The WB (Wed., Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Ah, a harbinger of autumn—the season’s first new series. (As you can see from the rest of this week’s column, the fledgling networks—Warner and United Paramount—are trying to get a jump on the competition by launching their shows early.)
First out of the gate is this sitcom starring Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) as an aspiring illustrator and novice New Yorker from a small town in Ohio. He suddenly finds himself guardian to his three young siblings in a cramped apartment. Why? Because that’s the premise. Don’t start getting rational on me.
Chelsea Noble, Cameron’s real-life wife, is the across-the-hall romantic interest. Louis Vanaria plays his best friend, and Debra Mooney plays the landlady who provides the acerbic New York City attitude. (“I just came by to tell you they’re fumigating the restaurant downstairs, so there’s probably going to be some big cockroaches coming up through the floorboards and they’re going to be mad.”)
Essentially this is a sweet, simpy show. But combining the rubes-in-the-big-city formula with the woefully ill-prepared parental-figure concept is sitcom overkill. And the child actors (Will Estes, Taylor Fry and Courtland Mead) are really insufferable.
After one more week in this time slot, the show will move to its regular niche, Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. If you come back, you get to see Cameron doing a duet of the Full House theme song with an old man in a bathrobe. Mark that on your calendar.