Posted Thursday, December 7, 2017 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
I spent time Monday on the Stone Mountain set of ABC’s new dramedy “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” and am well aware the show is trying to save itself from first-year cancellation. Its ratings (around 3 million overnight viewers) are not stellar. But ABC gave it three more episodes on top of the opening 13, less than the typical nine but more than zero.
There are more than 400 scripted shows released a year all over the place, leaving individuals precious little time to even sample more than a handful of new ones each year.
The primary reason to give this show a chance?
Jason Ritter. In his first starring role after stints on shows such as “Joan of Arcadia” and “Parenthood,” the late great John Ritter’s son brings goofiness, charm and likability to a role that under the wrong hands would come off as ham-handed and possibly creepy.
His character, who comes to his small hometown to stay with his twin sister after a suicide attempt, touches an asteroid and becomes one of 36 “righteous” souls ready to save the world, as the title suggests.
A “warrior of God”/spiritual advisor named Yvette – a celestial being of sorts that only he can see – shows up to help him to learn to be considerate and helpful to others as opposed to self-absorbed and inconsiderate. Eventually, he is tasked to find the other 35. Each episode, he is guided to give another person a hand, be it a down-and-out sales guy needing a new job or a bar owner’s son seeking new climes.
Ritter’s ability to do physical comedy comes straight from his dad, whose most famous role was as the loose-limbed, often tripped-up Jack Tripper on “Three’s Company.” And even when Kevin is screwing up or getting in trouble, it’s hard to hate him for it since it’s Ritter and how could you be mad at him? It helps that the one cop in town who has a regular role knows him and keeps cutting him a break.
So if you want a touch of “Touched By an Angel,” mixed with “Ed” and “Parenthood,” give “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” a whirl. It may not actually save the TV world but it’s a sweet diversion that won’t tax your brain too much and hopefully make you chuckle a time or two.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” 10 p.m. Tuesdays, ABC