NYC 22 (CBS)
Premiered April 15 at 10pm
It wouldn’t be midseason without at least one police procedural premiering. I’m not sure who exactly thought that the primetime TV landscape needed even more cops, especially those without alleged psychic powers or particular hooks, but that’s exactly what CBS, a network known for producing successful procedurals, including two major franchises, has churned out on Sunday nights at 10pm, a time slot that neither of the rival networks, ABC or NBC, has been able to conquer. This may just be the recipe needed, and it’s certainly a familiar one. The rookies include a famous basketball player who could have made it, a woman with a better nose for plumbing than her sports star partner, an Arab-American, a considerably older recruit starting his second career, a woman whose brother was a criminal, and a man whose entire family was on the force. Not one of them stands out, though two recognizable faces are prominent among the rookies: Adam Goldberg, whose last cop drama, “The Unusuals,” failed rather quickly, and Leelee Sobieski, starring in her first television series since 1995’s “Charlie Grace.” Terry Kinney, also seen on “The Unusuals” but best known from “Oz,” grimaces appropriately as the always-driving, serious-faced cop put in charge of whipping the rookies into shape by demoralizing their egos. The immediate reaction of all the other cops to these new faces is met with predictable silliness and clichéd behavior from all of the rookies, and there are few surprises to be found in this hour. As tends to be the case with police dramas, there are a few exciting and enthralling moments, but they’re too sparse to make this show worth watching again when there’s much more creative fare to be found out there.
How will it work as a series? Procedurals depend upon episodic cases and criminals to drive their events rather than the characters, and having six rookie cops in the cast means that they can be spread thin or work all together, so the show shouldn’t have a problem mustering up material for as long as it’s deemed worthwhile of being on the airwaves. Plus, there’s always the opportunity to introduce new recruits.
How long will it last? The pilot did alright in the ratings, but CBS has different standards than most, so its least successful show might still be better in terms of viewership than anything else offered by any other network, and it still might not make it. “Blue Bloods” managed to hang on, but I’m not sure that this one will live to see another season, especially positioned where it is after “The Good Wife.”
Pilot grade: C