Wimps and wusses? Men flounder in new U.S. TV shows

Fri Sep 9, 2011 9:34am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wimps, wusses, or just plain weaklings -- men are in for a tough time in the next few months on U.S. television.

Both at home and at work, men are either emasculated, out maneuvered, or searching for what it means to be a modern man in a slew of new TV comedies and dramas that feature women firmly in charge while men flounder.

Tim Allen feels like the "Last Man Standing" when his character scales back his job at an outdoor adventure firm to spend more time at home with his three headstrong daughters after his wife gets promoted at work.

In "Work It" two unemployed alpha males finally find new jobs by dressing up as women, and comedy "Man Up!" borrows a phrase, popularized by politicians in the last year, to look at three men in a world ruled by women.

It's no coincidence that three of the new comedies are on the ABC network -- the home of long-running series like "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" that feature women in strong roles.

"Empowered women is definitely a theme of our network. It's one of the reasons we do so well with affluent women," said ABC entertainment president Paul Lee. "So to look at men in a women's world was a very interesting take."

But it doesn't end there.

Maria Bello stars the smartest cop among a bunch of male New York homicide detectives in NBC's drama "Prime Suspect", while an innocent-looking young woman plots cold-blooded murder and destruction in ABC's "Revenge".   Continued...