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CBS hopes viewers attend its new 'The Class' serialized sitcom

UPI News Service, 09/18/2006 

CBS hopes viewers respond favorably to its sitcom "The Class," the serialized narrative that debuted Monday.

The sitcom uses a large cast to tell an involved story over a long time, the New York Daily News said Monday. While that worked for last season's successful "How I Met Your Mother,""The Class" doesn't have the benefit of Neil Patrick Harris' breakout performance as smarmy Barney.

"The Class," with eight regular cast members, is from "Friends" co-creator David Crane and new writing partner Jeffrey Klarik. It stars Jason Ritter, son of the late John Ritter and formerly in "Joan of Arcadia," as Ethan, a romantic pediatrician who reunites his third-grade class to mark the 20th anniversary of meeting his fiancee, the Daily News said. During the surprise party, she dumps him.

Several characters evoke memories of other sitcoms, notably "Cheers," "Joey" and "Friends," the newspaper said. Veteran sitcom director James Burrows creates a pace similar to Friends.

CBS sent the first three episodes for preview, the newspaper said. The plots and some performances make a good impression -- but not necessarily the right impression for a show leading off prime-time viewing, it said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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