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New drama "Eleventh Hour" more of the same stuff

Actor Rufus Sewell, star of the new CBS drama series "Eleventh Hour", takes part in a panel discussion at the CBS summer 2008 press tour in Beverly Hills, California in this file photo from July 18, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

(Eleventh Hour , 10-11 p.m., CBS)

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - You don’t really need 11 hours -- merely two -- to discern that the new Jerry Bruckheimer procedural “Eleventh Hour” is pretty standard stuff, kind of like “CSI” meets “House.”

It’s already based on a four-part 2006 British series, which gives it an added derivative layer. And though the megasuccessful Bruckheimer and his TV chief Jonathan Littman are expert enough at this cozy-comfy style to bring the American version a slick and occasionally engrossing quality, CBS’ “Eleventh Hour” nonetheless feels like warmed-over bangers-and-mash turned into meatloaf for U.S. consumption.

British thespian Rufus Sewell seems to struggle here to maintain an American accent in portraying Dr. Jacob Hood, your basic brilliant biophysicist and “special science adviser to the FBI” who is called in to comb clues to uncover knotty scientific criminal cases. He’s “assisted” by a no-nonsense FBI handler named Rachel Young (Marley Shelton), who spends the opener rejecting subtle male inquiries with icy rejoinders. In the pilot, human cloning is the subject, and though the science seems accurate, the authenticity of the story is left wanting in the teleplay from Mick Davis. In the second segment, an epidemic of 11-year-old boys dying from heart attacks starts off intriguing but grows increasingly preposterous.

Except for the accent part, Sewell is reasonably convincing in portraying the social-misfit brainiac, Shelton somewhat less so as a cranky cop. Although the people behind the scenes comprise a promising pedigree -- including “CSI” alum Danny Cannon and Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris of Showtime’s exceptional “Sleeper Cell” as executive producers -- the hour fails to do much more than attach a slightly novel spin onto an already overtaxed genre.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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