Caren Weiner Campbell
June 11, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Physician, heal thyself: ”Relationship doctor” Carter Elston (Ritter) writes best-sellers about reigniting passion but doesn’t realize his glamorous wife (Sheridan) is terminally bored with him. At the gym, she learns of what you might call a ball-and-chain letter: a list, created and circulated by wives, of wealthy husbands in need of disposal. Will Carter get hip before he gets whacked? In Dead Husbands, a brisk black comedy first aired on the USA Network, director Paul Shapiro manages to make these homicidal socialites sympathetic, yet thankfully skirts the sisterhood-is-powerful sentimentality of The First Wives Club. Ritter pitches his character halfway between fatuous and shrewd, while Knots Landing vet Sheridan makes an appealingly evil schemer. B+

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