- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saved’ needs help

TNT hopes to build on its hit original series “The Closer” by bringing us into the world of emergency medical technicians.

Tom Everett Scott, a young journeyman best known for “That Thing You Do!,” takes the lead in the network’s new drama drenched with unmet potential.

“Saved” debuts at 10 tonight in a commercial-free airing.

Mr. Scott’s Wyatt Cole is the son of a famous doctor who lacks the discipline to make it through medical school. Instead, he saves lives as an EMT along with his hard-luck sidekick Sack (Omari Hardwick).

Wyatt could use a little saving himself. He’s a gambling addict whose fear of commitment costs him the heart of his medical school sweetheart.

It’s all billboard emotions, but Mr. Scott seems capable of delivering much more. He’s deliberately scruffy but has a rogue’s charm that shines through one shallow scene atop another.

The opening episode’s subplot involving a dazed 7-year-old and his junkie guardians all but rips out our heartstrings. By the time we meet the lad again his situation has worsened immeasurably while we hear Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” playing in the background.

The supporting players barely register, though Mr. Hardwick catches our attention when he tries to give Wyatt some heartfelt advice.

We’re talking cable, so expect a naked buttocks and a few obligatory curse words sprinkled throughout the hour.

The design wrinkle here is the flashback montages whenever Wyatt arrives at the scene. We see the poor guy or girl sprawled on the floor, and then the show reveals the last few hours of the person’s life in staccato bursts that led to their current state.

As gimmicks go, it’s not half bad. If only the rest of the show were so novel.

Minor ‘Dance’ craze

Summer’s here and the television pickings are getting slimmer.

Wednesday’s broadcast of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” scored 10.4 million viewers, Reuters news agency reports, citing Nielsen Media Research figures. The show snared a 4.2 rating or a 12 share in the adults 18 to 49 demographic.

CBS’ 8 p.m. summer original “Game Show Marathon” (6.9 million, 1.9/6) was a low-scorer for the Tiffany network, and an equally low point for former “Saturday Night Live” star Tim Meadows. The solid comic actor was reduced to squatting in a baby’s crib for one sequence on the nostalgia-laced game show program.

NBC ran second for the night behind Fox with two hours of “Dateline” capped by a “Law & Order” repeat, which added up to 7.8 million viewers and 2.8/8. ABC was in the dead zone with repeats of “George Lopez,” “Freddie” and “Lost” and a fresh 10 p.m. installment of defunct drama “Commander in Chief” yielding a nightly average of (4.5 million, 1.5/4). CBS took the 10 p.m. hour with an encore of “CSI: NY” (9.3 million 2.7/8).

For the night Fox sashayed to victory with an average of 8.2 million viewers and 3.3/10 in adults 18 to 49.

Wonder no more

Curious about the newly formed CW network? Viewers can get a glimpse of the channel’s debut schedule by going online.

Visitors to Yahoo’s television Web page — https://tv.yahoo.com/feature/fall_preview_cw.html — can watch clips from two new shows and see the fall lineup in total. Among new offerings Web surfers can sample are “The Game” and “Runaway.” The former follows the wives of several professional football players, while the latter stars Donnie Wahlberg as a father falsely accused of murder.

The CW, which bows this fall, is the result of WB and UPN merging. Among the shows from the two networks that survived the merger include “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Smallville” and “Gilmore Girls.”

Yahoo’s television Web page also offers glimpses of the other network’s fall schedules.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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