TBS's Popular Late-Night Comedy Series 10 ITEMS OR LESS Cuts Ribbon on Second Season Tuesday, Jan. 15
Series Combines Improvisation with Loose Script in Story of a Family-Run Grocery Store And Its Dysfunctional Roster of Employees
TBS's popular late-night comedy 10 ITEMS OR LESS, a look at life behind the scenes at a family-run grocery store, is ready to open up a new season when the series returns Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 11 p.m. (ET/PT). This unique half-hour comedy series, co-created by acclaimed improv actor John Lehr (Memron), combines improvisation with a loose script as it delves into the offbeat lives of the Greens & Grains employees, from a manager looking for an heir to his legacy to a store promotion with silver dollars that goes horribly awry. 10 ITEMS OR LESS, which launched last year with a strong young-adult audience, is produced for TBS by Sony Pictures Television, with Lehr, Robert Hickey and director Nancy Hower serving as co-creators, executive producers and writers.
Shot in a working grocery store in Reseda, Calif., 10 ITEMS OR LESS features Lehr as Leslie Pool, who returned to his native Ohio to run the Greens & Grains grocery store after his father expired in the bread aisle. Upon his arrival, the staff immediately noticed a marked difference between Leslie's management and what they had been used to under his father, with the younger Pool applying the philosophy of Star Trek and other pop culture influences to his management style.
"All of the dialogue in 10 ITEMS OR LESS is improvised," says Lehr in describing the unique way in which the show is put together. "The cast really is making all of this stuff up as we go along. Robert, Nancy and I put together a loose script that contains a specific game plan to guide the story, but the cast never sees it. I love spontaneous humor�when your friend says something on the spot that just cracks you up�and that is what we are shooting for on this show. I think this leads to comedy that is fresher than most fully scripted comedy shows. I'm really proud to be a part of it."
Leslie's somewhat dysfunctional staff of colorful personalities is dominated by produce princess Yolanda (Roberta Valderrama � ER), a sharp-witted, tough-talking Latina who loved working for Leslie's father, but who is rapidly warming up to Leslie. As the second season gets underway, she continues her awkward relationship with sweet but goofy maintenance man, Carl (Bob Clendenin � That �70s Show), the father of her love child, Manuelito. At the same time, she continues to be flirtatious towards any available hunk, with Carl often forced to watch from the sidelines. But if there is one thing that can always be counted on, it's Yolanda's devotion to the Greens & Grains.
Working the customer service counter is Ingrid (Kirsten Gronfield � Steve Saves L.A.), whose quirky, soft-spoken demeanor belies a fiery woman just waiting to for her moment to shine. She loves dressing up, whether for the store's Renaissance Days or for the new calendar featuring her as a sexpot version of Betsy Ross. And while her on-again, off-again relationship with Greens & Grains butcher Todd (Chris Payne Gilbert � The Broken Hearts Club) seems to be in the off mode, there are always sparks between them, especially given Todd's hunky good looks and way with the ladies.
Champion checkout lane cashier Richard (Christopher Liam Moore � Judging Amy) and bagger Buck (Greg Davis Jr. � The King of California) proved they are at the top of their field when they defeated their chief rival store's team in a bagging competition. But their clockwork precision hits tough times in the days to come when Buck appears to have a substance abuse problem and Richard puts his dream of being a professional ice skater to the test by auditioning for the part of Gollum in Lord of the Rings on Ice.
Constantly seeking to bring the Greens & Grains to its knees is Leslie's arch nemesis and one-time high-school crush Amy (Jennifer Elise Cox � Lovespring International), who manages the SuperValueMart across the street. Amy will try just about anything, no matter how underhanded, to turn the Greens & Grains into a parking lot. But she gets a good dose of comeuppance in a turn of events that will change the situation entirely.
In conjunction with the second-season launch of 10 ITEMS OR LESS, TBS's online broadband destination tbs.com will feature promotional vignettes of Leslie Pool giving his employees their year-end reviews. Also featured on tbs.com are interviews with the Greens & Grains staff, a quiz fans can take to see what job they would be right for in the store and a link to the Greens & Grains site, with exclusive video, store specials and a Greens & Grains blog.
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. SPT produces and distributes top-rated, award-winning programming in every genre, including series, movies and family entertainment for network and cable television; first-run syndicated series; off-network syndicated programs; and theatrical releases. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's top-rated comedy network. It serves as home to such original comedy series as My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, 10 Items or Less and Frank TV; hot contemporary comedies like The Office, Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, King of Queens, Seinfeld and Friends, with My Name Is Earl joining the line-up in 2008; specials and special events, such as Funniest Commercials of the Year and The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming to the basic cable industry.