You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Queens Supreme

CBS' latest legal drama "Queens Supreme" plods and is a vacant journey into the judicial system. Characters that seem far too rote. Much as it's great to see Oliver Platt back on TV as Judge Jack Moran, we've seen him do this smarter-than-the-average-bear guy before in "Deadline" and "The West Wing."

Jack Moran - Oliver Platt Thomas O'Neill - Robert Loggia Kim Vicidomini - Annabella Sciorra Rose Barnea - L. Scott Caldwell Carmen Hui - Marcy Harriell Mike Powell - James Madio Maude MacPherson - Kristen Johnson Tommy Ryan - Lee Tergensen

The Queens County Courthouse must have an odd sign at the entrance to direct traffic: Menacing defendants head down one hall to end up in the court of Judge Jack Moran (Oliver Platt), and the others, with cases that trigger giggles, venture off with judges Rose Barnea (L. Scott Caldwell) and Kim Vicidomini (Annabella Sciorra). Collectively, this juxtaposition creates an odd tone for CBS’ latest legal drama “Queens Supreme,” a plodding and vacant journey into the judicial system and characters that seem far too rote. Much as it’s great to see Platt back on TV, we’ve seen him do this smarter-than-the-average-bear guy before in “Deadline” and “The West Wing.”

CBS is down to just one legal hour on its schedule, “Judging Amy,” and “Queens Supreme” is being pitched as something it doesn’t deliver on its first two episodes: It’s neither quirky nor sufficiently serious or comic, and it shows little of the borough of Queens.

In the first two episodes, Moran ends up with a gun pointed at him for considerable lengths of time, first by an unhinged juror and then by a man Moran believes is an Irish mobster. There’s little sense of fear or terror in the scenes — Platt plays Moran so coolly, the character seems to believe he can talk his way through anything, and that includes getting his wife Maude (Kristen Johnson) not to demand a divorce.

When he figures out an odd legal wrinkle to get police reports entered as evidence in the Irish mob case, he not only befuddles an assistant district attorney, he becomes Superman in a robe capable of fighting crime and letting criminals feel like they received their just due.

Down the hall — and to get there we meet cute and cuddly law clerks and an elderly judge — are the courtrooms of Vicidomini and Barnea. In the pilot, Sciorra’s judge has a racial profiling case that boils down to whether a black man would run while wearing velour; episode two puts Caldwell’s justice in the middle of a porn dispute that elicits titters and, in the case of one law clerk, a considerable letdown. Said disappointment, though, leads to a judge taking a left turn and solving the case faster that you can say Perry Mason.

Caldwell and Robert Loggia, as Judge Thomas O’Neill, play the pragmatists, and their characters’ reasoned approach to the law doeslittle for the proceedings, unless the actions put before them strain taste or common sense. (Isn’t that why David E. Kelley sticks to quirky lawyers and lets the judges appear sane?) Sciorra, billed and promoted as young, attractive and ambitious, exudes none of those characteristics — she’s as sedentary as her mentors on the bench.

Marcy Harriell, as law clerk Carmen Hui, is the standout among the ensemble, used mostly to encounter the judges in hallways and push the exposition. Harriell plays the bright bulb among the crew, and her perky perf commands attention. Her counterpart, Mike Powell (James Madio), is too strident, a junior version of Moran played too far over the top.

David Platt’s direction in the pilot is standard-issue old-fashioned, and the second episode has all the freshness of “Marcus Welby, M.D.”

“Queens Supreme” is all about taking safe and familiar routes, perhaps the result of compromises brought on by the lengthy list of executives and companies above the line.

Names that are missing are Julia Roberts, who signed on as a producer and then exec producer before bailing, and Tim Robbins, initially inked as the pilot’s director. Kyra Sedgwick, cast as a D.A., will be featured in later episodes. Boasting the talents of Platt and Sciorra isn’t enough, though, to make up for the lack of vision.

Queens Supreme

CBS, Fri. Jan. 10, 10 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Queens, N.Y., by CBS Prods. in association with Spelling Television, Shadowland Prods., Red Om Films and Revolution Studios. Executive producers, Kevin Fox, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Deborah Schindler, Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent; co-executive producers, Marjorie David, Keith Samples; producers, Steve Rose, Stephen Godchaux; co-producer, Linda McGibney; director, David Platt; writer, Godchaux.

Crew: Director of photography, Ron Fortunato; production designer, Cabot McMulen; music, Doug Cuomo; casting, Bonnie Finnegan. 60 MIN.

Cast: Jack Moran - Oliver Platt Thomas O'Neill - Robert Loggia Kim Vicidomini - Annabella Sciorra Rose Barnea - L. Scott Caldwell Carmen Hui - Marcy Harriell Mike Powell - James Madio Maude MacPherson - Kristen Johnson Tommy Ryan - Lee TergensenWith: Steve Mellor, Terry Schappert, Jackie Santiago, Adrian Maretinez, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Vincent Pastore, Adam Wade, Jim Doman, Jim Iorio, Keith Tisdell, Liana Pai, Will Chase.

More TV


    'Chambers' Canceled After One Season at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled the drama series “Chambers” after one season. The series followed a teenager who gets a heart transplant and becomes consumed with the mystery surrounding her donor. The series starred Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn, Sivan Alyra Rose, Lilliya Reid, Nicholas Galitzine, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Lilli Kay, Sarah Mezzanotte, and Griffin Powell-Arcand. Leah Rachel [...]

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content