Picks and Pans Review: The Afi Comedy Special

updated 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Wed., July 15, 10 p.m. ET)


After watching failed pilots on the air all summer—and anticipating, with some dread, the pilots that succeeded in getting onto the schedule this fall—I have to applaud any endeavor that will encourage new talent and spare us one more dumb show with dumb lines dumbly delivered. The American Film Institute's workshop for TV comedy writers is just such an honorable endeavor. Here are the early results: skits by four of the workshop's most promising writers, performed by TV biggies like John Larroquette, Jason Bateman and Kaye Ballard. We see two '80s tales about sons torn between family and high finance, one sitcom set in a shrink's office and one aggressively weird show about the early days of TV. There are good characters who have good lines, including a mother who hates children and calls cookie-pushing Girl Scouts "door-to-door creeps." In the whole hour there aren't quite enough good lines to make one really good half-hour sitcom. But it's a start, and not a bad one.

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