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10 Items Or Less Is Bringing Cash Of New Viewers To TBS

May 9, 2008
TBS is nearly infamous for its lack of original series. In fact, almost everything that comes on the channel is a cancelled or licensed series that uses reruns several times over. They've used Family Guy, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, and Just Shoot Me until anyone who watches the channel on a daily basis has no need to purchase the DVDs for the series.

However, there is a silver lining to all of this, and that silver lining is the TBS original series 10 Items or Less. 10 Items or Less is different from television shows out there due to the fact that it is mostly improvised.

In fact, a detailed script is written before filming begins, but the script is not shown to the actors. Instead they make up their lines as they go along. As a result, there have been times where they've had over 30 hours of footage to edit down into 30 minutes. The series is filmed in a similar manner to The Office due to characters having their own individual personalities and quirks.

The series follows main character Leslie Pool (played by John Lehr) who has just moved back to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio from New York to take over the grocery store his father left him called the Greens and Grains (it is interesting to note that the series is filmed at an actual grocery store and often uses actual customers for extras).

He is in constant competition with Amy Anderson (Jennifer Elise Cox) who owns a competitor grocery store, the Super Value Mart. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Ingrid Wakowski (Kristen Gronfield), Yolanda Nelson (Roberta Valderrama), Todd Sykes (Chris Payne Gilbert), Carl Dawson (Bob Clendinin), Richard Mednick (Christopher Liam Moore), Buchwald Washington (Greg Davis Jr.).

10 Items or Less is a fine show due to its improvisational style. This helps to make the characters, as outlandish as they may seem, more realistic and sympathetic to the audience. The show is like a faster moving version of The Office, except with less direction.

Every actor seems to have put their own stamp on the characters, and this makes the audience curious week after week as to where the characters are going. The actors also manage to play off of each other really well, and this makes the characters appear closer together. 10 Items or Less airs on Tuesday nights after The Office.
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