After the creative disaster that CBS's "Three Rivers" turned out to be, new doc drama "Miami Medical" (10 p.m. Friday, KDKA-TV) gets higher marks as a more competent procedural show -- but that's a pretty low bar to clear.
The premiere episode begins with a jarring introduction as a trauma team at a Miami hospital finds itself unexpectedly leaderless, forcing the other doctors to step up.
Dr. Eva Zambrano (Lana Parrilla) and Dr. Chris "C" Deleo (Chris Pine lookalike Mike Vogel, "Cloverfield") are the doctors who work alongside first-year Dr. Serena Warren (Elisabeth Harnois) and head nurse Tuck Brody (Omar Gooding).
Scruffy-faced Deleo is cocky and preoccupied with who gets the top trauma doc job; Zambrano is dedicated and less obsessed with climbing up the leadership ladder.
Starring: Jeremy Northam, Mike Vogel.
A mysterious new doc with a British accent, Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam), enters their midst and quickly becomes a mentor to Warren and distraction for Deleo.
"This is like 'M• A• S• H' in paradise," Proctor says, possibly parroting the pitch executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer gave CBS executives when selling them on this series.
Like "Three Rivers," each "Miami Medical" episode begins with patients suffering the trauma that will bring them to the hospital. In the premiere, it's obvious something bad is about to happen to a young couple (she's pregnant, of course), but the actual event still comes as a surprise. A future episode begins with a shooting at a Miami hotel club.
There's much chatter about "the Golden Hour," the best chance to save a patient in the first 60 minutes after a traumatic injury. And Tuck makes sure to announce that the "Miami Medical" doctors are not just rock stars, "They're the Rolling Stones." Not in the early going.
The characters can better be distinguished from one another than the ciphers in "Three Rivers" but they still need time to develop and become something approaching realistic. At least there are more promotional possibilities with this show: Imagine, if "Miami Medical" makes it, the inevitable sweeps month crossover with "CSI: Miami." I just hope the docs won't work too hard to save the life of David Caruso's insufferable Horatio Caine.