People Magazine's Picks & Pans
by Terry Kelleher

Now and Again
CBS (Fridays, 9 p.m. ET)

Sure, this show is derivative. It derives from all over: The Six Million Dollar Man, Heaven Can Wait, Damn Yankees, James Bond. Action, romance, comedy, fantasy -- whatever creator Glenn Gordon Caron (Moonlighting) hath wrought here, it's stylish, clever and unpredictable.

In the September pilot, John Goodman played an insurance executive run over by a New York City subway train. The government harvested his brain and placed it in the newly built body -- sleek an super-strong -- of a secret agent (Eric Close) assigned to dangerous dirty work. But though Close is Goodman on the inside, his handler (a coolly condescending Dennis Haysbert) bars him from contacting Goodman's beloved wife (Margaret Colin) or befuddled best friend (Gerrit Graham). While Close is busy breaking that rule, he combats terrorism and other evils. I'd rather Goodman were present in more than spirit, but I'm too hooked to quibble.

Bottom Line: A little of everything, a lot of fun

November 1, 1999