Last night ABC unveiled their ostensible Desperate Housewives replacement, a Southern hiss-fest called GCB, which is short for the unmentionable (on ABC at least) Good Christian Bitches. Yes, it's a show about grownup mean girls who go to church and all the wacky things they do to each other. This isn't shocking stuff, but it's certainly entertaining.

Though some groups might complain otherwise, at this point there's nothing terribly bold about poking fun at religious piety and hypocrisy and all that stuff. We've seen it in Altar Boyz, in Saved, in a million other things that tweak Evangelical mores with an "aren't we scandalous" giggle. The joke is kinda creaky and old at this point, but oh well. This show, based on a popular book, is from Robert Harling, the guy who brought us the utterly corn-pone and wonderful for it Steel Magnolias, so what could we really expect? Holy rolling Southern ladies doing bitchy things despite their outward Christliness is fun! It's a good old basic time, and so GCB is mostly successful. It's not going to flip too many wigs, it's far more tame than its fringe-y boycotts would suggest, but for easy Sunday night nonsense you could do a lot worse.

The story follows a former high school queen bitch (the ever-appealing Leslie Bibb) who returns home to Dallas after her Madoffian husband drives off the road while getting serviced by his mistress on the PCH. Naturally her return to Texas gets her former high school victims/adversaries in a snit, especially the new ringleader, a plastic-surgeried busybody played by glowing perk-machine Kristin Chenoweth. Conflict and jealous immediately arises and the show gets busy, and for romantic intrigue and eye candy purposes there's an array of generically hunky husbands, one of which has the hots for Bibb's character, Amanda, while another is secretly gay. The husbands all sort of bleed together and form one square-jawed mass, but most guys on soaps tend to do that, so it's not really a problem. Meanwhile the ladies all have their little distinct bits of personality — one's a compulsive eater, one is a high-powered business lady, one's a secretly kind realtor, and one is Kristin Chenoweth. I'm not sure the blend worked quite right in last night's pilot episode, they didn't seem quite in sync or something, but that's likely something that can get ironed out over time. Bibb acquits herself nicely in a somewhat bland role (they give her some shading by making her newly sober, but that's about it) and Annie Potts, playing Amanda's wealthy sass-talkin' mother, is a cozy old hoot.

GCB goes down nice and easy and, one would think, its sweet-tart sensibility will resonate with audiences same as Desperate Housewives did when it premiered those many years ago. There's none of that show's darkness on display here, not yet at least, so maybe mystery-hungry viewers won't be interested, but we think that the show will find its crowd. We hope so, at least. If for no other reason than the fact that there are some likable actors employed on it who we'd like to see steadily working. That's awful Christian of us, right? Charity? Good will? Thinking of others? To tell you the truth, it's always been sort of unclear just what the C-word describes exactly. GCB doesn't offer any answers, but, eh, who the hell cares.