In the US: Fridays, 9pm, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by Universal. Will air in March
Watching Fox’s new legal drama, Proven Innocent, reminds me of how it’s possible to feel sorry for actors even when they’ve managed to bag the lead role in a TV series. Sure, they’re the star. But in this? Oh dear, I’m so sorry.
I’ve always quite liked Rachelle Lefevre and thought she’s deserved a better career than she’s had, ever since she was bumped from the US adaptation of Life on Mars in favour of Gretchen Mol in the reshoot. She joined Off The Map, the only Shondaland series to get canned after one season. She was Victoria in the first two Twilight movies but was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard in the third movie, Eclipse, just as the role got meaty. It’s only Under The Dome that’s really given her any success and that was a prevaricating lump of daftness at the best of times.
Kelsey Grammer, on the other hand, is a fabulous comedic actor who had huge success with two long-running comedies: Cheers and Frasier. Unfortunately, all his comedy series since Frasier – Partners, Hank, Back To You – have been truly awful. Boss and The Last Tycoon both demonstrated that he’s an amazing dramatic actor, too, but those shows got cancelled fast.
And with Proven Innocent, all I can do is feel sorry for the both of them – as well as Vincent Kartheiser (Angel, Das Boot, Mad Men), Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead, The Americans, The X-Files) and Riley Smith (Frequency) – as they endure some really quite pitifully poor material as they head towards yet another inevitable cancellation.