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Picks and Pans Review: Billy

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ABC (Fridays, 9:30 P.M. ET)


When Head of the Class was finally canceled last season, who did creators Rich Eustis and Michael Elias build their new sitcom around? That Angus-come-lately, Billy Connelly, the deep-burr Scottish comic who replaced Howard Hesseman as Class’s teacher.

Connelly now plays a California college prof who enters into a marriage of convenience with a divorcée (Marie Marshall) with three kids. He wants a green card; she needs help with the mortgage. Their relationship is platonic, but sparks are already flying in this week’s debut.

The gags are weary, though Connelly brings personality and energy to the role. Of course those same qualities didn’t help Lenny (another sitcom built around a stand-up comic), and that was a funnier show.