Picks and Pans Review: The D.A.

updated 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

ABC (Fridays, 10 p.m. ET)

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Mr. District Attorney—man of integrity, fighter for justice.

That may be the line he's selling in his campaign commercials, but David Franks (former Wings costar Steven Weber) isn't really that kind of D.A. in this four-episode series premiering March 19. He's a political animal who sees almost everything in terms of how it will affect his reelection bid in Los Angeles and his long-term prospects for the California governorship. His top criminal prosecutor (J.K. Simmons) is trying to undermine him, a former deputy (Peter Outerbridge) is running against him, and his most trusted lieutenant (Sarah Paulson) correctly criticizes him for whining.

Weber's Franks is an interesting anti-hero, but the makers of the series evidently felt the audience needed a thorough good guy to stand up to the D.A. and prick his conscience. Enter Mark Camacho (Bruno Campos, from Jesse), an idealistic young prosecutor who—as we're often reminded—is the son of an assassinated congressman. To avoid predictability, the show wisely includes scenes where Franks surprises Camacho by actually agreeing with him. Unfortunately, Campos looks a little too stunned whenever the boss throws his character a curve.

Though the second episode features an implausible Hollywood homicide, The D.A.deserves more than four weeks to present its case.

DRAMA

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