By Terry Kelleher
Updated February 24, 2003 12:00 PM

NBC (Tuesdays 9:30 pm. ET)

Where is David Kelley when you need him? The creator of Ally McBeal and The Practice flopped with his most recent lawyer show, the glossy Girls Club. But Kelley might have been able to make an interesting comedy-drama of this new series about Adam (Scott Foley from Felicity), a rookie assistant United States attorney in Manhattan who has a crush on public defender Susan (Amanda Detmer).

What we get from A.U.S.A. executive producer Richard Appel, a former federal prosecutor, is a mediocre sitcom with a disappointingly low intelligence quotient. It’s not just that Foley and Detmer play it too cute, or that Susan spends an inordinate amount of time fraternizing in Adam’s workplace, or that the courtroom scenes barely give a nod to reality. The biggest problem is that Adam has knucklehead Owen (Eddie McClintock) for a roommate. In the second episode Adam received a lucrative offer from a private firm in Washington, D.C. I was hoping he’d take the money and run—far away from Owen. Too bad Adam’s idealism, which he mentions often, kept him in government service.

BOTTOM LINE: Weak case

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