Synopsis by Hal Erickson
First telecast March 13, 2005, the ABC sitcom Jake in Progress starred John Stamos as Jake Phillips, a handsome, stylishly dressed celebrity publicist who worked for the Magnum PR Agency. It was Jake's function in life to handle damage control for the rich and famous -- and to endure the constant insults hurled his way by his high-strung boss Naomi (Wendie Malick), who in the earliest episodes was twice as contentious as usual because she was in the last stages of pregnancy. Although supremely in charge on the job, Jake was less fortunate in his private life, unable to sustain any sort of lasting romantic relationships. Offering comfort and advice to the protagonist were his two friends, a dentist named Adrian (Ian Gomez) and a funky (and remarkably ubiquitous) street magician named Patrick (Rick Hoffman). Almost universally panned by critics during its initial 13-week run, Jake in Progress went on a lengthy hiatus, resurfacing on January 9, 2006. Evidently taking the criticism to heart, the producers endeavored to make the somewhat abrasive Jake more likeable and the episode plotlines more credible; also, two new regular characters were added, Annie (Charlotte Ross) and Mark (Dondre Whitfield). However, the series still languished in the ratings, posting the lowest numbers of the four major networks in its time period.