Tune in Tonight: Do we need another ‘Presumed Innocent’?

Apple TV+ offers the second adaptation of “Presumed Innocent,” a best-selling legal thriller from the late 1980s, the ultimate “airport novel” that had everyone talking.

Apple’s put together an all-star cast. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Chicago prosecutor Rusty Sabich, easily the most conflicted man in the world, working in a district attorney’s office consumed by mutual loathing.

With an election looming, Rusty is seen as a disciple of the unpopular DA Raymond Horgan (Bill Camp). He’s being challenged by the rather glib and obsequious Nico Della Guardia (O-T Fagbenle), whose toady Tommy Molto (Peter Sarsgaard) is Rusty’s main rival.

The office politics are so poisonous that as a prosecutor, Rusty runs into foul-mouthed resistance from his own medical examiner. So, a trip to the morgue to gain evidence from a victim’s remains, a mainstay of any police drama, becomes a nasty political battleground, a place where the line between passive-aggression and full-throated hostility is rather thin.

Against the backdrop of this political maelstrom, news emerges of the murder of Carolyn Polhemus (Renate Reinsve), a former prosecutor who has made no shortage of enemies over the years.

Rather than allow his rivals a chance to take the case, the beleaguered Horgan assigns it to Rusty. This despite his long history with the victim that once transcended the merely professional. Ruth Negga stars as Barbara Sabich, Rusty’s long-suffering wife, who just doesn’t know if she wants to see her husband’s career and their marriage implode over an old affair.

As mentioned, Rusty is a bit of a conflicted mess, and he shares his troubles with his therapist, Dr. Liz Rush (Lily Rabe).

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes, or even anyone who’s read Scott Turow’s 1987 novel or seen its 1990 movie adaptation starring Harrison Ford, to ferret out the notion that maybe Rusty has other possible connections to his old colleague’s demise.

For somebody versed in hardball prosecutorial practices and gruesome Chicago politics, Rusty doesn’t seem to have much of a poker face. In Gyllenhaal’s hands, he’s more than a little shellshocked, and that makes for less than enthralling viewing. His most dynamic and believable scenes are with his son in the backyard, where he’s clearly going through the motions of playing the good dad and teaching the kid a curveball.

In the actor’s defense, “Presumed Innocent” was a sensation in its time but has inspired a generation of imitations, more than a few of them from this series’ creator, David E. Kelley.

I’m a little reminded of the 2023 effort by Paramount+ to rekindle the thrill of the 1987 blockbuster “Fatal Attraction.” It too, had an impressive cast, including Lizzy Caplan and Joshua Jackson. But in the end, the impressive production couldn’t justify its existence.


— The HDNet Movies network kicks off a mini-marathon of Dolph Lundgren films, beginning with the 1992 thriller “Universal Soldier” (2 p.m. and 9 p.m.).

— A patient’s OCD worsens on “Chicago Med” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— The Dallas Mavericks host the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals (8:30 p.m., ABC).

— Boden’s family woes on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— A naive woman hires a handyman with a past in the 2024 shocker “Living With My Mother’s Killer” (8 p.m., LMN, TV-14).

— Rival authors meet on a book tour in the 2019 romance “Winter Love Story” (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

— Mixed martial arts can be murder on “Tracker” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

— A shooter targets migrants on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— Residents of a California town try to protect its monarch population in the 2015 documentary “Butterfly Town, USA (10:30 p.m., PBS, check local listings).


Sozzled society types (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett) crack up their car and return as ghosts to help a friend (Roland Young) living a joyless existence in the 1937 comedy “Topper” (8 p.m., TCM, TV-G). Adapted for television in the 1950s, “Topper” serves as a template for various series right up to CBS’s “Ghosts.”


“The Price is Right at Night” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) … “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … “NBA Countdown” (8 p.m., ABC) … “Let’s Make a Deal Primetime” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) … “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).


Seth Meyers and Omar Apollo are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Camila Cabello and Questlove on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Will Ferrell and Tico Torres visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS).