Doubt Premiere: What's Your Verdict on Katherine Heigl's Soapy Legal Drama?

In CBS’ Doubt, defense attorney Sadie Ellis (Grey’s Anatomy‘s Katherine Heigl) has found the man of her dreams. He’s kind, he’s smart, he’s funny… he’s apparently the first guy she’s ever really felt like she could talk to. He also happens to be her client, and he’s about to go on trial for first-degree murder.

Sadie, along with an assist from fellow litigator Albert Cobb (Psych‘s Dulé Hill), is heading up the case of Dr. Billy Brennan (Rescue Me‘s Steven Pasquale), a pediatric surgeon awaiting trial for the 1991 murder of his high school sweetheart; the case resurfaces after a former classmate comes forward and claims Billy once confessed to the crime. To make matters worse, the instrument that was used in the deadly attack turns up, and is found to contain not only the victim’s blood, but traces of a second individual’s blood that just so happens to match Billy’s blood type.

Before consulting with Sadie or Albert, Billy agrees to provide a blood sample, hoping to clear his name — and prove his innocence to Sadie — once and for all. As made clear throughout the pilot, the two have developed real feelings for each other over the last few months — feelings that Sadie can no longer deny. She tries to eject herself from the case after her boss, Isaiah Roth (Ray Donovan‘s Elliott Gould), confronts her about this conflict of interest, but an ill-advised visit to Billy’s apartment ends in a passionate kiss. Before she leaves, Billy tells Sadie that he’d like her to continue defending him, regardless of what’s going on between them.

The next morning, Sadie goes to visit her mother, Carolyn (Transparent‘s Judith Light, appearing in a recurring capacity), who has been in prison for 34 years for the murder of a state trooper. While there, Sadie breaks down, telling her mother how much she needs her in her life, especially now that she seems to be repeating her mother’s mistakes. You see, once upon a time, Carolyn got “too close” to her own lawyer, who is revealed to be none other than Isaiah. He continues to serve as her attorney, and Sadie worries that his attachment to her mother is the reason he hasn’t been able to properly prepare her to go before a parole board.

Doubt Trailer CBSEven if you’re not initially sold on what Doubt‘s selling, you might find yourselves tuning in each week just to spend an hour with its stellar supporting cast. In addition to Hill and Gould, Orange Is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox is used especially well here as fellow lawyer Cameron Wirth, who in the B-plot works with law associate Tiffany Simon (the always charming Dreama Walker, of the gone-too-soon Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23) to defend an off-his-meds schizophrenic on trial for pushing a woman in front of a train. (He’s eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity.) There’s also Madam Secretary alum Kobi Libii in the role of Nick Brady, an ex-con who used his time behind bars to get his law degree through an online inmate program. He turns up at Roth & Associates seeking employment, unable to be admitted by the New York State Bar unless an employer is willing to vouch for his character.

All told, Heigl might have finally found the right post-Grey’s vehicle. Her presence, combined with a strong ensemble and compelling backstory, should hook viewers and allow the series the time it needs to work out the kinks. But that’s just our assessment of the pilot, and the jury’s still out. What did you think of Doubt? Grade Episode 1 via our poll, then hit the comments and give us your first impression.

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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38 Comments
  1. chuckiechk says:

    its weird I found Heigl and Cox to be the worst parts of the show

  2. Cobra says:

    I believe in Isabel Evans

  3. the first promos almost made it look like a comedy then the last few had almost no humor in it

    so while i wish it luck the promos aren’t helping it

  4. Cobra says:

    Maybe I’ll catch up on Demand. Currently, I already have two shows recording at 10:00 on Wednesday nights: “Suits” and “Chicago PD.” “Suits” ends for the season in two weeks, and this looks interesting enough. Can’t be worse than “Conviction.”

  5. W says:

    Attorney ethics 101: don’t sleep with clients. All of the attorneys in this show should pretty much be disbarred.

  6. rockgolf says:

    Was it knockout drama at the level of Good Wife or west Wing? No.
    Will I watch it next week? Yeah, with some enthusiasm.

  7. KLS says:

    I liked Hill and glad that he’s in this. But, not sure I’ll be back. Oh and why must all CBS dramas always have too much and too loud music in the “background”?

  8. Wrstlgirl says:

    I’m gonna take a pass. I can see myself getting bored quickly.

  9. DarkDefender says:

    Attorney hooking up with a client is unethical. Too many jokes over serious legal dilemmas. I had to stop watching about 10 minutes in. Sometimes, even a stellar supporting cast (like Judith Light, Laverne Cox And Dule Hill) can’t save a show when the lead is unlikable. There is so much bad in the way the storyline is set up… it will fail.

  10. z says:

    It;s like Grey’s Anatomy. I like it

  11. TW says:

    Happy to have Dule Hill back on my TV screen. Bummed it has to be in a show with Katherine Heigl.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I might just fast forward to his scenes. I do that with Gotham, being interested in only the Alfred/Bruce scenes. Now, that development is pure genius.

  12. Kathy says:

    The background music was awful. The pacing was weird, but it has Steven Pasquale. I’ll watch.

  13. Superwoman says:

    It’s ok…I’m not convinced it’s must-see-tv just yet. Will check it out again next week.

  14. It was great. She deserves playing a big and better role. She earned it. Well deserved. She’s a great actress. Stop your critizuim and whinny. Have some cheese with that wine.

  15. IT WAS AWESOME. Great to see her playing a more powerful role. Well deserved. She’s hot.

  16. Nick says:

    It just seemed to be another “Okay” courtroom drama with not nearly enough drama. It’s ridiculous to have your attorney’s ready to throw in the towel and take a plea bargain when the only evidence they had was a suspect confession claim by a troubled teen from 20 years ago. What lawyer couldn’t win that battle? Now that they have the murder weapon it should get more interesting but I don’t think I’ll stick around to find out.

  17. parstl says:

    I wouldn’t say that Heigl is a great actress but she deserves a chance to resurrect her career after all of the reports as to her on set drama. She was once supposed to be the new queen of rom-come. The jury is out on the show…need to see more. I agree with over use of music.

  18. jj says:

    Show failed not because of Heigl but because of Cox.

  19. Anna says:

    It was okay. As a lawyer, though, there were things that bugged me. Like the things the women were wearing in court. No lawyer would dress like that in court, and no judge would allow it. And don’t even get me started on the romance between Sadie and her client.

  20. Shay says:

    Can people stop with the Heigl hate? Seriously?! She not killed your mother or dog. When it’s an actor it’s ok but when it’s an Actress she is the world person ever. And she is not. Btw the creator of this show worked as writers on greys 9 seasons and they still wanted to work with Katherine so she is not that bad
    Look forward to see more. The cast is really great

  21. christopher bee says:

    More Dreama please.

    • Nero tTVfiddler says:

      This. I was going to comment on the same thing – nice to see Dreama Walker again. I thought she was terrific in ‘Apt 23’, as well as the feature film ‘Compliance’.

      I will watch Doubt since the cast is an interesting group, and I want to see KH make a nice comeback. However, I just saw the overnight ratings… not too good. Oh well.

  22. Jake says:

    Changed the channel half way through. Like every other procedural on CBS … It was a monumental night, however on network TV for transgender people. This and Star on Fox. It is interesting that TV & movies keep focusing on mtf transgender & not ftm Trans people

  23. sunshine says:

    If Heigle would get that ditzy grin off her face it would really help.

  24. pAloma says:

    I’m a little confused as to why he wasn’t in jail for four months — why it took four months for him to get a bail,hearing. Also not credible that while I risk for murder and out on bail, he would be allowed to go back to work in a hospital. Doesn’t seem likely. imdid enjoy the show, but I would like them to pay s little more attention to the details so I don’t drop out of the universe while I’m watching to go”huh?”

  25. K Muck says:

    While I love Katherine Heigl, her last two TV choices have been poor ones.

    I had high hopes for Doubt with the likes of Dule Hill and Lavern Cox, but the show did not impress me.

    Luckily, the pilot was shown to focus groups who hopefully gave constructive criticism. Smart producers will take that feedback and make a better show. For that reason, I will give it a second chance, but if episode two is more of the same, I will pass.

  26. Joe Wagenius says:

    Granted my wife & I are older than your target audience, we are
    ” BABY BOOMERS” , but the dialogue was way toooo rushed must have been written by someone with EXTREME ADHD !
    We took the series off of our recordings……
    I don’t need that kind of stress…
    I feel sorry for anyone who thinks this is normal conversation….

  27. Lame says:

    As much as I like Katherine Heigl this show is DOA