Number of episodes: 2
Ratings for debut: 2.5 (7.9 million viewers)
Stars: Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Sadie Calvano, Nate Corddry, Matt Jones, French Stewart, Spencer Daniels, Blake Garrett Rosenthal
Premise: Christy (Anna Faris) isn't about to win any "Mother of the Year" awards. She's a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who's own personal demons keep interfering with her efforts to keep her 16-year-old daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano) from becoming the next Wayward Christy. She's also a failure for Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal), the younger son she had with loser druggie Baxter (Matt Jones). And when she's not being an unfit mother, Christy is bumping uglies with her married boss, Gabriel (Nate Corddry), and trying not to slap the hell out of her similarly recovering narcotics abuser of a mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney). Somewhere in between all of this domestic misery, laughter ensues.
Prognosis: In the network television universe, executive producer extraordinaire Chuck Lorre is about as close as you'll come to a sure thing these days. A master of original sitcom creation at CBS, he's the megamind behind hits like Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and The Big Bang Theory, shows that, even if you personally don't find them funny, consistently draw some of Nielsen's largest viewing numbers.
Simply put, whatever Lorre touches at CBS is gold, and Mom, the later Lorre product, has great potential to be the man's next big hit. Anna Faris is her usual charmingly neurotic self as Christy, playing nicely off of the always superb Allison Janney's equally unhinged performance. Mom's hilarity is still unproven, though, with its first two episodes suffering from an uneven blend of likable acting and rudimentary writing.
The show's second episode earned 7 million viewers, only a shade under the 7.4 put up by fellow CBS series 2 Broke Girls—those are solid stats for a rookie sitcom still figuring itself out. Expect Mom to corrupt your parenting beliefs for at least one whole season, barring any unfortunate detours into the 2 Broke Girls land of lazy and hideous offensiveness that inspire viewers to finally give Fox's big hit Sleepy Hollow a shot on Monday nights. —Matt Barone