How symbolic for ABC to add a sitcom titled Oh Grow Up to a lineup that includes Drew Carey, Norm Macdonald and the trio of Two Guys and a Girl (their "pizza place" is history). Otherwise, besides CBS’s combo of a transplanted Cosby and the new comedy Work With Me, Wednesday night largely belongs to dramas. Fox has moved Party of Five’s Salingers to Tuesdays, replacing them with the quirkier Greens of Get Real. WB picked up the engaging Roswell from Fox, which developed the show but couldn’t find a slot for it until midseason. NBC, running out of 10 pm/ET slots for quality dramas, is experimenting with a 9 pm/ET start for The West Wing, the White House chronicle from writer Aaron Sorkin (The American President) and producer John Wells (ER). Rob Lowe plays a womanizing presidential aide, which makes us want to mutter, "Oh, grow up."
OH GROW UP
9:30–10 P.M., ABC
(premieres September 22)
STARS: Rena Sofer, John Ducey, Niesha Trout, David Alan Basche, Stephen Dunham
PREMISE: Three buddies share a Brooklyn, NY, brownstone, each facing an awkward turning point. Hunter (Dunham) is a carefree womanizer who has just discovered he has an 18-year-old daughter (Trout). Norris (Basche) is a misanthropic artist who has to choose between painting and earning a living. Ford (Ducey) recently announced that he is gay, much to his wife’s (Sofer) surprise and chagrin.
THEY SAY: Exec producer Alan Ball, a playwright and screenwriter, loosely based this ensemble comedy on a chaotic period of his life when he lived with six other men. He considers his characters "a surrogate family. I want it to be a show about going through major transitions in life." Ball previously worked on two star vehicles (Grace Under Fire, Cybill) "and did not want to do that again.… If you have five characters, it gives you so much more potential."
WE SAY: When one of the characters is a dog named Mom who barks with subtitles ("Get a room!"), you know better than to expect subtlety. Slick yet almost suffocatingly sarcastic, the show can make you laugh and cringe at the same time. Yet there are many genuinely funny lines, delivered zestfully by an extremely attractive cast — the best known being ex–Melrose Place loony Sofer, who is much more amusing here.