Prolific television writer/creator David E. Kelley has not had a hit since "Boston Legal." Could "Monday Mornings" (10 p.m., TNT, TV-14) change that?
Based on a novel of the same name by CNN's medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, "Monday Mornings" allows Kelley to return to two of his strengths, the hospital soap opera (he created "Chicago Hope") crossed with a hint of legal drama. (In addition to "Boston Legal," he created "The Practice.")
Much of "Monday Morn ings"" unfolds like your standard medical procedural. Better-than-average-looking surgeons fight to save their
patients and to keep their hands off each other. Things get interesting when Harding Hooten (Alfred Molina) convenes all of the surgeons in a medical amphitheater to publicly review their recent successes and failures. They seem to do this a lot. There, they have to defend their decisions, which can often be influenced by ambition and arrogance.
Molina's Hooten is formidable, exercising godlike authority over a gaggle of well-meaning egomaniacs.
Ving Rhames stars as Jorge Villanueva, the trauma chief who cares deeply. Hotshot
neurosurgeon Tyler Wilson (Jamie Bamber) is similarly tortured by the need to be a surgeon/savior to every patient. Good thing he's got gorgeous (but married) colleague Tina Ridgeway (Jennifer Finnigan) to console him. Sarayu Rao plays type-A Sydney Napur, whose inability to stop caring so darned much scares away every potential Mr. Right. The brilliant and prickly but barely comprehensible Sung Park (Keong Sim) tiptoes pretty close to ethnic stereotyping.
The montage-happy Kelley has even reshuffled his baby boomer jukebox. Not a note of Motown can be heard in the pilot, but he does throw in some Rolling Stones. A medical show with lawyerly leaning, "Mon- day Mornings" avoids the obvious cuteness that has dogged Kelley's work since "Ally McBeal." For that reason alone, it has the potential to become appointment TV for fans of these genres.
---How can you get canceled when nobody knows you're on the air? That strategy has worked for the comedy "Rules of Engagement" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG), now entering its seventh season.
---"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" (9 p.m., HBO) takes an un-
flinching look at the scandal of abusive Catholic priests. It focuses on the case of a pedophile who abused more than 200 boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf. It also explores how an institution that venerates the power and authority of a priestly cast is bound to create and protect a predatory culture.
---Roller derby madness on "Bones" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Toby needs his grandfather's help on "Switched at Birth" (8 p.m., ABC Family, TV-14).
---On the threshold of discovery, a scientist is slain on "Continuum" (8 p.m., Syfy, TV-14).
---Another demented disciple emerges on "The Following" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---"The Layover With An- thony Bourdain" (9 p.m., Travel, TV-PG) visits Seattle.
"They're young. They're in love. And they kill people." That was the tagline for the 1967 gangster drama "Bonnie and Clyde" (8 p.m., TCM). It's not hard to argue that after this movie, Hollywood was never the same.
---Barney unearths a relic of Robin's past on "How I Met Your Mother" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Cody Simpson performs on "The Biggest Loser" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---A trip to Montana on "The Bachelor" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---Halloween on "The Carrie Diaries" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Fanny and Milly clash on "Bunheads" (9 p.m., ABC Family, TV-14).
---Caroline consults the stars on "2 Broke Girls" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Naomi's big choice on "90210" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Home improvement on "Mike & Molly" (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Peter Weller guest stars on "Hawaii Five-0" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Mia's roots show on "Decep tion" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---Clues link a new case to the killer of Beckett's mother on "Castle" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Vintage Trouble performs on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Michelle Rhee is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stew art" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Brad Wollack, Jen Kirkman and T.J. Miller are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Sonia Sotomayor sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Mariah Carey appears on "Late Show With David Letter man" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Hugh Jackman, Jessica Chastain and
Michael Bolton on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Melissa McCarthy, Mark Duplass and Anita Baker appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---Russell Brand, Katharine McPhee and Jim James visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Zooey Deschanel and Adhir Kalyan on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.