Tonight: Kelsey Grammer is ‘Boss’

They’re promoting the heck out of “Boss” (Starz, 10 p.m.), the newest original series from the network mostly known for showing movies. Happily, it’s no “Spartacus” (that is to say no gratuitous bloodsoaking). But neither is it near the level of quality it thinks it is.

Because it concerns a corrupt Chicago mayor wanting to do things his way doesn’t mean it succeeds in its higher ground. Mostly, you think about how much better this was done on any number of shows, but particularly “The Wire.”

Like a lot of comic actors who suddenly turn on their dramatic skills, Kelsey Grammar is quite good in the lead as a mayor who tries to control things even as a disease he keeps to himself is slowly robbing him of ability. But he’s thwarted by a script that seems forced and facile in its almost humorous overuse of a third f-word. It’s as if to say: We’re premium cable too and we can cuss like it.

Unless things pick up right away, I can’t imagine this will be Friday night appointment TV for anybody.

For those who can’t quite buy Grammar in the role, you can always revert to another nightlong marathon of “Fraiser” (WE tv, 8 p.m.).

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