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Picks and Pans Main: TV

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Three Rivers

CBS, Sundays, 9 p.m. |


Here it is, the last major new network series of the fall, and it’s DOA. Alex O’Loughlin, who was slightly ahead of the vampire craze with his failed but intriguing 2007 crime series Moonlight, stars in an urgent, earnest medical drama set at a Pittsburgh transplant center. It’s as if someone surgically removed all the fun, sex and overwrought nonsense of Grey’s Anatomy, packed them in ice and FedExed them off to parts unknown. Three Rivers doesn’t even have the juice of NBC’s silly new nursing show Mercy. O’Loughlin is meant to be a dynamic surgeon, yet the show doesn’t establish much beyond his name, which happens to be Andy Yablonski. Katherine Moennig (The L Word) makes more of an impression as his intense, unsmiling colleague. She should sit down between transplants and plot her transfer to Seattle Grace.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |


Larry David has hit on a great, bizarro story for season 7: The Seinfeld cast agrees to stage an NBC reunion special with their sitcom’s creator. Who, of course, is Larry David. The reunion itself is a meta-gag: No one’s holding their breath waiting for such an NBC special to materialize. The gang’s first appearance Oct. 4 was a self-parodying summit of TV royalty, bristling and impatient (except for Michael “Kramer” Richards, who played his scenes with an air of fly-chasing distraction). Curb needs them: Over time David’s abrasiveness has dulled into narcissistic cuteness, while costars like Susie Essman have faded. Maybe he’s been master of this domain too long.

Leave It to Lamas

E!, Oct. 11, 11 p.m. ET/PT |


This new show about a lesser Hollywood dynasty seems meant to focus on Shayne Lamas, best known for her brief engagement to Bachelor Matt Grant. But, given that the high point of the premiere is her standing by in a leopard-print hoodie while her mother tests out a barbecue grill—indoors—Shayne all but forfeits the show to her famous father, actor Lorenzo Lamas. He commands the camera whether the subject is trite (a parasite that’s infected his kitten) or serious (his strained relationship with son AJ). In this environment, old man Lamas has the stature of Lincoln.

The Forgotten

ABC, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |


Christian Slater is Alex Donovan, an ex-detective who heads a team of amateur investigators dedicated to uncovering the identities of murder victims—John and Jane Does. The forensics are entertaining, but the members of this ragtag group—a phone-company guy (Bob Stephenson) who trips over his enthusiasm; an artist (Anthony Carrigan) who shapes busts of the victims—seem like a morbid substitute for bridge club. Donovan is haunted by a related, personal tragedy: He suffered a breakdown after his daughter disappeared. Slater plays the role with stoic calm and the occasional lifting of his brows. Not memorable.