Episodes: 182 (half-hour)
TV show dates: October 3, 2001 — June 2, 2009
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: James Belushi, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Larry Joe Campbell, Taylor Atelian, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Billi Bruno, Conner Rayburn, Tony Braunagel, John Rubano, Mitch Rouse, and Charlie Hartsock.
TV show description:
Jim (Jim Belushi) is a contractor who co-owns Ground Up Design with his chubby and good-natured brother-in-law, Andy (Larry Joe Campbell). Jim likes to strut around like a tough, macho guy but, underneath it all, he’s a pushover — especially when it comes to his gorgeous and intelligent wife, Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith).
Jim and Cheryl have very different ideas about how to run their home and on how to raise their five children; Ruby (Taylor Atelian), Gracie (Billi Bruno), Kyle (Conner Rayburn), and infant twins, Jonathan and Gordon.
Cheryl’s sister, Dana (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), is attractive, the vice president of an ad agency, and frequently puts Jim in his place. Dana has trouble holding onto partners but eventually marries Dr. Ryan Gibson (Mitch Rouse) and the two have a child together.
Episode 182 — Heaven Opposed to Hell
Dana (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and Ryan (Mitch Rouse) return from California for a visit and announce that they’re expecting. Andy (Campbell) and Mandy (Jackie Debatin) also announce that they’re engaged. Jim couldn’t care less and then, while everyone else is congratulating the happy couples, he chokes on a shrimp puff. Everything goes white.
Jim then finds himself walking along in the clouds. He runs into Danny Michalski (Dan Aykroyd) on a motorcycle who tells Jim that they’re both dead. Jim almost gets into heaven but is stopped at the last minutes. He must first go on trial to prove that he’s worthy. God (guest Lee Majors) is the judge while Satan (guest Erik Estrada) fights to get Jim’s soul.
With Andy as his defense attorney and Dana as the prosecuting lawyer, Jim goes on trial. Through clips, we’re reminded about Jim’s character. His children (Taylor Atelian, Billi Bruno, and Conner Rayburn) testify for him, as does his wife. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Just when it looks like all is lost, his family and friend tell God that, if he’s sent to Hell, they love Jim enough to go with him. The almighty has no choice but send him back to Earth.
Jim returns, just as Andy has successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on him and has dislodged the shrimp puff. After he tells his family and friends about his experience, they expect him to say that he’s going to change his ways.
But Jim reasons that it’s his personality that saved him so he should never change a thing. After all, “God don’t want me. The Devil don’t want me. The way I figure it, if I never change, I’ll live forever.” He tosses another shrimp puff in the air and, just as he’s about to catch it in his mouth, the screen goes black.
First aired: June 2, 2009.
There’s been no news of any planned reunions, revivals, or remakes.