With the exception of the fact that this show has the horrible Kathy Griffin in it, I can’t wait to watch it! I hope its as good as it looks!!

‘Average Joe:’ This is What it Sounds Like When Men Cry
LOS ANGELES ( – Behold what “Free To Be … You and Me” hath wrought. Marlo Thomas’ 1972 variety show reassured men and women alike that it’s alright to cry, explaining that “It’s alright to feel things, though the feelings may be strange.” Though it has taken more than 30 years, the sensitive man has finally taken reality television by storm.
The gentlemen of NBC’s “Average Joe” aren’t just normal looking, everyday guys competing for the heart of one beautiful former NFL cheerleader. They’re also unafraid to show their softer sides.
“I think what really surprised me the most was how emotional this was for the guys, how raw this was for them, how very real this was,” says Stuart Krasnow (“Dog Eat Dog”), the show’s executive producer. “I think they went through a tremendous emotional roller coaster and I just thought the guys would sortta laugh the whole things through. They took a lot of things to heart. They even cried.”
The casting call for “Average Joe” requested men who were “the life of the party” and then, Krasnow says, producers were able to look for entertaining people who didn’t fit the “male model” profile established by countless previous relationship reality shows. These guys, at least one of whom had been rejected multiple times by other unscripted programs, were then thrown together in a house in Palm Springs to woo the lovely Melana.
“What happened is when we put them in a house together, that’s the first time they realized that the rest of the cast maybe didn’t look like the way they thought the rest of the cast would look,” Krasnow recalls “I think there were some very sad private moments for some of them looking around thinking ‘Why am I grouped with this bunch?'”
The men quickly bonded in an experience the producer compares to the “fraternity they never had.” While most of their time was occupied with dating Melana, getting sunburnt by the pool and trading fantasy football anecdotes, eviction night became an emotional experience for many of the guys.
“There are moments where it almost felt like some of the contestants were reliving high school,” Krasnow says. “It almost becomes that cheerleader who didn’t give you the time of day. But I think on this show, actually the cheerleader does end up giving you the time of day. I think it’s a reversal of past horrors.”
This depth of feeling was unexpected for the show’s producers and led to a minor alteration of the show’s intended tone. Kathy Griffin, who was hired to bring her acerbic sarcasm to the proceedings, is noticeably gentle and PG-rated.
“It’s straighter than I would like, but you know what, the thing is the show’s not about me,” Griffin says. “Just know that when I’m watching it, I’m saying hilarious things in my head or you can just call me on Monday night and I’ll tell you. Of course you know I’m just thinking completely vicious one-liners in my head constantly.”
Krasnow hopes that the Average Joes will gain popularity with viewers because they represent a necessarily dose of realism in the reality world.
“I think sometimes you see these guys on TV and they’re completely unattainable to the average viewer at home.” He says. “I think that… most women are not going to get the gorgeous models and for them to see a guy who’s actually really approachable I think the web sites we set up for these guys are going to get an unbelievable amount of hits from women who really want to meet them.”
While the show’s producers shot two consecutive installments of “Average Joe” back-to-back, there are no immediate plans to reverse the formula. The male stud muffin choosing from amongst a dozen Average Janes may be a concept whose time is yet to come.
“Are you kidding?” Griffin asks. “Guys would freak out having 15 overweight women with real bodies and stuff. They’d flip the heck out. Yeah, they can’t handle it.”
“Average Joe” premieres tonight at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.