×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

White Collar

With "White Collar," USA looks dressed for success.

With:
Neal Caffrey - Matt Bomer Peter Burke - Tim DeKay Elizabeth Burke - Tiffani Thiessen Mozzie - Willie Garson

There’s nothing new under the sun, but USA seems to get more mileage out of its retreads than most. Neatly in tune with the breezy charms of “Burn Notice,” “White Collar” recycles the outlines of “It Takes a Thief,” as a high-tech criminal/con artist grudgingly teams with the FBI investigator who put him away. Squabbling shotgun marriages have been a staple of TV, and the series gets nice chemistry initially out of Matt Bomer and “Carnivale’s” Tim DeKay. USA’s run of good fortune might run dry, but with “White Collar,” the channel looks dressed for success.

Bomer’s Neal Caffrey inexplicably escapes from jail months before his scheduled release, and it doesn’t take G-man Peter Burke (DeKay) long to catch up with him. Seems Neal is still pining for his old girlfriend, who has changed her identity and fled to whereabouts unknown.

Eager to stay at liberty in order to find her, Neal offers to help Burke corral other white-collar thieves to secure his freedom — or at least remain out of prison. Of course, there are certain indignities associated with the deal — like being forced to wear an ankle locator and live in a flop house — but he’s resourceful enough to trump the latter by finding a rich widow (Diahann Carroll, in a recurring role) to take him in.

The notion of white collar crime seems timely, but one suspects the series, created by Jeff Eastin, will be less about hunting down Madoff types than a means to explore capers with a high-tech twist. The first case, in the extended 90-minute premiere, involves art fraud, and while the story beats are familiar enough, the resolution is certainly clever and niftily done.

Perhaps more significantly, beyond the intermittently hostile “48 HRs.”-like relationship between the leads, they’re flanked by promising supporting players. “Sex and the City’s” Willie Garson plays Neal’s confederate Mozzie, while Tiffani Thiessen is cast as Burke’s patient wife, whose husband is a trifle too honest to provide her the finer things to which the suave, law-breaking Caffrey has grown accustomed.

“White Collar’s” pilot is directed by Bronwen Hughes, whose credits include “Burn Notice,” the best of USA’s recent crop of original series, which tend to mix action with whimsy. This latest caper isn’t at that level yet, but based on the channel’s track record, you’d be ill-advised to bet against it tracking down an audience.

White Collar

USA, Fri. Oct. 23, 10 p.m.

Production: Filmed in New York by Fox Television Studios. Executive producers, Jeff Eastin; supervising producer, Joan Binder Weiss; producers, Don Kurt, Margo Myers; director, Bronwen Hughes; writer, Eastin.

Crew: Camera, Russell Fine; production designer, Lester Cohen; editor, Jordan Goldman; music, Jon Erlich; casting, Gayle Pillsbury, Julie Tucker, Ross Meyerson. 90 MIN.

Cast: Neal Caffrey - Matt Bomer Peter Burke - Tim DeKay Elizabeth Burke - Tiffani Thiessen Mozzie - Willie GarsonWith: Diahann Carroll.

More Scene

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron attends the 44th Annual

    Alfonso Cuarón to LAFCA: 'Thanks to Your Help We Can Break Down Walls'

    Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City. “This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Max Malandrino/REX/Shutterstock

    Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate 'n Al

    A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive. A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and [...]

  • Charlie Collier, FOX Chief Executive Officer

    'The Passage' Team Talks Diversifying Races, Genders and Ages of Book Characters

    “The Passage” star Saniyya Sidney was unaware that the book version of her character was originally white until her father, a fan of Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic trilogy, informed her during the audition process. “I was like, ‘Oh, she is?'” Sidney told Variety at Thursday’s series premiere in Santa Monica, Calif. “And when I got it, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content