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Picks and Pans Review: Final Verdict

updated 09/09/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/09/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

TNT (Mon., Sept. 9, 8 P. M. ET)

D+

Here's a dangerous casting choice: Treat Williams as a passionate trial attorney. When ABC tried Williams in that kind of slot last spring with Eddie Dodd, the network had to pull the series quicker than a shipment of botulistic soup.

So what if we put a twist on it...give Williams a boater and send him back to the year 1919? The result is still the same: Honey, let's see what's on the Discovery Channel.

Williams plays Earl Rogers, a real-life criminal lawyer in California over half a century ago. Glenn Ford is his preacher father, the voice of rectitude. Rogers is working on two murder cases simultaneously. One of them sends him into a tailspin, during which his doting daughter, played by Olivia Burnette, the star of NBC's upcoming sitcom The Torkelsons, discovers that her father is a periodic drunk. (The movie is based on Final Verdict, the memoir of Rogers's real daughter, the late Adela Rogers St. Johns, a screenwriter and journalist for the Hearst chain.)

The pace is sluggish, loose ends abound, and the dialogue is suspect: Would someone in 1919 say of over-imbibing, "I was out of it"?

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