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In Brief

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The Job (March 14; 9:30 to 10 p.m.; ABC) lets stand-up comic Denis Leary run around -- from his wife to his girlfriend to the precinct house where he's a cop to the streets where he pops painkillers to the bar where he drinks Bushmills, to, in weeks to come, a photo spread in one of the tabloids, where, after a sort of Plato's Symposium on nipples, he is seen smooching Elizabeth Hurley, followed by the thigh-slapping discovery of a severed foot. Bill Nunn plays his henpecked partner, "Pip," and Diane Farr is the workplace smart-mouth. There are some oddly sprung prose rhythms in a series that, looking for an edge, is so far just twitchy.

Bailey's Mistake (March 18; 7 to 9 p.m.; ABC) asks Linda Hamilton to cope not only with the death of her history-professor husband and the angry unhappiness of her two children, but with a whole island off the coast of Maine, where Joan Plowright and a population of Irish "travelers" -- doomed to wander the face of the earth ever since they made the nails that were used to crucify Christ -- claim to be part of her extended family. A Disney St. Patrick's Day special that's better than its formula.

Neanderthal (March 18; 8 to 10 p.m.; Discovery) tells us everything that scientists now know, from fractured bones and fossilized feces, about the species that had Europe to itself for a quarter of a million years before disappearing some 30,000 years ago. You'll have to get over your guffaws at the animation and prosthetics employed here to mock-up Homo Sap's short and hairy competition. But at least none of the Cro-Magnons looks like Daryl Hannah, either. And the story never fails to enthrall: the first Displaced Persons, the prototype refugees.

Suicide (March 18; 10 to 11 p.m.; HBO) is what producer-director Eames Yates found, after his own brother killed himself and he went into the subject with his camera and his grief: angry and bewildered survivors, stressed-out medics and cops, burnt-out "hotline" counselors, dread statistics (30,000 Americans a year, mostly because of depression, mostly with firearms; the third largest killer of 15-to-24-year-olds; a 150 percent increase among children in the past fifteen years).


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