Grant and Claire Pritchard are ghosts they are dead and they just have to live with it.
They also have to live with the middle-class Dooley family, who have taken over the former Pritchard home but do not live up to Grant's social standards.That's the situation that makes for comedy in "Nearly Departed," which will make its debut on NBC Monday (7:30 p.m., Ch. 2), in a limited run through May 15.
The show opens with a catchy theme song that sets the stage for the Pritchards - a sophisticated little ditty that is original music although it sounds like it popped up from the `30s. It burbles on about the two of them "just pushing up daisies, halfway to Hades, and halfway to Heaven above."
The couple in this predicament, Grant and Claire, are played by Eric Idle and Caroline McWilliams. Idle is a refugee from Monty Python and also plays the valet Passepartout to Pierce Brosnan's Phileas Fogg in the upcoming "Around The World In 80 Days." McWilliams was a delight on "Soap."
They are full of other-wordly banter.
She: "What a wonderful day to be alive."
He: "Too bad we're not."
She: "You always look on the dark side of things."
He: "Death is the dark side of things."
Actually death seems like a lot of fun the way snobby Grant and gracious Claire live it up.
The problem is they have to share their former home with its new owners - the Dooleys. He's a prosperous plumber who tears down fine wooden shelves so he can put up metal ones and says after surveying his new digs, "Ten years ago I'd be lucky to be snaking out toilets in a place like this."
The Dooley clan consists of plumber Mike (Stuart Pankin), his attractive wife, Liz (Wendy Schaal), their teenage son and Liz's father, Grandpa Garrett, played by Henderson Forsythe.
Grandpa - possibly because of his age - is the only member of the living who can see the Pritchards who are haunting their house.
In the opening episode, he comes to live with the Dooleys because he has lost his job, his home and, incidentally, his driver's license. Grant helps him get it back on the misunderstanding that then he will move out. He doesn't.
"Nearly Departed" is a fast, pleasant sitcom, and the Pritchards make you believe one thing you can take with you is your sense of humor. The show might be more appealing if Dooley wasn't such a total dolt.
When his son gets into trouble in school, the kid reassures dad it was nothing serious - he just made fun of Oliver Twist.
"Don't sit next to him any more," his father suggests.
- "Kiss Shot" is like a three-ball combination for fans of Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Franz and shooting pool. Without all three, the script would be strictly behind the eight ball.
The TV movie is a romantic comedy that airs on Ch. 5 at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Goldberg plays Sarah Collins, a single parent who loses her well-paying job, must return to a low-paying job as a waitress in a diner and is in danger of losing her home because a balloon payment on her mortgage is coming up in four months.
She decides to try her hand at money pool, a game at which she excelled as an amateur. Dennis Franz - Norman Buntz of "Hill St. Blues" - takes her in hand and sets up games at a series of mucho macho bars where the guys think they see a frail female pidgeon. She coos sweetly and makes birdseed out of them.
Along comes handsome Dorian Harewood as a wealthy amateur who plays for the andrenalin kick. Whoopi turns to putty in his hands - highly unbelievable, but hey, this isn't "Macbeth."