'The Round Table' is attractive to young adults

September 18, 1992|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Television Critic

How many times have you read or heard the phrase "twentysomething ensemble drama" and the name Aaron Spelling since the new season started?

Sorry about this, but "The Round Table" is a twentysomething you-know-what from you-know-who. This one is set in Georgetown, and it features young professionals, most of whom are starting careers in fields related to law enforcement.

There's Devereaux Jones (Pepper Sweeney), a naive Secret Service agent; Jennifer Clemente (Roxann Biggs), a rookie prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office; Mitchell Clark (Thomas Breznahan), a Justice Department attorney; Wade Carter (Erik King), a rookie police officer; and Rhea McPherson (Stacy

Haiduk), who wants to quit her job on the Washington newspaper her mother owns and become an F.B.I. agent.

There are others -- a senator's aide and a bartender, to name two -- who are members of a group of friends that regularly gathers at a Georgetown restaurant and bar called the Round Table.

In general, I like the twentysomething you-know-whats. I'm crazy about "Melrose Place." I'm almost as crazy about "The Heights." Wait until you see "Class of '96" next month.

But, of all the shows, "The Round Table" is the one with the weakest pilot. At the end of the two hours, the only characters that seem worth returning for next week are Jennifer and Rhea and, maybe, Danny Burke (David Gail), the bartender, who lives with Jennifer, the attorney.

Still, for recent college graduates making the transition from school to careers and relationships with the institutions that employ and define them, this series could become must-viewing. And that is an audience so coveted by advertisers that "The Round Table" could be a "hit" without ever cracking the Top 50.

Note to viewers of all ages: Because of the Orioles' game, WMAR Channel 2 will pre-empt 'The Round Table" tonight and air it instead at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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