Take four spunky fashion-forward gals with a history of chatting about their boyfriends, affairs, marriages and divorces and set them to crime-fighting, and you've got the formula for "The Women's Murder Club" (8 p.m., ABC).
Angie Harmon ("Law & Order") stars as San Francisco homicide inspector Lindsay Boxer. She's got issues. A workaholic whose obsessions ruined her marriage, she now has to accept her ex-husband as her new boss. Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt (Laura Harris) may look like all business, but she's really all hairdo and attitude. Jill feels conflicted about moving in with her new boyfriend, so she has an afternoon fling with her old boyfriend (and legal rival) right on top of her cluttered desk. Medical inspector Claire Washburn (Paula Newsome) and intrepid reporter Cindy Thomas (Aubrey Dollar) round out the quartet.
Harmon has come a long way from "Law & Order," a series that placed the emphasis on legal procedure, evidence and investigations and pretty much kept messy personal lives out of the picture. Of course, the mingling of the police procedural with the personal is hardly new, but it takes a bit of nuance, insight and occasional flashes of wit to make them blend. Unfortunately, the ladies of the "Club" are a self-possessed and humorless bunch. With the possible exception of the reporter, an eager and curious newcomer, they are a bunch of stiffs. They discuss their sex lives in the same tone of voice that they use when examining a corpse in a morgue.
What makes "Club" so bad? Is it the writing? Or the acting? It's a toss-up. Both Harmon and Newsome seem particularly overmatched by the demands of mixing the personal with the professional. But hey, that never stopped David Caruso on "CSI: Miami."
¢ Tami finds it hard to care for the newborn alone on "Friday Night Lights" (8 p.m., NBC). OK, I'm a little worried about the incident on the bridge - a dramatic new turn that threatens to overshadow the series. But so far, "Friday" is simply the best drama on network television. Period.
¢ Twin sisters - separated at birth - embrace their fate as royalty in the sequel movie "Twitches Two" (7 p.m., Disney), starring Tia and Tamera Mowry ("Sister, Sister").
¢ Lifetime, the "women's network," embraces the supernatural in a big way this Halloween month, with two returning paranormal programs and one new psychic series.
A medium returns for a second season of helping the living communicate with the departed on "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead" (8 p.m., Lifetime).
Clairvoyants duke it out on "America's Psychic Challenge" (9 p.m., Lifetime). I wonder if they can guess the ratings for this new show?
Mick from CBS's "Moonlight" isn't television's only vampire private investigator any more, as "Blood Ties" (10 p.m., Lifetime) enters its second season.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ Lucky viewers with special glasses can catch "Out of Jimmy's Head" (6 p.m., Cartoon Network) and "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" (6:30 p.m.) in a special 3-D format.
¢ A feral dog proves elusive on "The Dog Whisperer" (7 p.m., National Geographic).
¢ Zaphod goes solo on "Meerkat Manor" (7:30 p.m., Animal Planet).
¢ Mick sets out to put a greedy new vampire out of business on "Moonlight" (8 p.m., CBS).
¢ A car crash casualty count doesn't add up on "Numb3rs" (9 p.m., CBS).