Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quick takes: Fall TV

Back to You
FOX, Wednesday 8/7c
Know what I liked most about this show? The retro-chic opening title sequence, which had an endearing, classic feel. Whether anyone would say the same about the sitcom that followed is in doubt. On the upside, it boasts the ever-reliable Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier) and the affable Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) in a broadcast newsroom environment, which is rich with comedic possibilities. On the other hand, the premiere, which was funny if somewhat crass, lacked the appealing warmth of Frasier — both the long-running character and the series. // Verdict: &&&

CBS, Friday, 9/8c (Premiere date: Friday, Sept. 28)
Another variation on the well-worn reluctant vampire theme may struggle to be met with open arms — Lestat and Barnabas Collins are probably chuckling at the notion in their coffins. But the charm with which Alex O'Loughlin embraces the character, who works as a private investigator, goes a long way toward melting viewer resistance, and the premiere episode displays considerably more cleverness than its Friday-night partner series, Ghost Whisperer. // Verdict: &&&

CBS, Thursday, 8/7c
The producers go to the trouble of taking Survivor to a refreshingly interesting locale, China, but still set the action on another island? That disappointing move is matched in episode one by the players, as one of the most potentially interesting characters, Chicken, is promptly voted off. At least there's the consolation of knowing sly New York waitress Courtney and predictable Christian radio talk show host Leslie are destined to come to blows. // Verdict: &&&

Pictured: Grammer, Heaton and Fred Willard ham it up on FOX's Back to You

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