Who says TV producers lack
creativity? When it comes to crime procedurals, they've been able
to slice and dice the genre in ways so fine that physicists who split
atoms should be jealous.
Just this month, we got
a sleuth who solves crimes with psychic powers ("Medium"),
and now we have an FBI agent who calls on his genius brother to track
down bad guys with math. What next? A blind detective? Oh, that's
right, there is one in ABC's "Blind Justice," scheduled
to premiere in March.
stars Rob Morrow and David Krumholtz as brothers Don and
Charlie Eppes. Don is a hard-working, dedicated FBI agent
who, in the premiere, heads up a task force to find a
serial rapist who, of late, has decided to add murder
to his criminal repertoire. Charlie, straight out of "A
Beautiful Mind," is an absent-minded mathematical
genius who can fill a blackboard with numbers and symbols
faster than a College Bowl team can calculate the length
of a hypotenuse.
That's good and that's
bad. It's good because it offers a new way to look at a tired genre
and presents an unconventional but interesting relationship, albeit
one without large amounts of chemistry. It's bad because, at least
in the opener, the focus of creator-writers Nick Falacci and Cheryl
Heuton is so clearly on crime solving and the two brothers that
it squanders the talents of one of the finest casts assembled for
any series. Sabrina Lloyd does little but play Officer Frank Smith
to Morrow's Sgt. Joe Friday. As for Judd Hirsch (the father of the
brothers), Peter MacNicol (Charlie's physicist friend) and Anthony
Heald (Don's boss), they represent some of the most talented window
dressing seen in years.
There are a few other problems. The
show, set in Los Angeles, creates a world in which city crime is
tackled exclusively by the FBI. Charlie travels everywhere by bicycle.
Hello. This is L.A. What's the mathematical probability of that
happening? There's also a beautiful foreign student (Navi Rawat)
working on her thesis with Charlie, but she says little and mostly
just follows him around. A love interest? Maybe, maybe not. The
premiere is annoyingly vague on her availability.
Production qualities are excellent,
and graphics and special effects never let you forget the math component
in the story. Exec producer Mimi Leder, who directed the premiere,
frames the action tightly and well. Still, the series, a replacement
for "Dr. Vegas," faces long odds against NBC's popular
"Medical Investigation" and ABC's veteran "20/20."
Cast: Don Eppes: Rob Morrow; Charlie
Eppes: David Krumholtz; Terry Lake: Sabrina Lloyd; Alan Eppes: Judd
Hirsch; David Sinclair: Alimi Ballard; Larry Fleinhardt: Peter MacNicol;
Walt Merrick: Anthony Heald; Amita Ramanujan: Navi Rawat; Kate Silber:
Executive producers: Ridley Scott,
Tony Scott, Brooke Kennedy, Alex Gansa; Co-executive producers:
Nick Falacci, Cheryl Heuton, David W. Zucker; Creators-teleplay:
Nick Falacci, Cheryl Heuton; Director: Mick Jackson; Director of
photography: Ivan Strasburg; Production designer: Richard Hoover;
Editor: Jan Northrop; Casting: Mark Saks.