HDTV Heads-Up: The Cleaner

Former Law & Order sleuth Benjamin Bratt plays an ex-junkie who becomes a Good Samaritan to other addicts in TV3’s new late-night HD drama, The Cleaner (11.15pm Wednesday).

It didn’t clean up with critics, although they were divided over its merits: the Chicago Sun-Times liked its “cynical tone” yet the New York Times thought it too righteous: “You see Mr Bratt with his goatee and expressions of martyrdom, but you hear the voice of Nancy Reagan.”

Entertainment Weekly was even more scathing: “I’d describe it as ludicrous, but that might give the impression that it’s remotely entertaining.”

The Cleaner ran for two 13-episode seasons before being axed by A&E, a cable network that’s dominated by non-scripted fare. Indeed, The Cleaner was its first drama series in six years; another, The Beast, which starred Patrick Swayze, also quickly went belly-up.

Meanwhile, watch for Bratt in another HD series on TV3, Modern Family (8pm Sundays). He guest stars as Gloria’s ex-husband in the episode, Up All Night, which should air here in April.

Around the same time, he can be heard as Manny in the Blu-ray release of the animated 3D feature, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and he recently revisited his L&O role in an episode of the 20th season, which is on-air in the US (season 18 is screening 11.15pm Tuesdays on TV3).

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