Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on September 22, 2002 · Page 98
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 98

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Sunday, September 22, 2002
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Page 98
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FJO SUNDAY. SUTI MHI K 22, 2(M)2 Tiie Arizona Republic . "A (11! j,i j ,i - A&E FALL ARTS PREVIEW Pablo Santos (left) and Julio Oscar Mechoso star in Greetings From Tucson, about a multicultural family in, well, Tucson. New offerings do little to stretch TV's boundaries Last fall's schedule boasted some of the most ambitious, innovative shows TV has seen in ages. It also boasted Emeril, but let's not get sidetracked. Such shows as 24, Alias, Undeclared, The Bernie Mac Show and Scrubs leapt off the screen and in the case of Undeclared, right into the trash heap. Although the others return this fall, last year's crop pro- duced no breakout hits, certainly nothing as big as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation the year before. Maybe that explains the lackluster lineup of new shows this fall. There are a couple of genuinely good ones and two breakout talents. But, as a whole, it's one big yawn. Coupled with the relative freeze-out of last fall's better offerings, does this mean audiences are just looking for the familiar, unwilling to make the com-, mitment that more challenging fare requires? Put another way, The Andy Richter Show should have been huge. But no (although it does return, at midseason). What's going on here? Susan Lyne, president of ABC Entertainment, has some ideas. ."For the vast majority of the television audience," she told TV critics, "TV is what they do after they get home after a long day at work or after being with their kids all day. "And it may be something they do with multiple interruptions during the course of their viewing. Something that is overly complex and overly demanding, while I'm thrilled shows like that are on the air, they may not be what most of our audience is dying to watch. ABC's audience ought to enjoy this fall's new shows, then. Those of us who expect a little more will be disappointed. Monday Still Standing (8:30 p.m., CBS): Mark Addy stars as a slob guy, Jami Gertz as his babe-ish wife. Hmm. Sounds like the rest of the CBS Mon day comedies. Not hilarious, but Addy is pleasant. CSI: Miami (9 p.m., CBS): It has an NYDP Blue alum-filled cast (David Caruso, Kim Delaney), it's a Cedric the Entertainer follows The Bernie Mac Show with his own half-hour variety series. F ' bill b&r -goodykoontz on television bill.goodykoontzarizonarepublic.com spinoff of TV's most popular drama (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and it uses the same gee-whiz crime-solving flashbacks. How can it miss? Girls Club (8 p.m., Fox): No tape was available for this show about three young women (Gretchen Mol, Kathleen Robertson and Chyler Leigh) working for a law firm in San Francisco. It's from David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal), so you can count on quirks aplenty. Half and Half (8:30 p.m., UPN): Two half sisters (Rachel True and Essence Atkins) with little in common wind up in the same apartment building. Another entry in UPN's "urban" Monday-night comedy block. Everwood (8 p.m., WB): Oh-so-earnest drama starring Treat Williams as a famous brain surgeon who moves his kids to the sticks of Colorado from New York City after his wife dies. Pretty good, though and well aware of it. Tuesday 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (7 p.m., ABC): You gotta love John Ritter. He's a newspaper columnist an underrepresented group on TV, frankly working at home and trying to relate to his kids. Phoenix's Amy Davidson shines as one of the daughters. Life With Bonnie (8 p.m., ABC): The brilliant Bonnie Hunt stars as a mom who also hosts a Chicago morning show. gffiaa-.-. .- .... ,,","""-Mrta, l - "7 ( y riShJ .L i r, V & : ( V kij:-- o - ) Jil 7 i Ij-" ( W I I l '" V Martin I I I ' V Spanjers (from I 1 1 I U ' fd I" fft-Ka'ey III J II I ... Cuoco, John 1 II I 11 1 I I Ritter' Katey 2 is 1 1 I I I Sagalandthe i J I I II 1 I , ' 1 Valley's own II V 1 1 1 V 1 Amy Davidson If V, I J 1 join the family-fi r I , I 11 sit-com fray in : I III I ! 8 Simple Rules if I X 1 ! for Dating My ) s L I I Daughter- 1 Robert TrachtenbergABC The improvised show scenes are great; the mom bits ... oh, well. One day, Hunt will star in a hit. But not this day. Less Than Perfect 8:30 p.m., ABC): Sara Rue does a Bonnie Hunt impersonation should-be star, so-so show. Rue lands a job as the assistant to a network anchor (Eric Roberts). Even the twisted Andy . Dick can't help much. min-Laws (7 p.m., NBC): Answers the question: Is it possible for the supercool Dennis Farina to be unlikable in a role? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Elon Gold and Bonnie Somerville star as a couple who move in with her parents (Farina and Jean Smart). Hidden Hills (8:30 p.m., NBC): Justin Louis and Paula Marshall are parents in a ritzy suburb, one of whose new arrivals is a "porn mom" (Kristin Bauer) don't ask. Sounds stupid, but I laughed some. Haunted (8 p.m., UPN): An honest-to-goodness scary show, starring Matthew Fox as an ex-cop who, Sixth Senselike, sees dead people. Only some are out to get him, particularly John Mann as a child abductor who won't stay dead. Scarier than it is smart, and that's not a knock against it. Wednesday MDs (9 p.m., ABC): A couple of surgeons (William Fichtner and John Hannah) take on the establishment in a San Francisco hospital. Any further resemblance to MASH is coincidental. Presidio Med (9 p.m., CBS): A stellar cast, including Dana Delaney, Blythe Danner and Anna Deavere Smith, but melodramatic medicine. Better of the two San Francisco hospital dramas on the same night at the same time, but no great snaKes. f V I kk' LI Ik 1 J I k k k ' I kkkll k k I Presents (7:30 p.m., Fox): Perfect combination as a follow to The Bernie Mac Show as another King of Comedy hits prime time. Not as X Insiders' I I '- Y7 PICKS r J Chuck Bachrach, head of network and programming for ad agency Rubin Postaer & Associates: Hit: Boomtown. "It's tough, up against The Prac tice, but I think it's different enough." Miss: In-Laws. "Dennis Farina doing stand-up comedy? He's usually a bad guy getting shot. That is a time period NBC doesn't know what to do with." Matt Roush, lead critic for TV Guide: Hit: CSI: Miami. "A no-brainer. A great franchise in a worthy time period, smartly relocated with a different look and tone. Uniting ex-NVPD ' Blue'ers David Caruso and Kim Delaney adds marquee value as well." Miss: That Was Then. "A hokey premise - and one that's being done better on the WB in Do Over - horribly executed, on a loser network on a sinkhole of a night. That may be four strikes right there." good as its lead-in, but Cedric is a big-time talent. Fastlane (8 p.m., Fox): The anti-West Wing. Peter Fa-cinelli and Bill Bellamy strike too-cool-for-school poses as a couple of beyond-the-law cops working for Tiffani Thiessen. Pure, dumb fun. The Twilight Zone (8 p.m., UPN): Forest Whitaker steps into Rod Serling's estimable shoes (as host, not principal writer). Remakes are always dicey, but what the heck there's not enough scary stuff on TV (see Haunted, above). Birds of Prey (8 p.m., WB): If you call comic books "graphic novels," you'll like Ashley Scott, Rachel Skarsten and Dina Meyer, who use their powers and wits to protect New Gotham. Loaded with atmosphere, most of it gloomy. Summons the inner geek. Thursday Dinotopia (7 p.m., ABC): Brothers (Erik von Detten and Shiloh Strong) on an island populated by intelligent dinosaurs. Didn't get a tape, but the TV-movie version stunk. Push, Nevada (8 -" LiAii 1 . jlJ John Mann plays a ghost in the p.m., ABC): Weird, extremely self-conscious Twin Peaks-like drama starring Derek Cecil as an IRS agent investigating some awfully strange goings-on. Twisted fun, though, , and you can win $1 million. Without a Trace (9 p.m., CBS): Anthony LaPaglia leads an FBI bunch who find missing people. Too CSMike, for my money, but could challenge an aging ER. uGood Morning Miami (8:30 p.m., NBC): Mark Feuer-stein tries to right the ship of the worst morning show in America. Neat trick a comedy without laughs. But Ashley Williams might turn out to be a star. Family Affair (7 p.m., WB): Answers one question whatever happened to Tim Curry (he's now Mr. French) while asking another: Why remake Family Affairl Do Over (7:30 p.m., WB): The better of two (yes, two) shows about a guy bounced back to the '80s with a chance to correct his high-school mistakes. Penn Badgley is good as the fellow in question, and it's better than it sounds. Friday That Was Then (8 p.m., ABC): James Bulliard as the other back-to-the-'80s guy. Watch Do Over instead. Hack (8 p.m., CBS): What it makes up for in originality how many shows have you seen about ex-cop vigilante cab drivers it lacks in just about everything else. David Morse stars. A grim ride. Robbery Homicide Division (9 p.m., CBS): Biggest wild card on the schedule. No tape sent for this cop drama starring Tom Sizemore, but it's from Michael Mann you may remember a little show of his called Miami Vice"! Fireyiy (7 p.m., Fox): Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator-genius Joss Whedon offers his take on ... a space western. It's different and it's good, but Nathan Fillion is the wimpiest hero since Mr. Limpet. John Doe (8 p.m., Fox): Fabulous premise that wears down quickly. Dominic Purcell stars as a guy who knows literally everything except who he is. He ends up helping (yawn) cops. What I Like About You (7 p.m., WB): Presumably what we're supposed to like is teen star Amanda Bynes, who moves in with older sister Jennie Garth in New York. But Michael YarishUPN haunting drama Haunted. she comes off so bratty that it's hard to. Greetings From Tucson (8:30 p.m., WB): A Mexican-Irish-American family moves up in the world, trying to hold on to its roots. Creator Peter Murrieta, who grew up in Tucson, based the show on his early years. Sweet, but more laughs would help. Saturday Nothing new. Sunday Bram and Alice (7 p.m., CBS): Alfred Molina stars as a ' boozy writer who didn't know he had a daughter (Traylor Howard). He meets her, and before he learns who she is, he hits on her. If you laughed at that, enjoy the show. American Dreams (7 p.m., NBC): If this ensemble drama about a family in the early '60s didn't try to be all things to all people, it would work a lot better. Still enjoyable, particularly Brittany Snow as the teenage daughter who wants to dance on American Bandstand. m Boomtown (9 p.m., NBC): Best new show on TV. This drama examines a crime each week from different points of view, and boasts a cast (including Neal McDonough, Jason Gedrick and Donnie Wahlberg) strong enough to make you care about each one. A keeper. The Grubbs (8:30 p.m., Fox): One to throw back. Michael Cera is a kid trying to overcome his horribly moronic family. Randy Quaid stars as the dad dude, what were you thinking? Reach Goodykoontz at (602) 444-8974. Chris HastonNBC Boomtown's Mykelti Williamson (left) and Donnie Wahlberg. f V ' -

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