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Misery Loves Company

The Boutsikaris character is a twitty advice addict experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a 12-year marriage. He drives his womanizing brother crazy with nagging.

The Boutsikaris character is a twitty advice addict experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a 12-year marriage. He drives his womanizing brother crazy with nagging.

Secondary storyline features NBA star Dennis Rodman as the new flame of one guy’s ex-wife. Rodman, a fairly controversial figure, is an odd choice for stunt casting in a pilot. In any event, he’s not used to maximum effect.

The challenge facing writersRick Singer and Andrew Green is that this is pretty much virgin territory for a sitcom. But their script could have generated more — or at least some — humor. Sequences when the gang bonds by watching sports on the tube are lame. Questions about sexual identity and gender roles are prominent, and there’s a strong homosexual subtext.

None of the actors elevates the material, and at least one performance doesn’t even do it justice. Nikki Deloach will join thecast in subsequent episodes. John Tracy’s direction is static. Tech credits are passable.

Production team led by Michael Jacobs might be able to fix “Misery Loves Company.” There’s certainly enough material to be had from premise. If they don’t start winning soon, however, it’ll be a shortened season.

Misery Loves Company

(Sun. (1), 9:30-10 p.m., Fox) Taped in Burbank by Michael Jacobs Prods. in association with Touchstone Television. Executive producer, Michael Jacobs; co-executive producer, Sandy Frank; producer, Mitchell Bank; co-producer, Charlie Kaufman; supervising p

Production: The idea of a bunch of guys in their late 30s coping with lifeafter divorce isn't bad, but the execution isn't sharp. Ensemble features two brothers (Dennis Boutsikaris and Christopher Meloni) sharing an apartment, and two of their buddies (Stephen Furst and Julius Carry) hanging out watching sports.

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