Cop Show 101: From 'Castle' to 'Cop Rock'
With two new crime shows hitting the air this week, we examine some of the common variations on the enduring TV genre.
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The Outsider( CBS )
What it is: Someone from outside law enforcement but with a particular area of expertise is brought in to help the police on tough cases. Prickly-but-effective relations with the lead investigator suggested but not required.
Current examples: "Castle," which premieres on Monday and stars Nathan Fillion as a mystery novelist who consults with the NYPD, and "The Mentalist," the seasons' only big new hit, starring Simon Baker as a TV psychic-turned-highly observant investigator in California.
Classic: "Murder, She Wrote," in which novelist Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) always had the answer for all the dead bodies piling up around her.
Others: "Medium," "Diagnosis Murder," "Numb3rs"