CBS waited until mid-April to debut the new drama "NYC 22." After watching the first two episodes, I know why.
It's not very good.
The series, which airs 9 p.m. Sunday in place of "CSI: Miami," follows six NYPD rookies as they patrol their new beats. Sound familiar? It should. ABC will begin its third season this summer of "Rookie Blue," a drama set in Toronto about rookie police officers.
Casting for "NYC 22" also is suspect, with the porcelain-looking, pencil-thin Leelee Sobieski as one of of the rookies, a military police officer just back from Iraq. Watching her play tough is, well, funny, and it's not supposed to be.
The drama also reunites Adam Goldberg and Terry Kinney, who both appeared in the short-lived ABC cop drama "The Unusuals." Their characters on that show were interesting. Here, not so much.
When compared to the characters in such well-executed police dramas as "Southland" (TNT) and "Justified" (FX), those on "NYC 22" are thinly developed and caricatures of those we've seen before: a washed-up athlete, the tough girl from a bad neighborhood and the aw-shucks, good-looking hunk with a good heart.
Actor Robert De Niro is one of the five executive producers. He gives the drama a name to hang its hat on, but it needs more than that. Characters with some substance would be a start. Grade: C-minus
Across the remote
* AMC kicks off its new reality show, "The Pitch," at 8 p.m. Monday after a sneak preview earlier this month. Omaha-based Bozell, a creative marketing communications company, is among the national advertising firms competing for real business. Bozell will appear in the May 28 episode.
* "Jeopardy" begins its teen tournament Monday. Among the 15 competitors is 16-year-old Elyse Mancuso from Omaha. She was selected from more than 20,000 students who applied to play. The winner will receive $75,000.
* "Fringe" is no longer on the bubble. Fox announced this week that the science fiction drama will return for a fifth and final 13-episode season.
* The "House" guest list continues to grow, with the announcement of Jennifer Morrison returning as Cameron for the season finale. Also returning: Olivia Wilde, Amber Tamblyn and Kal Penn, even though his character, Kutner, is dead.
* "Smash" has a new showrunner in Josh Safran, who leaves his job of guiding The CW's "Gossip Girl." Safran replaces "Smash" creator Theresa Rebeck and is expected to breathe new life into the freshman drama, which started out with a bang, but fizzled as it progressed.
* Ryan Seacrest has no plans to leave "American Idol" anytime soon. Fox announced it re-signed him to a new contract. No terms were released, but the Hollywood Reporter is saying it's for two years.
* Quick hits ... Cable shows receiving renewals include Steven Seagal's "True Justice" (Reelz), "The Lying Game" (ABC Family) and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" (E!) ... "Drop Dead Diva" begins season four June 3 on Lifetime ... "The Glades" begins its third season on June 3 on A&E ... Lindsay Lohan will play Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime original movie "Liz & Dick."