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NBC’s cartoon “Father of the Pride”

Through an Olympic-fueled ad campaign that seems just as likely to entice teenagers as their parents, NBC has been strenuously pushing its high-profile, high-risk cartoon Father of the Pride as an "adult" show. And yes, with its potty-mouthed pandas and randy lions, Pride certainly isn't children's entertainment however juvenile the humor may sometimes be.

Unfortunately, as even the Discovery Channel has discovered, you can only get so much entertainment mileage out of animal sex. Too grown up for children and too childish for adults, this impressively animated effort from the makers of Shrek is ultimately neither fish nor fowl nor lion.

Pride is the story of a family of showbiz lions: Larry (John Goodman); his wife, Kate (Cheryl Hines); and Kate's irascible father, Sarmoti (Carl Reiner). They and a wide assortment of animal friends, from some vain tigers to a chatty gopher (Orlando Jones), work for Las Vegas magicians Siegfried and Roy (voiced by Julian Holloway and Dave Herman).

Ah, yes, Siegfried and Roy, who epitomize the best and worst of Pride. As characters, they are the show's best: flashy, fiery, hilariously self-absorbed wizards who behave like the adopted children of Paul Lynde's Uncle Arthur from Bewitched. They come into their own in a much better upcoming episode when a spot on the Today show brings up Roy's vendetta against the "non-threatening good-looks Matt Lauer.", reports USA Today.

According to the Sun Francisco Chronicale, the network is also launching "Hawaii" on Wednesday night, believing, as NBC always does, that a bad Xerox of a marginal show ("Las Vegas") is better than expending energy coming up with something original. So we get boys being boys in paradise (Sharif Atkins, Ivan Sergei, Eric Balfour) and guess what? They just happen to be cool cops. Before you can say two degrees of "Miami Vice," you realize that as the television industry is now littered with gritty crime and punishment series, "Hawaii" is the supposed antidote. All that crime scene investigation? Bo-ring. Big city detectives dealing with raw reality? Yawn-a-roo. How about bikinis and smart-aleck dialog and -- hey, anybody got an old Detroit Lions baseball cap?

Unfortunately for NBC, where "Las Vegas" is all glitzy, pretty-cast nonsense with James Caan there lending some old-school gravitas, "Hawaii" isn't half as cool as "Hawaii Five-O," nor nearly as frothy fun as "Magnum P.I. " What it amounts to, in an ocean of really good cop shows across the dial, is a retro failure built around people you don't really care about saying stupid things you can't muster enough interest to snicker over.

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