Less than Perfect

Less Than Perfect

Season Four title card
Created by Terri Minsky
Starring Sara Rue
Sherri Shepherd
Andrea Parker
Zachary Levi
Eric Roberts
Andy Dick
Will Sasso
Patrick Warburton
Theme music composer Cary R. Beare
Jason Thomas Gordon
Sky Nicholas
Dan Northchild
Composer(s) Jonathan Wolff
Rich Ragsdale (2002-04)
Scott Clausen (2004-06)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 81 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Nina Wass
Eugene Stein
Terri Minsky (2002-03)
Christine Zander (2003-06)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Wass/Stein Productions
Touchstone Television
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (SDTV)
Original release October 1, 2002 (2002-10-01) – June 6, 2006 (2006-06-06)

Less Than Perfect is an American sitcom created by Terri Minsky and starring Sara Rue and Sherri Shepherd which originally aired on ABC from October 1, 2002 to June 6, 2006. It follows Claude (Rue), who works at a television network named GNB, as well as her friends and colleagues.

Overview and premise

The show centers on Claude (Sara Rue), who works at a television network called GNB. Though at first a temp who fills in on other assignments, in the pilot Claude is hired by anchor Will Butler (Eric Roberts) as his assistant. Comedians Andy Dick, Will Sasso, and Sherri Shepherd play her co-workers and friends, while Zachary Levi and Andrea Parker play her rivals at work. Patrick Warburton joined the cast in Season 2, playing a news anchor who dates Parker's character while trying to climb the ladder at GNB.

Much was made at the time of the show's premiere about the central character of the show being a "full figured" woman, and that the title correlated to Claude being "Less Than Perfect."[1] Over the course of the series, Rue lost 30 pounds (14 kg; 2.1 st).[2] She has since become a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and lost a total of 50 pounds (23 kg; 3.6 st).[3]


Less Than Perfect debuted in a Tuesday evening time-slot and received steady ratings for its first two seasons. When the series was moved in its third season to a Friday-night time-slot, ratings began to fall sharply, and the show was considered to be in danger of cancellation.

TVGuide.com featured the show on a list of "Endangered Series." Ratings in the coveted 18–49 demographic were high enough, and the show was near the threshold for number of episodes needed for syndication, so a limited fourth season of 13 episodes was ordered.

After a long hiatus from ABC's schedule, the show returned as a late-season replacement for ABC with its fourth season premiere on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 9:30 p.m.[4]

Despite the pickup, the future of the series was not assured. Cast member Zachary Levi stated many cast members were ready to move on,[5] and series lead Sara Rue had filmed a pilot for CBS starring as a woman who runs a toy company with her brother in the comedy Play Nice.

ABC confirmed on May 17, 2006 that the fourth season would be its last.[6] ABC showed only part of the fourth season as scheduled. After five of the 13 episodes aired, ABC ceased broadcasting the show, with the last episode broadcast on June 6, 2006. However, those episodes which were not broadcast in the US have been shown in other countries.

The show joined Lifetime Television's lineup on June 1, 2009 in syndication. The network aired all 81 episodes, including the eight Season 4 episodes previously not broadcast in the US. But as of 2010, it was no longer on Lifetime's schedule.

As of April 2012, Less Than Perfect is part of the lineup of new Canadian network ABC Spark.


Main characters

The original cast of Less than Perfect
back row (l-r) Ramona, Kipp and Lydia
front row (l-r) Owen, Claude and Will.

Recurring characters

One-off guest stars


Less Than Perfect is currently showing on ATV in Austria, on Nelonen in Finland, on FOX8 (pay TV) and the Seven Network (free to air) in Australia, on MTV Russia in Russia, on Star World for the rest of Asia, on yesSTARS in Israel, on Cuatro in Spain, on Sky Italia's Fox and MTV Italia in Italy, on Kanal 5 in Denmark, on HRT and Fox Life in Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Poland and Bulgaria, on TV-First in Belarus. The first seven episodes and episode nine of the final season of Less Than Perfect aired on TV2 in New Zealand, with the remaining episodes (eight and 10 through 13) yet to be scheduled. The show also aired on MBC 4 to Arabic speaking viewers. In Turkey, TNT Turkey airs. And ComedyMax currently airs the show for Digiturk subscribers and Comedy Smart airs for D-Smart subscribers. The show has previously been aired on RTÉ TWO in Ireland and on Comedy Central in the UK and Ireland, although it is not currently being shown on either of these two networks. As of April 2013, ABC Spark in Canada are broadcasting the show in quadruple bills, twice daily.

Opening credits and theme song

From the beginning, Less than Pefect had a simple opening sequence, credits which were played over the opening scene of each episode of season one. However, in season two, a new opening sequence, along with a theme song was introduced.[7] The music for this theme song can be heard briefly in scenes during the show's run. The new opening credits for season two lasted only five episodes, then reverted to the previous basic credits which lasted until the end of season three. Season four introduced a five-second opening, in which the title can be seen on post-it notes on an office desk, while a brief instrumental version of the theme tune is played.


Critical reception

Early reviews for the show found the characterization generally stereotypical, but critics often praised the performance of Sara Rue. USA Today asserted that "in just two episodes, the good guys/bad guys structure and the exaggerated characterizations already are showing signs of wear," although it called Rue a "welcome addition" to TV sitcoms.[8] People magazine likewise criticized the stereotypical characters, but summarized the show as "Hardly perfect but happily Rueful."[9] However, by Season 3, USA Today said the show had "hit its stride."[10]

American ratings

Season Episodes Premiere Season finale U.S. ratings
1 2002–2003 22 October 1, 2002 May 20, 2003 8.1 million (85th place)[11]
2 2003–2004 24 September 23, 2003 May 18, 2004 8.8 million (66th place)[12]
3 2004–2005 22 September 24, 2004 April 15, 2005 6.2 million (94th place)[13]
4 2006 13 (8 unaired) April 18, 2006 June 6, 2006 4.9 million (115th place)[14]

DVD releases

Lionsgate Home Entertainment released the first season of Less Than Perfect on DVD in Region 1 on September 7, 2010.[15]

Season Episodes Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1 22 September 7, 2010 TBA TBA
Season 2 24 TBA TBA TBA
Season 3 22 TBA TBA TBA
Season 4 13 TBA TBA TBA


  1. MSNBC.com
  2. Extra.tv
  3. Rizzo, Monica (October 11, 2010). "Sara Rue Finishes Half-Marathon". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  4. Zap2It
  5. "Sara Paxton, JoJo, Emma Roberts Bonded on Pic - Netscape Celebrity". Channels.isp.netscape.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  6. Digital Spy
  7. "Less Than Perfect Theme Song". televisiontunes.com. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  8. Bianco, Robert (October 1, 2002), "'Less Than Perfect' aptly named, but Rue is nearly flawless". USA Today.
  9. Kelleher, Terry (October 28, 2002), "Less Than Perfect (TV program)". People. 58 (18):30
  10. Robert Bianco (November 26, 2004), "Unwind, rewind, watch these shows". USA Today.
  11. "Nielsen's TOP 156 Shows for 2002–03 Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  12. "2003–2004 TV Ratings Archived May 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  13. "2004–2005 TV Ratings Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  14. "2005–2006 TV Ratings Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  15. "Less Than Perfect DVD news: Announcement for Less Than Perfect - Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
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