Picks and Pans Review: Better Off Ted

updated 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC, March 18, 8:30 p.m. ET |

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Jay Harrington (Desperate Housewives, Private Practice) stars as Ted, head of research and development for a weird, somewhat sinister corporation called Veridian Dynamics. One typical company project, ordered up by his willful but not necessarily brilliant boss (Portia de Rossi), involves redeveloping a pumpkin into a weapon. The show, which is shiny and brisk, nonetheless suggests The Office combined with Fringe—such an odd mutation, you can't help wondering whether it should have left the test tube.

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