Ken Tucker
October 15, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It looks as if the people behind Family Album (CBS, Fridays, 8:30-9 p.m.), cocreators Marta Kaufman and David Crane (Dream On), took early reviews that said the sitcom was too loud and abrasive all too much to heart; subsequent episodes have been quieter and blander. Given a choice, I’d have taken loud and abrasive—at least then the show’s talented stars, Pamela Reed and Newhart‘s Peter Scolari, might have been able to work up a good comic froth now and then.

Stuck here as parents who have recently moved from California to suburban Philadelphia, Reed and Scolari are little more than intelligent-looking straight people to two sets of in-laws and three children. The kids aren’t bad: In particular, Chris Miranda, as 11-year-old Jeffrey, is an amusing little fellow obsessed with TV and old movies; and Ashlee Levitch (I’ll Fly Away), as 15-year-old Nicki, is an all-purpose teenage brat performed with so much zest that you don’t even dislike her.

The rest of the time, though, just about the only thing this show gets right is the extent to which people who relocate anywhere from California quickly realize they’ve made a big mistake. C

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