The new prime-time season features several funny comedies. NBC's "Emeril" is not close to being one of them.
With renowned super-chef Emeril Lagasse playing himself (not very well, curiously) as the star of a TV cooking show, this is sitcom anorexia, a thudding half-hour of broad nonsense from "Designing Women" creators Linda Bloodworth and Harry Thomason. What were they thinking?
The premiere (supplanting an equally bad pilot returned to the factory for retooling) has Emeril, his agent (Robert Urich) and TV staff (Lisa Ann Walter, Sherri Shepherd and Carrie Preston) getting all worked up after a visit from an obnoxious network executive (Tricia O'Kelley) they'd like to assassinate on the spot, a sentiment viewers probably will share.
She delivers the bad news: The network finds Emeril too chubby. The better news is that it's launching a monthlong weight-loss contest among its food shows, the winner to split $100,000. So bring on the exercise bikes and diets, and all the frustrations that come with slashing calories short term.