Recovered alcoholic Hank Dolworth (Donal Logue) is a retired cop - presumably with the LAPD - who abandoned the booze but couldn't quite abandon the passion he had for the job. So, he launches a private detective agency with the help of a pal and (also reformed) small-time crook, Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James, most recently in "True Blood").
Good guys with a sense of right, they also have a habit of occasionally getting stuff wrong. Finally, they get some beginner's luck. A former colleague of Dolworth's needs them to find his daughter. The search leads them to a lavish mansion that overlooks the Pacific, and they stumble - which they tend to do a lot - into a sensational case that will launch their business.
As for the genesis of show's title? They decide they need a name, and a mascot, that best describes how dogged (pun, of course, intended) they are. They just can't decide what sort of mascot that would be.
The bloodlines here are pretty much beyond dispute. You've got Ryan, and co-creator Ted Griffin, who wrote the screenplay for "Ocean's Eleven." You've got Logue, James and Rockmond Dunbar (C-Note from "Prison Break") who plays Dolworth's ex-partner. These are writers' writers and actors' actors. So how did "Terriers" turn into such a mutt? It's lackadaisical, weary, bland and off-center. The latter is the chief problem: Hank and Britt's stumblebum antics are meant to pass for endearing bromance comedy routines - an updated, FX-ified Maddie Hayes-David Addison "Moonlighting" riff. Instead, they pass for nonsense. Would-be detectives this inept and clueless make you wonder how they performed in their previous occupations, much less their current one.
A rare FX woof, er, whiff.