"The Second Half" introduces stand-up comic John Mendoza as a likable slob of a Chicago sports columnist adjusting to his new lifestyle as a divorce. What the NBC premiere (at 9:30 tonight on Channels 4, 36 and 39) doesn't introduce, though, is enough sharp writing to sustain interest in him even for a half hour.
John Palmaro (Mendoza) lives in a virtually bare apartment next door to his sister, Denise (Jessica Lundy). His crisis of the moment is where to put his visiting daughters, teen-ager Cathy (Ellen Blain) and 9-year-old Ruth (Brooke Stanley), who arrive for the weekend unexpectedly. It's a crisis that doesn't generate much laughter.