Will television historians look back on 2010 as the year the slow and painful (or, better yet, quick and merciful) death of the police procedural began? A couple of months ago, NBC canceled Law & Order, the genre's 20-year-old granddaddy -- or, if you prefer, Patient Zero of the plague. And now we have a startling run of four nights debuting new cop dramas that are built on characters rather than petri dishes.
And best of all, they're all fairly interesting. It's as if all of Hollywood simultaneously discovered an old box of stuff in the attic but, instead of dusty scrapbooks and yellowed photos, it was full of lost skills like dialogue and characterization. Read my full reviews of Syfy's Haven, CBS' The Bridge, A&E's The Glades, and TNT's Rizzoli & Isles in Friday's Miami Herald.