Pick Your Wednesday-Night Crime Drama Poison

It's Wednesday night, and when it comes to TV, you're feeling noncommittal. The last thing you want to watch is a show that forces you to return week after week, lest you risk losing track of the plot. And you're in luck, because Wednesday is the Night of One-Hour Procedural Crime Dramas, when Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, and CSI: NY all air. But which one is right for you?

9 pm, NBC

Law & Order: SVU

SVU sticks rigidly to a formula, making it easy to get into and understand without fail. Power duo Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitary) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) protect and defend the innocent people of New York City from sex-related crimes. Looking for crime show with great character development and a focus on the victims? Try this highly successful Law & Order spinoff, now in its eleventh year.

9 pm, CBS

Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds follows FBI profilers of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as they try to nab hard-to-track criminals. Like any other crime drama, it's not difficult to jump in mid-series. What CSI does for crime scenes, Criminal Minds does for criminal profiling. If you enjoy examining the complicated brain of a perpetrator, Criminal Minds -- which is similar to Law & Order: Criminal Intent -- is your show.

10 pm, CBS


Got a thing for high-tech gadgets? Without a doubt, CSI: NY -- known for its James Bond-worthy forensic doo-dads and technologies -- is the show for you. The show combines old-fashioned crime solvin' with a high dose of flashy (if not completely accurate) suspect-nabbing science.

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