TELEVISION: ALL NEW TRIALS BY FIRE

MURDER ONE'S LATEST DEFENSE TACTICS INCLUDE A SEXIER STAR AND MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD CASES

What an auspicious beginning it had: a captivating plot that centered on the murder of a 15-year-old prostitute; suspects who included a malevolently elegant businessman, a sleazy psychiatrist and a drug-addicted movie star; and, in the starring role, impassioned defense attorney Teddy Hoffman, played by Daniel Benzali as a man of such unwavering rectitude that he made lawyer jokes seem as gauche as postmortem Nixon bashing. And yet with all that going for it, Steven Bochco's Murder One finished last season as the 74th-ranked show in network prime time and seemed fated for dismissal.

Instead, it was given a reprieve--but there...

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