolf” (9 p.m., SyFy). Drillers dig on land where an ancient menace is unleashed.

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