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CBS's 'Brooklyn DA:' Well, an 'infomercial?'

Christine Figoski, daughter of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski,

Christine Figoski, daughter of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, leaves court in Brooklyn after Lamont Pride, who gunned down her father, got a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison. (Feb. 28, 2013) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Maybe you've heard of the forthcoming CBS reality series, "Brooklyn DA:'  It's got some notoreity in the midst of a campaign for DA, with some charging that it's an infomercial. Here's my take, in next week's Newsday: 

THE SHOW "Brooklyn DA" WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 10 on CBS/2 WHAT IT'S ABOUT This six-part series goes inside the nation's largest urban District Attorney's office, handling 80,000 cases a year, to focus on a few, including (tonight) two with Long Island ties -- most notably the murder of veteran NYPD officer and West Babylon resident, Peter Figoski, 47, who was shot and killed responding to a robbery in progress in East New York on Dec. 12, 2011. His daughters -- Carolyn, Corrine, Christine, and Caitlyn -- are interviewed. Other cases include assistant DA Lawrence Oh's case against a house painter charged with stealing artwork from the Kings Point mansion of Rudolph B. and Hannelore B. Schulhof; and assistant Kathleen Collins' prosecution of a sex trafficking case.

MY SAY Lucky "Brooklyn DA" got some prelaunch notoriety that should lead to one likely outcome: More people will watch. That's probably not what challengers to veteran Kings County DA, Charles Hynes -- currently in the midst of a noisy re-election campaign -- envisioned. They claim this is a whitewash amounting to a campaign infomercial, and want equal time. But if this is a commercial, then it's a reasonably lousy one. Hynes is neither seen nor mentioned. One of the cases leads to an unhappy outcome. The others have already been followed closely in the press, and there's nothing here to indicate that anything other than the standards of professional conduct were met. In other words, heroes are not minted tonight. But as a reality series, it's highly effective. The interviews with the Figoskis are powerful and especially poignant reminders of a tragedy many may have already forgotten. That's not going to help anyone get elected, but it may help these young women get a little bit nearer to closure, if that's even remotely possible. That alone makes "Brooklyn DA" a valuable newcomer.

BOTTOM LINE Interesting, engaging, worthwhile.


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