Don't miss one second of the first 10 minutes of "The Nine." As the drama begins, we see two bank robbers planning a heist. And we also see unsuspecting customers going about their business. Or are we seeing something very different?
Troubled cop Nick (Tim Daly) takes his sweet time in line. Is he doing this just so he can flirt with bank teller Eva (Lourdes Benedicto)? Her sassy sister, Franny (Camille Guaty), certainly thinks so. Nick's not the only law on hand. Ambitious district attorney Kathryn (Kim Raver) helps her icy mother get access to her safety-deposit box. Pretty Lizzie (Jessica Collins) seems to have some secret she needs to reveal to Jeremy (Scott Wolf), a brash young surgeon. The bank manager Malcolm (Chi McBride) juggles a number of minor crises just as his teenage daughter, Felicia (Dana Davis), comes in to beg him for the keys to his car. A despondent office drone, Egan (John Billingsley), locks himself in the bathroom. Is that a gun in his hand?
In a flash, the robbery commences and the bank descends into chaos. "The Nine" has just gotten started.
With "The Nine" (9 p.m., ABC), ABC may have come up with a smart show to complement "Lost." Like "Lost," this drama involves a group of strangers connected by sudden trauma. And the more we learn about each of them, the more we'll understand the violent incident that brought them together.
In the aftermath of the botched robbery, hostage drama and siege, the nine victims stay close. They reunite as a formal support group. Some also make their own furtive connections. Secrets seep out, and flashbacks tell us more about what we saw, or thought we saw, in the opening minutes.
It's a smart, challenging, well-produced show with superb performances. Don't miss it.
¢ Hey, what the heck was going on in that snowy command center on the last episode of last season's "Lost" (8 p.m., ABC)? And why did they call Penny of all people? Did Eko and Locke survive the meltdown? What is the fate of prisoners Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley? And why was that "Other" guy wearing a fake beard? The mystery and obsession continue.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ A high-school football team feels the pressure to win on the repeat pilot of "Friday Night Lights" (7 p.m., NBC).
¢ News from the outside world is not pleasant on "Jericho" (7 p.m., CBS).
¢ Brennan and Booth fight red tape to collar a killer on "Bones" (7 p.m., Fox).
¢ A marathon runner's collapse sparks an investigation on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ The Cains maintain their posh and busy social schedule on "Kidnapped" (9 p.m., NBC).