Picks and Pans Review: Battery Park

updated 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2000 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

In terms of quality, the new Battery Park isn't ready to be mentioned in the same breath as Barney Miller. But there are encouraging similarities between this Manhattan-set police sitcom and the classic of 1975-'82. Like the Barney bunch, the Battery detective corps includes some amusing eccentrics: conceited Kevin (Robert Mailhouse), who moonlights as a security man for celebrities; overzealous partners Derek (Bokeem Woodbine) and Stig (Frank Grillo), who act as if every case is a Lethal Weapon sequel; and Carl (Jay Paulson), likable but not so street-smart, who learns in the well-written second episode (March 30) that his admired high school English teacher now works in prostitution management. Ex-Trinity cop Justin Louis appears comfortable as Ben, the relatively sane lieutenant.

But based on the first three episodes, creators Gary David Goldberg {Spin City) and Chris Henchy had better flesh out the female regulars if this series survives beyond its limited spring run. The captain, Madeleine (top-billed Elizabeth Perkins), has no clear trait besides ambition. And Elena (Jacqueline Obradors), the only woman detective, looks suspiciously like window dressing.

Bottom Line: Fairly promising cop-corn

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