Like a classic mystery, the new series “Deception” (9 p.m., NBC) begins with a dead woman from a posh family with more secrets than the CIA. After troubled socialite Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson) is found dead of an apparent overdose, FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso) begins to smell a rat. Bowers’ powerful family had a history of hushing up trouble for its bratty brood, most notably a nasty murder charge against Edward (Tate Donovan), the scary eldest son.
Lucky for Moreno, his old girlfriend, detective Joanna Padget Locasto (Meagan Good), was a childhood friend of the deceased and her family. Her mother was a maid for the Bowerses, and she and Vivian were as close as sisters when they were teenagers — before Vivian appeared to go off the rails. And apparently Locasto was close to the dashing son Julian Bowers (Wes Brown) as well. Very close.
Moreno convinces Locasto to attend a family memorial service, lie about her identity as a policewoman and insinuate herself into their inner circle once again. That comes easily, particularly after patriarch Robert Bowers (Victor Garber) invites her to stay at the mansion while she’s in town.
Once ensconced in luxury (and wearing a wire), our detective finds family secrets scattered about the house like dust bunnies. The preposterous ease with which she uncovers a conspiracy is only one of many faults with this series. Locasto is a cipher who provides a vehicle for our discovery of the family’s many misdeeds. But that doesn’t make her interesting, or offer many motives for her curiosity, or explain why these shrewd, manipulative, untouchable and seemingly omnipotent gazillionaires fall so easily for her ruse.
For all the film noir overtones, “Deception” also lacks any particular visual flair. It’s a bland combination of “Revenge” and “Nancy Drew” with a little “Dirty Sexy Money” thrown in.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Sean Lowe becomes the 17th incarnation of “The Bachelor” (7 p.m., ABC).
• “Antiques Roadshow” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) begins a new season in Corpus Christi, Texas.
• Grace’s choices dwindle as the FBI circles on the series finale of “The Mob Doctor” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Michelle takes refuge in magic as “Bunheads” (8 p.m., ABC Family) begins a new season.
• Castle’s ex-wife resurfaces on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).
• “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (11 p.m., ABC) celebrates its move to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday with a glance back at the last 10 years.