Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Following in the footsteps of her former Seinfeld co-stars Michael Richards and Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred in her own sitcom, Watching Ellie. Created by the star's husband, Brad Hall, the weekly NBC series showcased Louis-Dreyfus as Eleanor "Ellie" Riggs, a moderately successful but slightly disaster-prone L.A. nightclub singer. In some ways, this was a traditionalist sitcom, with Ellie crossing verbal swords with her irksome ex-sweetie Edgar (Steven Carell), her new musician boyfriend, Ben (Darren Boyd), and her wacky neighbor, Ingvar (Peter Stormare). There was, however, an intriguing gimmick; in the tradition of the weekly drama series 24, each episode of Watching Ellie was played out in "real time," with a clock at the corner of the screen ticking out the allotted 22 minutes (originally, Louis-Dreyfus had demanded that there be no commercial interruptions during the action, but NBC saw things differently). The series debuted February 26, 2002.