TIMELESS. 10 p.m. Monday, NBC10.


Monday, 6ABC.

IF House of Cards and Scandal didn't convince you that Hollywood has mixed feelings about political wives with their own political ambitions, you should check out ABC's Conviction.

Beyond that, I can't think of a reason to bother.

One of two network series premiering Monday - stay tuned for a look at NBC's new time-travel drama Timeless - Conviction is the latest show to reference a situation that's so far unique to Hillary Clinton.

Hayley Atwell (Marvel's Agent Carter) stars as Hayes Morrison, a former first daughter whose mother, Harper (Bess Armstrong, House of Lies), is running for the U.S. Senate.

Which is why, when Hayley, who's apparently some kind of wild child with a law degree, is picked up for cocaine possession, she allows herself to be blackmailed by New York District Attorney Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill, CSI:NY).

Does he want money? No. Sex? Probably.

For now, though, he just wants to give Hayley a job. She'll be heading a new unit that will reinvestigate closed cases with an eye to possibly freeing innocent people and making both of them look like heroes.

I'm not sure he fully understands how blackmail works.

Armstrong guest-stars in the two episodes I've seen as a conniver whose political instincts trump her maternal ones. Both she and Atwell deserve better stuff to say than they're given in this, a paint-by-numbers procedural reaching for a bit of Scandal's glitz.

If Chelsea Clinton's even heard about this show, she's probably laughing too hard to be offended.

'Timeless' on NBC

Period dramas can be a tough sell on network TV, no matter how many people remain in mourning for Downton Abbey.

This season, though, a few may sneak in by a side door through the miracle of time travel.

On Monday, the premiere of NBC's entertaining Timeless takes viewers back to 1937 New Jersey, the time and place of the German airship crash we know as the Hindenburg disaster.

Abigail Spencer (Rectify), Malcolm Barrett (The Hurt Locker), and Matt Lanter (90210) play a historian, a scientist, and a soldier who in the premiere are hustled back to 1937 on short notice to chase down a time-machine thief (Goran Visnjic, ER) who's out to change history and destroy the present. Or the future. Or America.

Honestly, I'm not sure.

And so far I don't care, because it's fun to drop 21st-century people into the deep end of history to see if they can swim, and Timeless producers Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural) seem to get that.

That Timeless isn't groundbreaking TV shouldn't be a problem. (Although Kripke and NBC were among those named in a suit filed last week by a Spanish production company that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, claims they violated copyright and that Timeless was ripped off from "El Ministerio del Tiempo, the story of a three-person government team who travels to time to change the past.")

Even with Barrett and Spencer's characters there to remind us that the good old days weren't good for everyone, and the hint of some overarching conspiracy, there's a romance to Timeless that so far makes it worth the trip.

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