The Neighbors

The Neighbors Information

The Neighbors is an American television science fiction sitcom, airing on ABC on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c in the 2012"2013 television season. The story line revolves around a family of humans living in a community of extraterrestrials. The series, created by Dan Fogelman, who also serves as co-producer with Chris Koch, Jeff Morton, and Aaron Kaplan, is being produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. On October 29, 2012, The Neighbors was given a full-season order of 22 episodes.


The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a family that has relocated to a gated townhouse community called "Hidden Hills". Upon their arrival, they discover that the entire community is populated by residents from another planet. Amongst their myriad quirks, these aliens identify themselves by the names of sport celebrities, patrol the community in golf carts, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cry green goo from their ears. Since the aliens have assumed human form, they can also revert to their original appearances by clapping their hands above their heads. They have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting instructions to return home.

Cast and characters

Actor/Actress Character
Jami Gertz Debbie Weaver
Lenny Venito Marty Weaver
Simon Templeman Larry Bird
Toks Olagundoye Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Max Charles Max Weaver
Isabella Cramp Abby Weaver
Clara Mamet Amber Weaver
Ian Patrick Dick Butkus
Tim Jo Reggie Jackson



Dan Fogelman devised the concept of the series, which was previously entitled Down to Earth. It was described as a sitcom about "a New Jersey family that moves into a gated community occupied exclusively by extraterrestrials." The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) picked up the pilot episode of The Neighbors in October 2011, with a pilot commitment. In May 2012, the show renamed to The Neighbors, and production of the program was green-lit.

Fogelman conceived The Neighbors after visiting his mother, who lived in a gated townhouse community, and stated, "you could reach out my mom's bathroom window and touch her neighbor's bathroom window", but they never spoke to or knew each other, and the idea was "who are these people that she's living between?", and what if they were all aliens? He claimed that family is the best part of humanity, and he kept "exploring stuff". Fogelman wants The Neighbors to be a show that "the whole family can watch together". He said, "It's high concept but I do want to ground it as a family sitcom".

The show's premise has been described as "goofy", and has been considered as a "high-concept" show by Entertainment Weekly. At the semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee stated that The Neighbors has "high-concept nature", but "love[d]" it. The Neighbors was originally stated to premiere at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, but ABC decided to air it in 8:30 time interval. In response to this, Lee claimed that "8:30 p.m. suited the show better" as "there's so much pressure [to perform] after Modern Family". The 9:30 p.m. slot was replaced with Suburgatory. Lee wants it to be on the air for a long time, and claimed that Suburgatory would better fit in the 9:30 slot. Lee praised Fogelman, calling him a "wondering writer"; he thinks he will give a "smart piece of storytelling".

Production team

The single-camera comedy was originally produced for ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Television, but Warner Bros. Television was replaced by company Kapital Entertainment. Dan Fogelman, Chris Koch, Jeff Morton, and Aaron Kaplan executive produce the series. Chris Koch signed on to direct the pilot episode, which was written by Fogelman.


In December 2011, Jami Gertz, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, and Tim Jo obtained roles in the series. It was announced that Gertz would play Debbie Weaver, the matriarch of the human family; Templeman would play Larry Bird, the leader of the aliens; Olagundoye was cast as Jackie Joyner Kersee, the matriarch of the lead alien family; and Jo would appear as Reggie Jackson, the son of the alien family. Larry Bird, the lead alien, was originally to be named Wilt Chamberlain.

In January 2012, Clara Mamet, Max Charles, and Isabella Cramp garnered roles in the series, Mamet as the teenage daughter and Charles and Cramp as her younger siblings. Later that month, Lenny Venito obtained the lead role as Marty Weaver, the father of the human family.


Critical response

The Neighbors initially received negative treatment from critics, but gained increasing critical praise as the season aired. Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand thought that The Neighbors did not look "promising" as it has a high-concept show. Wiegand compared it to the NBC science fiction comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun, claiming that the series' creator made it so different from 3rd Rock from the Sun, that it is "weird". He stated that if The Neighbors garnered low ratings, it could possibly be replaced with Family Tools, an ABC comedy that is scheduled to air in mid-season. He compared it to other comedies set to air on the same channel writing that those are better than The Neighbors. According to Wiegand, The Neighbors seems like Outsourced, which aired for one season on NBC.

Other reviews were somewhat more positive. Dave Walker from The Times-Picayune thought that The Neighbors was a "fish-out-of-water"; he called it a "potentially comedic" show. Rob Owen, a Pittsburgh Post Gazette critic, claimed that he has "interest in high-concept shows"; he also "laughed a good bit at the pilot episode". His concern was "how long they can keep up the jokes. Seeing the unusual way aliens do the dishes in the pilot is hilarious. But that gag only works the first time. After that, it's stale."


The Neighbors premiered at 9:30 pm approximately on September 26, 2012 on ABC after Modern Family, before moving to its regular time slot at 8:30 p.m. after The Middle, the following week. In Canada, it originally aired on Saturday at 10:00 pm on CTV network in the fall of 2012 after the Crimetime Saturday block. It has since moved to sister network CTV Two on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m., allowing simsubbing over the ABC broadcast.

Series overview


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
Aux4= 9.22 ShortSummary= A dysfunctional New Jersey family of five move into a gated community and later learn it is exclusively occupied by aliens from the planet Zabvron. The Zabvronians have lived in the community for the last decade. Being the first humans in the community, they awkwardly try to adjust and teach "humanity" to their alien neighbors while learning how to be a better family. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.32 ShortSummary= Jackie Joyner-Kersee suggests enrolling Reggie and Dick in public school this fall. Debbie suggests getting the kids new clothes for school, so Larry Bird, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dick Butkus, and Reggie Jackson accompany the Weaver family to the mall where the Zabvronians learn how humans socialize, and the Weavers learn to appreciate each others company. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.39 ShortSummary= Seeking a temporary break from their alien neighbors, the Weavers make arrangements to hang out with their human friends. However, Debbie brings Jackie Joyner-Kersee to girls' night, which causes problems when Jackie acts as though she is on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.53 ShortSummary= It's the first day of school, and Marty and Debbie try to prepare their kids as well as Dick Butkus and Reggie Jackson, while Larry and Jackie feel insulted by the Weavers, feeling they think of them as "bad parents" and not wanting their advice; Dick reveals his true form to two bullies harassing Max, which gets them to back off as well as become afraid of Dick and Max, and the Zabvronians begin to appreciate the Weavers' help. At the same time, Marty and Debbie try to deal with the Zabvronians' lack of bathroom etiquette and the fact that they use their bathroom as a garden. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.96 ShortSummary= After plotting a trick-or-treat route for the kids for their first open neighborhood Halloween, the Weavers learn that the Zabvornians believe they are being invaded each Halloween for the last decade and prepare for "war" each time. Trying to properly teach the aliens, the Weavers try to inform the Zabvornians how to trick-or-treat. After letting the kids into the neighborhood, the aliens are afraid and, trying to be a great leader to his people, Larry Bird shows there is nothing to fear. Meanwhile, the Weaver children try to change their Halloween tradition and do different things: Max stops match-dressing with his dad, Abby stops walking with her parents to the door, and Amber sexes up her costume. After seeing they don't like the change, the kids rejoin the parents and enjoy the rest of Halloween. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 5.78 ShortSummary= While preparing Abby's birthday, Marty informs Larry how scary his wife can get planning a party. Jackie, who knows nothing of birthdays, has Dick share a birthday with Abby. Jackie, learning how birthdays work and trying to learn more of humanity, finds Debbie to frighten her more than the horrors of death and war see has seen in the universe. Seeing how terrifying Debbie can get, Larry "accompanies" Marty to his work and Marty lets him come out of pity from staying with Debbie. After all her planning goes down the drain, Debbie is told by the Zabvronians to take a break and let them do the planning as thanks for her kindness since her family came. At work, Marty trying to explain an honest days work to Larry, who knows nothing of it being an unquestioned leader, realizes he may not make it to his daughter's birthday. Larry, to show friendship, lets Marty go while he finishes his work in a faster manner. At home, Abby and Dick have fun with a party and have a wonderful time. Elsewhere, a man named Lou who got Abby's cake by mistake celebrates retirement. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.87 ShortSummary= The Weavers find, one morning, after investigating with their neighbors into why the power is repeatedly going out, that the Zabvronians have entered their "Mating Season". The way they do this, as revealed by Amber is to make a spiritual connection rather than any kind of physical one, which gets Debbie thinking about the romantic aspect of her relationship with Marty, which seems to be non-existent. Meanwhile, after talking about it, and swapping information on the intimacy of the different species with Jackie Joyner-Kersee, she decided to try and involve Larry Bird in the human form of intimacy. Meanwhile, Amber is invited to a Make-out party and finds herself very nervous in the face of the act, seeking Reggie Jackson's help. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.82 ShortSummary= With Thanksgiving coming up, the Weaver's lament the inevitable visit of Marty's parents, what with his mother insulting Debbie's cooking and general household maintenance, his father's constant belittling of Marty and his accomplishments, and the gaudy sweaters their Nana brings the children, until Marty suggests they simply not have them over. While this is going on, the Bird-Kersees are witnessing the sadness of Jackie Joyner-Kersee who is going through a sad period as this time of year she misses her sisters. Guilt-tripped into inviting the Bird-Kersees, and prided into inviting his parents, Debbie and Marty respectively have both parties over to their home for the day, along with the workings of Reggie Jackson and Dick Butkus to release their aunts (in the form of a short homosexual man played by Leslie Jordan, and a short African-American woman) from exile for trying to overthrow Larry Bird who also attend. The day goes mostly as expected with lots of bickering, veiled-insults, and arguments, but as Dick gets the animosity to release between Marty's mother and Debbie, the day turns out to be for the better for all who attended. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4=6.42 ShortSummary=The Weavers ask the Bird-Kersees to hide the Christmas gifts they've purchased for Amber, Max and Abby. However, Marty and Debbie's kids feel they are entitled to the holiday gifts and the parents decide to return all gifts and go on a family vacation to learn the true meaning of the holiday. But Larry accidentally opens one of their gifts, which snowballs into a gift-opening frenzy among the aliens, and the Weavers are left with no gifts and no way to pay for the trip. This leads the Weavers to wake up on Christmas morning to find a living room full of carolers, Hawaiian dancers, a pig, and Larry dressed as Santa Claus bearing more gifts. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 5.40 ShortSummary= Juan, the neighborhood gardener, dies from a heart attack after accidentally seeing Jackie change into her alien form. Marty and Debbie must explain what death means to Jackie and Larry. Max also has questions about death and all attend Juan's funeral, where Larry uses his vial of alien formula to bring Juan back to life. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.65 ShortSummary= The Weavers decide that they should volunteer for school activities "? Debbie wants to join the PTA and Marty wants to coach soccer. This gets their neighbors involved "? Larry with Debbie; Jackie with Marty. Jackie takes a more serious approach to coaching than Marty, to the point of kicking her own son Dick off the team as his performance is lacking. Both he and Marty make a more positive return to the team. Meanwhile, Debbie wants to break PTA tradition and make gingerbread men for the bake sale. PTA President Linda will have none of it. Larry and Reggie use an animatronic gingerbread man to scare Linda into giving up the PTA entirely. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.09 ShortSummary= The common cold affects the entire Weaver family and their alien neighbors panic. Larry wants to quarantine them all. Jackie wants to nurture them back to health. Reggie just wants to save his beloved Amber, realizing that custom-made care packages work better than lab-tested cures. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4=6.42 ShortSummary= The four parents chaperone Amber's and Reggie's school dance. Amber attends with the most popular guy at school, while Reggie, although still pining for Amber, attends with Gisele (Lora Plattner) ... and her turtle. Debbie and Marty reflect on their teenage courtship. They went to their dance with other people, but still fell in love with each other. Larry and Jackie create their own dance romance, complete with a fancy car and a 1980s tuxedo. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4=5.27 ShortSummary= The two families each obtain invitations to join a country club. The Weavers attempt dissuade their neighbors from joining by explaining to them about the exclusivity of membership. The discussion focuses on different social classes of humans and the Zabvronians' "equality" standards. Each family agrees the discrimination is wrong and neither join"?until Marty later informs Debbie that he wants to join. They sneak away to attend the club's open house to see their neighbors later arrive. All argue about class again, until the Bird-Kersees are accepted into the club but not the Weavers. Ultimately, neither family joins because of the issue of stereotyping. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.04 ShortSummary= After taking relationship advice from Debbie, Reggie proposes to Giselle in front of the entire neighborhood. She accepts. Jackie intends on forbidding the marriage, but Debbie advises her to do otherwise. Jackie hopes Giselle's parents will also be against the marriage, but they are thrilled. The neighbors end up in a standoff, with Larry and Marty meeting in the street, only to have a civil discussion, rather than fight. At their respective homes, Jackie tells Reggie that he does not have to marry the first girl who reciprocates his affection, while Amber tells Debbie that she plans on breaking up with boring Jeremy. Amber then mentions possibly having feelings for Reggie, which causes Debbie to laugh, thinking she is kidding. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 5.89 ShortSummary= Larry wishes to become more attractive than his wife, after learning that, on Earth, he is not the measure of perfection that he was on their home planet. Instead, Jackie has taken that role. To prove to Debbie that he is indeed a man, Marty also gets a makeover. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.34 ShortSummary= Wanting badly to win an Oscar, Larry and Reggie videotape a spelling bee in which Max and Dick compete against each other. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 6.01 ShortSummary= Both families feel the need to escape and go camping. The families encounter a bear and Marty craftily fends it off. Amber's continuing feelings toward Reggie are highlighted. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 5.74 ShortSummary= Believing that driving a car should be as simple as piloting a spaceship, the Bird-Kersees accept Marty's offer to teach them how to drive. Amber also cannot drive, but refuses the same help, and instead gets help from Ms. Porsche (Sandra Bernhard), the driver's education teacher. LineColor=389418 }}

Aux4= 4.72 ShortSummary= Larry and Jackie ask Debbie and Marty to take them to a Broadway show. The Weavers decline, as The Phantom of the Opera bored them and others will probably be made into movies one day. Not dissuaded, Larry and Jackie attend on their own. Afterwards, they consider musicals to be "the best thing Earth has to offer" and stage their own musical for the Weavers. The performance ends with Dick falling into a well. Larry sees it as a metaphorical turning point. Meanwhile, Reggie sings about realizing he is still in love with Amber. Note: All songs in the episode were written by Glenn Slater and composed by Alan Menken.

LineColor=389418 }} </ref>

DirectedBy= Jeffrey Walker WrittenBy= Scott King OriginalAirDate= Aux4= ShortSummary= LineColor=389418 }} </ref>

DirectedBy= Chris Koch WrittenBy= Kirker Butler OriginalAirDate= Aux4= ShortSummary= LineColor=389418 }}

See also

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Neighbors_%282012_TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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