CBS hoping for big, fat 'Greek' ratings

Monday, February 24, 2003

Will the viewers who made "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" the highest-grossing independent movie of all time show up week after week to watch the new sitcom "My Big Fat Greek Life" (8:30 p.m., CBS)?

"Greek" writer and star Nia Vardalos reprises her role in this sitcom about two newlyweds adjusting to married life while still surrounded by her affectionate and eccentric Greek-American family. Many of the stars of the film, including Michael Constantine, Lainie Kazan and Andrea Martin, return as well. The big casting change involves Nia's husband, played here by Steven Eckholdt ("It's Like, You Know...") instead of John Corbett, who starred in the film.

The popularity of "Greek Wedding" is no guarantee that this sitcom will thrive. Television history is littered with failed spin-offs of cult comedies. Remember the 1979 ABC "Animal House" clone "Delta House," which featured a not-yet-famous Michelle Pfeiffer? "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" inspired the short-lived 1985 CBS comedy "Fast Times," which ran for all of six weeks. The 1990 NBC comedy "Ferris Bueller" may not be memorable, but its co-star Jennifer Aniston later hit it big in "Friends." Of course, not every movie-to-TV transition flopped. Director Robert Altman's 1970 movie "MASH" inspired a show still considered to be among the best television comedies of all time.

Tonight's other highlights

Series notes

Anne Meara guest stars on "King of Queens" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Kevin may cancel the wedding on "7th Heaven" (7 p.m., WB).

Nobody believes Greg's tales of harassment on "Yes, Dear" (7:30 p.m., CBS) ... Haircut woes on "One on One" (7:30 p.m. UPN).

Jimmy and Eugene's client threatens Helen on "The Practice" (8 p.m., ABC) ... On back-to-back episodes of "Girlfriends" (UPN), William is smitten (8 p.m.), Joan lashes out (8:30 p.m.) ... Ephram accuses Andy of forgetting Mom on "Everwood" (8 p.m., WB) ... New evidence emerges in a politically charged case on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).

Late night

Steve Martin appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Rosie Perez on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).