Can producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“CSI,” “Without a Trace,” “Cold Case,” “Amazing Race”) save the hospital drama?
The dependable genre has floundered this season. Even the ratings king CBS bombed with “Three Rivers.” NBC has failed with the ridiculously hyper-violent “Trauma,” and its war-scarred nurse melodrama “Mercy” has entered a prime-time coma, losing its slot to repeat helpings of “Minute to Win It.”
“Miami Medical” (9 p.m., CBS) follows the “CSI” and “NCIS” tradition of simply slapping a city’s name on a procedural drama, hoping that mere geography and sunny connotations will help sell it.
For all of the Florida sunshine, “Miami Medical” really takes place in Bruckheimer Land, a place where big, bold and bad things happen, and brash characters step in to save the day. And just when you think they have things sorted out, another darn things happens when you least expect it. Except you always expect it. Because that’s what happens in Bruckheimer Land.
Look for Andre Braugher to appear for about five seconds, as if to qualify for having appeared in at least half the new shows produced since “Homicide” ended. He plays a chief surgeon who goes bonkers in the middle of an operation, leaving a power vacuum in The Alpha Team Trauma Team. This dramatic event lends vaguely interesting qualities to super-efficient surgeons and doctors who are just too darn good at what they do and too busy doing it to develop much in the way of personality.
Lana Parrilla stars as Dr. Eva Zambrano, the most experienced of the bunch, who should become chief, but hotshot Dr. Chris Deleo (Mike Vogel) steps on her toes. Deleo appears obsessed with hospital politics, while Zambrano can’t stop caring about her patients, who arrive by the busload after a gas leak blows up an ice cream parlor in the pilot’s opening moments.
Into this busy scene saunters Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam), a surgeon with military experience, a British accent and the habit of calling people “mate” and other charming affectations. Maybe it was his time in a war zone, but he projects a zen-like calm and an inoffensive authority that almost immediately bestows upon him alpha dog status among the Alpha Team. (Northam also has top billing on the show.)
Tonight’s other highlights
• Kate Winslet narrates the documentary “A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism” (5 p.m., HBO).
• A comic book store attracts a spooky clientele on “Ghost Whisperer” (7 p.m., CBS).
• Brooke Shields examines her family history on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Too many dolls on the sixth-season premiere of “Wife Swap” (7 p.m., ABC).
• A teen Pinocchio takes it on the nose on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Scheduled on “Fox Legacy” (7 p.m., Fox Movie Channel) are the 1987 drama “Wall Street” and its sequel, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
• Allison and her girls share dreams and clues on “Medium” (8 p.m., CBS).
• A cafeteria rebellion on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” (8 p.m., ABC).
• “Stargate Universe” (8 p.m., SyFy) begins the second half of its first season.
• The thoroughly silly British import “Merlin” (9 p.m., SyFy) enters its second season.
• Spartacus mourns a colleague on “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” (9 p.m., Starz).