First off, the premiere of ABC's newest police melodrama, "Dog and Cat," which airs at approximately 10:30 tonight following the completion of the basketball game on Channel 7, isn't the premiere episode listed in some TV supplements - the network switched at the last minute to a "stronger" episode.
So tonight, detective Jack Ramsey (Lou Antonio) and his partner J.Z. Kane (Kim Basinger) are on the trail of a bigtime fence.
They have good reason to suspect he has a contract out on them whenever they get closer to those $1.5 million in hot diamonds the fence seems to be after. But wait. How come detective Jack's ol' buddy from the police academy, who's helping on the case, is driving that Corvette? On his salary?
Okay. So "Dog and Cat? (that's what police ostensibly call their male-female cop teams) isn't making any breakthroughts, plot-wise.
Still, Lou Antonio, playing a 14-year veteran, does a nice, grumpy job of concealing his pleasure in working with a three-year rookies who doesn't wear a bra to work.
And newcomer Basinger - who could be one of "Charley's Angles," as ABC darn well knows - is a little saltier than Angie Dickinson's Pepper, flirts with the bad guys and keeps her fight for job equality believable. No long speeches from J.Z.
ABC made the last-minute program switch because the "dog and cat" relationship is a little clearer in this show than on the one previously scheduled. And it is, for all the running around that substitutes for tension in this genre, remarkably free of violence.
Next week viewers can see the "Dog and Cat" that was supposed to kick off the series. It's about a rapist who plays tapes of his previous assaults ot get himself in the mood. Basinger, without Antonio's knowledge, chooses to be a decoy.
And ABC, for all its success this season, hasn't done well on Saturday nights so far. "Dog and Cat" which even has a sense of humor, could help change all that. This one might be around next fall.