Short Takes : Drama Shows O’Neill’s Flip Side

From Times Wire Services

TV viewers associate Ed O’Neill with the words funny, Bundy and Sunday. So how will they feel about serious, O’Meara and Monday?

O’Neill, boorish Al Bundy on Fox’s “Married . . . With Children,” plays it straight in the TV movie “The Whereabouts of Jenny,” which airs next Monday.

The script was written with Tony Danza in mind, but the “Who’s the Boss?” star wanted O’Neill, according to the Jan. 12 issue of TV Guide.

“The Whereabouts of Jenny” is the story of an easygoing bar owner, Jimmy O’Meara, whose former wife disappears with their daughter. O’Meara learns that his wife’s new husband--a drug dealer--has turned state’s evidence and the family has been relocated through the government’s witness protection program.


O’Meara hires a private investigator to find his daughter when the government refuses to reveal her whereabouts.

“With me, the role would be right on the nose, a little too predictable, you know? With Ed in it, I think it’s a little off the edge, more interesting,” Danza said. “I’ve always liked Ed’s work, and I can see what some others haven’t--that he has much more to show us than just Al Bundy.”