Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, May 16, 2003

Idiot Boxing Again: Part Three

See previous posts. Breaking up The Pitches (TP) and My Highly Opinionated Snap Judgements (MHOSJ) on the networks' new fall series by day yadda yadda. All times listed are Eastern and PM, and TP quoted verbatim from the nets.


ABC: I'm With Her (8:30) - TP: Writer Chris Henchy's real life marriage to Brooke Shields is the inspiration for this fresh romantic comedy. On the day that would change his life, Patrick Owen is drinking his mid-morning latte when he's bitten by love. Literally. The gnashing jaws belong to the puppy of movie star Alexandra Young. When she tries to apologize, he's awestruck, dumbstruck, and so very charming. Alex sets her sights on Patrick, but he's unprepared for the add-ons that come with this little flirtation. His anonymity and privacy go up in the flash of a hundred paparazzi cameras. All of which makes him wonder if it's possible to find true love in the hot spotlight of the media. From the producers of "Smallville" comes a unique look at a guy dating out of his league. Way out of his league. MHOSJ: Sounds like a bit of a winning premise, but the cast picture's too small for me to see if I recognize any of the actors, which probably means they're relative unknowns or else they'd be mentioned in the pitch, right? (Then again, see the Las Vegas pitch in my previous entry.)

CBS: NCIS (8:00) - TP: For eight seasons, JAG executive producer Donald Bellisario has brought us the inner workings of the United States Navy's office of the Judge Advocate General, exposing its behind-the-scenes courtroom secrets and procedures. Now he shifts his focus to the team from the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, the government agency that investigates all crimes involving Navy personnel. A civilian robbery with a naval cap found at the scene? A murder on an overseas base? Sailors who've bolted from a crime scene? They're all part of the job for NAVY CIS leader J. P. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his squad. Michael Weatherly ("Dark Angel") costars. Get a clue and come aboard. MHOSJ: Let alone that "Get a clue" sounds like an awfully condescending pun, my interest in military agency shows is slightly less than my interest in cop shows. And this sounds like it's both. Dang, I miss Bellisario's crowning achievement.

NBC: Whoopi (8:00) - TP: A smart and sassy new comedy that lets Whoopi be Whoopi! Grammy Winner. Emmy Winner. Oscar Winner. Oscar Hostess. And now headliner of her own NBC comedy. Whoopi Goldberg stars as Mavis Rae, a proud, opinionated lady who owns and runs her own small, downtown New York hotel. Keeping things lively around the place are Mavis' older brother Courtney, Iranian handy man Nasim and Courtney's girlfriend Rita. But the real star of this hotel is Whoopi as Mavis, who keeps the zingers flying with her unique brand of topical humor. Just what you'd hope for from the producers who have so expertly tailored TV comedy roles for the likes of Roseanne, Brett Butler and Bill Cosby. Now is the time and this is the role for America to celebrate anew the brash, bold and unabashedly funny Whoopi Goldberg in all her glory. MHOSJ: Well, it's Whoopi, innit? Only it's not, it's Whoopi playing "Mavis Rae" as Whoopi, or something like that. I like the idea of an Iranian character (played by cast member Omid Djalili), but I think this is going to be majorly writing-dependent too. And a little Whoopi often goes a long way.

NBC: Happy Family (8:30) - TP: It's what happens when the kids move out... but never leave. Comedy fans will be delighted to see two Emmy Award winners now united in one very relatable new series. John Larroquette and Christine Baranski star as Peter and Annie Brennan, soon-to-be empty nesters who couldn't be happier about it. Youngest son Tim is ready to graduate junior college, son Todd is getting married and daughter Sara is a big business success. Yep, their kids all turned out great and Peter and Annie can't wait to have the house to themselves. Not so fast. Tim is flunking out and shacking up with their 35-year-old neighbor, Maggie, who happens to be Annie's best friend. Meanwhile Todd's having an affair. And straight-laced Sara just turned up at the doorstep, three sheets to the wind. Seems now that the kids are grown up, mom and dad are seeing more of them than ever! MHOSJ: Now see, this, on the other hand... I just go "It's Christine Baranski, sign me up." Of course, I said that with Bonnie Hunt and was disappointed, so who knows? And a little Larroquette also goes a long way.

TheWB: Fearless (9:00) - TP: "There are four basic human emotions. Joy, anger, grief and fear. They say, of all those, nothing clouds your reason like fear. I've never had that problem." -Gaia Moore From the executive producer of CSI and Without a Trace, this ensemble crime drama uncovers the FBI's best kept secret: the Y Unit. Society is breeding a new class of young criminals and it will take an elite division staffed with the finest young agents to infiltrate and apprehend them. The Y Unit requires a special kind of operative to succeed - much less survive. Born with a genetic defect, Gaia, 21, lacks the basic instinct her partners Ryan and Harmony must fight to control: fear. Whether Gaia's handicap is an important asset or a deadly liability for the unit remains to be seen... From writer/executive producer Jeremy Littman (Law & Order, Profiler), writers Vincent Ngo & Evan Charnov and Jeremy Carver with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. Television. MHOSJ: Yeah, it's another federal agency cop show, so I probably won't go for it, but it also gets my vote for best premise. A genetic defect that eliminates the primal instinct for fear - heh. Just don't tell me the WB is now going to claim her as a positive role-model for the differently-abled.

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