Terry Kelleher
March 04, 2002 12:00 PM

NBC (Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Jesse just missed. Cursed was doomed. Inside Schwartz struck out. The Friends finale is set for 2003 and NBC still hasn’t found a solid show to follow it, much less replace it.

The latest après-Friends sitcom is created by Jenny Bicks, a writer-producer from Sex and the City. Like that HBO hit, this passable series concerns four attractive Manhattan friends who like to gather in restaurants and talk about sex. But here’s the original part: One is a guy.

Faith (Sarah Paulson, formerly of Jack & Jill) just called off her wedding to a square who wasn’t worthy of her. If the Feb. 28 pilot is any indication, Patty (Lisa Edelstein, who played a high-class hooker on The West Wing) enjoys “great mindless sex” with whatever well-equipped male happens along. These two work at an ad agency where the boss (Saturday Night Live grad Tim Meadows) is so laid-back, the blood rushes to his head. Their friend Cynthia (Regina King), a Calvin Klein exec, has a husband unseen in the first two episodes. Completing the group is unmarried Andy (Ken Marino), a reporter for Rolling Stone. Maybe the editor will give him a sex column.

The risqué repartee is adequate, and Jill Clayburgh is funny as Faith’s snooty mother, but this show bears that “been there, done that” stamp.

Bottom Line: Not a great leap forward

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