TNT goes ‘Dark’ in L.A. cop drama

Posted July 14, 2009, at 5:16 p.m.

After years of benefiting from Jerry Bruckheimer’s reruns, TNT is now getting to air original programming from Bruckheimer.

Previously Bruckheimer and TNT have offered to viewers police seeking missing persons (“Without a Trace”) and the answers to unsolved murders (“Cold Case”). This time around, it’s undercover cops in “Dark Blue,” debuting at 10 tonight.

In a series that’s, well, darker than most TNT originals, “Dark Blue” stars Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) as Lt. Carter Shaw, the leader of a covert undercover unit in Los Angeles. Shaw and his task force immerse themselves in the world of criminals, the better to infiltrate it.

Shaw’s team members are Ty Curtis (Omari Hardwick), who struggles to balance his real life as a newlywed and his undercover activities; Dean Bendis (Logan Marshall-Green), a shoot-from-the-hip officer who team members worry may flip over to the other side, and newcomer Jaimie Allen (Nicki Aycox), who is recruited for her ability to lie, especially about her past. They’re all damaged people who have issues with which they’re trying to cope.

Since their unit doesn’t technically exist, Shaw and his people have quite a bit of autonomy, but also find themselves without the resources available to those working within the LAPD system.

“Dark Blue” still needs further development, as right now atmosphere is more prevalent than characterization. But many of Bruckheimer’s other projects weren’t born fully formed either, and he’s got some of his regular production team, including Jonathan Littman and Danny Cannon, involved with “Dark Blue,” so that’s promising.

With the hit “Leverage” as a lead-in, and largely up against network reruns and reality leftovers, “Dark Blue” should get the chance it needs to evolve.

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