Question: I'm a big fan of the Law & Order franchise (more of Law & Order: SVU than the original), but I was wondering what the chances are that the new series Conviction will survive on Friday nights. Trial by Jury didn't do very well in that time slot, and, speaking as a future prosecutor, I'm very optimistic about this show. I was just wondering if you think it will do well or not, and if you've seen more than just the previews of the show in order to form an opinion about it. Thanks.
Answer: Hard to know if it will survive on Fridays. Special Victims Unit did very well there, but that was before CBS found a winning formula for the night. I know I would much rather watch Numbers than Conviction, which seems to me a very clumsy effort by Dick Wolf to try to make a David E. Kelley-style series. (My review of Conviction will appear in the next issue of TV Guide, out later this week.) It may depend on how well Las Vegas survives the transfer to Fridays. If Vegas boosts NBC's Friday ratings, that might drive an audience to Conviction, which certainly tries to amp up the sex appeal, with office affairs, shirtless young lawyers and plenty of bedroom scenes, as if that's enough to make you care. I've seen two episodes so far, and that was two too many. (In my review, I compare it unfavorably to ABC's short-lived Equal Justice from the early '90s, which also followed young prosecutors with much more appeal and zeal, and with a far superior cast that included Joe Morton, Jane Kaczmarek and, long before Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker.)