The talented always engaging Jeff Goldblum got a brief return to TV with "Raines," a noir-drenched LA murder mystery with a detective who hallucinated the victims of the crimes he was investigating. An odd premise, but with top-notch scripts and Goldblum's tetchy character, NBC had a winner. Unfortunately, NBC cut the order of episodes and canceled the series.
So what are we left with? The promise of what might have been. We saw Raines struggling to handle his issues and work his way back on to the force; we saw hints of repairing his relationship with his ex-wife; we saw him trying to be a father figure to his late partner's son. Plus, the caliber of scripts were great...multi-layered, good dialogue and strong performances. With a cast backing up Goldblum that consisted of Matt Craven, Madeline Stowe, Nicole Sullivan and Malik Yoba, the characters came to life and rose above typical crime show fare.
But NBC seems to axe anything that doesn't dominate the airwaves, and this era of failing to give shows a chance to find their sea legs is seeing a lot of promising newcomers fall by the wayside ("Studio 60," "Andy Barker, PI"). Why couldn't NBC send "Raines" to USA, where it would fit in with USA's line-up of unique mystery shows?
If NBC (and the other networks) continue to only allow shows a few weeks to try to build their audience, they're never going to have success. Sure, there are the shows that come out of the gate strong ("Heroes," etc.) but most need a season to get going and find numbers. "Raines" averaged 7.25 million viewers a week in the Friday night slot. Surely it could have finished out its 13 episode order and gotten a pick-up.