Picks and Pans Review: A Family for Joe

updated 04/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Saturdays, 8 P.M. ET)
Grade: C-

A few months ago NBC aired a gentle, two-hour comedy pilot starring Robert Mitchum as a crusty tramp who is bribed by four newly orphaned kids to pose as their grandfather so they won't be placed in foster homes. Now that it has gone series, the show and Joe have been transformed.

Mitchum's scruffy hobo has become an utterly bourgeois gentleman Gramps. The fresh-faced kids, except for the youngest (Jessica Player), have been recast with old pros like David Lascher, 17, and the tinny laugh track has been turned up beyond bearing. There's even a goofy next-door neighbor (Barry Gordon). The only good news is that Mitchum, who would seem to be a sitcom liability, turns out to be fairly spry.

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