Picks and Pans Review: The Barefoot Executive

updated 11/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Sat., Nov. 11, 9 p.m. ET)

A-

This rollicking remake of the 1971 Disney feature film involves a classic concept: Your average chimpanzee knows more about what makes good television than all those Armani-clad Hollywood hotshots. Jason London takes on the Kurt Russell role as the ambitious network mail clerk. While courting a cute animal trainer (Terri Ivens), London discovers that her monkey Archie (played by 4-year-old chimp Eddy) has an unerring instinct for picking hit shows. By co-opting the animal's freakish ability, London is soon the toast of the Left Coast.

The film includes some marvelous supporting performances, particularly Chris Elliott as a dithering, bandwagon-hopping network boss and Julia Sweeney as Thelma, the vulgar, abrasive, overweight star of a hit sitcom. The plot combines a sweet romance with a biting, sustained satire of the TV biz (Elliott's prime-time schedule is full of such desperate formula fodder as Beach Cops and Maui Medical). This is a facile but quite winning TV movieā€”and I don't need some simian hairball to tell me that!

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