Queens Supreme is a new courtroom drama starring Oliver Platt, who has the same careful coiffure he sported in his folded newspaper drama, ”Deadline,” as well as in his Emmy-nominated guest run on ”The West Wing.” Platt radiates insolent wit, which is undoubtedly why the industry keeps trying to make him a TV star; thing is, his best roles have been in movies where he’s a supporting player, like in Warren Beatty’s underrated ”Bulworth.” When carrying his own show, however, Platt can be kind of a pain in the neck: a scene-stealer forced to become a scene hog.
So it is with ”Queens,” in which he plays Big Apple judge Jack Moran, a grumpy gavel pounder whom a colleague describes as ”a 12-year-old” – that is, a petulant, self-absorbed yakker. Platt is surrounded by a good cast (Annabella Sciorra and Robert Loggia also flutter robes here), but the writing lets everyone down. Lee Tergesen, so vivid as the persecuted Tobias Beecher on ”Oz,” plays one angry man – a nicotine-addicted juror driven to pull a gun on Moran in order to smoke in court. It’s a hostage hour that dribbles on like a bad Off Broadway play. The following week is no better: The judge rankles an Irish gang, and the resulting threat that’s supposed to make us quake? A bullet with Moran’s name on it. I mean literally – a leeetle, tiny MORAN scratched into it. Sheesh.
CBS should realize there already is a ”Queens Supreme” on television: It’s called ”Will & Grace.” Maybe Platt should join that show. In a small role.