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"Beggars and Choosers"

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Michael Ritchie directs the two-hour premiere of Beggars and Choosers (Saturday, June 19; 10 p.m. to midnight; Showtime), a new hour-long twenty-part series about the unholy terrors of network television, executive-produced by Peter Lefcourt and Lilly Tartikoff from an idea by the late Brandon Tartikoff. While it's not as witty as Sports Night, it's got Brian Kerwin as the head of programming whose world is falling apart, Isabella Hofman as his loyal wife, Carol Kane as the widow-in-waiting of a company owner in a coma after a night with handcuffs and a transvestite, William McNamara, Paul Provenza, Keegan Connor Tracy, cameo appearances by Stuart Margolin and Bea Arthur, and more cell phones than brain cells. I particularly like the idea of a late-night series called Unregistered Nurses, whose cast sing Gilbert & Sullivan in their underwear.


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