Doubt Wednesdays, 10 p.m., CBS. Premieres February 15.
Katherine Heigl’s first attempt to return to TV with the 2014 NBC espionage drama State of Affairs didn’t work out, so now she’s back with probably the safest bet in all of TV: a CBS crime procedural. Doubt stars Heigl as high-powered defense attorney Sadie Ellis, a member of an elite New York City firm devoted equally to social justice and well-paying clients. Although much of the show is structured like a standard case-of-the-week legal drama, there’s also an ongoing serialized storyline, in which Sadie is slowly falling for one of her clients, a rich doctor (Steven Pasquale) accused of murder.
Heigl is much more comfortable in the role of a confident, stylish attorney than she was as the damaged secret agent in State of Affairs, and the producers surround her with a strong supporting cast as her fellow lawyers, including Elliott Gould, Psych’s Dulé Hill and Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox. But the cases are dull and formulaic, watering down hot-button issues to fit in the show’s neat, simplistic framework. The doctor’s murder trial isn’t any more interesting, without nearly enough twists and turns to be dragged across an entire season. Heigl is a perfectly appealing actress who can glide through low-impact material like this, but there’s nothing about Doubt that’s likely to launch her back to TV stardom.