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The Neighbors

Tuesday's new shows

”Promised Land,” ”Life’s Work,” and more premiere Tuesdays this fall

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Promised Land
CBS, 8-9 P.M.

Concept: Touched by Major Dad. The Scoop: Gerald McRaney stars in this spin-off from Touched by an Angel; he’s a nice guy traveling the country with his family, helping the folks they meet. McRaney, who’s expressed some conservative politics himself, is irked by those observers who associate Touched and now Land with the ”family values” debate: ”Everybody wants to know, ‘Well, is it a right-wing show, is it a left-wing show?’ The answer to that is no.” Huh? Maybe they should have called it Without Wings. Bottom Line: With Mad About You, Roseanne, and UPN’s Moesha as competition, this series could be heading for the promised land, fast.

Life’s Work
ABC, 8:30-9 P.M.

Concept: To follow Roseanne, another strong-woman sitcom: A Baltimore mother of two becomes an attorney. The Scoop: The star is stand-up comic Lisa Ann Walter; her husband is played by Michael O’Keefe (Jackie’s husband, Fred, from Roseanne). Walter comes across as smart, suitably aggressive; O’Keefe, as he did on Roseanne, underplays everything into comatoseness. The series will emphasize the confusion of contemporary family life, says executive producer Warren Bell. ”We have a story where, because Kevin’s and Lisa’s schedules are so hectic, they are repeatedly late picking up their baby from day care, so the baby gets expelled.” Hey, does Annie Potts know about this poor kid? Bottom Line: The show’s success depends on whether lead-in Roseanne continues to slide. If Work works, Walter could become the next big sitcom star.

Something So Right
NBC, 8:30-9 P.M.

Concept: A Brady Bunchy blended-family sitcom with two familiar TV faces, Mel Harris (Hope on thirtysomething) and Jere Burns (that snarky guy on Dear John). The Scoop: Get beyond the disquiet provoked by seeing Burns in long hair and a goatee and you’ll arrive at the really disquieting thing about this sitcom; one of the boys in this newlywed-family household is super-horny for his stepsister. What does Something executive producer John Peaslee have to say about what could prove to be the creepiest subtext of the season? ”It’s not incest because they’re not related by blood. They didn’t grow up together. It’s a schoolboy crush in the house, and also a way to meet those characters. But it’s not a major part of the show.” Bottom Line: Burns and Harris aren’t bad together, actually; maybe they’ll manage to straighten those kids out after all. Add the sweet time slot, and Right won’t go wrong.

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