Martha MacIsaac

'1600 Penn' inherits 'Modern Family' comedic DNA

'1600 Penn' inherits 'Modern Family' comedic DNA

NBC is promoting "1600 Penn," a midseason sitcom from Baltimore native Jason Winer, as " 'Modern Family' meets 'The West Wing.' "

Forget "The West Wing" part.

After seeing three episodes, including the pilot that premieres with a sneak preview at 9:30 p.m. Monday, after "The Voice," I can tell you that this series is going to sink or swim as a family sitcom. And how much viewers like or don't like it as a family series is mainly going to depend on their reaction to Josh Gad, the Broadway star of "The Book of Mormon" who plays the screw-up son of the president of the United States (Bill Pullman).

The good news for a...