09/21/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT
CBS (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET)
The Sept. 21 premiere of this series begins with an upscale-L.A. street scene. While other motorists yak on their car phones about deals and dollars, Dr. Evan Newman (Rick Roberts, Traders) handles a call about a patient's pain. The opening deftly sets forth a key problem facing Evan and his colleagues: How does an ambitious Los Angeles internist balance trendiness and dedication? How does he travel in the "right circles" without losing his way? Such philosophical questions seem to weigh on unhappily divorced Evan and happily married Tim Lonner (Matt Craven, High Incident) more than on their partner Roger Cattan (Ken Olin, thirtysomething), a freewheeling bachelor with an avid interest in the business end of medicine. But Roger shows his sober side before the first hour is over. All in all, fans of the hospital dramas ER and Chicago Hope should find L.A. Doctors worth an office visit. We just hope these physicians aren't idealistic to a fault. "I want to treat patients instead of diseases," Evan declares to new partner Sarah Church (Sheryl Lee, Twin Peaks). Treat both, Doc, or your practice will die.
Bottom Line: A guardedly optimistic prognosis