×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Central Park West

More sophisticated than previous efforts "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Melrose Place," Darren Star's "Central Park West"-- with which CBS hopes to mine some key demo gold this fall -- looks like a nighttime soap winner. With Star trademarks such as stunning cast members, fancy locations, trendy camerawork and slick production values, "CPW" is "MP" grown up and moved back East.

With:
Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Madchen Amick, Lauren Hutton, John Barrowman, Tom Verica, Michael Michele, Melissa Errico, Justin Lazard, Ron Leibman, Tina Chin, Dennis Creaghan, Daryl Edwards, Kim Raver, Peter Gerety, Justin Theroux, Karen Travis, Michael Bergen.

More sophisticated than previous efforts “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Melrose Place,” Darren Star’s “Central Park West”– with which CBS hopes to mine some key demo gold this fall — looks like a nighttime soap winner. With Star trademarks such as stunning cast members, fancy locations, trendy camerawork and slick production values, “CPW” is “MP” grown up and moved back East.

Stephanie (Mariel Hemingway) and husband Mark (Tom Verica) are new but not naive Gotham transplants from Seattle. A magazine editor, she’s been recruited to revive the monthly Communique,owned by the autocratic Allen Rush (guest star Ron Leibman). Mark is a struggling novelist/playwright.

Character conflicts are quickly established at Hemingway’s first staff meeting, when she mixes it up with headstrong Carrie (Madchen Amick), Communique’s gossip columnist. But Amick is the daughter of Linda (Lauren Hutton), whose hubby owns the mag. Carrie’s brother is the JFK Jr.-esque Peter (John Barrowman), scion of the Fairchild family, who works in the D.A.’s office and whose every move is reported by the tabs.

Episode also quickly establishes other main players: Nikki Sheridan (Michael Michele) owns a Soho gallery; Gil (Justin Lazard) is the heartless playboy stockbroker who dumps girlfriends via e-mail; Alex (Melissa Errico) slithers as a tabloid reporter.

In the best soap opera tradition, tangled relationships are revealed, seductions are planned and back-stabbing runs rampant. Star’s script is fast-paced and peppered with enough provocative tidbits to bring viewers back.

Show looks expensive, and Manhattan setting is used to its fullest, especially the many helicopter shots that lushly chronicle the city. Use of pop music on soundtrack adds a hip note.

Cast members are pretty, talented and already comfortable in their roles. Hemingway acquits herself well as the editor who must be tough and ambitious but (in the world of soaps) must also retain audience sympathy.

Standout is Amick as the jaded denizen of the downtown clubscene: She’s the bad girl, the schemer, and she has fun with it.

It will be interesting to see how Star & Co. tart up “CPW” over the season. Kylie Travis, the Aussie sparkplug from the moribund “Models Inc.,” is slated to join the cast in the third episode, and her addition promises more sexual intrigue and steamy situations.

Stay tuned.

Central Park West

CBS, Wed. Sept. 13, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in New York City by Darren Star Prods. in association with CBS Entertainment. Executive producer-creator-writer, Darren Star; co-executive producers, Allan Arkush, David Stenn; producer, Judith Stevens; director, Arkush.

Crew: Editor, Joanna Cappuccilli; production designer, Cynthia Charette; art director, Teresa Carriker-Thayer; sound, Bill Daly; music, Tim Truman. 60 MIN.

With: Cast: Mariel Hemingway, Madchen Amick, Lauren Hutton, John Barrowman, Tom Verica, Michael Michele, Melissa Errico, Justin Lazard, Ron Leibman, Tina Chin, Dennis Creaghan, Daryl Edwards, Kim Raver, Peter Gerety, Justin Theroux, Karen Travis, Michael Bergen.

More Film

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Take the Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content