I managed to catch the (free) pilot episode of Dick Wolf’s new legal drama Conviction on iTuines this afternoon. The show premieres this month on NBC. Now, I’m not a particuarly large fan of the genre, but A) it was free and B) it was free. So, naturally, I gave it shot. Besides being in widescreen and relatively low resolution, it was a decent show. Granted, you have the typical cast of ridiculously beautiful people, but at least Fred Dalton Thompson is in it, which means that at least some element of reality has intruded into the casting. Of course, it also helps that Julianne Nicholson has the right mix of bufuddled cuteness that you can’t help but adore her. The characters are interesting enough and there are some moments where the writing really shines through.
Overall, I’d watch it again. Which would have never happened had I been unable to watch it at my leisure. Obviously, there’s a lesson here – like the crack dealer, give the first hit out for free, and you might get some repeat business. Conviction would have been just another legal drama, but it will be interesting to see if the free publicity has any effect. I hope it does, as shows like Wonderfalls, Firefly, or Star Trek: Enterprise may have gotten axed from the network schedules, but if the iTunes model holds up some brilliant-but-cancelled shows might have a chance to truly shine – and given the vast wasteland that today’s TV has become, that’s definitely a good thing.
UPDATE: Actually, the show premieres tonight. Sadly, at the same time as Battlestar Galactica. However, since BSG goes into reruns after next week’s season finale, I may just have to give Conviction a second look. Then again, with iTunes, it’s not as though conflicting timeslots really matter all that much, do they?