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This weekend on TV: Utah’s ‘Andi Mack’ is good; ‘The Son’ is promising; and 1 of 3 new reality shows is worth checking out

First Published      Last Updated Apr 07 2017 11:57 am

The Disney Channel comes to Utah beginning tonight … although it never actually says that it's here.

The cable channel's charming new sitcom "Andi Mack" (6:30 p.m., DirecTV & Dish; 9:30 p.m., Comcast) was produced here. Locals will recognize everything from Liberty Park to Wasatch Junior High to downtown Magna … although the show is set in a fictional city and never specifies the state.

(For much more on the Utah-based production, click here.)

As for "Andi Mack" itself, it's a winner. It centers on the title character (newcomer Peyton Elizabeth Lee), who's about to turn 13. Andi and her family are knocked off balance when her free-spirited older sister, Bex (Lilan Bowden), returns after being away for many years.

The premise of the series is that Andi's life goes from routine to roller coaster overnight as she navigates growing up.

It's funny. The cast is winning, particularly Lee. And, while it's aimed at kids and tweens, it tackles some serious issues. And this is a show that parents can watch with their kids — and actually be interested in the show.

Here's hoping "Andi Mack" returns to Utah for Season 2 … and beyond.

• On Saturday, it's the premiere of "The Son" (10 p.m., AMC). Pierce Brosnan stars in this promising new Western series that's sort of "Dallas" set several decades earlier.

Brosnan plays Eli McCullough who — we learn in flashbacks — was kidnapped by Comanches when he was a teenager in 1849. In the show's present — 1915 — Eli is the patriarch of an cattle-ranching empire in Texas, and he's looking to expand into oil. And he's put his family on the path to a major conflict with his Mexican neighbors.

This could be fun.

On Friday tonight, three reality shows premiere.

• "The Toy Box" (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) is pretty much "Shark Tank" with kids as the sharks, evaluating people's toy inventions. ABC is hoping we'll be entranced by cute kids, but the show just isn't that good.

• "First Dates" (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) is a rather dumb-sounding idea that works. Cameras follows several first dates in the same restaurant at the same time, and it's surprisingly engaging.

• "You the Jury" (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13) looks like a cheesy daytime show misplaced in prime time. Fox News' Jeanine Pirro hosts as high-profile attorneys argue real-life civil cases — the first is a wrongful death suit and the defendant is suspected of killing a woman. And then viewers vote on a verdict. It's lame exploitation.

Friday on TV ...

• NBA (7 p.m., ROOT): Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz

• "MacGyver" (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Mac poses as a psychopath to save a tech analyst targeted for murder.

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