`Christine' finally may blunt role of Elaine in `Seinfeld'

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It is still hard to look at Julia Louis-Dreyfus and not see Elaine Benes, the zany character she played on Seinfeld for eight years (1990-1998). If there is a "Seinfeld curse" on members of that show's brilliant cast, it involves them having done such memorable work in the landmark NBC series that viewers have a hard time accepting them in non-Seinfeld roles.

That is part of the explanation for what went wrong with the heavily hyped Watching Ellie - a sitcom that was quickly canceled by NBC in 2002 when it became all too clear that few were watching Louis-Dreyfus in her new role as a nightclub singer. (There was also the matter of that absurd clock in the corner of the screen counting down the show in real time - as if getting to the club for her opening number was as important as Jack Bauer's saving America from terrorist attacks on Fox's 24.)

New Adventures of Old Christine airs at 8:30 and 9:30 tonight, WJZ (Channel 13)

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