ABC (Tues., Sept. 12, 9:30 P.M. ET)
Sitcom producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner have had good fortune putting stand-up comics on the tube. First they struck gold with Bill Cosby. Later, they mined the mother lode again with Roseanne Barr. They’re back once more, this time with riotously funny comic Jackie Mason.
Since ABC didn’t yet have a finished pilot, we watched a crude “work in progress.” The premise has Mason and Lynn Redgrave updating Bridget Loves Bemie, the tepid 1972 sitcom that was controversial because it included an interfaith romance (though Mason has said he could never tell who “was the Jew and who was the gentile”). No such problem exists in this show. Mason and Rita Karin, as his meddlesome ma, keep launching Jewish in-jokes at each other, for one thing.
We know Mason is funnier than the pilot’s material, and with the Carsey-Werner track record (not to mention the fact that his show follows Roseanne in the schedule), he can hardly miss. But for now, we’ll withhold his grade.