Pilot Watch: 'The Whole Truth'
by Joel Keller, posted Aug 15th 2010 11:17AM
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.
Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. This is one of those shows that's radically changed since its original pilot.
Show: 'The Whole Truth'
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 10PM ET (Premieres September 22)
The lowdown: Essentially, in this show viewers see the story of a criminal trial from both sides of the aisle. As we switch back and forth between the prosecuting and defense teams, we see how they operate to work the system to their side's advantage. On the defense side is Jimmy Brogan (Rob Morrow), who grew up in Hell's Kitchen and has a bit of an unorthodox style. Kathryn Peale (Maura Tierney) is a law-and-order prosecutor from New England. As the cases progress, the two lawyers, friends from their Yale Law School days, meet and talk about the law, justice, and the case at hand.
What we're saying: This show has already undergone a major change, as Joely Richardson played Kathryn in the original pilot, but she was released from the show for personal reasons. It's an interesting full-circle return to TV for Tierney, as she was in the original pilot of 'Parenthood' last season but had to bow out -- she was replaced by Lauren Graham -- when she went into treatment for breast cancer.
There's no telling how this change will affect the show, but having Tierney there can only help. As good an actress as Richardson is, Tierney seems to connect with viewers on multiple levels, which will give her character a little more depth than the average "try 'em and put 'em away" prosecutor we usually see on TV. The storytelling method keeps the show moving quickly, even if the stories themselves are nothing new. Because this is a Jerry Bruckheimer / Jonathan Litman production, you'll see more of the procedure than the personality, but the actors and the storytelling might elevate the show above the usual law procedural crowd.
Here's a preview:
Let us know what you think. Is this an successful return to TV for Tierney?