Call it "Desperate Husbands" or "Desperate CEOs," ABC's "Big Shots" (10 tonight, WTAE) is a light-hearted, comedic drama about four wealthy guys with women troubles and work problems.
Duncan (Dylan McDermott, "The Practice") is CEO of a cosmetics company with a headstrong daughter and an ex-wife (Paige Turco) he still has sex with in wine cellars.
Brody (Christopher Titus, "Titus") is a crisis manager who lives in fear of his wife.
Karl (Joshua Malina, "The West Wing") is an unlikely adulterer whose mistress wants to be treated like his wife.
James (Michael Vartan, "Alias"), the most upstanding of the guys, works in the executive ranks of AmeriMart, a national store chain.
Tonight's premiere is a fast-paced romp through country club parties as each of the guys faces trials and tribulations. Brody must plan his demanding wife's birthday party, James learns a secret his wife (Wendy Moniz, "The Guardian") has been keeping, Karl lives in fear that his affair will be found out, and an indiscretion from Duncan's past comes back to haunt him.
Written by Jon Harmon Feldman ("Reunion") and directed by Charles McDougall ("Desperate Housewives"), "Big Shots" appears to be an unlikely companion to the female-skewing "Grey's Anatomy." Some critics have even called it misogynistic (I disagree), but I suspect ABC has research that shows women loved watching these mostly harmless bad boys misbehave, otherwise executives wouldn't have given it the post-"Grey's" time slot.
Perhaps ABC is betting women will enjoy the glimpse inside the secret lives of men, even if one of them, Brody, spends a lot of time complaining about his wife ("This woman tolerates no dissent," he says. "It's like being married to Dick Cheney"), but ultimately, Brody does right by her.
"Big Shots" may be no more realistic than "Grey's" or "Desperate Housewives," but fans of ABC's other light drama may be inclined to give it a shot.