TV highlights for Sunday, April 10: AMC debuts legal drama ’61st Street’ | Entertainment | #entertainment | #news

Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) returns to episodic television on “61st Street” (9 p.m., AMC).

Chicago public defender Franklin Roberts (Vance) is first seen leaning rather heavily on a judge about to sentence his client, a good man who stole baby formula for his wife. His heated argument seems to irk the magistrate and may have ultimately resulted in a longer sentence.

That’s a rookie mistake, but Roberts is no rookie — he’s a veteran of decades in the courtroom. It doesn’t exactly make sense, but it offers signals that he must be a guy who “cares too much.”

Unfortunately, too much of “61st” is similarly telegraphed. We watch an unambiguously good track star about to leave for college get caught up in an unmistakably bad situation. 

Like its main character, “61st” projects a certain passion, but viewers may feel it’s a story they’ve all seen and heard too many times before.

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