By Terry Kelleher
September 27, 1999 12:00 PM

ABC (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

David E. Kelley, the creator of Ally McBeal, The Practice and Chicago Hope, has finally spread himself too thin. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a flimsier enterprise than this new detective series. Written by Kelley with a bare minimum of inspiration, the Snoops pilot (Sept. 26) is just the kind of slick, empty television you’d like to think he would shun.

Gina Gershon, who plays most of her scenes as if she were modeling lip gloss, portrays the head of a Los Angeles private-investigations agency that blithely specializes in unlawful and/or improper activities—wiretapping, breaking and entering, high-tech invasions of privacy. In the first episode, Gershon hires a new detective with a police background (Paula Marshall from the late, lamented Cupid) and they probe a murder case that’s even less interesting than their constant disagreements over tactics. (Marshall: “You can’t just bug somebody’s phone line.” Gershon: “Yes, we can.”) Gershon’s team also includes a cool young guy (Danny Nucci) with a hot set of wheels. He drives so fast in one scene that Marshall, stuck in the backseat, is seized by acute car sickness. Could mean this vehicle’s wrong for her.

Bottom Line: Snoops doggy-dog