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FALL TV PREVIEW: New series -- Big Shots (ABC)

Big Shots: Presenting the ABCs of CEOs from four BFFs.

Premiering: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. (central) on ABC
Starring: Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina, Peyton List, Paige Turco, Jessica Collins, Amy Sloan, Nia Long
Created by: Jon Harmon

"The rich are different from you and me," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"Track down the 'tranny,' " say the very rich men of Thursday's only new series.

ABC is very into wealth with its two new 9 p.m. dramas this fall. "Trannys," too. Both Dirty Sexy Money and Big Shots trade heavily on lucre and transvestites, long hand for that word rhyming with granny.

Big Shots, fronted by Dylan McDermott (The Practice), is supposed to provide a peephole into what it means to be a man these days. It'll be easier to relate if you're also a fabulously wealthy Manhattan-based CEO. Which means that relatability is not one of Big Shots' strong suits.

McDermott plays Duncan Collinsworth, head of Reveal Cosmetics. He's first seen having hot sex with his ex-wife, with both enjoying it more now that they're not married. But their 19-year-old daughter, Cameron (Peyton List), can't stand him. Calls him Duncan rather than dad.

Duncan's three musketeers are Brody Johns (Christopher Titus), Karl Mixworthy (Joshua Malina) and James Walker (Michael Vartan). Respectively they're the CEOs of Alpha Crisis Management, Fidelity Pharmaceuticals and Amerimart Industries. Only Walker doesn't know this quite yet. He's just been sacked by Amerimart's potentate during the course of a posh party. But then a golf cart carrying a fresh load of jumbo shrimp runs him down and kills him. Big Shots doesn't place a premium on overall believability. Or likeability.

Dweeb-ish, married Karl, the most accessible character of the bunch, is enjoying clandestine sex with the bountiful Marla (Jessica Collins). But she's a bit jealous of his every move with wife Wendy (Amy Sloan). So on this show she makes a modicum of sense when asking, "What kind of a man would be so deceitful as to lie to the woman he's cheating on his wife with?"

Smart ass Brody is married, too, but feels "whipped" and manipulated by an unseen spouse who seems more interested in the perfect pastries for parties than sex. Ah, but he loves her -- and occasionally gets lucky.

And true-blue James is crushed after deducing that his wife had been sleeping with the aforementioned dead bossman. Hey, no fair! Only guys get to have affairs. "I may be leaving, but I'm not the one who walked out," he huffs.

All of this kafuffle comes to a head in a luxurious steam room/pool where the four mates have gathered. An actual black man can be fleetingly seen swimming past them before Duncan sends out the show's all-points bulletin: "Men. We're the new women."

That's pretty much a load of crap coming from these guys. But lest we forget the "tranny," he/she hooked up with Duncan at a truck stop in the dark when he was "lonely." Then cops pulled a Larry Craig on him in a men's room stall. So they've got to "track down the tranny" and pay her off. And so it goes.

Big Shots, to be successful, will somehow have to suck in the loads of women who watch the preceding Grey's Anatomy on ABC. That's not an impossible dream, although a ratings nightmare seems like a better bet.

Meanwhile, most of us other men out here would like you to know we're not a lot like these guys. It's just that you'll have to settle for takeout from Louie's Chinese instead of dinner at La Cost-A-Plenty. The house in the Hamptons is out, too. But surely you'll understand.

Grade: C