May 20, 1991 12:00 PM

ABC (Fridays, 8:30 P.M. ET)

B

In this prehistoric animated sitcom, it’s 60 million B.C., and dinosaurs are making the ticklish transformation to domestic life.

Earl Sinclair (voice by Not Necessarily the News’s Stuart Pankin) is the blue-collar hero. This saurian Ralph Kramden presides over a household dominated by its newest member, the bumptious Baby. Actually it’s only in theory that Earl presides over his family. He’s another in TV’s long line of dimwit dads.

The audio track is turned up annoyingly high, and the humor is only passable, made up primarily of such sight gags as a baby bottle labeled 100% MEAT. Funnier is the way Baby tests Earl’s barely developed paternal instincts, bonking Dad while crying, “Not the mama! Not the mama!”

The show’s look is enchanting. The animatronics gimmick—the dinosaurs are fashioned by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in London—is a winner. Judging by my 4-year-old’s enraptured response, these characters won’t be extinct for a long time.

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