Thea Abc, Wed. Sept. 8, 8 p.m.

A cast of likable characters gather around Thea Turrell, played generously by Thea Vidale as a wise, direct, widowed mother of four youngsters in a well-written, appealing script by Bernie Kukoff. Directed sharply by Jay Sandrich, "Thea" has heart as well as old-fashioned good humor; program has good commercial possibilities.

With:
Cast: Thea Vidale, Adam Jeffries, Jason Weaver, Brandy Norwood, Brenden Jefferson, Cleavant Derricks, Kenny Ford Jr., Charmin Lee Talbert, Peggy Blow.

A cast of likable characters gather around Thea Turrell, played generously by Thea Vidale as a wise, direct, widowed mother of four youngsters in a well-written, appealing script by Bernie Kukoff. Directed sharply by Jay Sandrich, “Thea” has heart as well as old-fashioned good humor; program has good commercial possibilities.

Thea works hard to support her brood: responsible Jarvis Jr. (Adam Jeffries), 16; sharpie Jerome (Jason Weaver), 14; sensible Danesha (Brandy Norwood); and wee James (Brenden Jefferson).

Thea puts Jarvis in charge while she’s out of the house one night. Danesha’s going to study at the library with a new boyfriend, and she’s told to be home on time. Jerome, getting around Jarvis — and Mom’s instructions — goes to the video arcade for a tourney, and Thea comes home early.

Casting is terrif, with Vidale serving up a strong character who knows how to express herself. Briefly but forthrightly drilling Danesha’s friend (Kenny Ford Jr.), describing a man making a pass at her and pouring love over small James, Vidale’s Thea is a prize.

The youngsters are winners, too. Weaver’s Jerome is a pleasure, and Jeffries’ Jarvis yells dependability. Norwood hasn’t enough to do in the first outing; young Jefferson’s James is amusing. Sitcom, blessedly free of coarse lingo or innuendo, could become a standard.

A second episode airs Sept. 15, 8:30 p.m., before series bows Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Looks likes Thea and her family will be around for a while; they’re worth a visit.

Thea Abc, Wed. Sept. 8, 8 p.m.

Production: Taped at Universal City Studios by Castle Rock Entertainment. Executive producers, Bernie Kukoff, Andrew Susskind. Co-executive producer, Bill Bryan. Supervising producer, Tom Devanney. Producer, Mary Ellen Jones. Director, Jay Sandrich. Writer-creator, Bernie Kukoff.

Crew: Music, Kurt Farquhar; main title theme, Freddie Washington, Ben Wright; production designer, Tom Azzari. 30 MIN.

With: Cast: Thea Vidale, Adam Jeffries, Jason Weaver, Brandy Norwood, Brenden Jefferson, Cleavant Derricks, Kenny Ford Jr., Charmin Lee Talbert, Peggy Blow.

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