SUCKER FREE CITY Come on -- wouldn't you watch any TV show called ''Sucker Free City,'' let alone one overseen by Spike Lee? ''It's a nickname for San Francisco, a great city that hasn't gotten a lotta love from TV,'' says Lee, who directed the Showtime series pilot (expected to air in 2004) and is the show's exec producer. ''I've been trying to do something in television for a long time,'' says Lee about moving his 40 Acres and a Mule production company into the TV arena. (No wonder he got litigious about the Spike TV network -- who needs to be confused with Stripperella?) ''Cable has a lot more leeway [than feature films] these days to tell new stories. People are tired of sequel stuff and comic-book [movies].'' Starring Jim Brown and John Savage, as well as Milo Stokes and Anthony Mackie, Sucker explores white, black, and Asian gang cultures, and the people trying to rise above them. Lee is working from ''an intelligent, funny, somewhat violent'' script by S.F. native Alex Tse. Just somewhat violent, Spike? He chuckles. ''As violent as it needs to be.''