×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face" brings to CBS the life of Edna Buchanan, one of America's best police reporters, who sniffs around crime scenes in Miami and writes wickedly raw journalism. As with "Dave," the skein based on Dave Barry, newspaper characters are lost in the shuffle to the small screen, and the results are more like caricatures.

With:
Cast: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dennis Farina, Lee Horsley, Yaphet Kotto, Audra Lindley, Carey Scott, Michael Ray Miller, Kevin Patrick Walls, Branscomb Richmond, Stephen Pizzo, Matthew Posey, David Spielberg, Rebecca Hahn, Anthony Turk, Jessica Cole, Yavone Evans, David Partington.

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face” brings to CBS the life of Edna Buchanan, one of America’s best police reporters, who sniffs around crime scenes in Miami and writes wickedly raw journalism. As with “Dave,” the skein based on Dave Barry, newspaper characters are lost in the shuffle to the small screen, and the results are more like caricatures.

Always watchable Elizabeth Montgomery isn’t given much help with a script that throws her into the fire right off the bat. Before viewers get a chance to even look at Montgomery’s Buchanan, she’s playing Superwoman, dodging the gunfire of cops and bad guys, running here and there for more information, filing her story.

The action settles down eventually and the telepic’s core plot emerges; at the same time, Montgomery, director Joyce Chopra and scripters Derek Marlowe and Dennis Turner sedate the Buchanan character to the point where she becomes believable.

Sixteen-year-old Alice Nicholson (Luanne Ponce) is missing. Pesky reporter Buchanan stumbles onto the story and eventually falls deep in the drama, playing sleuth and reporter at the same time. She becomes caught up in the emotions of the father (Lee Horsley), but fortunately cop pal Harry (Dennis Farina) steers her back to the road of objectivity.

Cast is the strongest element of this vidpic, including Yaphet Kotto, Farina and Horsley. Montgomery takes a bit to warm to the role, but she could have easily succumbed to the caricatured aspects in the script.

Director Chopra pushes the extraordinary life of Buchanan too hard at the beginning: Buchanan seems like a superstar one minute and a moody misfit the next, which may be the case, but for those who don’t know the byline and don’t realize this is a real-life person, “The Corpse Had a Familiar Face” may seem to be a painful stretch of believability.

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face

(Sun. (27), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in San Diego by Von Zerneck/Sertner Prods. in association with Touchstone Television. Executive producers, Robert Sertner, Frank von Zerneck, Debbie Blum, Tony Granz, Barry Krost, Doug Chapin; producer, Randy Sutter; director, Joyce Chopra; writers, Derek Marlowe, Dennis Turner.

Crew: Camera, Jim Glennon; editor, Robert Florio; production designer, Roy Amaral; music, Patrick Williams.

Cast: Cast: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dennis Farina, Lee Horsley, Yaphet Kotto, Audra Lindley, Carey Scott, Michael Ray Miller, Kevin Patrick Walls, Branscomb Richmond, Stephen Pizzo, Matthew Posey, David Spielberg, Rebecca Hahn, Anthony Turk, Jessica Cole, Yavone Evans, David Partington.

More TV

  • Super Bowl LII - Tom Brady,

    Verizon Plans Multiple Ad Plays Leading to Super Bowl Commercial

    If Verizon gets its way, its Super Bowl advertising plans will include a 60-second commercial during the game – and a half-hour documentary that gives viewers even more of what will be discussed in the ad. The telecommunications giant is often scrutinized for the communications resources it provides its customers, but its Super Bowl campaign [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • Naomi Watts

    Naomi Watts to Star in Jason Blum-Produced Quibi Series 'Wolves and Villagers' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Naomi Watts has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Quibi series “Wolves and Villagers,” Variety has learned exclusively. The exact plot of the short-form series is being kept under wraps, but Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously described the show as “Fatal Attraction 2.0.” Jason Blum is executive producing the series, with [...]

  • HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops

    HBO's 'Breslin And Hamill' Documentary Drops Trailer

    “Revolutionary,” “superstars,” “the voice of true New Yorkers” — that’s how Spike Lee and other influential figures describe journalists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in the trailer released for HBO’s “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists” documentary. The film, which premieres Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, follows the two newspaper columnists whose dedication and wit [...]

  • Riverdale Chapter Twenty-Six

    TV News Roundup: 'Riverdale' Sets 'Heathers' Musical Episode

    In Thursday’s roundup, “Riverdale” is set to tackle “Heathers: The Musical,” and Freeform has announced its second annual summit. DATES  The musical episode of the CW’s “Riverdale,” featuring nine songs, will air Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On the show, Riverdale High School takes on “Heathers: The Musical,” with queen bees Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content