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Local Heroes

Show's theme, sung by Southside Johnny, who's spent most of his career playing in South Jersey bars to the people "Heroes" tries to portray, sets a promising tone: "These are the best of times," he intones in a poignant and strong voice. But "Heroes" renegs on the song's promise.

With:
Cast: Ken Hudson Campbell, Jay Mohr, Paula Cale, Jason Kristofer, Justin Louis, Kristin Dattilo-Hayward, Rhonda Gemignani, Tricia Vessey. Glory days, they'll pass you by," sang Bruce Springsteen, and these guys on "Local Heroes" embody that lyric: They're trapped in their high school glory days. Problem is, this sitcom from Witt-Thomas Prods. goes for cheap laughs, hinting at, but never committing to, the working-class pathos that would take "Heroes" to a more interesting level.

Show’s theme, sung by Southside Johnny, who’s spent most of his career playing in South Jersey bars to the people “Heroes” tries to portray, sets a promising tone: “These are the best of times,” he intones in a poignant and strong voice. But “Heroes” renegs on the song’s promise.

Eddie (Ken Hudson Campbell) is the leader of this quartet of pathetic bachelors.

TX:Filmed in Los Angeles by Witt-Thomas Prods., Warner Bros. and No Humans Were Harmed Prods. Executive producers, Frank Mula, Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, Gary S. Levine; co-executive producers, David Richardson, Regina Larsen; associate producers, Sallie Kleiman; director, Ted Wass; writer, Mula; He lives at home with his eccentric mother (Rhonda Gemignani) and slutty little sister, Nikki (Tricia Vessey). A lot of the show’s action takes place at Blue Lou’s Bar, where Eddie and his friends Jake (Jay Mohr), Stosh (Jason Kristofer) and Mert (Justin Louis) hang out, drink beer and trade barbs with waitress Gloria (Paula Cale), also a high school buddy.

Pilot centers on the four guys kidnapping their alma mater’s mascot before the big football game (Greg Brady did the same thing on “The Brady Bunch”). Pilot also intro’s Mert’s girlfriend, Bonnie (Kristin Dattilo-Hayward), who wants to get married; Mert has successfully avoided such a proposition for quite some time.

The writing tries to hold up these Peter Pans as real working-class heroes, valiantly facing each day in the face of boring, nowhere jobs, but mostly “Heroes” goes for the “Married … With Children” school of humor, although there are one or two gems among the tired marriage-avoidance jokes, woman jokes and guys-drooling-over-girls jokes.

Frustrated by the immaturity of Mert and his friends, Bonnie tells them, “Even cheese, left alone, will mature!”

But this is the kind of sitcom that has a Polish character who, although not blatantly stupid (this is the ’90s, after all), is the biggest loser of the bunch as well as being off-center.

The cast interacts OK, and Campbell is especially effective as Eddie tries to keep his mother and little sister in line.

“Heroes” is set in Pittsburgh, but, except for mention of that city’s pro sports teams, series could be taking place anywhere.

Tech credits are pro, and the production design conveys the blue-collar atmosphere well.

Local Heroes

Production: Local Heroes (Sun. (17), 9:30-10 p.m., Fox)

Crew: Cameras, Dean Cosanella, Chester Jackson, Bryan McKenzie, Jeff Rifkin; editor, Bill Petty; production designer, Michael Hynes; sound, Evan Adelman; music, George Englund, Nick South; theme, Barry Goldberg, Gary Mallaber, performed by Southside Johnny; casting, Juel Bestrop.

With: Cast: Ken Hudson Campbell, Jay Mohr, Paula Cale, Jason Kristofer, Justin Louis, Kristin Dattilo-Hayward, Rhonda Gemignani, Tricia Vessey. Glory days, they'll pass you by," sang Bruce Springsteen, and these guys on "Local Heroes" embody that lyric: They're trapped in their high school glory days. Problem is, this sitcom from Witt-Thomas Prods. goes for cheap laughs, hinting at, but never committing to, the working-class pathos that would take "Heroes" to a more interesting level.

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