By Terry Kelleher
September 27, 1999 12:00 PM

CBS (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)

What is it with disillusioned professional women and their New England hometowns? Last season NBC had a hit with Providence, the one about the doctor who chucked L.A. and went back to R.I. This new series concerns Amy Gray (Amy Brenneman), a lawyer and single parent who quits New York City, accepts a family-court judgeship in her native Hartford, Conn., and moves in with her mother (Tyne Daly), a semi-retired social worker inclined to meddle and argue. Daly’s prickly character may prove wearing, but Dan Futterman is likable as Amy’s younger brother. Though her 6-year-old daughter (Karle Warren) is annoyingly precocious, the Sept. 21 episode has the honesty to acknowledge the kid’s flaw. The main problem is Amy’s fluctuating competency level. In the pilot she floundered as if she’d never been inside a courtroom. She starts strong the next time, then yields to feelings of inadequacy before her mother gives her a jolt of tough love. Come on, get a grip on that gavel.

Bottom Line: Jury’s out