Tonight's Fall Premieres: Kelsey Grammer is the 'Boss' [10/21]

Tonight's Fall Premieres: Kelsey Grammer is the 'Boss' [10/21] There are really only a few high-profile roll-outs left this fall season, as the networks start weeding their way through successful new offerings and DOA shows. One of the bigger premieres to hit the fall TV scene starts tonight, with "Frasier" and "Cheers" alum Kelsey Grammer poised to play the mayor of Chicago in "Boss" on Starz Network.

10:00 p.m.

Boss (Starz)

The description for the newest dramatic series from Starz sounds intriguing enough:

"Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) sits like a spider at the center of Chicago’s web of power; a web built on a covenant with the people. They want to be led, they want disputes settled, jobs dispensed, and loyalties rewarded. If he achieves through deception and troubling morality, so be it. As long as he gets the job done, they look the other way."

A series about a Mayor of Chicago is probably long overdue. The system of favors, bribes, corruption and intense racial and economic politics in the Windy City could easily fill hours of entertianing television without having to reach much farther than the actual headlines and factual occurences within city politics. Which is why the only thing that kind of bugs me is the second part of Starz' description of the show:

"Yet despite being the most effective mayor in recent history, a degenerative brain disorder is ripping everything away from him. He can’t trust his memory, his closest allies, or even himself. Kane’s wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen) knows nothing. Theirs is a marriage of convenience. Kitty O’Neil (Kathleen Robertson), Kane’s advisor, has her suspicions but stays silent. And Kane’s political advisor Ezra Stone (Martin Donovan), a Yale graduate with a rough edge, remains questionless. Only Emma (Hannah Ware), Kane’s estranged daughter, has a chance of learning his secret. This is going to be the toughest term yet for the Boss."

There's no question that the lives of Chicago mayors from Pap Daley to the recently retired Richard Daley to the fascinatingly foul-mouthed but ruthlessly effective Rahm Emmanuel could prove easily fascinating enough without resorting to mystery illnesses secret children and sexual intrigue.

The good thing about cable is that "Boss" will likely have enough time to develop the story, to find its footing and hopefully take advantage of all the rich real-life material at their disposal. Many critics are calling this show Chicago's version of "The Wire," and if it can come anywhere close to presenting such a compelling and nuanced look at the power structures of the city as that show did for Baltimore, it should be all good for "Boss."

Watch a preview of "Boss":

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