January 31, 2005 12:00 PM

FOX (Fridays, 9 p.m. ET)

This new series has a title that recklessly courts ridicule—”Zero? They got that right”—but I might grow to like it if I could figure out what it wants to be.

Ex-con Jonny Calvo (Franky G from The Italian Job) wants to reform but reluctantly goes back to work for his old boss, corrupt New York club owner Garret (Ritchie Coster), while serving as a snitch for ruthless FBI agent Stringer (Chris Bauer). Sounds like a dark, Wiseguy-type drama. But wait: Jonny shares a funky pad with goofball hip-hopper Random (rapper-actor GQ), who gets the bright idea that they should hire themselves out as “alternative investigators.” Okay, maybe this will be an offbeat private-eye thing. Hold on, though: Jonny also takes a job in a boxing gym, where he trains a potential million-dollar baby and tries to extricate her from gang life.

Franky G has appeal, but the show is hurt by its uncertain tone and Jonny’s multitasking. He could simplify his life by cutting Random out of it.

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