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'Dark Blue' with Dylan McDermott

THE SHOW "Dark Blue"

WHEN | WHERE Wednesday night at 10 on TNT

REASON TO WATCH Great cast, including Dylan McDermott, Kyle Secor and James Russo (unclear whether he's in for the long haul).

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Hard-boiled L.A. cop Carter Shaw (McDermott) leads a hard-boiled undercover crew whose members fear they will turn into the perps they portray. Shaw sleeps days (which explains the stubble), pops pills, and when he smiles, his upper lips curls into a sneer of derision or knowing cynicism. Yeah, he's seen it all - a third-generation man in blue who seemed to disappear from the force three years ago and is now listed as "liaison," whatever that means.

But he's got an obsessive sense of justice - "I see everything that needs to be fixed," he tells new recruit, Jaimie (Nicki Aycox, "Over There"). "I'm going to teach each of you to see it that way, too."

Another one of his associates, Ty (Omari Hardwick) says, "Nothing he wouldn't do to protect us. Nothing he wouldn't do to get his man. But sometimes, we don't know which one comes first."

James Russo ("Public Enemies") is in the pilot as Really Bad Bad Guy Franzine, though hard to say whether this role continues. Secor ("Homicide: Life on the Street") is a fed, while Logan Marshall-Green ("Traveler") stars as another Carter homey, Dean.

BOTTOM LINE "Dark Blue" begins on a dark and stormy night, and after that, the various other genre conventions pile up precisely and predictably on schedule. You've seen this show before. You've read this show before. But just because the last Michael Connelly or James Lee Burke you devoured on the beach seemed a little bit like the one you devoured last summer doesn't make it any less appealing. And "Dark Blue" is appealing. This is a solid and particularly well-produced cop show - and should be, with Jerry Bruckheimer topping the credits - although we take off points for extreme violence.



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