Gem of a show left to gather dust in the waste­land of late-night TV

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IF women are so im­por­tant, why is Riz­zoli & Isles on GEM at mid­night? It may as well be mid­night. It fin­ishes, or will, I pre­dict, af­ter 11.30, and on a Tues­day that equates to a very late night to the age group this show’s pitch­ing at.

I won­der if Nine isn’t short­chang­ing it­self by a hun­dred thou­sand or so view­ers here, shov­ing this into the mid­dle of nowhere.

It’s a show that could bring an au­di­ence to the ta­ble — do some­thing more than it is now for Nine, which is, I’m al­most pos­i­tive, not a lot.

If you look at all those other shows skewed, as they say, to­wards women, it has more go­ing on than plenty of them.

I’msure there are rea­sons to do with de­mo­graph­ics and mak­ing up the num­bers and fill that Riz­zoli & Isles is over on GEM.

For all the talk about women, they’re not that im­por­tant. Women and chil­dren are very im­por­tant.

Women on their own, as al­leged gro­cery buy­ers, not so much. Chil­dren are the ‘‘ real gro­cery buy­ers’’.

That’s why those con­sumer groups get up­set at the multi­na­tion­als and their ads that tar­get kids.

Nine’s treated this show badly — again, sup­port­ing my women-as-seem­ing-but-no­tac­tu­ally-very-im­por­tant the­ory — but if Seven can have Win­ners & Losers, surely there’s some­where on the main chan­nel for Riz­zoli & Isles. Doesn’t Angie Har­mon have a mas­sive fan base? I thought she did from her days on Law & Or­der.

She’s a cop here too, as De­tec­tive Jane Riz­zoli. She’s all tough and cyn­i­cal, wears suits a lot. This show’s a bit like Cag­ney & Lacey, only if ev­ery­one looked liked mod­els and had no ac­tual prob­lems.

Glo­ria Steinem is prob­a­bly never go­ing to write the kind of in­sight­ful fem­i­nist ar­ti­cle about Riz­zoli & Isles the way she did when Cag­ney & Lacey was around, but there are a lot of girls on it.

Es­pe­cially this week, a les­bian’s mur­der out­side a les­bian bar and the sus­pects in­clude 100 les­bians.

Katie, the dead girl, was mar­ried to Mel, who’s played by Brenda Strong, the dead nar­ra­tor from Des­per­ate Housewives. Straight away we’re look­ing at her, be­cause it’s al­ways the spouse.

Or Katie’s mur­der might be some­thing else again.

There’s a group who has a anti-gay cam­paign go­ing, pe­ti­tions and posters and all of that; maybe it’s one of their mem­bers gone rogue.

But these are all good- look­ing les­bians — lip­stick is the box Dr Maura Isles (Sasha Alexan­der) ticks when she fills out Jane Riz­zoli’s on­line pro­file for their in­evitable undercover op­er­a­tion — and surely these mid­dle-aged men can’t be hat­ing them?

Maura and Jane are a very tight cou­ple. I can’t tell if Maura’s sin­gle or has a boyfriend, but she goes out to din­ner with a guy this week any­way, and forces Jane to tag along and sit op­po­site his friend, who is at­trac­tive but soft. Too soft for her.

He loves her dog though, which can get him a fair way. Girl power: Angie Har­mon as Jane Riz­zoli and Sasha Alexan­der as Maura Isles.

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