CBS drops in a nifty programmer with a tangled plot and resolution that may bother some but plays out with ingenuity and, thanks to director Jan Egleson, dollops of suspense. More, John Pielmeier’s script hands Mark Harmon a shot at a more complex part than he’s been handling lately, and he comes off fine.
Jonathan Frayne (Harmon) is a radio talk host hearing anonymous callers’ “true confessions” about things they’ve never admitted before. A worried young woman named Laura says she’s too troubled to speak; a man becomes surprisingly knowledgeable about the enigmatic radio personality — and confesses he’s done far worse than Jonathan.
Laura (Sarah Trigger), the shy caller, appears at the station door to tell Jonathan things about herself as she begins a curious road toward romance; the man, now threatening, calls Jonathan at home with personal items about the talkshow host few people know.
Jonathan reasons that only someone at the station could get his home number, so the suspects list seems to boil down to producer Becka (Julianne Phillips), station manager Chas (Ron Perlman) and engineer Jimbo (David Clennon).
In a case that involves deception, jealousy, a bombing and murders, Jonathan’s own secret has plenty to do with the action, and if the whole premise comes off far-fetched, at least it’s worth time trying to guess the villain; as a mystery, vidpic turns on a trick that’s easily outguessed along the way.
Harmon comes off well in an intricate part, and Trigger offers a commendably offbeat quality. Phillips, part of NBC’s “Sisters” act, suffices, and Perlman, grad of the CBS series “Beauty and the Beast,” is OK. Clennon is energetic as Jimbo.
Tech credits are fine.