David E. Kelley, the creator of law dramas "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice," may want to stick to the scripts.
The premiere of Kelley's first reality series, "The Law Firm," drew just over 5 million viewers last week on NBC's once-dominant Thursday night, where it was beaten soundly by a "CSI" repeat on CBS and edged out by the last hour of UPN's "WWE Smackdown!"
As ratings for reality show debuts go this summer (and there've been a lot of them), it ranked on a par with Fox's already canceled "Princes of Malibu."
"The Law Firm" features 12 practicing lawyers competing against each other for a $250,000 prize by trying real court cases with real clients.
Just as viewers turned off a reality show starring lawyers trying to pocket a quarter-million dollars, no one seems to be yearning to watch musicians find a replacement for a dead band mate.
UPN's premiere of "R U the Girl With T-Boz and Chilli," in which the remaining members of the R&B trio TLC search for a woman to fill the shoes of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, drew a meager crowd of 2.7 million last Wednesday.
UPN boasts, however, that the show's viewership is a 44 percent improvement on the small audience the network had been averaging this summer on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
CBS's "Rock Star: INXS," the other search-for-a-new-singer entry, continues to struggle; last week's three episodes averaged about 5.3 million.
The newest dance competition, "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox, is not catching on like ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" did earlier this summer.
The second episode attracted 8 million viewers, down nearly 2.5 million from last Wednesday's premiere.
On cable, FX's war drama "Over There" opened big last week, with 4.1 million viewers checking out the series depicting soldiers on their first tour of duty in Iraq.
"Over There" ties "Rescue Me" as FX's second highest-rated series premiere.
It also landed in the all-time top 10 list of basic-cable series premieres.
The week's 10 most watched shows, in order, were: CBS's "CSI," "Without a Trace," "CSI: Miami" and "Two and a Half Men"; NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"; CBS's "NCIS"; ABC's "Brat Camp"; CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Cold Case"; and NBC's "Law & Order."