In one of the most innovative promotion used by television network, NBC has put up their new show, Conviction, for free download thru iTunes a couple weeks before the show airs on its own network. It will be interesting how this endeavor works out for the network as I assume they will take a hit in revenue because I doubt advertisers are not lining up to buy time on a show that people can download without commercial for free. Plus I bet NBC is also picking up the bandwidth cost for the download. And will people show up to watch the second episode when they saw the pilot whenever they saw fit or be willing to drop $1.99 to buy the next episodes on iTunes?
Since I’m a sucker for gimmicks and free download that won’t get me sued, I went ahead and watched the show even though I’m not the biggest fan of procedurals that don’t feature Ice-T, not that I’m entirely sure which Law & Order show he’s currently on. Since the show is from the creator of that franchise, Conviction could have been easily been named Law & Order: Grey’s Anatomy but instead of attractive, young doctors, we have attractive, young lawyers with both show focusing as much on character development as much as they focus on their cases. Much like the doctor show, Conviction starts off with one of the lawyers waking up from a one night stand except it didn’t turn out the stranger turned out to be the dude’s boss.
The dude in question showing up on his first day on the job is played by Jordan Bridges, in his first major role. And much like many of the other actor, he has a guest appearance on one of the Law & Orders on his IMDB page. Stephanie March, who was in the cast of one of the shows, resumes her role of Alexandra Cabot for this show. Maybe she will enlist the help of Ice-T in the future. Julianne Nicholson (Little Black Book) plays someone who’s been in the office for a while but just got her first trial that naturally doesn’t go too well. J. August Richards of Angel fame dusts off Gunn circa the Wolfram & Hart days with the super sized brain for his cocky Billy who is more the glad to mention how he’s never lost a case. To fill the token hot chick quota there is Milena Govich, last seen as the escort who scammed Kenny on Rescue Me, who is apparently the office bicycle.
Then there is Eric Balfour, who is the poor man’s Skeet Ulrich, who in turn is the poor man’s Johnny Depp, as the office playboy. It befuddles me how this dude can still get work, especially as a playboy, he can’t act and I’ve never met a chick that finds him remotely attractive. Filling out the cast is Anson Mount who many of you won’t remember as Britney Spears love interest in Crossroads. And after watching Conviction, if you’re lime me, you may not remember from the show either because I’m having trouble remember his character.
Okay now I’m going to get into some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you may want to skip the rest of this post.
The show did a relatively good job at finding a balance between furthering character development and telling the story of the trials that were going on in the episode. And the major storyline with the drug dealer trial was very well done even though it was pretty obvious when the new guy told the random dude on the phone where they were having dinner that someone was getting shot. The show also did a good job balancing the humor, like with Nicholson’s debacle of a trial, and the more seriousness of the death of the DA. And they did a very good job with the music selection too having David Grey’s Alibi playing over a pivotal scene.
Verdict: As I said earlier, I’m not the biggest fan of lawyer shows and I’d like to think I have better things to do on Friday. But if Ice-T ever makes a cross-over appearance, I’ll be sure to set my VCR. Or maybe they should just add the next best thing to the cast by bringing in Too $hort or Ice Cube, that would be must see TV for me.