COMEDY SERIES "Welcome to the Family"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres tonight at 8:30 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT He's the hardscrabble valedictorian (Joseph Haro). She's the pampered slacker (Ella Rae Peck). They're unexpectedly pregnant. And, wooo, boy, these teens' parents haven't even met yet.

When the dads (Ricardo Chavira, Mike O'Malley) do cross paths, unaware of imminent in-law status, it's instant dislike. The moms (Justina Machado, Mary McCormack) stand by helplessly. The kids' true love means everybody has to learn to get along, and the dim daughter has to learn the difference between patriotic, parochial and patriarchal. Which task is worse?

MY SAY Sometimes it's hilarious when family members collide and clash. (Change channels to see CBS' "The Millers.") Sometimes it's just contrived and lifeless, despite every effort to grease the gears.

"Welcome to the Family" plays like some "inspired" notion of a "cross-cultural" "modern" "single-camera comedy," and no, those quotes aren't typos. This feels like "funny" by focus group, one composed of cloistered network executives. We'll make the smart kid a poor inner-city Latino! We'll cast the well-to-do father with working-class comic O'Malley! He'll say things like "Take her hand, you've already had all the other parts"!

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BOTTOM LINE Bye-bye to this "family."

GRADE D