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"American Crime" (ABC, March 5)
ABC is pretty high on "American Crime," which is John Ridley's follow-up to winning an Oscar for "12 Years a Slave." Personally, this is Dan talking, I didn't love the pilot, which Ridley also directed. But it's hard not to be intrigued by an ensemble cast headed by Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton, plus a genuinely ambitious thematic reach that seems prepared to tackle race, class and gender politics in a look at a murder case, investigation and subsequent trial. If it were on cable, perhaps "American Crime" wouldn't seem like such a delicate flower, but the desire to support this sort of ambition in a network series definitely makes me willing to overlook a pilot that perhaps doesn't successfully strike all of the targets it's aiming at. Thanks to "Scandal," "American Crime" will have the chance to get a reasonable sampling and hopefully it'll become richer as it progresses.