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CLUBHOUSE (Tuesdays, 9:00-10:00 pm, ET/PT) I am passionate about baseball, so the idea of a coming-of-age show about a batboy for the Yankees – oh, I’m sorry, the Yankees didn’t want to play ball so it’s the NY Empires, and yes, the uniform has pinstripes, but it’s the Empires, got that? – appealed to me. Jeremy Sumpter (just OK, unfortunately) is the bat boy, Mare Winningham (always quality) is his single mom, Dean Cain is the Derek Jeter-esque Empires’ superstar (perfect) and Christopher Lloyd (he will always be Reverend Jim to me, sorry) is the gruff but decent equipment manager. I wanted to love it, but because of the somewhat hokey storyline, I liked it. Sometimes that’s good enough. The baseball theme could be a little risky for viewers who may think ‘Ugh! I hate baseball.’ But this show, another one from Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions and based on a forthcoming book by a real Yankees batboy, is about the national pastime as much as American Dreams is really about American Bandstand. MAY BE WORTH IT

LISTEN UP (Mondays, 8:30-9:00 pm, ET/PT) The only compliment I can pay this comedy about the host of a sports talk show is that it’s better than “Master of the Universe” (see next review)…but not any funnier. Jason Alexander and the likeable Malcolm Jamal Warner star (welcome back, Malcolm!), and the very talented Wendy Makkena has been recast as Alexander’s wife (she was not in the tape I saw), so maybe the family stuff will work better with her in the mix. Alexander’s character, who is based on real-life sportswriter Tony Kornheiser, does better with his fans than he does at home. But with this ho-hum premise – hopefully, Kornheiser’s real life is more compelling - I wasn’t all that interested in either. NOT WORTH IT

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE (Wednesdays, 9:30-10:00 pm, ET/PT) John Goodman, Jean Smart, Ed Asner and Olympia Dukakis should be the four reasons to watch this show about a dysfunctional family. Instead, while I blame almost everything about this leaden, charmless show on the writers – for a tired situation and no comedy – I must hold the actors accountable for one thing: reading the script and agreeing to sign on anyway. SO NOT WORTH IT

DR. VEGAS (Fridays, 10:00-11:00 pm, ET/PT) David Caruso left NYPD Blue too early, and time will tell if Rob Lowe’s decision to bail on “West Wing” will be his albatross. Judging by last season’s stultifyingly dull “Lyon’s Den”, and now this, I am thinking the answer is yes. Lowe is the in-house doctor for a Las Vegas casino, Joe Pantoliano is the hotel’s general manager, Tom Sizemore is the casino floor supervisor, and Sarah Lancaster is the beautiful (what else?) blackjack dealer. Why doesn’t it work? It’s slick and silly, and loses its balance between the breezy ring-a-ding-ding casino stuff and medical show bathos. Then again, some viewers may find this the perfect fare for kicking back on a Friday night. CBS caught some well-deserved flack from the press for dumping Martha Stewart but employing Sizemore, who has been arrested a number of times on various charges, including an alleged assault against ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss, a sad turn of events for a talented actor. Another lowlight: “American Idol”’s Randy Jackson guest stars in the pilot – yo, yo, dawg, don’t give up your reality show gig, aiight? NOT WORTH IT

CSI: NEW YORK (Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00 pm, ET/PT), starring Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes, previewed as a crossover episode of last season’s CSI: Miami. There was no new episode to preview. NOT AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 40 - September 4940
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