Fringe, the dark new drama from celebrated producer J.J. Abrams, got off to slow start last week in both ratings and reviews from critics like me (I gave it a mixed review in the belief that it had great potential).
Fox made a smart move in sending out tonight's episode so that critics could preview. The hope is that we would urge viewers to give it a second look.
So, give it a second look.
I still think it might be too freaky, gory and demanding insofar as the suspension of disbelief it asks viewers to make. But Anna Torv is a terrific new lead actor, and there is an outstanding supporting cast that features Joshua Jackson, Blair Brown and Lance Riddick.
Late of HBO's The Wire, Riddick plays a Homeland Security official for whom Torv's character, an FBI agent, works. Together they are investigating a global conspiracy - although in an Abrams production, one should make no assumptions as to who is and who isn't part of the conspiracy.
Just the presence of Riddick would warrant a second look in these parts. (9 p.m., Fox) ** 1/2
HOUSE IS BACK What more needs to be said as one of TV's finest drama's returns? The aftermath of the death of Amber (Anne Dudek) is the focus tonight. (8 p.m., Fox) ***