May 11, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15 Trailer Review: NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura”


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THE FACTS:  Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) is an NYPD homicide detective who also has to juggle her responsibilities to her young twin sons and her issues with her estranged cop husband (Josh Lucas).  The series creator is Jeff Rake, a veteran writer/producer (everything from The Practice to The Tomorrow People).

WHAT IT’S SAYING:  She’s a cop–and a mommy!  More important, she’s Debra Messing, who manages in the 3 minutes of the trailer to shoot a perp, solve a murder, chide her kids for being messy with paint, scold her irresponsible ex, trade snappy banter with a gay doorman, and get hoots from her partner (Laz Alonso) and the crowd when she dons a swimsuit for an undercover visit.

WHAT IT’S REALLY SAYING:  This part isn’t a mystery:  NBC believes in Messing’s star power (athough you might think Smash mightt have given them pause).  The script seems to be sub-USA Network piffle, and the tone is so broad that there might as well be a laugh track.  It’s simple–either Messing will draw in viewers, or The Mysteries of Laura will vanish from the schedule quickly.

THE OUTLOOK:  Although a trailer is just a trailer, it’s designed to make a show look as good as possible, and if this is the best NBC Marketing could do for The Mysteries of Laura, the series may be painful.  Competition, however, isn’t heavy early on Wednesday:  the aging Survivor and The Middle, and whatever FOX will substitute for The X Factor.  Also, the bar is awfully low for “success” on NBC’s line-up that night–even a few rating tenths above Revolution would probably be viewed as a victory.  Laura will skew old, but so does the rest of NBC’s Wednesday, so whatever its quality level may be, the series isn’t necessarily a goner.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."