Rob Morrow and Teri Polo, Numbers
Though there are wives aplenty, there's no "big love" in sight on tonight's Numbers (10 pm/ET, on CBS). The polygamy here is definitely not HBO-style, with its separate-but-equal housing and cuddling. "It's a ripped-from-the headlines episode spun off the case of Warren Jeffs, who was on the FBI's Most Wanted List and has dozens of underage wives," explains executive producer Cheryl Heuton. (Jeffs, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual misconduct with a minor in Arizona and charged with rape as an accomplice in Utah, was recently captured.)

In the episode, a severely beaten teen girl found wandering in the desert sends FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) looking for her missing "husband," a cult leader called the Prophet, played by W. Earl Brown (aka Dan Dority on Deadwood). The Prophet wants his woman back — or he'll find himself another young bride. Teri Polo — who was on Northern Exposure with Morrow — guests as an FBI agent who, years earlier, escaped the same cult. Heuton says the episode isn't "about religion, it's not even about polygamy, per se. It's about [an] abusive individual who uses religion as a cover for predatory behavior."

As the story unfolds, says Heuton, viewers should look for parallels to another so-called prophet — David Koresh — and the tragedy in Waco, Texas. "We end with a catastrophic explosion, and the question is, 'Who will get out and who will not?'"

Procedurals fans, get an early look at the new season of The Shield in the "2007 Preview" issue of TV Guide, now on newsstands.

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