It's amazing that studios keep cranking out police shows, always trying to give us a new spin on the boys in blue.
Life (NBC) does offer something fresh: A cop who's been falsely incarcerated for 12 years actually returns to the job he loves. Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) has to cope with digs from fellow cops and deal with his moody partner (Sarah Shahi) while he adjusts to life with cell phones, digital cameras, and the Internet. His method of extracting information is unorthodox but quite compelling, yet there is a certain grittiness here that seems better suited for a cable show. Still, it could click in prime time.
Speaking of gritty, K-Ville (Fox) is all about it. In post-Katrina New Orleans, Marlin Boulet (The Shield's Anthony Anderson) is trying to keep the peace, cope with a shady new partner, and keep his wife and daughter in the waterlogged city. While New Orleans is used as an effective backdrop, it does not seem to be much more than that yet. K-Ville could be any number of other police dramas. However, I feel guilty saying that about a show that may be benefiting New Orleans financially.
If you want slightly less grit, there's Women's Murder Club (ABC). Inspired by James Patterson's best-selling novels, the series follows four women in the Bay Area - a detective (Law & Order's Angie Harmon), a district attorney, a medical examiner, and a reporter - who team up to solve murder cases. Of course, the camaraderie and interaction are more important than the cases, but the quality of the stories will determine whether this comes alive or is DOA.