Last year ABC Family canceled its cute, comparatively subtle, single-camera comedy "10 Things I Hate About You." The network renewed multi-camera sitcom "Melissa & Joey," which returns tomorrow night at 8 followed by newcomer "State of Georgia" (8:30 p.m.).
And while there are some things to like about "Georgia" -- namely the return of actress Majanda Delfino, who's been largely MIA since the end of "Roswell" in 2002 -- in other respects it feels like a slightly more adult version of a Disney Channel sitcom. You know, the kind of show where the actors mistake being loud for being funny.
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"Georgia" star Raven-Symone is particularly guilty of an exaggerated acting style that borders on self-parody. She stars in the series as Georgia, an aspiring actress who lives with best friend Jo (Delfino) in the basement of her Aunt Honey's (Loretta Devine) apartment.
In this week's premiere, Georgia encounters a mean casting director who basically calls her fat. She frets about it and then tries to win him over by seducing him with fried chicken.
Delfino saves her scenes with Raven-Symone by allowing her quieter performance -- Jo is shy and nerdy -- to draw focus from her bombastic co-star. Scenes with Devine are a relief because her patented Devine-esque style shows how a larger-than-life performance can be compelling, not cartoony.
"State of Georgia" is executive produced by novelist Jennifer Weiner ("Good in Bed," "In Her Shoes"), which seems incongruent with the feeling of the show, which is bad-sitcom-lite. Weiner wrote the pilot with Jeff Greenstein ("Desperate Housewives") and there is some decent dialogue but it gets lost in the scenery chewing maw of the show's star.