Not Mary Tyler Moore, not Marlo Thomas, not even the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes could manage to get "Marie," an ABC sit-com pilot, off the ground. Marie Osmond, talented but definitely no diva, is therefore not so much the star as the stranded victim of this arch lark, at 8:30 tonight on Channel 7.
"An Osmond Production," the show starts off like a parody of a career-girl sit-com. There's Marie, posed against Manhattan locations, while a chorus assures her that "sooner or later, you're gonna make it, sooner or later, you're gonna be a star."
What follows is like "Laverne and Shirley" without Laverne, without Shirley, even without "and." The ingredients thrown together by writers Norman Paul and Joe Bonaduce couldn't possibly be more achingly familiar. or less imaginative.
The Marie character, an aspiring actress who is written more dumb than cute, has two mail-order roommates. One is a vain neurotic and the other a stock sassy black who says things like "Get off your backside, turkey." Most shameless of all is a lamely adorable Peurto Rican tyke from next door.
Like many TV ventures, this one was produced in hope of just getting by -- not of being great, not of taking the world by storm, not of trying anything remotely new. Never has just getting by been made more lucrative than in television, but you have to draw the line some place. "Marie" doesn't even get by.