Chance of a Lifetime” aims for the screwball antics of a ’30s film, but sluggish pacing undermines minor wacky charm. Telepic boasts slick production values and appealing perfs from John Ritter and Katey Sagal that should draw the Sunday night CBS crowd.Top magazine editor Irene (Sagal) maintains a prickly yet respectful relationship with playboy writer Tom (Ritter), but when Tom fools around with the publisher’s wife, she can’t shield him from being fired. After a staff “rent” party for Tom, he slips his disc helping Irene with her car, and because he doesn’t have health insurance, Irene concocts a scheme for them to wed, so he’ll be covered by her policy. Antics ensue when the insurance company checks up on the “couple” and the pair come to realize that they really love each other. Although a desire to rip off insurance companies may be understandable, it is a bit pedestrian as a theme for a romantic comedy. Script by Mark Stein and Renee Longstreet is long on character but short on plot. Deborah Reinisch’s direction begins in a peppy manner but sags after a while, undermining the comic talents of Ritter and Sagal. Production design by Mimi Gramatky conveys warmth and complements the characters. Other tech credits are slick.
Telepic; CBS, Sun. March 29, 9 p.m.
Filmed in Los Angeles and Chicago by Roaring Fork Prods. in association with Citadel Entertainment. Executive producers, David R. Ginsburg, Tim Hill, Danielle Hill; producer, Karen S. Shapiro; director, Deborah Reinisch; writers, Mark Stein, Renee Longstreet, based on a story by Stein.
Camera, Paul Elliott; editor, Sabrina Plisco-Morris; music, J.A.C. Redford; production design, Mimi Gramatky; sound, Don Summer; casting, Beth Hymson-Ayer, Simon Ayer. 2 HOURS.
Tom Maguire ..... John Ritter Irene Duncan ..... Katey Sagal Art Haber ..... David Naughton Mrs. Duncan .....Jean Stapleton Mrs. Wood ..... Lynne Thigpen Patty ..... Marie Marshall Katie .....Denise Crosby Amy ..... Elise Neal