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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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| Courtesy Ben Koldyke, Cooper Roth, Kennedy Waite, James Caan, Griffin Gluck, Maggie Lawson, J.J. Totah and Lenora Crichlow star in the new ABC comedy “Back in the Game.”
Review: Uneven "Back In the Game" fouls one off

ABC's Back In the Game (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 4) is sort of an update of "The Bad News Bears." Sort of.

Terry Jr. (Maggie Lawson) is a former softball star whose life hasn't turned out the way she'd hoped. As this sitcom begins, she's forced to move back in with Terry Sr. (James Caan), her incredibly unpleasant, irascible father.

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She is not alone, however. Terry Jr. is the single mom of Danny (Griffin Gluck), a nice kid who doesn't live up to Terry Sr.'s expectations any more than Terry Jr. did. Mostly because he's not a good baseball player.

Terry Jr. takes on the macho dads who coach their kids' baseball teams and say things like, "I wish I was 12 so I could punch him" when Danny misplays a fly ball.

Terry Jr. is better at baseball than those idiot dads and - here's the "Bad News Bears" thing - she agrees to coach a team of misfits.

"Back In the Game" is about as uneven as it can be in its first half hour. Terry Jr., Danny and a few of the other characters are likable; Terry Sr. and a few of the other characters are beyond unlikable - they're just unpleasant.

It's hard to say which way this show is going. There are possibilities here - but there's also the possibility that this could totally strike out.



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