American Dreamer was created by Gary David Goldberg, who, ever since the huge success of his Family Ties, has specialized in American dreams of the chucking-it-all, leaving-the-rat-race variety. Goldberg’s short-lived 1988 sitcom Day by Day, for example, was about a businessman who quits his job to start a day-care center in his home. Now, in American Dreamer, Robert Urich plays a network foreign correspondent who quits his globe-hopping to move to a small Wisconsin town and write a newspaper column.
Urich is paired with Carol Kane, who plays his ditsy assistant. As actors, Urich and Kane come from different universes — he is of the stolid, ”acting is reacting” school; she specializes in hilarious, neurotic jabbering. You’d think their styles would clash, but in fact it’s this contrast that gives American Dreamer what little energy it possesses. The jokes are standard stuff, but it’s fun to watch Urich and Kane eye each other warily; this is a TV relationship that could develop into something interesting. B-