Fall TV Preview

Fall Preview: Check Out Playboy Club, Grimm, Smash and 8 Other New NBC Shows

In addition to the tried-and-true Chuck Bartowski, Benson and Stabler, Jeff Winger, and the Braverman bunch, NBC’s schedule for the 2011-12 TV season (detailed here) also features a bevy of Playboy bunnies, the return of Christina Applegate, two sitcoms based on today’s hot comediennes, and a fantastical fairy tale-flavored drama.

NBC Exec Discusses Chuck‘s Big Finish, SVU Minus Mariska/Chris, and Wonder Woman Troubles

So, until fall ultimately rolls around, here are sneak peeks at 11 of NBC’s new series. Take a look and tell us what you think!

The Playboy Club, with Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard, David Krumholtz (Mondays at 10 pm)

Up All Night, with Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph (Wednesdays at 8 pm)

Free Agents, with Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn and Anthony Head (Wednesdays at 8:30)

Whitney, starring comedienne Whitney Cummings (Thursdays at 9:30 pm)

Prime Suspect, with Maria Bello, Aiden Quinn, Kirk Acevedo (Thursdays at 10 pm)

Grimm, with David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz (Fridays at 9 pm)


Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea, starring Laura Prepon

Awake, starring Jason Isaacs

Bent, starring Amanda Peet


Smash, starring Debra Messing and Katharine McPhee

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bee says:

    SMASH! i can’t wait. idol’s season 5 runner-up katharine mcphee is an amazing singer and looks BEAUTIFUL (love her haircut and so glad she’s back to brunette) even in that casual get-up. i wish it was on in the fall, but since a post-the voice slot really increases its chances for success, i’m okay with it.

    very interested in the playboy club. could be fun and awesome.

    wow. LOVE the awake promo. very inception-like. now i wish it was on in the fall.

    whitney was so annoying. the actress was way over-doing it and needed to seriously stop talking.

    prime suspect and grimm looked alright. the clips they chose seemed random.

    bent and BFF weren’t very funny, and surprisingly, neither was chelsea’s show.

    up all night was funny and sorta cute. it should’ve 100% been in the post-the office slot instead.

    • John says:

      I think their hope is that Up All Night doesn’t need the slot since it has star power and an easier time slot…they want to plant a flag on Wednesday at 8! And I’m gonna watch it, too!

    • Nat says:

      Smash looks like a Glee re-imagining of Glee without the diversity. Should be interesting!

  2. John says:

    These look really promising!

    The Smash trailer – Oh my God…it’s like Glee with defined stylistic choices!

  3. doug says:

    if Playboy Club does well in the monday at 10 spot where would smash then go?

  4. Joey says:

    So far, the only ones that look interesting are The Playboy Club, Up All Night, and BFFs. Are “Are You There Vodka?” and “Whitney” filmed in front of an audience, or is that a laugh track?

  5. Sam says:

    Smash, if you come up with some non-stereotypical gay characters, I will love you forever. I love Chris Colfer, but that part is basically what people in Ohio THINK gays are.

    • Linds says:

      I’m confused about your Ohio comment. You know it’s not filmed or produced exclusively by if any people from Ohio, right? So claiming that’s what people from Ohio think gay men are like would be a little untrue, no?

  6. Jennifer says:

    The theater geek in me is super excited about The Playboy Club (officially the show I’m most looking forward to next season) and Smash. Can’t wait to see Laura Benanti, Brian d’arcy James and Megan Hilty in primetime.

    Awake looks intriguing. I’m going to venture a guess right now and say that Jason Isaac’s character actually died in the crash, not the wife or son. I’m a fan of Christina Applegate and Will Arnett so looking forward to Up All Night (had been hoping that’d land in 30 Rock’s vacant Thursday spot).

    When the time comes I’ll probably check out at least the pilots for Grimm, Bent, Are You There Vodka? and Prime Suspect.

  7. Tim says:

    Awake and Grimm look promising. Grimm will either fail miserable or be a hit. Awake looks like it will be a solid show that I will watch somewhat casually.

    The comedies honestly don’t look that great…

    • Tausif Khan says:

      I agree. I am assuming that Awake will replace Chuck once Chuck finishes its 13 episode fifth season run. I wonder if Awake will then be given the 8 pm slot or the 9 pm slot. Either way I don’t know how to choose between Grimm or Fringe. I was frustrated by Fringe but like it serialization. But Grimm has David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf co-creator and writer of Angel.

      One thing is for sure with no show like Friday Night Lights I think friday night has been resigned to the nerds.

    • jenna says:

      agreed with both. Grimm seems so interesting but i’m worried about the friday timeslot. I’m also excited for the Playboy club, it looks promising and because I love the simpsons so much i’ll probably tune into free agents to see what its about

  8. Pia says:

    looking forward to Grimm and Awake.
    don’t care much for the comedies to be perfectly honest.

  9. Enough says:

    So Grimm is NBC’s version of Supernatural: I was looking forward for Grimm hopefully replacing SPN as this will probably be the last season. Unless SPN moves time slots, I will be taping Grimm.

  10. Adam says:

    Free Agents looks good plus it has Hank Azaria and Anthony Head in it (GILES!)

    • murley says:

      i know, hank azaria and anthony head mean that this is definitely a must watch show for me. i hope it lives up to their collective awesomeness.

    • ladyhelix says:

      Fun premise, Great cast. It was a must watch until I watched the trailer. Really?

    • Olli says:

      My TV needs more Giles. Even if he appears to be a really filthy version of Giles.

  11. Scott says:

    These shows look promising. “Whitney” is going to need some work in my opinion to be a hit. I love Whitney Cummings but it just seems stale. Poor “BFFs” will have to recast Adam Paully’s character since ABC renewed “Happy Endings” (YAY!!!) Chelsea’s new show looks funny to me, they just need to get her a better wig. The Wednesday night comedies look strong and may put ABC on blast.

    I’m looking forward to “Grimm” and even “The Playboy Club”. Both seem like a nice change of pace instead of more doctor and lawyer shows.

  12. Travis says:

    Can we all agree that Whitney looks terrible? If THAT’S the 90-sec clip they put up, I shudder to think what the rest of the episode may look like. As vehicles go, this one should be driven to the impound lot.

    • Adam says:

      I agree, the laughing was so bad and such a obvious laugh track that its embarrassing.

    • Murph says:

      Agree, the laugh track was awful. The funny thing is, the scripts for “Whitney” & “Bent” were both great, but “Whitney” read like a single camera & “Bent” like a multi. I think they might have gone wrong in that respect.

    • susela says:

      I stopped watching after about ten seconds due to the laugh track. Ouch.

  13. Save_BreakingIn says:

    The only show that looks actually good is ‘Awake’. I’ll check out ‘Up All Night’, ‘Free Agents’, ‘Are You There Vodka?’ and ‘Bent’ mostly because of the cast for each show, but the only ones that seem even the slightest bit good are ‘Up All Night’ and ‘Free Agents’.

    Also is it me or does it seem like Eddie Cibrian is doing a Don Draper impression?

  14. rac76 says:

    Okay, I want to say that I think that the “Playboy Club” & “Grimm” looking promising for the Fall lineup, while “Are you there Vodka, it’s me Chelsea” looks hilarious. I actually laughed hard while watching that clip, maybe it’s because I’ve read all of her books (expect the latest one), and I like her humor. Yet, the “Free Agents” clipped bored me.

  15. Domenic says:

    What is it about the comedic genius of the surviving Thursday night comedies that screamed: “we need a traditional canned laughter sitcom?” And if you’re looking to launch a supernatural crime thriller show, why put it on opposite Fringe and Supernatural? Awake looks like it has the most potential so I’m surprised they’re saving it for mid-season.

  16. cassi says:

    I see, ‘Grimm’ is NBC’s ‘Supernatural’. Lol The last Grimm…let me guess, the Grimms immegriated to the US and now they have a world wide net of hunters. Will they have to hunt demons as well or are they specialists who only hunt the big bad wolf?

    I think ‘Once Upon a time’ will win the battle of the better fairytale shows this season. ‘Grimm’ looks/sounds awful. I’m not gonna watch a cheesy ‘Supernatural’ knock-off if I can watch the original.

    ‘Awake’ looks amazing. I can’t wait!!

  17. Joshua says:

    Free Agents seems really good. SMASH obviously AMAZING.
    Awake sounds good but may become confusing in a full season?

  18. Sourabh says:

    What the hell NBC, picking up sitcoms with laugh tracks is a step backwards. We like you for not being CBS.

  19. Andie says:

    Noooo “Awake” was the pilot I am most excited about – discounting “Hallelejuah” but that’s dead – I cannot wait til midseason for this fabulous show to come on! And I was really excited about “Smash,” too. Sad I have to wait.

  20. Ronet says:

    These look pretty bad.
    The only intriguing promo to me was Awake. Kinda reminded me of Life on Mars (UK)

  21. Frenchie says:

    The Playboy Club looks like a fun period piece.
    Up All Night seemed more like an ad for clubbing than anything else… I’d have to watch more.
    Free Agents looked funny–so glad to see Anthony Head!
    Whitney was funny in an overdone way…
    Prime Suspect looked so blah. I hope it fails so we get more of Charlie on Fringe.
    Grimm looked a little melodramatic.
    AYTV?IMC had Chelsea Handler AND Laura Prepon? I had such high hopes for you, but ICK. Victims of bad writing, IMO.
    Awake looks amazing. Oh my God. Sign me up.
    Bent was the weakest.
    BFFs is like Cougar Town without the fun, Courtney Cox humor.
    Smash looks bad.

  22. jay says:

    if whitney’s not the first show axed there will be no justice in this world…..

  23. Eran says:

    Probably watch The Playboy Club, Up Al Night and Smash. I’ll try Awake, the promo lookse good.

  24. Brittany says:

    Free Agents looks hilarious, as well does Are You There God? It’s Me Chelsea. Grimm looks promising, but it’s on Fridays during Supernatural and it’s bound to get crushed. I’m a fan of the original Prime Suspect so I might check this out, I love Maria Bello a heck of a lot.

    Awake looks like a hit in the making if NBC schedules it correctly, as for Smash, I have a feeling it’s going to bomb badly. Glee fans will most likely not watch this show, and people who are sick of Glee won’t watch this show because it reminds them of Glee.

    Honestly, I just think Smash is NBC’s way of saying “Hey! We are still relevant! Watch us!”.

  25. Andrew says:

    Bent, Smash, The Playboy Club, and BFF’s look good.
    Whitney was terrible and The Chelsea Handler one and Prime Suspect look ok. The rest look interesting but I can’t tell anything from the 1-2 minute long clips.

    I’m kind of bummed to see Kirk Acevedo got another job becuase I would’ve loved to see him return full-time to Fringe although I understand why he wouldn’t want to.

  26. timel says:

    naway! Jason Issacs has his own show now?! So there.

  27. Lucas says:

    If I had merely these ‘teasers’ to judge these shows I would not watch any of them. Particularly Grimm.

    There’s zero sense of who the main character is, what is happening or what the tone is. Triple in the Grimm clip which was extremely boring.

    I can only hope that round two is much better

  28. Elle says:

    The Playboy Club looks better than I expected it to be and so I will give it a chance plus the murder plot interests me.
    Up All Night looks really funny plus I love all the cast.
    Free Agents bored me I’ve seen 3 clips and never laughed.
    Are You There Vodka?Its Me Chelsea looks hilarious I love Chelsea Handler but I am dissapointed with the laugh track.
    Whitney looks terrible and I love Whitney but wow it looks bad so hopefully they’ll work on that.
    Smash looks far better it looks like they have actually put money into it quite excited for this.
    Bent looks kind of funny might watch just for the great cast.
    Grimm looks so bad its almost funny so cheaply done.
    I don’t like proceduals much so Prime Suspect doesn’t really interest me.
    BFF looks quite bad nothing very funny in it.
    Awake sort of bored me looks a bit depressing but I might check it out due to all the Inception comparisons but i’ll not get my hopes up it will probabally be cancelled very quickly.

  29. Brandi says:

    I will definitely be watching Smash and Grimm. The rest I’m not so sure about, although I can say I definitely won’t be watching Whitney.

  30. ggny says:

    Whitney does not fit the Thursday night comedy lineup so why is it there? Bent seems more like a fit there and maybe cut BL to 1 30mins and launch Whitney behind that

  31. Jess says:

    Awake looks brilliant, it gives me a ‘good night sweetheart’ vibe which in my books is not a big thing. Looking forward to that series!

  32. ggny says:

    BFFS is gonna be one of the sitcom that never makes it to air.

    Seriously what is up with Whitney and that laugh track there was nothing in that clip that was funny…Why would NBC launch that behind The Office? It will never work like that horrible laugh track and it seems more like a CBS Monday Night Comedy

  33. Alex says:

    Can’t wait to see Awake- looks intriguing.

  34. Eli says:

    Very interesting, I hope we get to see a nice overview of the trailers for the other networks as well. So now my thoughts, keeping in mind its hard and somewhat unfair to call a show good or bad based on a 90 second trailer:

    The Playboy Club – It looks like a good period show, though maybe copying Mad Men a bit too much. It’s not my thing though (neither is Mad Men) and probably won’t even check it out.

    Up All Night – I’m actually a little underwhelmed with this one. The trailer seemed a bit chaotic and failed to tell me what the show is really about, it also wasn’t really funny. I’ll still check it out when it arrives, mostly cause of the names in it, but based on the trailer I fear it will be more like Running Wilde then like Arrested Development.

    Free Agents – Much better than Up All Night. Funnier, wittier, more precise and to the point, also Anthony Head. Definitely will try this and I expect I’ll like it.

    Whitney – Oh boy, by far the worst of all 11 trailers. Very “old-school” (in a bad way) vehicle for a comedian. The laugh track was horrible, the typical waiting for the laugh to finish before speaking the next line making all conversations seem really unnatural is just too out-dated.
    On top of that most of the jokes weren’t really funny or clever (though clever has never been miss Cummings’ style I think). I’ll check the pilot when it appears, but I’ll be expecting it to be the only time I ever watch the show.

    Prime Suspect – Looks decent enough, at least a lot better than the US version of Coupling, for those of you who can remember that disaster. Police procedurals aren’t really my thing though, so I’ll not be checking this one out most likely.

    Grimm – I’m a nerd. I love (LOVE!) Supernatural. So yes, I’d check this one out even without any trailer or prior knowledge about the show. We do have a trailer now though, but it doesn’t really tell us that much yet, they should probably make another one to give the public a better idea of what the show is about.

    Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea – Looks ok, not bad, not terribly good. Then again, when I saw the very first trailers of Community I wasn’t that impressed either and now I’m a hardcore fan. Will see it. Will probably like it.

    Awake – The big surprise of this whole line-up for me. I knew pretty much nothing about this show except its name and Jason Isaacs playing the lead, but after seeing the trailer I’m sold. Its in my opinion by far the best trailer of the bunch, very gripping, very intriguing and actually quite informative as to what the show is about. I love the visual look of it and very curious as to where they will take things creatively. Really looking forward to it.

    Bent & BFFs – Put these two together cause my feelings about them are pretty much the same. I knew little to nothing about these 2 shows before seeing the trailers and that hasn’t really changed since. I can’t quite figure out if they are supposed to be comedies, dramedies or plain dramas with very mild comedic elements.
    Might check them out, might not, depends entirely on future trailers, news on sites like this one and general buzz amongst ppl whose opinions I value.

    Smash – Definitely watching this, but didn’t need to see the trailer to feel that way. McPhee looks great too. Just really looking forward to Smash.

  35. Mac says:

    Awake does look amazing. I was really hoping that it would air this fall because midseason seems so far away! Urgh, damn you NBC! I’m going to guess that Awake will be given a 10 PM slot, probably on Tuesday or Thursday. I don’t see it being on at 8PM — especially on a Friday.

    I’m torn about Grimm. Well it does look intriguing, it also looks horrible — hopefully the pilot is much better then the promo.

    Same goes with all the comedy pilots. Besides Up All Night and Free Agents, all of the comedy promos make the shows look terrible since the clips are out of context. I’ve heard great things about the Whitney script but I’m not sure if Whitney Cummings can actually land a punchline from the looks of it.

    The Playboy Club looks great though, as does Prime Suspect.

    I’m wondering if they plan on replacing Adam Pally in BFFs now that Happy Endings got renewed? Unless he’s a guest or recurring character. Though, BFFs looks like this year’s Friends With Benefits — all the way to how it is shot (with dark, dingy colors). Hopefully I’m proven wrong because it’ll either be a bust or the next It’s Always Sunny (wherein a cheap pilot is produced, picked up, reshot, and becomes a success). Here’s hoping for the latter!

  36. hermano says:

    Wow, NBC really can’t be trying with these new shows. Up All Night will be funny because of the leads, and Awake looks pretty good. But Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings are absolutely unfunny, and their shows are no exception. Thank God Chuck didn’t get canceled, because if this is what NBC’s idea of “good” shows is, then I’m very unimpressed. This is CBS caliber comedy…

  37. Lore says:

    Well i think ill give a chance to Are you there Vodka, it is me Chelsea, i like Laura Prepon, Grim, i dont know, i dont like SPN, i’ll prefer ABC Once Upon a Time, Bent could work, Whitney i really didnt finished the trailer, i think looks awful, Prime Suspect look booooring,and more, because they have Kirk Acevedo, i want him back in Fringe, Smash could be interesting, but Awake is gonna be cool, i love Jason Isaacs, i love he has his own show!!

  38. Mel. says:

    If any new show stands a chance, they’ll need to grab viewers in the first two episodes. Otherwise, they’ll be toast lickety-split. Good luck to them all!

  39. Ashley says:

    “Awake” wasn’t on my radar before, but it looks interesting. “Up All Night” and “Grimm” didn’t wow me, but I’m willing to give them a try. “Whitney” just looked cheesy, cliche, and awful.

  40. mehvash says:

    I will pretty much watch Jason Isaccs in anything then add BD Wong and i’ll definitely be checking that one out. That and the playboy club look to be the most promising of this lot. I think we’ll be seeing quite a few cancellations from NBC pretty early on. Especially on the comedy front.

    • Alex says:

      Agreed, BD Wong is so talented, and so is Jason Isaacs- both are amazing, but criminally underrated actors.

  41. Christian Borle Fan! says:

    Anything with will arnett I’ll watch till the end.
    But to more important matters – just saw more videos of Smash on NBC.com and Christian Borle is in it!!!! I’m in! I will watch that show, personally call Nielsen viewers, send whatever I need to to the powers that be so that this show stays on the air! I LOVE CHRISTIAN BORLE! If you don’t know who he is – he was in Spamalot as the narrator and a ton of other characters. He was in Legally Blonde as Emmett. He was on the ebay commercial where he sang… Anyway – he’s AMAZING and has an AMAZING voice. It proves they producers have an ear for talent, so I’m going to trust them! I was excited for a musical and now I’m so very very excited that Christian Borle is in it!

  42. marti says:

    Can not wait to watch Smash! There are other trailers which show a bit more on the NBC site if others on interested. McPhee is one talented woman!!

    Use to watch the original Prime Suspect, so I’m excited about it. Awake & Grimm look good too!

  43. Christina says:

    Awake,and Smash looked the most promising. It looks like this will be Katharine McPhee’s breakout.

    I might check out Grimm, Prime Suspect, and The Playboy Club. They’ll be on very short leashes with me though.

    I’m not interested in the comedies.

  44. Dean says:

    Wow, that laugh track for Whitney. Just terrible.

  45. Rjrtist says:

    The comedies are not funny at all. The only things that look promising are Smash and Grimm. Grimm at least has a promising time slot.

    I have to laugh that NBC thinks the Football Lockout will be over soon. I’d start thinking about Plan B guys. This is going to go on for awhile.

  46. Mindy says:

    I’d love to know why sometimes my comments don’t post. A technical glitch that needs to be fixed.

    Anyway, not sure about any of the comedies. Except I’ll probably give the one with Will Arnett a chance.

    Hoping “Awake” is good. I love Jsaon Isaacs. Would love it if the show was worthy of him. I watch so little on NBC. Hopefully I’ll remember to figure out when it is on next winter.

    • Mindy says:

      And then when my comments do post, I have terrible typos in them. LOL

      I mean, JASON Isaacs. Obviously.

  47. susela says:

    I very much doubt that “The Playboy Club” will have what the actual Playboy Clubs used to have: women with real, god-given boobs. I mean, c’mon, silicone doesn’t even jiggle—what’s the attraction?

  48. Pat says:

    Sorry to say I don’t think any of them looked good except maybe Grimm. If this was the best they can come up with to jump start NBC they have a long way to go. Maybe they just picked bad previews, but nothing made me say wow I have to watch that show.

  49. Jorge Jose Herrera says:

    The Playboy Club- This show looks mildly interesting especially the clip with Amber Heard’s character killing that guy and Eddie Cibrian covering it up. I’ll definitely be giving the show a try, especially since its different from the traditional procedural we see on television these days.
    Up All Night- I laughed maybe once during the three previews that I watched on NBC’s website. I’m not a Will Arnett fan but a huge Christina Applegate fan (ever since she guested on FRIENDS). I’ll watch the pilot and see it I enjoy it then. I’m also curious to see more of Maya Rudolph’s character, who was only shown for like 20 seconds in one of the previews.
    Free Agents- I really enjoyed Hank Azaria on FRIENDS and Kathryn Hahn in everything he’s in. I also love seeing more BUFFY alums on television in Anthony Head starring on this comedy. But…I didn’t laugh. At all. I wish I liked it because there is so much talent here but I unfortunately don’t.
    Whitney- Whitney Cummings was trying way too hard. I’ll give the pilot a chance because I enjoy Cummings stand up and her appearances on Chelsea Lately. But the pilot has to be more impressive than the clips that I saw.
    Prime Suspect- This was my favorite of the new FALL pilots of NBC. Maria Bello looks like she’s going to be fantastic. I really enjoyed the preview with the witness and in the restaurant. It looks like the show is going to be a lot of fun and sort of reminds me of BLUE BLOODS a little, without the family aspect. I hope it stays more centered on Bello’s character than the procedural element.
    Grimm- Another promising pilot that looks right up my alley of supernatural/sci-fi shows. Grimm seems like it will be a lot of fun and has a touch of BUFFY to it. The casting is a little less impressive than what I was expecting but I’ll definitely tune in for a few episodes.
    Awake- I was so interested by the three clips that I watched and am so disappointed I have to wait until midseason to watch it. This is definitely one of NBC’s best projects and they midseasoned it. I’m so upset right now. The plot is immensely interesting and I’m sure we’re not really going to know which reality is the actual reality or how exactly they plan on developing the show further. Jason Isaacs is amazing and so is Cherry Jones. I’m very intrigued and bummed that I have to wait.
    Bent- I laughed once during the three clips and it was due to the amazingness that is Amanda Peet. She’s the only reason I would watch this series. I don’t like the guy who plays Pete. He plays the exact same character in everything that he does and he just irks me. I’m not entirely sure why.
    BFFs- Lennon Parham is funny. This show is not.
    Smash- Another one of NBC’s best previews that was wasted to midseason. I’m extremely upset, especially after seeing Katherine McPhee’s amazing performance during one of the previews. I also can’t wait for the return of Debra Messing of WILL & GRACE to my small screen.
    Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea- Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler star in my favorite of NBC’s shows. Prepon is so amazing, ever since THAT 70’S SHOW and her guest stint on CASTLE. This was the show I was most desperate to see get a pick up and it has been midseasoned. It disappoints me greatly that WHITNEY has been placed ahead of CHELSEA. Also love that Joe Koy (spelling?) is guesting in the Pilot and hopefully more. Hopefully more of the talented comedians from CHELSEA LATELY will drop by.
    I think this “Whole New NBC” thing is not necessarily a good thing. That’s the proper advertising for their potential midseason line up but not this fall lineup, which has two mildly interesting pilots. But when NBC’s midseason schedule drops…I’m gonna be all kinds of happy.

  50. Steph says:

    Smash looks viable, as does free agents and Awake looks intriguing.
    The laughing track on the Chelsea and Witney sitcoms aren’t fooling anyone, and bent doesn’t seem funny either. the will arnett one seems a little boring and grimm sounds like heroes season 4.
    In my opinion, the sitcoms except free agents won’t last long at all, Awake looks good but i think it may get the fringe effect. On that note at least we get more Kirk Acevedo in Prime Suspect!