×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Critic

Voices: Jon Lovitz, Charles Napier, Gerrit Graham, Judith Ivey, Nancy Cartwright, Christine Cavanaugh, Jennifer Lien, Maurice LeMarche, Nick Jameson, Doris Grau, Kath Soucie, Gene Shalit, Brenda Vaccaro, Margaret Cho.

Voices: Jon Lovitz, Charles Napier, Gerrit Graham, Judith Ivey, Nancy Cartwright, Christine Cavanaugh, Jennifer Lien, Maurice LeMarche, Nick Jameson, Doris Grau, Kath Soucie, Gene Shalit, Brenda Vaccaro, Margaret Cho.

With “The Simpsons” tucked safely under their production belt, Al Jean and Mike Reiss turn to the misadventures of a Manhattan film critic, schlemiel Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz), who works for cable channel 67. A conniver, he’s supposed to draw laughs because he deserves whatever he gets. He and the new animated series opener should pull thin smiles at best.

The sophisticated script with inked cameos strewn across the landscape may tickle a few as Jay finds himself wooed by gorgeous new film actress Valerie Fox (Nancy Cartwright), who assures him she likes him for himself, not because her first pic’s screening momentarily.

Jay buys it, taking her to visit his adoptive parents, who don’t like him, and his teenage stepsister Margo (Nancy Cartwright), who likes Jay and can’t shake Valerie’s self-proclaimed devotion. Of course, only one thing can.

Divorced, plump and bald Jay, whose 11-year-old son Marty (Christine Cavanaugh) likes him, has been ordered by the station owner to give “good” as his lowest opinion on films. Clips of pix he’s reviewing, such as a Schwarzenegger number called “Rabbi P.I.” or Brando as Mr. French in “Family Affair,” put across his dilemma.

His status is indicated by a gang of thugs who watch him to jeer; on the other hand, his best friend is actor Jeremy Hawke (Maurice LeMarche).

Production is OK, with the writing not particularly witty but the animation clearcut. Subject may be too specialized for general audiences, but the funnier writing and characters could make a difference. It just needs good laughs.

The Critic

(Wed. (26), 8:30-9 p.m., ABC)

Production: Filmed by Gracie Films and Columbia Pictures TV; animation produced by Film Roman Inc. Exec producers, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Mike Reiss; producers, Richard Sakai, Richard Raynis; co-producers, Steve Tompkins, Mike Madendel; director, Rich Moore; writers, Reiss, Jean; animation exec producer, Phil Roman; animation producer, Bill Schultz; overseas supervisor, Gregg Vanzo.

Crew: Editors, Michael Bridge, Lee Harding; sound, Ronny Cox; music, Alf Clausen; "Beauty and King Dork" music, Jeff Martin.

More TV

  • 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 [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content