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Sherri Shepherd shines in her Lifetime sitcom, 'Sherri'

From left, Sherri Shepherd, Kali Rocha and Elizabeth

From left, Sherri Shepherd, Kali Rocha and Elizabeth Regen star in the all-new comedy series "Sherri" premiering Monday, October 5, at 7pm ET/PT, on Lifetime Television. Credit: Lifetime Television

Regardless how whack-a-doodle Sherri Shepherd comes off on "The View," she's always been an entertaining comedic actress, often elevating lesser material ("The Wedding Bells," "Less Than Perfect"). She does it again and to an even greater extent in "Sherri," a series built around her persona.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Shepherd stars as a version of herself: Sherri Robinson, a divorced single mother with one foot in the entertainment business (there are mentions of guest spots on "30 Rock," which Shepherd has done) and the other working part-time as a paralegal (this is where the fiction comes in). Presumably, this Sherri is not on "The View."

In Sherri's regular office job, she gossips with friends and endures a well-meaning but brittle boss (Kali Rocha). Sherri also nurses a broken heart since her husband cheated on her.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner guest stars as Sherri's ex-husband, who compounds his original sin in tonight's premiere episode. The strong guest cast in the premiere also includes James Avery ("Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") as Sherri's father and Michael Boatman ("China Beach," "Spin City") as a potential suitor.

BOTTOM LINE

This low-budget show has the feel of a comedy that would have aired in prime time on ABC in the late '80s or '90s. If you're looking for a smart, brain-massaging sitcom, watch NBC's Thursday night lineup. If you're just seeking a few (sometimes cheap) laughs, "Sherri" provides.

GRADE

B

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