NBC (Sun., Sept. 10, 9 P.M. ET)
You can look at a pile of buffalo chips and call it art—but it’s still a pile of buffalo chips. NBC first called this show American River, a title better suited to its rambling, drippy mood. Then the network jazzed up the title, perhaps figuring the audience wouldn’t notice that not much happens on the screen. Sorry. I noticed.
In this failed series pilot, the wonderful Helen (The Color of Money) Shaver is wasted as a single mother trying to raise two teen daughters in the town of American River. At one point the stereotypically rebellious and pouty teen whines, “I hate this town; it bores me.” There may be no such thing as a bad girl, but there sure is such a thing as a bad script.