HD Heads-Up: NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI

TV’s appetite for crime shows with acronyms and colons in the title continues with Monday’s premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles, starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.

It’s been confusingly double-billed with the 10th season of CSI when it’s a spin-off from NCIS, which stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The original has been one of TV3’s biggest surprise hits of the last few years but whereas it’s a military procedural set in Washington DC, the LA-variation is more of an action hour that stands on its own.

The York Times dubbed it a “better-than-average cop show, well paced, with reasonably snappy and believable dialogue” and the series has become one of US TV’s top-rating newcomers, despite one critic dismissing it as “a drab third-generation clone (a spin-off of the original NCIS, which in turn was a spin-off of JAG) of a show from the shallow end of the TV gene pool”.

It screens at 9.30pm, after the return of CSI, which opens with a two-and-a-half minute time-freeze of the crime lab that has the characters frozen in time during a bloody attack.

Even if you’re not a CSI fan, this is a must-see in HD.

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