Baby Bob

"Baby Bob" is about as mediocre as primetime television gets. It's neither awful nor good, and the concept -- a 6-month-old baby who talks -- seemed burned out when the third installment of "Look Who's Talking" required verbally adept pets.

With:
Walter - Adam Arkin Lizzy - Joely Fisher Sam - Elliott Gould Madeline - Holland Taylor Teala - Marissa Tait Baby Bob (voice) - Ken Campbell

“Baby Bob” is about as mediocre as primetime television gets. It’s neither awful nor good, and the concept — a 6-month-old baby who talks — seemed burned out when the third installment of “Look Who’s Talking” required verbally adept pets.

Bob sounds, as mom Lizzy (Joely Fisher) says, like a Chicago truck driver, which affects the inconsistent comedy. At times Bob is capable of questioning the philosophical nature of a bedtime story (not funny) and then is able to recount his baby behavior in detail — “I held a raisin for two seconds and then I dropped it and then I picked it up…” (funny).

Lizzy is a haggard mother, weary from a lack of adult interaction and insulting comparisons with her sister made by her mother Madeline (Holland Taylor from “The Practice”). Husband Walter (Adam Arkin), a public relations exec, has not lived up to the dreams of his father (Elliott Gould as a bellowing Sam) that he would grow up to be a newsman, just like dad.

Once Lizzy learns of Bob’s skills, she thinks she’s gone bonkers but quickly accepts the predicament. Walter argues against going public with this, thinking, of course, of a year spent in the tabloids. It allows the writers a chance to work with Bob’s speaking skills as a private joke rather than a public spectacle.

While the moving of Bob’s lips is relatively convincing, there’s an occasional continuity problem with the shot immediately after he ends a conversation. It’s cute enough that the folks who are going to buy into something like this will forgive. But the latest addition to CBS’ family triple bill on Mondays is a distant third to “King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Baby Bob

CBS, Mon. March 18; 8:30 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Viacom Prods. Executive producer, Michael Saltzman; co-executive producers, Craig Tanimoto, Rob Siltanen; director, Rob Schiller; writer, Michael Saltzman.

Crew: Director of photography, Ron Vargas; production designer, Scott Heineman; editors, Tucker Wiard, Skip Collector; music, Jon Ehrlich; casting, Jeff Greenberg. 30 MIN.

Cast: Walter - Adam Arkin Lizzy - Joely Fisher Sam - Elliott Gould Madeline - Holland Taylor Teala - Marissa Tait Baby Bob (voice) - Ken Campbell

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