January 27, 2003 12:00 PM

ABC (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET)

There’s no satisfying Paul Callan (Skeet Ulrich), who investigates supposed miracles for the Catholic Church. Early in the Jan. 27 premiere of this solemnly spooky series, he complains that he’s turning up no evidence of divine activity on earth. Later Paul finds a certifiably miraculous phenomenon and he’s still not happy. “Now I’m afraid we’re not alone,” he says, “and maybe that’s not such a good thing.”

Miracles doesn’t look like such a good thing either. No one’s asking for fun and games in a supernatural drama, but the tight close-ups, half-whispered dialogue, ominous music and weird dreams (whoa, it’s raining blood) add up to a mass of pretension. By the end of the opener, when Paul quits his church job and joins a shadowy independent researcher (Angus Macfadyen), we can see through the murk that the devil will be playing a major role on this show. What, God’s not scary enough?

BOTTOM LINE: Short of miraculous

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