Set your DVRs, folks, because Thursday night prime time soon will be overtaken by Denison grads. During NBC’s premiere week, Steve Carell ’84 will begin his final season of “The Office,” and the show’s next-door neighbor is a new comedy called “Outsourced,” the baby of John Jeffcoat ’94.
“Outsourced,” directed by Ken Kwapis of “The Office,” tells the story of Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport), who works for Mid America Novelties, a company that sells not-so-classy stuff, like foam fingers and the whoopee cushions. When the company outsources its call center to India, Dempsey is sent halfway around the world to train and manage an all-Indian sales team.
Jeffcoat, who acts as a consulting producer on the show, is well aware of the controversy that surrounds “Outsourced.” Some blogs and editorials have criticized the sitcom for making light of sending jobs overseas. But Jeffcoat stands by the show’s premise. “I think comedy has a great ability to tear down barriers, and ‘Outsourced’ is no different,” he tells Denison Magazine in its upcoming fall issue. “One of the best ways to attack a difficult subject is with comedy.”
Before “Outsourced” went prime time, it premiered in 2006 as a feature film that was directed and co-written by Jeffcoat. It went on to win a number of awards and rave reviews from Roger Ebert, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among others. Through all of that, though, the film never got a ton of attention in the states. Until now.
“Outsourced” premiers at 9:30 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 23, on NBC.