Gannett News Service
The D.A., 10 p.m., Channels 9, 2
Here's a rarity - a smart, layered hour that keeps you thinking.
It starts when an attractive young woman commits suicide, leaving a personal note to Los Angeles' district attorney. An affair is suspected by many people - including his wife and the viewers who know he's been cheating.
He pulls some quick legal tricks to keep the letter secret. His own top investigator (Bruce Campos) crashes into barriers.
It all makes sense, peppered with legal jargon. You won't find this much intelligence anywhere this side of The West Wing.
The Big House debut, 8:30 p.m., Channels 9, 2.
Call it The Fresh Prince in reverse. Comedian Kevin Hart plays a rich Malibu kid who winds up living with his Philadelphia relatives instead of on campus after his wealthy father is arrested on embezzling charges.
Big House is wildly uneven, clever one moment and overwrought the next. Hart is amiable, however, and the show is anchored by the quiet skill of Keith David and Arnetia Walker, as his uncle and aunt.
Joan of Arcadia, 8 p.m., Channels 12, 7. God wants Joan to take piano lessons. That puts her with a tough teacher - played by Louise Fletcher, who won an Academy Award as a tough nurse in the 1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
The George Lopez Show, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. George insists on collecting a gambling debt, even though he's borrowing money from the same man.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), 8 and 10 p.m., TBS. This is a wonderfully different movie directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo). George Clooney leads escaped prisoners in 1930s Mississippi. This film ambles a lot, but it's worth sticking with. Also, it's filled with great bluegrass and old-time music.
Law and Order: Criminal Intent, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. A cult has been playing with a woman's mind. Now Goren tries to do the same.
On the Record with Bob Costas season-opener, 11 p.m., HBO. Billy Bob Thornton is the guest.
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