As a romantic half-hour comedy, "Almost Perfect" works almost perfectly when the two principals, Nancy Travis and the wry Kevin Kilner, spar with one another in a Tracy & Hepburn way. But rest of cast, including the wonderful David Clennon, is left to wrestle with two dimensional characters. Overall, it's hard to tell where this series is headed -- both in plot and success -- after the pilot episode. Destined for a newly competitive Sunday night -- since the removal of ratings juggernaut "Murder, She Wrote" -- "Perfect" should keep some of its "Cybill" lead-in, but not for long.

As a romantic half-hour comedy, “Almost Perfect” works almost perfectly when the two principals, Nancy Travis and the wry Kevin Kilner, spar with one another in a Tracy & Hepburn way. But rest of cast, including the wonderful David Clennon, is left to wrestle with two dimensional characters. Overall, it’s hard to tell where this series is headed — both in plot and success — after the pilot episode. Destined for a newly competitive Sunday night — since the removal of ratings juggernaut “Murder, She Wrote” — “Perfect” should keep some of its “Cybill” lead-in, but not for long.

Kim Cooper (Travis), the only female writer on TV show “Blue Justice,” is suddenly thrust into the exec producer slot on the show. Pilot sets the tone: She’s a hyper-busy career woman with a string of bad relationships behind her and a gagle of married-with-children friends.

“Perfect” opens weakly with Kim meeting a blind date at a restaurant — only she sits down with the wrong man (Kevin Kilner), and they click. He turns out to be handsome D.A. Mike Ryan.

Series’ main weakness is Kim’s “Blue Justice” co-workers, who skim stereotypes: the Iowa farm boy (a blond, natch), the nebbish and the bizarre gonzo burnout (the almost unrecognizable Clennon). Kim’s and Mike’s worlds don’t intersect, and the show sags when they’re not onscreen together.

Travis’ chemistry with Kilner is right on, but she strives to be a tough, independent woman in a man’s world, and she comes off brassy and loud, Kilner is dry and witty; he slides into his character with ease.

Tech credits are top-notch.

Almost Perfect

(CBS, Sun. Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Levine & Isaacs Prods. in association with Paramount Network Television. Executive producers, Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Robin Schiff. Co-executive producer, Victor Fresco; producers, Robin Chamberlin, Larina Adamson; co-producers, Mike and Linda Teverbaugh; associate producer, Lori Moneymaker; creators-writers, Schiff, Levine, Isaacs; story, Schiff; director, Andy Ackerman.

Crew

Camera, Jerry Workman; editor, Darryl Bates; art director, Bill Brzeski; sound, Klaus Landsberg; music, Bruce Miller. 30 MIN.

Cast

Cast: Nancy Travis, Kevin Kilner, David Clennon, Matthew Letscher, Chip Zien, Mark Harelik, Mary Gordon Murray, Eileen Seeley, Roxanne Beckford, Dendrie Taylor, Cliff Levine, Cameron Watson.
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