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TV review: ‘Almost Human’ is almost successful

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Karl Urban, left, and Michael Ealy star in the latest attempt at the next Fringe: Almost Human.

Two and a half stars

Almost Human Mondays, 8 p.m., Fox. Premieres November 17, 8 p.m.

As a TV producer, J.J. Abrams has attached his name to some high-concept but ultimately disappointing genre series, including Alcatraz, Undercovers and Revolution. Almost Human is the latest series from his production company, although its creator is J.H. Wyman of the Abrams-produced Fringe. Like Fringe, Almost Human is a sort of sci-fi procedural, set in a future when all human cops are paired with android partners. The pilot episode sets up a familiar buddy-cop dynamic between gruff, rule-eschewing human detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) and his more touchy-feely android partner Dorian (Michael Ealy). Urban and Ealy have strong chemistry, but the plotting (including the set-up for an inevitably convoluted mythology) is less effective. Still, Fringe took time to find its footing, and Almost Human does present a potentially intriguing future world. Now it just needs to populate that world with more creative, engaging stories.

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