You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Wright Verdicts

Premiere, written by executive producer Dick Wolf, has Wright representing a young woman accused of murdering her older, wealthy lover. After some keen investigation and enjoyable courtroom histrionics, he naturally smokes out the real killer.

Premiere, written by executive producer Dick Wolf, has Wright representing a young woman accused of murdering her older, wealthy lover. After some keen investigation and enjoyable courtroom histrionics, he naturally smokes out the real killer.

Filmed in New York by Wolf Films Prods. in association with Universal Television. Executive producer-creator-writer, Dick Wolf; co-exec producer, Don Kurt; producer, Cleve Landsberg; director, John Patterson; camera, Reynaldo Villalobos; editors, Michael Kewley, Michael Lynch; production designer, Tony Cowley; sound, Walter Hoylman; music, Mike Post. #Cast: Tom Conti, Margaret Colin, Aida Turturro, John Glover, Sara Botsford, Heather Fairfield, Kurt Fuller , Leslie Mann, Paul Collins, Christine Estabrook, Steven Gilborn, Nada Despotovich, Stan Ivar, Brian George, David Carpenter, John F. O’Donohue. The Wright Verdicts” is mature in the best sense: it’s smart, has no false innocence and has the right amount of fun. Criminal lawyer Charles Wright (Tom Conti) will win juries over like clockwork, and the series should likewise charm viewers.

The character’s chief skill is blarney or, as his investigator puts it, shucking and jiving. Charles is bumbling and self-deprecating one minute, erudite and mischievous the next.

Conti is marvelous: You believe the slight stammer as much as the literary quotations. Conti brings off Wright’s sense of humor and his status as a ladies’ man; it should be interesting to watch the character develop.

The dynamic between Conti and his two female employees, adoring assistant Lydia (Aida Turturro) and crusty investigator Sandy (Margaret Colin), needs some work. It’s a little stagy and there’s so much flirtation that the relationships in this office triangle seem headed in only one direction.

Production designer Tony Cowley has created a great office: a spacious townhouse with pool table, clubby leather furniture and skylights to die for. (Wright actually declines to appear on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”)

Wolf knows his law, or at least he knows how to make the law substantial and accessible. Thanks to director John Patterson and good editing by Michael Kewley and Michael Lynch, the courtroom scenes are handled with aplomb. The hour has a surplus of spectacular aerial shots of Manhattan.

A well-heeled criminal lawyer with a golden tongue won’t help CBS make any inroads into the 18-49 demographic, and the courtroom drama format can’t be expected to yield many surprises. However, coming from a winning stable and with an irresistible title character, “The Wright Verdicts” has plenty of appeal.

The Wright Verdicts

(Fri. (31), 9-10 p.m., CBS)

Production: The twist is that Wright is a former British barrister practicing in New York City. He's oozing with integrity when it comes to picking clients (they must be innocent) and is willing to engage in courtroom shenanigans.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content