Picks and Pans Review: Wiou

updated 10/29/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/29/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Wednesdays, 10 P.M. ET)

A-

Here's an intriguing can of worms: a look at a low-rated news operation at a penurious TV station (hence the ironic call letters of the title). A solid cast (Helen Shaver, Harris Yulin, Phil Morris, Joe Grifasi, Kate McNeil, Mariette Hartley, John Shea) portray characters who are mostly cynical and graspingly ambitious. The series pilot is pungent and darkly humorous. For instance, the staff's memorial to a beloved anchor who died on-camera is abandoned mid-sentence when overnight ratings come in. While the tone can be dauntingly insiderish, if the writing stays this sharp, the show ought to attract discriminating viewers. Should the World Series go to seven games, WIOU's premiere will be delayed a week.

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