×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Baby Brokers

Cybill Shepherd plays Debbie Freeman, 40ish single woman so desperate for a baby that she resorts to under-the-table means. She's conned by a pair of drifters in fact-based story that hits the airwaves in the wake of similarly themed CBS telepic "Broken Promises." More notable for its acting than tired premise, "Baby Brokers" (filmed under a better title, "Stolen Hearts") is an agreeable alternative to Olympic ice dancing finals.

With:
Cast: Cybill Shepherd, Nina Siemaszko, Anna Maria Horsford, Jeffrey Nordling, Tom O'Brien, Joseph Maher, Shirley Knight, Gary Werntz, Leah Lail, Lou Liberatore, Scott Jaeck, Lynn Milgrim, Peter Crook, Catherine Macneal, Bob McCracken, Barbara Worthington, Takayo Fischer, Esther Scott, Patricia Childress , Secunda Smith, Paul Perri, Luck Hari, Lisa Zebro, Baillie Gerstein, Jack Jozefson, Santos Morales, Sami Chester, F. Flip Dumont, Terry Murphy.

Cybill Shepherd plays Debbie Freeman, 40ish single woman so desperate for a baby that she resorts to under-the-table means. She’s conned by a pair of drifters in fact-based story that hits the airwaves in the wake of similarly themed CBS telepic “Broken Promises.” More notable for its acting than tired premise, “Baby Brokers” (filmed under a better title, “Stolen Hearts”) is an agreeable alternative to Olympic ice dancing finals.

The tale might be familiar to viewers of “Hard Copy,” which aired the real Freeman’s story a couple of years back and which figures strongly here, including appearance by anchor Terry Murphy.

The brokers, Leeanne and Frankie Dees (Nina Siemaszko, Tom O’Brien), operate a baby mill based in Las Vegas: he panhandles in the local bus station while she keeps babies in the oven. When the time is right, they offer the yet-unborn child for adoption, soliciting front money, living expenses, and whatever else they can wring from suckers, then leave town before the baby is born.

Freeman is a psychologist, working with the police department, personified by Det. John Kurland (Jeffrey Nordling). As soon as he shows a flicker of interest, her romance antenna springs to attention, even though she elsewhere claims that she, by choice, “may never get married.”

When he expresses no interest in family life, she retreats — but wait, this is a TV movie and nobody wants NBC’s audience to go to bed in a state of depression.

Shepherd is fine in a restrained perf that suits her; she’s also going for a less glamorous look than usual, to good effect here. Joseph Maher and Shirley Knight play her divorced parents, and Anna Maria Horsford is Debbie’s attorney.

The one to watch, though, is Siemaszko, who’s thoroughly convincing as uneducated but canny Leeanne. Only slightly less effective is O’Brien as her thick-witted, probably abusive husband.

Funniest line in Susan Nanus’ uneven script (strong when the Dees are onscreen, tepid with Freeman) comes when Det. Kurland tells Freeman that he has a friend at “Hard Copy” who could help get the story out, in order to find couple’s other victims.

Suspicious, Freeman queries, “This TV guy — he’s not a sleazeball, is he?” This story obviously takes place before that tabloid’s Michael Jackson coverage, which answered that one, once and for all.

Baby Brokers

(Mon. (21), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Steinhardt Baer Pictures Co. and BBK Prods. in association with Columbia Pictures Television. Executive producers, Robert Dalrymple, Craig Anderson; co-executive producer, Joseph Plager; producer, Boris Malden; co-producer, Susan Nanus; associate producer, Mike Stevens; director, Mimi Leder; script, Nanus.

Crew: Camera, Neil Roach; editor, Jacque Toberen; production designer, Garreth Stover; sound, Jacob Goldstein; music, Anthony Marinelli.

Cast: Cast: Cybill Shepherd, Nina Siemaszko, Anna Maria Horsford, Jeffrey Nordling, Tom O'Brien, Joseph Maher, Shirley Knight, Gary Werntz, Leah Lail, Lou Liberatore, Scott Jaeck, Lynn Milgrim, Peter Crook, Catherine Macneal, Bob McCracken, Barbara Worthington, Takayo Fischer, Esther Scott, Patricia Childress , Secunda Smith, Paul Perri, Luck Hari, Lisa Zebro, Baillie Gerstein, Jack Jozefson, Santos Morales, Sami Chester, F. Flip Dumont, Terry Murphy.

More TV

  • Kristin Scott Thomas at 'The English

    Kristin Scott Thomas, Fiona Shaw to Guest Star in ‘Fleabag’

    Kristin Scott Thomas and Fiona Shaw will make guest appearances in the upcoming second season Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s BBC and Amazon comedy “Fleabag.” Series creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge said: “They literally begged me to be in it. Begged me. Begged. One of them was crying.” “Phoebe Waller Bridge cannot be ignored,” said Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”). [...]

  • Beta Film Acquires Movistar + ‘Arde

    Beta Film Acquires Movistar + Original ‘Arde Madrid’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI —  Jan Motjo’s Beta Film has acquired worldwide sales rights to one of the most singular of Spanish comedy series released last year, Paco Leon’s “Arde Madrid,” a Movistar Original. Beta Film made the announcement just after “Arde Madrid” was announced as one of the series at the 2019 Berlinale Drama Series Days Market [...]

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content