It’s All Relative (October 1; 8:30 to 9 p.m.; ABC), not to mention insulting and offensive. Reid Scott, a south-Boston working stiff, falls for Maggie Lawson, a medical student at Harvard. His father owns a bar; hers … well, she has two of them, life companions who act out.
Angel (October 1; 9 to 10 p.m.; the WB) returns suddenly in charge of the Wolfram & Hart law firm that represents most of the evil in Los Angeles. Cordelia is in a coma, but Spike shows up from Buffy to complain about being a ghost. The first two episodes are very, very funny.
Karen Sisco (October 1; 10 to 11 p.m.; ABC), with a gun-toting, pony-tailed Carla Gugino as the Miami U.S. Marshal originally played by J.Lo in the George Clooney–Elmore Leonard feature film Out of Sight, and Robert Forster as her supportive private-detective father, who plays poker once a week with ex-cons, is my personal favorite of the new shows—smart, sexy, smoky, wet, like the sleekest of sports cars or motorboats.
L.A. Dragnet (October 4; 10 to 11 p.m.; ABC) returns with Ed O’Neill as Joe Friday, promoted over the summer to lieutenant, from which eminence he instructs younger robbery-homicide detectives in their duty in a complicated illegal-immigration/sex-slave/murder-mutilation case. A first, I think: The hour ends with one important perp on the unlikely lam.
The Practice (October 5; 10 to 11 p.m.; ABC) tries to make up for getting rid of half its old cast by recruiting James Spader into the defense-attorney firm, then having him seek damages for Sharon Stone, fired by her firm because she talks to God. Stone is gorgeous and funny; Spader is mid-range on the odd scale between Peter Weller and Johnny Depp.
Killer Instinct: From the Files of Agent Candice DeLong (October 6; 9 to 11 p.m.; Lifetime) stars Jean Smart as an FBI profiler and A. Martinez as her married lover. If memory serves, on NBC’s Profiler, Ally Walker also slept with A. Martinez. What can this mean?