Entertainment

The dog is the best part of Kyra Sedgwick’s ‘Call Your Mother’

The most memorable character on “Call Your Mother” is a cute, cuddly golden retriever — which speaks volumes about the show’s chances going forward.

ABC’s new sitcom, premiering Wednesday at 9:30 p.m., doesn’t offer much in terms of originality or laughs.

Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) stars as a textbook “helicopter mom” and hits all the right scripted notes, but “Call Your Mother” doesn’t distinguish itself from its hundreds of like-minded predecessors (including the canned laughter, always a notch below amped-up in-studio audience whooping — but that might’ve been a COVID-era necessity). ABC made only the premiere available for review — so it’s hard to say if things get better — but, for now, “Call Your Mother” plays as a generic, cookie-cutter sitcom. Given the state of broadcast TV, which is losing viewers hand over fist, that’s not promising.

Sedgwick plays Jean Raines, an oversharing widow living in Iowa, far from her twentysomething kids who’ve relocated to LA: daughter Jackie (Rachel Sennott) and her younger brother Freddie (Joey Bragg from Disney Channel’s “Liv & Maddie”), who develops video games. Jean is an inveterate worrier, so when she doesn’t hear from Freddie for several days, she decides to fly out California to check up on him — triggering the series’ plotline.

Once she arrives in California, Jean settles into a Airbnb-type cottage rented by a divorced-with-kids Australian therapist, Danny (Patrick Brammal), who owns the aforementioned golden retriever. They’re attracted to each other, so you can see where this is going. Meanwhile, Jean discovers that Freddie is fine (it’s a sitcom, after all) but is clearly staking his claim to a modicum of independence and is dating an uptalking, hands-fluttering millennial social media influencer (Emma Caymares). Jackie, meanwhile, has broken up with her longstanding boyfriend and is involved with her much-older boss — information Jean finds out from Jackie’s gossipy roommate, Lane (Austin Crute).

ABC’s new sitcom, “Call Your Mother,” premieres Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.ABC

And that pretty much sums up “Call Your Mother,” which was created by Kari Lizer, who also created NBC’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Each member of the cast, from Sedgwick to Sherri Shepherd (who appears briefly), brings a strong resume to the project, including Broadway veteran Caymares — who played Veruca Salt and Wendy in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Finding Neverland” — and Brammall, who stars in/executive-produces the CBS All Access series “No Activity,” renewed for a fourth season (and switching from live-action to animation).

But they’re stuck in the unforgiving land of a one-dimensional network sitcom with nowhere to go in the series premiere — a barren valley of formulaic television we’ve seen too many times before.