TV review: Touch

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From the January 19, 2012 edition

Fox will present the pilot episode of one of its most anticipated new shows — because it stars Jack Bauer, I mean Kiefer Sutherland — weeks before it begins the regular weekly run because they want to give it an “American Idol” lead-in.

This is a wonderful idea, because “Touch” is an even more irritating attempt at tear-jerkery than the “You’re going to Hollywood” moments of “American Idol.” If you like watching teenagers cry when their wishes come true, you’ll love the schmaltziness of “Touch.”

From “Heroes” creator Tim Kring, “Touch” is being (incorrectly) marketed as a sci-fi show about an autistic 11-year-old, Jake (David Mazouz), who can foresee future events. Jake never speaks or lets anyone touch him, not even his dad Martin (Sutherland), whose wife — sniffle — died on 9/11.

The pilot devotes a lot of effort to get you to really, really care about the plight of this father and son, but the show comes off mostly empty … unless you think Randy Jackson’s “You killed it, dawg” is genuine enthusiasm.