February 07, 2000 12:00 PM

NBC (Saturdays, 10 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

Usually I say “See ya later” to any TV character with supernatural powers, but I’m more tolerant of this fairly promising new drama series about a small group of New England residents who facilitate and interpret communications between live human beings and, for want of a better term, ghosts.

One big plus is the presence of Bill Cobbs as Elmer, an 83-year-old (not counting his previous lives) medium who’s as weary as he is wise. And Julianne Nicholson is believably spooked as Marian, a college student who joins Elmer’s spiritualist clique in the Feb. 5 pilot after some hair-raising encounters with a young woman who died in her dorm room. But the chief virtue of The Others is that it seems more concerned with touching us than scaring us. The second episode effectively conveys the intensity of a woman’s grief after a car crash shatters her family. It’s worth watching even after a psychic named Satori (Melissa Crider) makes the dubious claim that “70 percent of husbands and wives who lose their mate experience after-death communication.” Who took that survey?

Bottom Line: Creepy but affecting

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