George Lopez as George and Olga Merediz as Alma in...

George Lopez as George and Olga Merediz as Alma in "Saint George" pilot: "Won't Get Fooled Again." (Airs at 9 p.m. EST Thursday, March 6 on FX.) Credit: FX / Byron Cohen

THE SERIES "Saint George"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. on FX.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This isn't your mami's George Lopez sitcom -- you know, the semi-clueless husband/dad with the hot young wife, the insult-comic mama and ragged relatives hanging around his middle-class patio for family foibles.

No, this is your papi's George Lopez sitcom -- the semi-clueless divorced guy with the hot young ex-wife, the insult-comic mama and ragged relatives hanging around his upwardly mobile great room, engaged in sexting, when they aren't hitting bars inviting pepper spray.

Guess that's what happens when you move from ABC to FX.

The amiable stand-up comic now plays an entrepreneur behind the country's "fifth- largest energy drink," which he hawks on TV with baseball's Albert Pujols. He also teaches night school, where he plays hard-to-get with his hot-to-trot boss (Diana Maria Riva), whose girth snidely baits the famed George Lopez eye-roll: "That's a lot to ask Spandex to do."

MY SAY The pilot's script is a lot to ask a sitcom to do, also introducing the blonde-babe ex and their red-haired nebbish son. Who reminds George of his own fat childhood. Which he can't forget anyway, with constant ribbing from his sex-crazed cousin Junior and uncle Tio (duh), played respectively by "Dexter's" David Zayas and "Machete Kills" meanie Danny Trejo, both of whom deserve better.

But so does Lopez, who during the course of his 2000s ABC series (now being repeated on Nick at Nite) developed into a well-suited sitcom star. Too bad TV seems all out of live-audience mojo. There's no authentic life to "Saint George" beyond the setup/joke/laugh formula and its witless, gamy punchlines.

It has to be hard to hang with the likes of Charlie Sheen, whose "Anger Management" now follows Lopez in FX's Thursday lineup. And sure, the channel's demographic sweet spot is young men. But, c'mon. This is the best a "saint" can do?

BOTTOM LINE Must be a guy thing.


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