ABC's Sports Night is by far the best new series, and is perhaps the best new comedy in recent memory. Though to call it a comedy is not completely accurate. Sure, there's a laugh track and it's a half-hour show, but the issues and the delivery suggest drama. Call it the anti-Ally McBeal, an hour-long comedy that is often mistaken for a drama. Sports Night boasts smart, stylized writing and sharp dialogue, and it tackles tough issues. Though it's a behind-the-scenes look at a cable sports show, Sports Night has broad appeal, focusing as much on human interaction and relationships as it does the intricacies of producing a nightly show. The show, however, does not rate in the top 20. Similarly, the downright cute Cupid, in which Ellen's Jeremy Piven plays the title character, who has been exiled from Mount Olympus and sent to earth to unite 100 couples, is another critical success for the network. But its position couldn't be much worse: Saturday at 10 p.m., after the dark and dull Fantasy Island. Cupid had better get busy else he'll never make it home. That same slot almost killed The Practice, but ABC gave it another chance on a different night, and look what happened ? it ended up grabbing the Best Drama Emmy. There may be hope for the romantic after all.
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