Does the world really need another Jerry Bruckheimer-produced procedural drama? Or another “lawyer crusades against injustice” show? Or another “working mom balances home and office life” show? Or another “disturbing things lie beneath the glossy suburban surface” show? How about all of them at once? Because that’s what CBS is serving up with Close to Home, a completely unnecessary show that’s notable mostly for the sheer number of clichés it embodies.

The Formula:
Close to Home = Law & Order + Murphy Brown + (Judging Amy – Tyne Daly) + (Desperate Housewives – slapstick)

Lead Jennifer Finnegan does a good job with a role that’s a cross between Law & Order’s Sam Waterston and Cold Case’s Kathryn Morris, combining the former’s righteous indignation with the latter’s empathetic gaze. The rest of the cast is similarly competent, if the characters they play aren’t particularly inspired.

But the premise of the show, playing on the anxieties brought about by the Susan Smiths and Laci Petersons of the past few years, doesn’t exactly inspire you to get out and get to know your neighbors. Now, in addition to serial killers and assorted freaks, we should also fear the apparently happy family down the street, lest we end up on the evening news saying that we thought we knew them. Beyond that extra helping of paranoia, there’s little to distinguish Close to Home from any other suburban-hell, crusading-lawyer or working-mom show on the air, and you’ve probably already got a favorite show in all these categories to keep you going.