Picks and Pans Review: Players

updated 10/20/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/20/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Fridays, 8p.m. ET)


Meet Isaac "Ice" Gregory (actor-rapper Ice-T), Alphonse Royo (ex-Picket Fences cop Costas Mandylor) and Charlie O'Bannon (Frank John Hughes), convicts paroled into the service of the FBI in New York City (though NBC says they'll be moving to Los Angeles soon). Their assignment: use their skills to combat, rather than commit, crime. And what are those skills? "They're extraordinarily successful con men," reports Christine Kowalski (Mia Korf), the agent assigned to control the trio of rogues.

But don't just take her word for it. In the Oct. 17 premiere of this lightweight drama series (where a bullet leaves a relatively neat hole and one punch is enough for a knockout), they prove their consummate conmanship, penetrating the Cuban mission to the United Nations by posing as telephone repairmen and gaining entry to a suspect's apartment by posing as exterminators. What will they think of next—the old flower-delivery trick? And here's their slickest move: Alphonse gets dolled up in drag to pull off a caper at a bank. (Mandylor looks marvelous, by the way.) We're glad executive producer Dick Wolf finally won an Emmy last month for Law & Order, but he won't be picking up any awards for this time filler—unless it unexpectedly develops some imagination.

From Our Partners