Let's get the obligatory comparison out of the way: "Running Wilde" is no "Arrested Development."
Created by "Arrested" alums Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely and Will Arnett (who also stars), "Running Wilde" is part "Silver Spoons," part "Jeeves and Wooster," and part "Not A Great Television Series."
The premise: When super-rich, super-vain Steve Wilde is reacquainted with his former flame, an eco-lovin' single mother (Keri Russell of "Felicity" fame) who's been roughing it with a pygmy tribe, they, um... actually, that's pretty much it.
The buzz: Will Arnett is a national treasure, and his work as magaician/ne'er-do-well Gob on "Arrested Development" has had us praying for an Arnett starrer for years. And since an "Arrested" film seems to be less a reality as years pass (how have there been two "Sex and the City" films already?!), there's enough interest in Arnett reteaming with "Arrested Development" costar David Cross to capture our attention (though the two don't share a scene in the series premiere). This is just not the right vehicle for him.
The verdict: Has there ever been a funny television series about an environmentally-conscious person? We sure can't think of one off the top our admittedly TV-fried brains. "Wilde" is a shallow, by-the-numbers satire of stereotypes so cliche and played out they're practically fresh again. But not quite. The pilot serves up a weak comedic tea to be sure, but there's enough good will and "Richie Rich"-esque humor to keep us saving "Wilde" on our DVR for now.
Did you know? TV pilots often get retooled, and in the case of "Running Wilde," the role of Wilde's nanny swapped genders, from female to male, from the original pilot to the broadcast version of the series. Mrs. Doubtfire would be proud.
"Running Wilde" premieres Tuesday, September 21, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.