Unlike Newhart’s childless Bob Hartley, Aimes and wife, Rachel (Wendy Raquel Robinson), are the parents of 10-year-old Trevor (Bobby E. McAdams II) and 4 -year-old Emma (Camille Winbush).
And in addition to womanizing orthodontist Dr. Bruce Hampton (Mitchell Whitfield) and retro-Valley Girl receptionist Darby Gladstone (Sara Rue) — who keeps her job because she’s Hampton’s niece — the medical group includes the show’s potentially funniest character, pediatrician Francine Bailey (Linda Kash) , whose hatred of her former husband takes precedence over any other concern. For her, at least, “Newhart” has no analogue.
First episode finds Aimes dealing with kids on their own level, with lots of childlike play suggesting that show’s creators might be aware of “The Cosby Show” as well as “Newhart.” Secondary plot has bright Trevor afraid to attend school for the gifted, a fear that his parents combat successfully — while having the good taste to point out that just because Trevor is bright, he doesn’t have to sound so much like a teenage Steve Urkel.
Adult actors are gifted enough that show might bear repeated viewing, especially if Darby is toned down a bit and Hampton is given a more rounded character. If Aimes family has a neighbor who’s a commercial airline navigator, it’s being kept for an upcoming episode.
Following Saturday night debut, show moved to its regular 7:30 p.m. Sunday slot, following “Brotherly Love.”