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Savannah

Three Southern babes, best friends all their lives, find a posh wedding really shakes down everyone's character. Otherwise, none of the trio in the new, earnest Spelling TV stew has the slightest knowledge of the others. With all the major draws, "Savannah," slated as first one-hour drama series on the WB Network (starting Feb. 4), plunks down attractive characters in situations so outlandish it's sure to amuse watchers.

With:
Cast: Robyn Lively, Jamie Luner, Shannon Sturges, David Gail, Paul Satterfield, Beth Toussaint, Ray Wise, George Eads, Wendy Phillips, Jay Baker, April Bogenschutz, Randall Taylor, Margo Moorer, Maury Covington, Rand Hopkins, Angela Mills, Joe Wilkins, Geoff McKnight, Adam Crosby, Suzanne Stewart, Michael Montgomery, David De Vries.

Three Southern babes, best friends all their lives, find a posh wedding really shakes down everyone’s character. Otherwise, none of the trio in the new, earnest Spelling TV stew has the slightest knowledge of the others. With all the major draws, “Savannah,” slated as first one-hour drama series on the WB Network (starting Feb. 4), plunks down attractive characters in situations so outlandish it’s sure to amuse watchers.

Filmed in Atlanta by Spelling TV. Executive producers, Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent, James Stanley, Diane Messina Stanley; supervising producer-creator , Constance M. Burge; producer, James T. Davis; director, Richard Lang; writers-developers, Diane Messina Stanley, James Stanley; Reese Burton (Shannon Sturges), the rich one, is marrying banker Travis (George Eads), who’s been carrying on a hot, secret affair for years with one of Reese’s two pals, Peyton Richards (Jamie Luner). Lane McKenzie (Robyn Lively), blessed with a small trust fund, is coming home from her ho-hum job in New York for the gala.

Not checking her monthly statements, Lane doesn’t tumble to the fact that her account’s being drained by someone she knows. A former beau, Dean Collins (David Gail), now a Savannah cop, helps her find out what happened and lets it be known he’s still taken with her.

Into this milieu strolls super con man Tom Massick (Paul Satterfield) and his “financial adviser,” Veronica (Beth Toussaint). Tom convinces Reese’s gullible millionaire father, Edward (Ray Wise), to accept him.

The young ladies, including sullen, jealous Peyton, are engaging in their dumbness. Blessed with double-dealing, lying, larceny, a possible drug angle and an indication of murder, the plot marches staunchly forward as characters endure situations they must have seen countless times in movies.

Adding another character as plot device, Peyton’s mom, Lucille (Wendy Phillips), rules as housekeeper at the Burton estate. And she knows her daughter ain’t no Tinkerbell.

Writers James Stanley and Dianne Messina Stanley are plot-wise and cliche-foolish. There’s a motel scene, for instance, that goes phfft. One of the male principals talks warmly to a femme on the phone — and the camera pulls back to show a woman in the sack with him. Another plants a corpse, but when she comes back, it’s gone.

Telefilm is written in dependable, time-proven, dime-novel style, and is sure to entertain. Wise’s charming Mr. Burton comes closest to reality, but then who’s chasing reality when there are absurd extremes to be re-experienced?

The Georgia backgrounds are lush, the young ladies are good-looking, the gents handsome. Camerawork and editing, as is usual in Spelling productions, are superior, and, in this intro vidpic, the storyline’s wonderfully easy to follow.

Savannah

Production: WB Net, Sun. Jan. 21, 8 p.m.; KTLA, L.A.; WPIX, N.Y.

Crew: Camera, Steve Shaw; editor, Mitchell Danton; production designer, Charles Bennett; sound, Jim Hawkins; music, Gary Stevan Scott. 2 HOURS

With: Cast: Robyn Lively, Jamie Luner, Shannon Sturges, David Gail, Paul Satterfield, Beth Toussaint, Ray Wise, George Eads, Wendy Phillips, Jay Baker, April Bogenschutz, Randall Taylor, Margo Moorer, Maury Covington, Rand Hopkins, Angela Mills, Joe Wilkins, Geoff McKnight, Adam Crosby, Suzanne Stewart, Michael Montgomery, David De Vries.

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