Picks and Pans Review: Medical Investigation

updated 09/13/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/13/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

NBC (Thurs., Sept. 9, 10 p.m. ET)

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Neal McDonough, who did arrogance to perfection as the ambitious D.A. on the departed Boomtown, is back in this new series as Stephen Connor, leader of a crisis team from the National Institutes of Health. Medical Investigation may be a less interesting show, but McDonough does get to bark a lot of orders.

In the pilot (airing the night before the series occupies its regular Friday-at-10 slot), Dr. Connor rips newbie Dr. Miles McCabe (Christopher Gorham, late of Jake 2.0) for being a tad tentative and yells at forthright Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams from The Practice) when she says things he doesn't want to hear. "We're running out of time," she warns as they scramble to halt the outbreak of a fatal illness that's turning victims blue. "Do not tell me that I am running out of time!" he replies. Never ever—is that clear?

The opener is fairly suspenseful if you don't dwell on the dialogue, but I doubt that the work of the NIH, however cutting-edge, can lend itself plausibly to a long-running ER-CSI combo. Connor needs to calm down and do some lab work.

DRAMA

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