You never know what you're going to get when the networks start running their spring tryout sitcoms.
Last year, ABC gave us "The Wonder Years." This year's crop has been a lot less wonderful.Even ABC's "Anything But Love" - the best of the lot and by far the most successful, thanks to its "Roseanne" lead-in - isn't much to rave about. Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis are talented performers, but the humor on the show is terribly forced, and the producers don't seem to know how to use (or dress) Ms. Curtis to her best advantage.
Ms. Curtis needs to work with someone like "Murphy Brown" producer Diane English, who designed her show to bring out the best in its star, Candice Bergen.
Whatever its faults, "Anything" is far superior to the other tryout sitcoms. ABC's "Coach" and CBS's "Heartland" have good casts but no scripts.
As for CBS's "Live In" - a sitcom built around a randy teenager trying to bed the family nanny - it may just be the most repulsive show on TV. And that's saying something. Teenage sex right under the parent's roof - how festive.
Compared to "Live In," ABC's "The Robert Guillaume Show" almost looks like genius. Compared to "Designing Women" or "Roseanne," it looks like what it is - formulaic, passably amusing and unexciting.
The sitcom casts former "Benson" star Robert Guillaume as Edward Sawyer, a divorced marriage counselor living with his two teenage children and his feisty father (a very funny Hank Rolike). On opening night he found a secretary in Wendy Phillips (from "A Year in the Life"). Romance and, if we're lucky, a few more amusing situations, will blossom.
"Guillaume" isn't bad, but it uses its counseling sessions as an excuse to make sexual innuendos, most of them rather clunky. We'll have to wait awhile to see how it handles its interracial romance . . .