TV Reviews : Big Names, Few Sparks on 'Coast to Coast'

The star-struck concept behind the new episode of Showtime's "Coast to Coast" series (airing for the first time tonight at 10) doesn't sound that great on paper, and makes even less sense on the screen. Producer-director-writer Ken Ehrlich crammed the China Club stage with a bunch of big names on the day after the Grammys, apparently assuming that sparks would automatically fly. But the only real revelations are a singer-drummer named Vinx, and Sting's big hoop earring.

With bulky blues Buddha B.B. King serving as musical and visual anchor, and with host Herbie Hancock decreasing the excitement with every sputtering introduction, a parade of familiar faces comes and goes: Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby, Michael Bolton. Only Lou Reed and Rickie Lee Jones stand out from the pack, and the overcrowded jams yield few precious moments. When the finale spotlights actors (Michael J. Fox, Michael Keaton), "Coast to Coast" goes down around Barstow.

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