×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Face on the Milk Carton

Redheaded Janie (Kellie Martin), catching her own face in a 13-year-old photo on a milk carton, starts asking her parents questions like where's her birth certificate, how come there aren't any baby pictures of her around, who is "Hannah," and what's going on with that trunk in the attic? Her parents, Miranda and Frank (Jill Clayburgh, Edward Herrmann), explain as best they can, and they concoct a good enough story.

With:
Cast: Kellie Martin, Jill Clayburgh, Edward Herrmann, Johnny Green, Richard Masur, Sharon Lawrence, Caroline Perreyclear, Kristoffer Ryan Winters, Lori Lindberg, Ellen Lee, Joanna Canton, Leslie Hall, Kawan Rojanatavorn, Paul Dow, Jemila Ericson, H. Lee Freeman, Richard K. Olsen, David Dwyer, John Henry Scott, Tammy Arnold. Loaded with timeliness, Nancy Isaak's teleplay has its ups and downs in tale of a 16-year-old girl discovering she's adopted and probably was kidnapped. When her birth parents turn up, all sorts of emotions are at play, but nothing's really resolved.

Redheaded Janie (Kellie Martin), catching her own face in a 13-year-old photo on a milk carton, starts asking her parents questions like where’s her birth certificate, how come there aren’t any baby pictures of her around, who is “Hannah,” and what’s going on with that trunk in the attic? Her parents, Miranda and Frank (Jill Clayburgh, Edward Herrmann), explain as best they can, and they concoct a good enough story.

But her natural parents, redheaded Jonathan and Sada (Richard Masur, Sharon Lawrence), who live in a neighboring town and have a son and another daughter, want her back, and they have every right. Sada’s an emotional woman who’s waited too long, and it’s tough on her; she and Jonathan want Janie with them.

Director Waris Hussein keeps a good rein on the suds, though the sentimental aspects threaten to engulf everyone at times. A red-maned Martin, who only two weeks ago was playing an abused wife in “If Someone Had Known,” performs suitably enough as the teenager Janie. Clayburgh and Herrmann are believable. Masur’s OK, and Lawrence gives Sada an effective emotional binge.

Caroline Perreyclear, as Janie’s redheaded younger sister, does an admirable job of playing out the tough assignment. Johnny Green, playing Janie’s boyfriend , and Kristoffer Ryan Winters, as her brother, are solid.

Some nice touches: a missing letter being swept up with trash, and Reeve asking Jonathan if he can take Janie to the senior prom. Most intriguing aspect is the mysterious Hannah, whose action started the sadness. Telefilm, which has lots it wants to say, gets burdened down in dialectic. Tech credits are good.

The Face on the Milk Carton

(Wed. (24), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in Wilmington, N.C., by Dorothea G. Petrie Prods. and Family Prods. Inc. Executive producer, Dorothea G. Petrie; producers, Petrie, Robert Silberling. Director, Waris Hussein; writer, Nancy Isaak; based on the novels "The Face on the Milk Carton" and "Whatever Happened to Janie?" by Caroline B. Cooney.

Crew: Camera, Robert Steadman; editor, Charles Bornstein; art director, Natalie Wilson; sound, Steve Smith; music, Leonard Rosenman.

Cast: Cast: Kellie Martin, Jill Clayburgh, Edward Herrmann, Johnny Green, Richard Masur, Sharon Lawrence, Caroline Perreyclear, Kristoffer Ryan Winters, Lori Lindberg, Ellen Lee, Joanna Canton, Leslie Hall, Kawan Rojanatavorn, Paul Dow, Jemila Ericson, H. Lee Freeman, Richard K. Olsen, David Dwyer, John Henry Scott, Tammy Arnold. Loaded with timeliness, Nancy Isaak's teleplay has its ups and downs in tale of a 16-year-old girl discovering she's adopted and probably was kidnapped. When her birth parents turn up, all sorts of emotions are at play, but nothing's really resolved.

More TV

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

  • ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game in

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game Will Pitch Players Into the Action

    “Peaky Blinders” fans will be able to join the gang – virtually – in a new VR game that will allow players to interact with characters from the hit series. Start-up immersive studio Maze Theory teamed with the show’s producers and is making the game, which will launch in 2020. Artificial intelligence technology means characters [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO's 'Deadwood: The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'Deadwood: The Movie' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the trailer for the “Deadwood” film, and CNN announced a premiere date for “Apollo 11.”  DATES The documentary “Apollo 11” from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller will premiere on CNN Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Using only archival sources, the film captures NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. FIRST [...]

  • shannon ryan

    Shannon Ryan Joins Disney TV, ABC as Marketing Chief

    Former Fox Television chief marketing officer Shannon Ryan has been tapped as the new president of marketing for ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios. The announcement was made by Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, and Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, to whom she will report. Rumours had been circling for a while [...]

  • Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce Writers

    Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce First Class of Writers and Mentors for TV Incubator

    Rideback, Dan Lin’s production company, and MRC have announced the inaugural class of writers and mentors for their TV incubator.  The new TV writers residency program, which was launched in February, offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a group of writers who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content