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TUNED IN

'Life 360' Goes After Hip Crowd

September 12, 2002|MARK SACHS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Fans of ABC News' straight-talking "Nightline" program can check out the show's kookier cousin tonight at 10 on KCET.

"Life 360" is going after a younger, hipper demographic by slicing and dicing a single topic each week and then jazzing up the results with humor, computer graphics and a heaping helping of attitude. "Nightline" veterans Dan Morris and Michel Martin are on hand as executive producer and host, respectively, but what they've come up with is at best a mixed bag.

With "Money" the topic tonight, the show examines the inner workings of a kids' lemonade stand and takes us behind the scenes of an ad agency's marketing campaign. The latter segment purports to be a look at creating demand, but it's more about how to shoot a TV commercial. An interview with a financial expert, conducted in a pitch-black studio a la Charlie Rose, and a comedy sketch with the usually funny Jake Johannsen also fall a bit flat.

But correspondent Robert Krulwich's trip to a Las Vegas pawn shop just about saves the day. The owner has become a millionaire by servicing the short-handed as well as the truly desperate. He also possesses a mind-set only a pit boss could love.

"My son says I'm the only living heart donor," he admits with a chilly chuckle. "And they didn't put one back in."

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