I remember when John Grisham hit the bookshelves in the early '90s when the novel "The Firm" made its debut.
It wasn't Grisham's first book, but I think you can make the argument that it was the one that made him a star, because Hollywood immediately grabbed the movie rights and made a big-screen version starring Tom Cruise.
The story, about a law school grad named Mitch McDeere who works for a mob-controlled law firm in Memphis and decides to become an FBI informant, translated fairly well to the screen, though the movie version went after lawyers who double-billed their clients rather than the meatier stuff in the book.
"The Firm" movie was one of those things that was pretty good at the time, but seems to be faded from memory since I don't actively seek it out on cable or own a DVD version.
Still, NBC thought it would be a good idea to revive the series, with Josh Lucas taking on the Tom Cruise role.
I haven't seen the pilot yet, so I can't tell you if it's good or not. The series picks several years after the movie, when Mitch and his wife can finally leave witness protection and rebuild their lives. But Mitch seems to have landed at another shady law firm. (What are the odds?)
I don't know how well the movie (or the book, for that matter) will translate to the small screen as an episodic series, but I'll check out the two-hour pilot that begins at 9 p.m.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Expect the DVRs to get a bit of a workout this week as new episodes hit the airwaves across the board.
In fact, it hasn't been THAT long since we saw new episodes, but for some reason, it does feel like it has.
Anyway, The CW returns with new episodes of "Nikita" and "Supernatural" tonight from 8-10 p.m., while "Chuck" (NBC, 8 p.m.), the only series that has been running new stuff through the break, continues to do so tonight. CBS has new episodes of "A Gifted Man," "CSI: NY" and "Blue Bloods" from 8-11 p.m.
Fox delays its return for a week because it has the Cotton Bowl between Arkansas and Kansas State beginning at 8 p.m.
On cable, SyFy brings back "Merlin" at 10 p.m.
On Saturday, the NFL playoffs begin on NBC with the Bengals facing the Texas at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Saints vs. the Lions at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, the critically acclaimed "Downton Abbey" (PBS, 9 p.m.) returns for a second series on "Masterpiece."
Fox is back with its animated block, while ABC has new episodes of "Once Upon A Time," "Desperate Housewives" and "Pan Am."
I believe this is the week that Macon native Carrie Preston returns to "The Good Wife" (CBS, 9 p.m.), which also guest stars F. Murray Abraham. It's followed by "CSI: Miami."
On cable, BBC America brings back a special "Absolutely Fabulous" at 10 p.m., one of its most successful comedies of all-time. AMC has a new episode of "Hell On Wheels" at 10 p.m. "Leverage" (TNT, 9 p.m.) also is new.
Showtime returns "Shameless" at 9 p.m., followed by the debut of "House of Lies" and "Californication."
Finally, sports-wise, the Falcons face the Giants (Fox, 1 p.m.) and the Broncos meet the Steelers (CBS, 4:30 p.m.) in the NFL playoffs. And, because it wouldn't be a weekend without another bowl game, the prestigious GoDaddy.com Bowl sees powerhouses Arkansas State and Northern Illinois battle for the prize (ESPN, 9 p.m.) It's great we don't have a playoff system, so that we can preserve the sanctity of bowl games like this one.