If the major networks want to get serious about year-round programming, their scripted troops have to be a bit more ambitious than whatever can be inexpensively snuck across (or co-financed along) the Canadian border. So it is with “Rookie Blue,” a series about calendar-ready newbie police officers that could just as easily be titled “America’s (and Canada’s!) Next Top Cops.” While the cast manages to generate a few solid moments, the show somehow feels tired and predictable even before finishing its first patrol.To demonstrate just how green these rookies are, the most interesting of the bunch, Andy (the appealing Missy Peregrym, of “Reaper” and “Stick It”), looks younger than the majority of the “Glee” kids. Like the rest of her class, she’s tough, principled and filled with anxiety — and paired with a veteran partner who rolls his eyes every time she does anything, dispensing advice like, “Do as I say, not as I do.” The fresh-faced quintet is introduced at a bar where they’re welcomed to the force with a ritual involving handcuffs that amounts to a kind of (rather tame) hazing. The moments range from serious to silly, like the cops arguing over who ought to search a transgender suspect. The irony is that their world-weary veteran partners are more interesting, but the show is skewed toward the rookies. By that measure, “Rookie Blue” feels like a marketing-department construct, with about that much inspiration: People like copshows, and networks covet younger audiences. Presto, young cops! Plus ABC doubtless got the project wholesale as summer filler for “Grey’s Anatomy,” the home of young(ish) doctors. Win-win-win, eh? Written by Tassie Cameron and directed by David Wellington, the pilot goes down smoothly enough, but lacking a single novel beat and with no one but Peregrym registering, there’s simply no compelling reason to make another visit to this precinct.
ABC, Thurs. June 24, 9 p.m.
Filmed in Toronto by Thump and E1 Entertainment in association with Canwest. Executive producers, David Wellington, John Morayniss, Noreen Halpern, Ilana Frank, Tassie Cameron; co-executive producers, Morwyn Brebner, Ellen Vanstone; producers, Linda Pope, Kathy Avrich-Johnson; director, Wellington; writer, Cameron;
camera, David Perrault; production designer, James McAteer; editor, Teresa Hannigan; music, Ron Sures; casting, Forrest & Forrest. 60 MIN.
Andy McNally - Missy Peregrym Dov Epstein - Gregory Smith Gail Peck - Charlotte Sullivan Traci Nash - Enuka Okuma Chris Diaz - Travis Milne Sam Swarek - Ben Bass Det. Luke Callaghan - Eric Johnson
With: Billy Otis.
Data provided by:Nielsen Media Research (Preliminary Results)