Fall Pilots Preview: Prime Suspect
(With the fall’s crop of new shows hitting this month, now seems like a good a time to start previewing all of the new network offerings. As I’m not a professional critic, I don’t get access to all of the nice, shiny screeners that the pros do, so I’m basing my opinions somewhat on their thoughts as well as on teaser clips that the networks have released. These are very rough thoughts that could very well change once I’ve seen a full pilot. With that in mind, onto the preview.)
Who: Stars Maria Bello (A History Of Violence), Aidan Quinn (Third Watch), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), and Brian O’Byrne (FlashForward).
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM (Premieres September 22)
What: NBC’s description via The Futon Critic: “Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue), director Peter Berg (NBC’s Friday Night Lights) — and stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (Unknown), Brian O’Byrne (Flash Forward), Tim Griffin (Star Trek), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother), Damon Gupton (The Last Airbender) and Peter Gerety (Blue Bloods). Prime Suspect is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnson, Paul Buccieri and Lynda LaPlante.”
Jeremy Likes TV’s Thoughts: Peter Berg being involved in this was enough for me. Friday Night Lights is my favorite television series of all-time and Berg had a huge, huge hand in almost everything about that show so his involvement in Prime Suspect alone is enough of a drawing point. Beyond that, cop shows set in New York always have a foot in the door with me and I’ve always been a Maria Bello fan. This is the second NBC adaptation of a British TV show this fall (along with Free Agents) but I have a sense that this one has a better chance of success, even though it seems incongruous with the rest of the night’s comedies. Bello is a familiar star and enough people are familiar with the original Prime Suspect that there shouldn’t be too much heavy lifting here in drawing an audience. That said, it faces tough time period competition from established hits on both CBS (The Mentalist) and ABC (Private Practice).
Chances It Gets A Full Season: 60%
Recommendation: Thumbs up. Bello was a great choice as the lead and Berg’s responsible for Friday Night Lights. What else do you need?
Other Reading About Prime Suspect:
HitFix’s Dan Fienberg
The Futon Critic