Bob Newhart returns as amiable Bob McKay, who’s faced with again working for the greeting card company where he had toiled for 20 years. With Betty White and Jere Burns among the new regulars, sitcom earns its laughs by the halfway mark; as part of the CBS Friday lineup, its future is assured.
In the series’ first season, Bob gave up work at the greeting card company to work on comic books. But that setting has been jettisoned this year as the Schmitt Greeting Card’s prez walks out on wife Sylvia Schmitt (White) and Sylvia names Bob to the job.
Sylvia’s excitable, irresponsible son Pete (Burns), who thinks he wants to be head honcho, resents the snub. Complications ensue.
White is on target as the slightly daft Sylvia, while Burns turns in a live-wire perf as the disjointedPete. Carlene Watkins returns as Bob’s wife Kaye , as does Cynthia Stevenson playing daughter Trisha. Chief bookkeeper Chris (Megan Cavanagh) is an OK addition; Eric Allan Kramer’s perf as the printer Whitey hits home.
Newhart’s relaxed comic style, growing ever gentler, works over the long haul. The Newhart-Watkins teaming is strong, despite a cutesy reading-each-other’s-mind ploy.