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CSI: Crime scene imitators

Law-enforcement shows are very much in vogue this season

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The "CSI"-ing of television continues this fall — with a vengeance.

You knew it would happen when "CSI" emerged as the most-watched show on television. Network programmers have never been shy about trying to clone what works.

Which explains why there are so many so-called "procedural dramas" — programs all about the plot, where the characters take a back seat — all over the airwaves this fall.

Last year it was "CSI: Miami" and "Without a Trace." This year, CBS adds another show, ("Cold Case") from the producers of those shows; a "JAG" spinoff ("Navy NCIS") that's sort of a Navy version of "CSI"; and a show about undercover FBI agents ("The Handler"). And one of the three brothers in "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire" is the town's police chief.

Heck, even a show about a teenage girl who talks to God ("Joan of Arcadia") has a strong cop-show element — her father is the chief of police and, in the pilot, there's a serial killer on the loose.

Not that CBS is alone by any means. And not that all the clones are exact — law-enforcement shows of myriad hues are very much in vogue this season. ABC is adding "10-8," "Karen Sisco" and "Threat Matrix," and NBC will bring us "Las Vegas."

If you count returning cop (or law-enforcement) shows, there will be 23 on the Big Four networks this fall. Throw in legal dramas (including NBC's new "Lyon's Den") and that number jumps to 28 — more than 70 percent of the prime-time schedules on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

There are a few other shows, of course. Sitcoms haven't fared well recently, but there are a few worthy entries ("Two and a Half Men," "A Minute With Stan Hooper" and "I'm With Her") this fall.

And prime-time soaps are making a bit of a comeback with "Skin" and "The O.C" (which debuted over the summer) and semi-soapy shows like "One Tree Hill," "Tarzan" and (once again) "The Lyon's Den."

An encouraging trend is the one toward ethnic diversity. There are more shows featuring Hispanics in lead roles than ever before (including "The Ortegas," "Luis" and "Skin") and, perhaps more encouraging still, a bunch of shows with multiethnic casts (including "10-8," "Threat Matrix," "Navy NCIS," "Whoopi" and "Like Family.")

Here's a quick rundown on the new shows this fall on the Big Four networks, UPN and the WB. (And, no, we didn't forget Saturday — there are no new shows on that night.)


10-8 (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): This is a throwback to the 1970s — a cop show that's about as realistic as your average sitcom and populated by sitcommy characters. Danny Nucci is the bad boy-turned-rookie cop who is trained by the grizzled, cantankerous veteran (Ernie Hudson).

Quality quotient: Well, at least it's not another procedural drama. But it's not good, either.

Performance potential: A bomb in the making.

Debut date: Sept. 28

COLD CASE (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A female homicide detective (Kathryn Morris) in Philadelphia is assigned to investigate "cold cases" — old crimes that have never been solved. And, in the process, she opens up old wounds and rights old wrongs.

Quality quotient: Another good, old-fashioned, procedural cop show with an appealing star. But how much procedural cop drama is too much?

Performance potential: After failing (badly) with comedies from 7-8 p.m. on Sundays last year, CBS has gone in a different — and better — direction. This show should do rather well.

Debut date: Sept. 28

THE ORTEGAS (7:30 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Sort of a weird hybrid of sitcom and unscripted talk show that's based on a British hit. Al Ortega (Al Madrigal) is a twentysomething David Letterman wannabe who, with the indulgence of his parents (Cheech Marin and Terri Hoyos), hosts a show on a set in the family's backyard. The twist is that real guests — like Howie Mandel and Denise Richards in the opener — are asked real (if unusual) questions by the actors who are in character as the Ortega family.

Quality quotient: There are a few laughs here, mostly from the reaction of the guests. But not enough to fill up the half-hour.

Performance potential: NBC actually developed this show before dropping it. Fox will be dropping it soon, too.

Debut date: Nov. 2

TARZAN (8 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): Australian underwear model Travis Fimmel stars in this latest "Tarzan" permutation. When the series opens, he's already in New York City — having been brought there by his rich, powerful uncle (Mitch Pileggi of "The X-Files") and falls for Jane (Sarah Wayne Callies), who's a police detective.

Quality quotient: The WB had great success with the Superman legend ("Smallville") and no success with Batgirl ("Birds of Prey"). This "Tarzan" is looking more like the latter — the pilot is, quite frankly, a bore. The producers talk a good game about how they're going to improve on the pilot in ensuing episodes, but they're still airing the boring pilot and we don't know at this point if the fixes will work.

Performance potential: Without those promised improvements, this isn't going to last. (Even with them, it's going to be tough.)

Debut date: Oct. 5

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (8:30 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): This is a decidedly strange single-camera (no studio audience) comedy about a hugely dysfunctional family. Jason Bateman is the good son/single father who plans to leave his weird family behind but has to rescue the family real-estate business when dear old dad (Jeffrey Tambor) is sent to prison for financial shenanigans. And the family includes a whole slew of self-absorbed idiots.

Quality quotient: It's actually quite a funny show, but the pacing and presentation are very different from the normal sitcom. Not that that's a bad thing, but . . .

Performance potential: . . . this looks like another one of those shows that's going to get all kinds of critical acclaim but fail miserably. And it hardly seems like a good companion to "Malcolm In the Middle."

Debut date: Nov. 2

THE LYON'S DEN (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): "West Wing" refugee Rob Lowe stars as the son of a powerful U.S. senator who has eschewed the family law firm but is called on to take it over when the senior partner dies — either by suicide or murder. There are plots within plots here, but what it's all about remains to be seen.

Quality quotient: I've seen the pilot of this show, and I'm still not sure what it wants to be. Is it a legal drama? A political program? A thriller? A mystery? There are some intriguing elements here, but the, ahem, jury is out on whether they can pull this thing together. On the upside, there are some great characters, including a cast-against-type Kyle Chandler ("Early Edition") as a bad guy, and Frances Fisher as his assistant, a woman who apparently knows where the bodies are buried.

Performance potential: Could be at least a moderate success . . . if the writers/producers decide where they're going.

Debut date: Sept. 28


EVE (7:30 p.m., UPN/Ch. 24): Hip-hop star Eve heads this ensemble-cast comedy. A clothes designer looking for love, she hangs out with her gal pals (Ali Landry and Natalie Desselle-Reid) and talks about men. As for men, a love interest (Jason George) is introduced in the first episode, and he brings his best buddy (Brian Hooks) into the mix.

Quality quotient: This is faint praise, but it's on a par with UPN sitcoms like "Girlfriends" and "One on One."

Performance potential: Ought to do as well as the UPN sitcoms that surround it on Monday nights.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 15

LAS VEGAS (8 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): It's an "Ocean's Eleven" wannabe that isn't. Or maybe it's trying to be "Hotel" for the 21st century. Josh Duhamel ("All My Children") stars as a casino security chief who, as the series begins, is in bed with a woman who turns out to be the boss' (James Caan) daughter — and the boss bursts in on them. It's played for wry laughs.

Quality quotient: The cast (which includes Nikki Cox and Rena Sofer) is good, but the show — which is all about clever little plots and twists and turns — is too slick for its own good.

Performance potential: It would be a surprise if this succeeds.

Debut date: Sept. 22

SKIN (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Think "Romeo and Juliet" set against the backdrop of the porn industry — really. Romeo is the son of a Hispanic judge (Rachel Ticotin) and an Anglo district attorney (Kevin Anderson), who is set on bringing down the porn king (Ron Silver), who just happens to be Juliet's father. Really.

Quality quotient: It's not as salacious as you might think — as a matter of fact, the pilot is less engaging than it ought to be. But it sets up what could be a decent prime-time soap.

Performance potential: It's a very tough time slot, but it could do better than "Boston Public" did here last year.

Debut date: Oct. 20

TWO AND A HALF MEN (8:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Charlie Sheen stars as swingin' bachelor whose life is turned upside down when his suddenly single brother (Jon Cryer) moves in to his beach house, accompanied by his 10-year-old son. And prompting more frequent visits from their meddling mother (Holland Taylor).

Quality quotient: This is one of the biggest surprises of the season — it's very funny. Sheen, who never displayed much comedic ability in "Spin City," is quite good, and you can't miss with Cryer and Taylor.

Performance potential: It's a good show that follows "Raymond" — in other words, a hit in the making.

Debut date: Sept. 22


NAVY NCIS (CBS/Ch. 2): Cross "JAG" with "CSI" and you've got "Navy NCIS." Mark Harmon heads a Naval Criminal Investigative Service team in this "JAG" spinoff. They're civilians who investigate Navy and Marine Corps crimes around the world, ranging from homicide to spying to terrorism.

Quality quotient: It's very much in the "JAG" vein, with good (if predictable) storytelling, a patriotic streak a mile wide and recognizable characters. The title stinks, though — if you think about it, it's "Navy Naval Criminal Investigative Service."

Performance potential: Looks like a safe bet to inherit the "JAG" audience on Tuesday nights now that the parent show has moved to Fridays.

Debut date: Sept. 23

WHOOPI (Tuesdays, 7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Whoopi Goldberg plays the difficult, opinionated, obnoxious owner of a small Manhattan hotel — the center of a half-hour comedy that mines, um, humor from terrorism and racism and so on.

Quality quotient: Just what I want to do for a half-hour every week — be trapped in a hotel with Whoopi Goldberg yelling at me.

Performance potential: An embarrassing failure in the making.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 9

I'M WITH HER (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Producer Chris Henchy kind-of, sort-of based this on his real-life romance/marriage with Brooke Shields, and it plays out a lot like "Notting Hill." A nice-guy/teacher (David Sutcliffe) and a superstar movie actress (Teri Polo) fall in love — but can love overcome the paparazzi?

Quality quotient: This is a very good little show — charming, sweet and funny. And even surprising, as the teacher actually spends time in the classroom and interacts with kids who look like they're teenagers, not thirtysomething actors playing teenagers.

Performance potential: Won't be a big hit but ought to be around for a while at least.

Debut date: Sept. 23

HAPPY FAMILY (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): John Larroquette and Christine Baranski star as empty-nester wannabes whose three grown children just won't grow up. The oldest son is engaged to one woman and having an affair with another; the daughter is desperately an unsuccessful chasing men; and the 20-year-old son just moved in with the 38-year-old divorcee next door.

Quality quotient: Larroquette and Baranski are great. Too bad the same can't be said of the show.

Performance potential: Don't bet the house on this one.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 9

ALL OF US (7:30 p.m., UPN/Ch. 24): This sitcom is kind-of, sort-of based on the real lives of executive producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Duane Martin plays a TV personality whose first marriage failed and is about to embark on marriage No. 2 — which will mean he's got a new wife (Elise Neal) and an old wife (Lisa Raye), who don't much care for each other, as well as a young son (Khamani Griffin).

Quality quotient: The big draw here is Will and Jada, and they're not the stars. (Although both plan guest appearances.) Frankly, while Smith might be able to make this stuff funny, Martin can't. And there's an undertone of bitterness and strife that hardly makes for great comedy.

Performance potential: UPN is trying to make comedy work on a new night, which is an iffy proposition. But the network's modest ratings expectations and desire to be in business with Will and Jada should keep this show on at least for an entire season.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 16

ROCK ME BABY (8 p.m., UPN/Ch. 24): Dan Cortese stars as a Howard Stern-esque radio shock jock whose outrageous life has to be toned down a bit when he and his wife (Bianca Kajlich) become first-time parents.

Quality quotient: Another nominee for worst new show of the year. It's rude, crude and unfunny. And Cortese is in it . . . 'nuff said.

Performance potential: If I thought UPN had anything else to put on the air, I'd say this wouldn't last long. But it might.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 16

ONE TREE HILL (8 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): Chad Michael Murray ("Gilmore Girls," "Dawson's Creek") and James Lafferty star as Lucas and Nathan Scott, the two best basketball players in a small North Carolina town. They also happen to be half-brothers — their father (Paul Johansson), who managed to get two girls pregnant before graduating from high school, married Nathan's mother and raised him amid wealth and privilege. Whereas Lucas' mother (Moira Kelly) raised her son while his father refused to acknowledge him. But circumstances make the half-brothers teammates and rivals on the court and for the affections of a girl (Hilarie Burton).

Quality quotient: Bad title, good show. It's a great jumping-off point for what's essentially a teen-oriented soap — sort of a downscale "90210" that actually has some dramatic potential.

Performance potential: This looks like a great companion to the WB's "Gilmore Girls" — and a show that will appeal to males as well as females.

Debut date: Sept. 23

THE MULLETS (8:30 p.m., UPN/Ch. 24): Aggressively stupid show about two idiot brothers who wear mullet-style haircuts to match their last name (thus, the title) and act like morons. Oh, and Loni Anderson, who's apparently desperate for work, plays their mom.

Quality quotient: Zero

Performance potential: Zero

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 11


IT'S ALL RELATIVE (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): It's an instant family feud when the son of conservative, Irish-Americans falls in love with the adopted daughter of two liberal, gay men.

Quality quotient: This show would seem to have a lot going for it: a good cast (including Lenny Clarke and Harriet Sansom Harris); writers from "Frasier"; the producers of "Chicago"; and top-notch production values. But it doesn't work. The jokes are mean-spirited (on both sides) and unfunny. There's no chemistry. It's just people shouting at each other.

Performance potential: Barring some sort of quick — and major — fix, this won't last long. At least it shouldn't.

Debut date: Oct. 1

A MINUTE WITH STAN HOOPER (7:30 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Norm Macdonald makes like "Newhart" (same producers), playing a younger Andy Rooney-type network commentator who, along with his wife (Penelope Ann Miller) moves to a small town in Wisconsin to get in touch with the real world. And discovers the real world is nuts.

Quality quotient: This is perhaps the biggest shock of the fall. It's a Norm Macdonald sitcom on Fox . . . and it's good. Macdonald goes against type by playing the straight man. He's the island of sanity surrounded by an ocean of insanity. And he's good.

Performance potential: The biggest problem is that this just doesn't seem like a Fox show. It would do great on CBS on Monday nights, but whether it can survive as the companion to "That '70s Show" is iffy.

Debut date: Oct. 29

JAKE 2.0 (Wednesdays, 8 p.m., UPN/Ch. 24): The appealing Christopher Gorham stars as Jake, a nerdy CIA computer technician who is accidently infected with nanites (teeny robots) that give him superpowers — and turn him into a very valuable member of the agency.

Quality quotient: It's a nice premise and the pilot was good, mixing comedy with action. The question that has to be answered is whether the premise will hold up as a series.

Performance potential: Well, it's a better show than anything else UPN has tried to hold onto what remains of the "Star Trek" audience.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 10

THE BROTHERHOOD OF POLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The latest "quirky" drama from producer David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public") revolves around three brothers (Randy Quaid, John Carroll Lynch and Chris Penn). One is the mayor of their small town, another is the police chief and the third is chronically unemployed. You know where this is going when the police chief punches out a citizen in the opening minutes. It's a good cast, though, with Mare Winningham, Elizabeth McGovern and Ann Cusack as the brothers' wives.

Quality Quotient: Oh, it's not bad, but like so many of Kelley's projects in recent years it all looks like stuff we've seen before — specifically, it's a lot like "Picket Fences," only less weird. Ho, hum.

Performance potential: A year ago, Kelley's "girls club" lasted two episodes on Fox. "Brotherhood" could go longer than that . . . but not much.

Debut date: Sept. 24

KAREN SISCO (Wednesday, 9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Carla Gugino plays the title character (originated by Jennifer Lopez in the theatrical film "Out of Sight"), a U.S. Marshall who always gets her man.

Quality quotient: Gugino is gorgeous and charming, but the show tries too hard to be quirky and is sort of all over the map.

Performance potential: Won't beat "Law & Order," but weak competition from CBS's "Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire" will help give this a shot.

Debut date: Oct. 1


THREAT MATRIX (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): It's a terrorism-inspired TV series about American agents who battle threats to U.S. security. (The title refers to a daily briefing the president receives.)

Quality quotient: If this show decided what it wants to be, it might be better. One minute it's trying to be reality-based procedure; the next it's straight out of a James Bond film; the next it's a truly dopey romance involving two of the agents (Kelly Rutherford and James Denton) who are divorced but still in love. It all adds up to not much.

Performance potential: Opposite "Friends" and "Survivor," even a good show barely stands a chance. This isn't a good show.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 18

TRU CALLING (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Eliza Dushku, who was Faith the Vampire Slayer on "Buffy," stars as Tru Davies, a grad student who takes a job at the morgue where corpses start talking to her. Suddenly, she flashes 24 hours back in time and has a chance to prevent the death of the talking corpse. It's sort of a darker "Early Edition."

Quality quotient: Dushku proves she's a star — she pretty much carries the show. And the pilot is fun to watch. But not only does this look like a replay of other shows and movies (including "Groundhog Day"), but it doesn't look like an idea that's going to hold up for long.

Performance potential: It's not a bad show, but it won't be able to compete with "Friends" and "Survivor."

Debut date: Oct. 30

STEVE HARVEY'S BIG TIME (7 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): Think of this as "People Do the Darndest Things." Harvey hosts a collection of characters who, if they're not funny themselves, provide him with plenty of opportunities to mine humor from who they are or what they do.

Quality quotient: This is one of the biggest surprises of the season — an utterly charming half-hour that's fun and funny. And it's exactly the sort of show that kids, teens and adults can watch together and enjoy.

Performance potential: Well, it's certainly alternative programming to "Survivor" and "Friends." And nothing is going to get great number for the WB opposite those shows. Let's just hope they stick with it . . . and maybe move it to another night.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 11

COUPLING (8:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): This isn't just "based" on the British series of the same name, it's pretty much those same scripts with different actors and American accents. It's six, um, "Friends" who spend all their time having sex with each other and then talking about it.

Quality quotient: This is without a doubt the dirtiest show in the history of network television. Well, not in terms of nudity, but to call the dialogue "racy" is an understatement. And even fans of the British show will be disappointed — what was dirty and funny on the other side of the Atlantic has somehow been translated into just plain dirty here.

Performance potential: Originally conceived as the successor to "Friends," this isn't going to be it. It will make a splash for a while because of how filthy it is, then viewers will notice it's just bad.

Debut date: Sept. 25

RUN OF THE HOUSE (8:30 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): When Mom and Dad go off to Arizona for health reasons, 15-year-old Brooke (Margo Harshman) is left in the care of her three grown siblings — the responsible brother (Joey Lawrence), the irresponsible brother (Kyle Howard) and the self-absorbed sister (Sasha Barrese). And then there's the nosy neighbor (Mo Gaffney) who makes frequent visits.

Quality quotient: It's not great stuff, but it's certainly likeable and at least mildly amusing. Younger kids will like it.

Performance potential: You have to think it's going to get killed on Thursday nights. Too bad.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 11


JOAN OF ARCADIA (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Talk about quirky — Joan (Amber Tamblyn) is a teenager to whom God speaks and gives assignments, of sorts, to help various people. And God appears to her as regular folks — from a teenage boy to a lunchroom worker to a guy on a bus. It's also an offbeat family drama that includes Joan's parents (Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen) and two brothers, one of whom is wheelchair-bound after an accident.

Quality quotient: It's oddly appealing, although whether the premise holds up remains to be seen. And the show slows down when it focuses on the detective work of Joan's police chief father. The jury is really still out on this one.

Performance potential: This might just be too offbeat to work.

Debut date: Sept. 26

MISS MATCH (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Producer Darren Star ("Sex and the City," "Melrose Place") goes in a completely different direction with this show, which is almost a landlocked "Love Boat." Alicia Silverstone stars as a divorce attorney by day (working for her father, played by Ryan O'Neal) and matchmaker by night.

Quality quotient: It's not great, but it is sweet. If you're looking for light-hearted fluff, look no further.

Performance potential: Hey, if "Providence" can survive in this time slot for several years, why not "Miss Match"?

Debut Date: Sept. 26

MARRIED TO THE KELLYS (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Breckin Meyer ("Inside Schwartz") stars as a New York kind of guy and only child who moves to Kansas with his wife (Kiele Sanchez) and encounters her intrusive, country-bumpkin family.

Quality quotient: The most offensive thing about this sitcom is its view that Middle America is populated by idiotic hayseeds. But it is mildly amusing.

Performance potential: ABC is trying to rebuild its abandoned "T.G.I.F." franchise with "George Lopez," this show, "Hope & Faith" and "Life With Bonnie." It won't be easy.

Debut date: Oct. 3

LUIS (7:30 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Luis Guzman stars as sort of the Hispanic version of Archie Bunker — he's the politically incorrect owner of a Spanish Harlem donut shop who fights with his ex-wife, disapproves of his daughter's Anglo boyfriend and basically doesn't worry much about alienating everyone who crosses his path.

Quality quotient: Hurrah for diversity! If only this were a show that was actually worth watching.

Performance potential: Both this show and it's lead-in ("Wanda at Large," which was only a "hit" last season because it followed "American Idol") are in deep, deep trouble.

Debut date: Tonight

LIKE FAMILY (7:30 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): This blended-family, multiethnic sitcom revolves around 16-year-old Keith (J Mack Slaughter), a kid who's been running with the wrong crowd. So his mother, Maddie (Diane Farr), takes Keith and moves in with her lifelong best friend, Tanya (Holly Robinson Peete). They, along with Tanya's skeptical husband (Kevin Michael Richardson) and their 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, form an unusual but loving family unit.

Quality quotient: Slaughter is a star in the making — his appeal goes a long way toward making this show work. It's not a great show, and the humor is fairly stupid in spots (waaaay too much time spent in the bathroom in the pilot), but it's good-hearted and fun if frothy.

Performance potential: Looks like a good companion to "Reba."

Debut date: Tonight

HOPE & FAITH (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Faith Ford ("Murphy Brown") is ope, and Kelly Ripa ("Live with Regis and . . . ") is Faith — the former a suburban housewife and the latter a defrocked soap diva who moves in after she's fired.

Quality quotient: Ford and Ripa are waaaaay better than this show. The original pilot was downright dreadful. (When you do a foodfight in episode 1, where do you go from there?) A revised pilot is better but still not good. I can understand why ABC picked this show up, because Ripa could be a breakout star in prime time. But not in this show.

Performance potential: ABC will probably stick with this show at least for a while. If we're lucky, maybe it will get better.

Debut date: Sept. 26

ALL ABOUT THE ANDERSONS (8:30 p.m., WB/Ch. 30): Actor/comedian Anthony Anderson turns his real life into a sitcom. (Well, sort of.) He plays a struggling actor/single father who, with young son in tow, moves back in with his disapproving father (John Amos of "Good Times") and mother (Roz Ryan), who just happen to have let a white medical student rent Anthony's old room.

Quality quotient: It has its moments — and young Damani Roberts is a find as the son — but it's by no means a great show. Anderson has ambitions to make it both funny and thought-provoking; he needs to work more on the former before he can deal with the latter.

Performance potential: It's a longshot.

Debut date: Premiered Sept. 12

THE HANDLER (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Joe Pantoliano stars as an FBI agent whose job is to train undercover agents — he's their "handler." Each episode involves several undercover cases, ranging from drug dealing to prostitution to white-collar crime, worked by a core group of agents.

Quality quotient: Another good, old-fashioned, procedural cop show with an appealing star.

Performance potential: With NBC moving "SVU" out of this time slot, Friday nights are a jump ball. And this show could grab a good share of the audience.

Debut date: Sept. 26

E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com