By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Mar 30, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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My DVR is set to record tonight's installment of NBC's "Parenthood" at 9 p.m. on Channel 4. 

But this may just be the last time.

I really wanted to like Ron Howard's remake of his 1989 big-screen movie. Which was first remade into a short-lived TV show in 1990.

That history alone caused some worries about the show, but Howard's name usually means quality.

And the lead parent in this third-generation "Parenthood," Peter Krause, is an interesting actor to watch. His Adam Braverman, was Gil Buckman in the earlier versions, played by Ed Begley Jr. in the first TV show, and Steve Martin in the big-screen movie.

OK, enough of the history. This is the present, and the show's full of interesting performers, like Krause, Lauren Graham and Craig T. Nelson.

Sadly, in this case, Graham is reliving her "Gilmore Girls" days, hyper-actively mugging for the camera. Here, she doesn't have an Alexis Bledel to balance her performance.

And Krause, in the crucial role of a dad discovering that his youngest son has Asperger's Syndrome,  just doesn't seem to get it, no matter how many times it's explained to him.

But the biggest problem with "Parenthood" is the falseness of the family structure. Don't these grownups have friends?

Even in close families, there are circles of relationships that barely touch other members of the family. But, here, everything is interrelated. Heck, the extended family, from Craig T. Nelson down to the youngest kid, goes swimming together.

It's weirdly out of sync with modern life, and feels like it's planted in the time period of the original -- two decades ago.

You can say much the same thing about the already-established "Modern Family" on ABC. But that half-hour comedy -- the best new sitcom in a while -- works, because it's constructed like a documentary about modern families. That structure, naturally, focuses attention of the various family groups.

"Parenthood," on the other hand, is constructed like a big, unwieldy 1990s sitcom, out of tempo with modern TV. You expect Swoosie Kurtz's character from NBC's old "Sisters" to drop by.

Still, I'll watch at least one more time, hoping for more.

Media people to watch: After nearly four weeks off due to his father's illness and death, Keith Olbermann has returned to his regular nightly "Countdown" spot on MSNBC. It airs at 7 p.m. weeknights.

  • Former Milwaukee Journal and Journal Sentinel religion reporter Marie Rohde, who took a buyout and left the newspaper last summer, is using her experience covering pedophile priests to freelance for the Chicago Tribune.
  • Milwaukee native CJ Moebius'  new film, "Laid Off,"  was screened at the Method Fest independent film festival in Calabasas, Calif., over the weekend. The festival focuses on acting. Moebius stars in the comedy directed by John Launchi.
  • Milwaukee Public TV will air Madison-based journalist John Nichols' 2010 Zeidler Memorial Lecture, "Promise of Public-Good Journalism," at 3 and 10 p.m. Sunday on Channel 36. Nichols writes for the Madison Capital-Times and The Nation. Nichols' talk focused on Milwaukee socialist editor and politician Victor L. Berger.
  • NPR/Fox News pundit Juan Williams speaks on "The Changing Faces of U.S. Politics" at 7 p.m. April 6 in the Union University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Wisconsin Room. Here's where to find ticket information.

A gift from Showtime: Showtime is offering an edited version of  the April 11 season premiere of "The Tudors" online.

HBO did the same thing with "The Pacific," but didn't keep it available for too long. So, don't put off watching it if you don't have access to Showtime.

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.