April 03, 1995 12:00 PM

CBS (Fridays, 9 p.m. ET)

B-

Scottish actor Tom Conti (Reuben Reuben) makes a graceful transition to American television in this legal drama. He plays Charles Wright, a renowned lawyer with a shambling, scholarly manner. Working out of a luxurious Manhattan townhouse, he takes on murder cases that inevitably end up having more twists than a French braid and always seem to require some climactic courtroom theatrics. Margaret Colin and Aida Turturro play Conti’s support staff.

With crimes revolving around designer drugs and cellular phones, the show poses itself as a Perry Mason for the ’90s. It’s about as conventional and formulaic as that old warhorse. The parlor-game plotting is more than passable, but the writing is undistinguished. Only Conti’s malty voice and trilling accent are enough to elevate the program’s mark a little.

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