Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Style trumps substance in ‘Justice’

August 30, 2006

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As if there weren't enough legal dramas on the air, "Justice" (8 p.m., Fox) debuts tonight. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer ("CSI" and "Without a Trace"), "Justice" follows high-powered lawyer Ron Trott (Victor Garber) and his photogenic team of partners as they attempt to get "not guilty" pleas for their high-profile clients.

Set in Los Angeles, most of their cases take place in the glare of a hostile media. Trott does his best jousting with a cable-news host modeled on Nancy Grace, who sees every defendant as guilty and every defense lawyer as an affront to decency.

Trott's team includes Tom Nicholson (Kerr Smith), an all-American type who wants to believe that his clients are innocent. Trott's smart enough to know that juries distrust him, so he lets Nicholson lead the team in court. Prosecutor turned defense lawyer Luther Graves (Eamonn Walker) possesses vast political connections as well as an ability to analyze the case from the juror's point of view. Alden Tuller (Rebecca Mader) is gorgeous, ambitious and blunt, but a wonder with forensics and able to turn the nerdiest scientific witness into a superstar in court.

"Justice" bucks the new trend of stretching out a single story for an entire season. We get to see an arrest, preparation, trial and verdict unfold in tidy 42-minute installments. And every "Justice" concludes with an epilogue flashback to the crime, so viewers can see what actually happened and determine whether justice was served or whether the client merely had a good (and good-looking) lawyer.

¢ Elizabeth Vargas hosts the two-hour "20/20" special "Last Days on Earth" (8 p.m., ABC). Don't go looking for talk of Nostradamus or biblical prophecies. Vargas speaks with scientists about potential cataclysms - from solar rays to nuclear war - that could end life as we now know it. The intent of "Last" is not to instill fear but to create awareness of potential perils that might lessen the likelihood of such doomsday scenarios.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ A senator and a high-powered executive are killed in a train wreck on the second-season premiere of "Bones" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ "MythBusters" (8 p.m., Discovery) looks at the legends of an earthquake machine based on the research of legendary inventor Nikola Tesla.

¢ A swordfish becomes a deadly weapon on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ A husband is killed by a car bomb on the way to the mercy killing of his ailing wife on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ The competition continues on "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Bravo).

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