You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hardball

Pro baseball's the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox's Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling.

With:
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Mike Starr, Alexandra Wentworth, Dann Florek, Joe Rogan, Chris Browning, Steve Hynter, Phill Lewis, Rose Marie, Ashlee Levitch, Adam Henderschott, Mel Winkler, Eddie Velez, Nancy Valen, Charles Cyphers, Christpher B. Duncan, Dave Sebastian Williams, Jonathan Stark, Jack Kenny, Terry Cain, Frank Medrano, Jim Breuer, Joel McKinnon Miller, Jimmy Danelli, Brian Levinson, Louis Lombardi.

Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling.

In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league team the Pioneers; she’s a toned-down version of Marge Schott, complete with hand-held pooch.

Ernest (Happy) Talbot (Dann Florek) is the Pioneers’ new manager; Lee Emory (Alexandra Wentworth) has come aboard as the team’s PR staffer. Remainder of featured cast are ballplayers, a rowdy, irascible and stereotyped lot including big and dumb Lloyd LaCombe (Chris Browning), bulky Mike Widmer (Mike Starr) and Phill Lewis as Arnold Nixon, who must be the first black nicknamed “Lightning” on television since “Amos & Andy” left the air.

Bruce Greenwood toplines as Dave Logan, the team wiseacre and resident hunk, this show’s analog to Steven Weber’s character on “Wings.” Everything on this show has been seen before, even the team’s logo, based on that of the Cleveland Indians.

First episode introduces everybody, has Logan unwittingly bed Talbot’s daughter (the appealing Nancy Valen, who’s not a regular so far). If he’d seen “The Paper Chase,” Logan would have seen it coming, but it’s unlikely that anybody in or watching this series is a fan of that film.

Wentworth’s character comes through with a publicity stunt that gains the fans’ attention and instills some much-needed team spirit.

Earlier version of pilot didn’t have the Schott character and — though subplots and even much dialogue were the same as on the aired incarnation — was more subtle and funnier than what landed on the air. Maybe Fox knows their audience, but what they’ve got would probably be better off following “Married… With Children” than “The Simpsons.”

Hardball

(Sun. (4), 8:30-9 p.m., Fox)

Production: Videotaped in Los Angeles by Interbang, Inc. and Magic Beans, Inc. in association with Touchstone Television. Executive producers, Jeff Martin, Kevin Curran; producer, Mark Gossan; co-producers, Tracy Newman, Jonathan Stark; directors, John Whitesell, Peter Baldwin; script, Kevin Curran, Jeff Martin.

Crew: Camera, Richard Brown; editor, Larry Harris; art director, Richard Improta; sound, Norm Webster; music, Jonathan Wolff.

Cast: Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Mike Starr, Alexandra Wentworth, Dann Florek, Joe Rogan, Chris Browning, Steve Hynter, Phill Lewis, Rose Marie, Ashlee Levitch, Adam Henderschott, Mel Winkler, Eddie Velez, Nancy Valen, Charles Cyphers, Christpher B. Duncan, Dave Sebastian Williams, Jonathan Stark, Jack Kenny, Terry Cain, Frank Medrano, Jim Breuer, Joel McKinnon Miller, Jimmy Danelli, Brian Levinson, Louis Lombardi.

More TV

  • Unfinished 'Doctor Who' Episode Is Finally

    Unfinished 'Doctor Who' Episode Is Finally Completed - 38 Years Later

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • Dish Network

    CBS, Dish Resolve Carriage Dispute

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' starring Jonah

    'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return' Renewed for Season 2 At Netflix

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • Canal Plus

    Canal Plus Orders Thomas Lilti's 'Hippocrate' Medical Series

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • Teen Titans Go

    'Teen Titans Go': Animation for All Ages Celebrates Major Milestone Ahead of Feature Film

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • Duffer Brothers Variety Facetime Interview

    Duffer Brothers on 'Stranger Things' 2 and What Scares Them

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

  • Occupied 2

    MTG Studios Boards Norwegian Drama Series 'Wisting'

    Pro baseball’s the setting for unambitious, forced sitcom new to Fox’s Sunday night lineup. Unavailable to critics before airing, it should have remained in the dugout for further retooling. In latest incarnation of pilot that’s been shot at least twice, Rose Marie is featured as Mitzi Balzer, tough-talking, boisterous owner of perennially losing major league […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content