Just a couple of brief comments, having just watched these shows. Person of Interest has an intriguing premise (my wife described it as The Equalizer Meets Minority Report, but the main thing is that, intriguing or not, it will remind you of other things). It’s no Rubicon, a far better show, but Person of Interest has potential.
Prime Suspect is a more traditional show. It borrows the title and the main character from the famous British series starring Helen Mirren, but beyond that, it’s more like Saving Grace than the Mirren original. Which is fine … we don’t have to spend any more time comparing the two versions, because they aren’t enough alike to warrant that kind of attention. Maria Bello is excellent, the rest of the show is tolerable.
Both shows threaten to become Just Another Procedural, and I know those shows are popular, but the truth is, I don’t watch them (that’s not a value judgment, just an indication of my taste preferences). So when I try to figure out if I’ll be watching either of these series a month from now, I can’t say “yes” with any certainty. My guess is that, in the absence of characters that interest me, I’ll jump ship on Person of Interest, and that Maria Bello will keep me watching Prime Suspect. I don’t expect either show to become one of my all-time favorites, although again, Bello’s Jane Timoney might become a favorite character that keeps me around, the way I still watch House.
Grades for series premieres: Person of Interest, B- … Prime Suspect, B.