Whose Line is it Anyway? season 10 is set to premiere this Friday, March 21 on the CW.
After a brief, 10-episode “trial” over the summer that constituted season nine and the CW’s first crack at airing WLIIA, the improv sketch show will be back for a fuller, 24-episode run beginning in just a few days.
The show originally began overseas in England, as surprisingly many of our American shows do. It then came over to the US in a couple different versions. The first had the same host as the British version but, eventually, WLIIA gained the host that pretty much everyone knows the show for: Drew Carey.
The American cast, at least part of it, has also become a mainstay. Performers Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles have been on nearly every episode of the American version since it began, and Wayne Brady has been on ever since Carey took over as host. Of course, the fourth spot in the improv group has always been a rotation of characters from Brad Sherwood to Greg Proops to Keegan Michael Key, etc.
However, while the cast has stayed consistent in the CW reboot, the most obvious change was that of host. Carey is out and in his place is Aisha Tyler. The female comedian, who voices one of the hilarious Archer (FX) characters, now is the one handing out fake points and “witty” banter.
I, personally, was not wowed by the switch during Whose Line’s summer run. I found the host position nearly pointless in this iteration, where Drew Carey used to be a lightning rod for jokes as well as brought his own humor to the show and to sketches when he performed. Tyler does no performing whatsoever and is involved even less than random audience members in the sketches.
The show itself also seemed to degenerate into…something. There were fewer improv games used, thus many sketch types seemed to show up in every episode, and they weren’t the best ones either. Also, the show felt the need to bring out guests every episode. These were usually C-list (or lower) celebs who “acted” in a game or two for no other reason than to get their name out there. These folks never add anything of substance to the games themselves.
Of course, that was just the summer version. Perhaps they only wrote shows with a set amount of different games and they brought in constant guests to boost ratings of people not familiar with the premise. This season 10 run will be a better test of how the new Whose Line will perform.
But, even if it stays at its scraped down level, it’s still WLIIA!