Fall TV Tips: The Lawyer Shows

Wednesday, July 28 by

Over the next few weeks I’ll be breaking down the new fall TV shows, telling you what to watch and what to skip altogether. It’s your choice if you want to listen to me, but before you make a decision, you should know that I own several television sets, so I’m somewhat of an expert on this subject.

Today we tackle the lawyer shows. Attorneys and law-types have long been fascinating subject matter for TV, from your grandparents’ love of “Perry Mason” to your ex-girlfriend’s obsession with “Ally McBeal.” Well now a new cycle of law shows are hitting the small screen this fall. And as is usually the dillio, some are worthy of your dedication, while others make jury duty seem more appealing.

WATCH IT: “The Defenders” (CBS), Wednesdays at 10pm (ET)

Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell play Vegas defense lawyers that have balls and like to take Vegas-style chances. They don’t mind partaking in the sin Sin City has to offer — especially if it helps them win a case for their clients. Their new associate at the firm is a former stripper and their personal lives are in shambles, leading to many nights on the town drinking and chasing women.

Don’t be scared, because this is not the normal CBS procedural. Belushi and O”Connell both can be great fun to watch when cast in the right role — and those roles are quite rare — and both of them together might add up to something worth checking out. Not to mention it’s Vegas, so there will be lots of chicks that have loose morals. Oh yeah, and there are some cool court cases sandwiched in there, too.

SKIP IT: “Outlaw” (NBC), Fridays at 10pm (ET)

Jimmy Smits is a US Supreme Court Justice who decides to quit and go back into private practice. If that isn’t sexy enough for you, Jesse Bradford is in it and Gina Gershon left after shooting the pilot as the main love interest. The only thing that might be of interest here is that Conan O’Brien is one of the Executive Producers. Except it’s not a comedy, so that makes it not very interesting at all.

Nothing about this show has even hinted at a must watch. Jimmy Smits was commanding on “Dexter,” but looks nothing like that loco lawman on this show. “Outlaw” smacks of the same tired dramas NBC has been cranking out in an effort to replace its great dramas of the past.


“The Whole Truth” (ABC), Wednesdays at 10pm (ET)

It has Rob Morrow, Maura Tierney (who replaced Joely Richardson) and a snappy preview. There could be worse shows out there.

“Harry’s Law” (NBC), TBA

David E. Kelley does the ‘unconventional’ attorney thing again where he writes dialogue that preaches at us undereducated simpletons. It stars Kathy Bates, so there might be some hope. Then again, she did appear in Fred Clause.

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