Picks and Pans Review: Deadline

updated 08/05/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/05/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Wed., July 31, 10 P.M. ET)

C

The primary aim of television pilots, whether they succeed or fail (as this one did), is to be eye-catching. This slick miniflick, directed by Robert (Hill Street Blues) Butler, has the requisite energy but not enough to overwhelm a formulaic plot and egregiously artificial characters.

William (Wiseguy) Russ plays a dashing San Francisco TV reporter. Cheryl (Hull High) Pollak is his Harvard-Sorbonne-educated protégée.

For Russ, it's a faster talking version of the role he played in last year's quickly canceled Capitol News. But farfetched doesn't begin to describe this trench-coated crusader, who packs a pistol in his boot. Is this guy Geraldo or Bat Masterson?

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