Scottish stand-up comic Billy Connolly was brought in to replace Howard Hesseman in Head of the Class during that dreadful sitcom’s numbing final days last year, and now this lively comic actor has been rewarded with his own series. Connolly stars as Billy MacGregor, a visiting Scottish teacher in Berkeley, Calif., whose green card has expired. Over the show’s interminable opening credits, we’re told that Billy and one of his students — Mary (Marie Marshall), a single mom with three children — recently got married. They’re not in love; they did it so that Billy could avoid being deported. Now Billy sleeps in a basement apartment in Mary’s house, and inevitably gets involved in raising her kids.

Billy thus combines aspects of Who’s the Boss?, the movie Green Card, and William Schallert’s boarder-in-the-basement character on The Torkelsons — all to no avail. Billy — mostly a collection of sitcom-kid jokes — is resolutely unfunny despite the best efforts of its wild-eyed, manic star. Having recognized Connolly’s talent, ABC is now letting him twist in the laugh-track wind. D