First Look at ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ on CW – Will it Be a Hit (Again)?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 22nd, 2013 at 10:35 pm,

It’s almost summer and that means that cable has new seasons of Burn Notice, True Blood, and other summer fare on tap while the broadcast networks go into semi-hibernation because they figure that viewers are busy. The CW is no different, but this summer they’re hoping that there are enough improv comedy fans to help propel their Whose Line is it Anyway reboot toward success, and now we’ve got our first look at the show with this clip that is heavy on both 90210 fueled corporate synergy and funny.

As you can see from the video (above), little has changed from the version of Whose Line that ran from 1998-2006 on ABC with Drew Carey as moderator and the original version of the show that ran in the UK from 1988-1998. Even the show’s stars – Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie (who have each done more than 250 total episodes, UK & US) – remain and they’re joined by Wayne Brady, who was the runaway star of the ABC version, and appeared briefly on the British original.

whose line is it anyway title First Look at Whose Line Is It Anyway? on CW   Will it Be a Hit (Again)?

It’s not known if any other former favorites from the show’s past like Tony Slattery, Greg Proops, Mike McShane, and Nashville star Charles “Chip” Esten will re-appear for the show’s return voyage, but the series is injecting some star-power with new host Aisha Tyler, who takes the mantle that Drew Carey once took from Clive Anderson. If more star power is needed, Whose Line does have a history of letting guest stars as diverse as Stephen Fry, Jerry Springer, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Stephen Colbert, Richard Simmons, and David Hasselhoff in on the fun, so the potential for more of that surely exists.

What potential exists for the longevity of this third iteration of the show, though? That much is unclear. On one hand, the CW – which typically aims their programming selections at 18-34 year olds – seems demographically incompatible with an improv comedy show with roots that go back further than many CW viewer’s first breaths, but the show does have the potential to court nostalgic fans that grew up with the ABC version or the US re-airs of the original, and it can be both mildly topical and a springboard/proving ground for young comics, much in the way that it was for Brady back in the day.

So, while some people may roll their eyes at the notion of improv games on TV and a series on The CW with stars that are in their 50s, there is a reason why Stiles, Mochrie, and the rest have made this show a success in the US and the UK for 25 years – funny is funny.

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Whose Line is it Anyway premieres on July 16th @8PM on The CW

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. Ryan and Collin still look hilarious but I still miss drew

    • I grew up watching the UK re-runs on Comedy Central, so to me, that was always THE show. I liked the Carey version, but it just wasn’t the same. I’ll certainly give this a shot though.

      • do you like mock the week? thats basically our whose line is it anyway.

    • Their hearts don’t seem in it. Everything seemed very subdued. This could be because they had to shill 90210, but who knows?

      Also, Aisha Taylor? I have my doubts. Though she was pretty funny on the Talking Dead. We’ll see.

      • Same for me, Wandy isn’t really “singing”, it seems.. forced.. but we’ll see..

      • Agree to the fullest.

      • I heard that Colin and Brad didn’t really like being on “Whose Line” because they don’t really like doing short-form improv as opposed to long-form improv. Long-form consists of longer scenes (go figure), it isn’t really a ‘game’ atmosphere, and involves callback jokes with intertwining storylines usually. Unfortunately, long-form doesn’t really adapt well to a tv show structure what with the interrupting commercial breaks, whereas short-form can easily be broken up with it’s quick, segmented comedy.

        But yeah, apparently they weren’t too into doing short-form all of the time. But I’m sure they got paid a buttload by the CW to come back. Which is great for me, because I think they’re funny no matter what type of comedy they’re doing.

  2. Always enjoyed this show (when it was on ABC).

    I’ve always liked people who could improv right on the spot. I wish I had such talent!

  3. Sad that Drew isn’t back, but as long as Aisha Taylor is funny and works well with the other guys, it should work. All I can say is, please be good… PLEASE be good!!!

  4. Can’t wait! I think it will be sucessful during the summer. The demographic that watched the ABC run are probably the targeted demographic with this incarnation of it. Of course it will pick up new viewers/fans along the way. Aisha Tyler is a great choice for a host too.

  5. Eh, I never found Drew Carey funny on the show and the “points don’t matter” schtick became tired almost immediately. Hopefully Aisha Tyler is an improvement.

    • Yeah as awesome as the show was/is, I didn’t and still don’t find Drew Carey funny. He had moments but overall no

      • Yeah, I loved that points didn’t matter but the US version got annoying when Drew would constantly repeat that line.

  6. I saw Aisha on The Talking Dead, and she was a riot, so I think she’s a great replacement for Drew (though, I will miss Drew, too–will he still have his Improv-a-ganza?).

  7. I’m a little skeptical after watching the clip to be honest. I miss Drew for sure, and so far Aisha isn’t convincing me. I’ve only seen her host something at E3 last year and I thought she was terrible there, so I didn’t have high hopes. Honestly the guys don’t seem too into it either. The humor is still there, but they seem like they’re half-assing it almost. I laughed during the clip though, so I do still have some hope. If that clip is any indication of the final product that we’ll be getting this summer, then I think it will be decently funny but not live up to the original series. We’ll see. But either way I’ll be watching.

  8. Loved this when show when it was on ABC. Wished Drew was back though. I didn’t know both the lady guitarist and pianist was back too. That is them right?

    • Yeah it is them. Lauren Hall and Linda Taylor. Cool.

  9. Hope we get Greg back too. Those 4 are the dream team.

    • Yeah, I know. Greg was incredible, and I remember he always used to diss Drew Carey.

    • Oh, and by the way, Greg Proops announced that they haven’t asked him back yet, and hopefully they will do so for any following seasons.

  10. Looks promising. Is it me or have Ryan and Colin gotten older?

    It’s odd, something about them just doesn’t seem as… energetic (?) as before. Despite that I still laughed quite a bit, so I’ll be watching anyway. Just hope they’re not slowing down on the humour after being off so long…

    I think the 90210 theme was a little sucky, though. Is it the CW trying to force it to fit in with their usual demographic? Don’t think it’s a good idea.

    • Nah it was just something special they did for the 90210 commercial breaks.

    • “Is it me or have Ryan and Colin gotten older?”

      Wow! My thoughts exactly. I also remember when Wayne Brady sang his songs while dancing energetically. I don’t think we’ll be seeing this as much in the future.

  11. Yeah, I think they made big mistake by recreating the ABC set. This is not the ABC version, so the set should have been redesigned. I’m not talking about something flashy, but certainly not an exact replica.

    As far as trying to recapture the magic of the ABC version. That is impossible. They are older now, and have already done this twice before when they were younger, and more eager. Wayne in particular has had tremendous success outside of Who’s Line, and is probably at a point in his life where he’s very happy, and not hungry for laughs anymore.

    And as far as the new host goes, I don’t know her, I’ve never heard of her, I don’t know anything anything about her. But based on that clip, I don’t like her. She annoys me. And that might be a problem, as I really enjoyed Drew.

  12. Love it!

  13. Aisha used to be the hostess for the old Talk Soup that Greg Kinnear started over on E in the late 90’s. She replaced him and she was verrrrrrry good while she was on. I think she will be fine. She’s also really pretty.

  14. Aisha is also known for her voice work on the show Archer; and yes the guys are older, so it’s not a surprise really that this might seem a bit less manic. Just happy to have them back and allow more laughter into my life.

    • laaaaaaaaaannaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa what? H I benjamin needs to make an appearance

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  16. My wife and I can’t wait for the return of Whose Line! We have some old episodes stored on our DVR, and we always watch one of them when there’s nothing else on. We love you Colin, Ryan, and Wayne. And Welcome, Aisha!!!!!! We would love to see some of the 4th chair guest return – Greg, Chip, Robin, etc. Drew, you’ll be missed, but we wish Aisha well. The preview looks like she’ll be GREAT!!!!!