Don't send a search party for 'Lost' sitcom

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

The first thing you notice on the new sitcom "Lost At Home" (8:30 p.m., ABC) is the kitchen. It's perfect. Did you ever wonder why all bad sitcoms take place in perfect houses outfitted with new and expensive appliances? The producers and set decorators behind funny, memorable comedies, including "The Honeymooners," "All in the Family," "Roseanne," "Seinfeld," "Frasier" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" went out of their way to create an atmosphere that reflected the attitudes and status of their characters. Can you imagine Ralph Kramden with a Sub Zero refrigerator and a Viking range? Folks on mediocre shows like "Lost" have to settle for living in a soulless showroom. The decor doesn't reflect anything about them because the writers didn't put much thought into the characters in the first place.

On "Lost at Home," we're supposed to believe that Michael Davis (Mitch Rouse) is a husband and father who has spent too much time at the office and has lost touch with his beautiful wife, Rachel (Connie Britton), and three kids, Will (Stark Sands), Sara (Leah Pipes) and Joshua (Gavin Fink). But with depressingly typical sitcom overkill, Michael isn't just out of touch -- he's completely vacant. He doesn't know where he should sit at the dinner table, he can't find the dishwasher (appliances again!), and he doesn't know the name of his daughter's friend. Homer Simpson is a more realistic father. Heck, coma victims are more in touch.

Tonight's other highlights

-- Drama continues on "American Idol" (7 p.m., Fox).

-- Jack risks Kate's life to find out more about the Cyprus tape on "24" (8 p.m., Fox).

-- A grade-school show-and-tell goes to pot on "Judging Amy" (9 p.m., CBS).

Series notes

A hero may be a heel on "JAG" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Paul bonds with his editor (Patrick Warburton) on "8 Simple Rules" (7 p.m., ABC) ... Aimee Mann performs on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (7 p.m., UPN).

Bo Diddley guest stars on a one-hour episode of "According to Jim" (7:30 p.m., ABC) ... Snobbery trumps charity on "Frasier" (8 p.m., NBC) ... Lynn's beau goes without on "Girlfriends" (8 p.m., UPN) ... Lionel's shooter remains a mystery on "Smallville" (8 p.m., WB) ... Shared birthdays on "Half & Half" (8:30 p.m., UPN).

Late night

Colin Farrell appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Marisa Tomei and Rob Zombie with Lionel Richie on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).