THE KILLING. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC.
CHAOS. 8 p.m. Friday, CBS3.
CAMELOT. 10 p.m. Friday, Starz.
SEATTLE HOMICIDE detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) is halfway out the door and on her way to a new life in sunnier climes when a blood-soaked, pink sweater turns up in the city's sprawling Discovery Park.
Sarah won't be going anywhere fast and neither will "The Killing," which makes its two-hour premiere Sunday on AMC, home of "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead."
Adapted by "Cold Case" writer Veena Sud from a Danish series, "The Killing" is a 13-episode murder mystery that operates closer to the speed of life than most procedurals, where bringing someone to justice for the violent death of a young girl usually warrants no more than 42 minutes.
Sud won't even guarantee someone will be brought to justice. "Whether or not it gets solved at the end of the season is a mystery," she told reporters in January.
So why, exactly, should anyone follow Sud down the rabbit hole?
Well, for starters, because Enos - last seen playing twins in HBO's "Big Love" - is a genuine screen presence, and her Sarah Linden is someone you might actually want to take the time to get to know.
She's not the only one.
Given the lack of sunlight, I'd been thinking about another overcast murder mystery, the Canadian "Durham County," even before "Durham County" alum Michelle Forbes turned up as the victim's mother, Mitch Larsen. Because we meet Mitch before she knows her daughter is missing, her gradually increasing dread feels all the more real.
The always watchable Billy Campbell ("The 4400") plays a city councilman running for mayor whose campaign may be somehow involved, but the best reason for tuning in to "The Killing" is that it might re-sensitize those who've seen one too many episodes of "Criminal Minds" - or overdosed on local news.
"As someone who has worked and written for cop dramas for a while now, the most important thing . . . was to not pornographize murder, and to see the real cost and the real toll when a child is lost," Sud said.
"A missing teenager in a major American city, you know, never makes the news. So the biggest challenge was to make us as Americans care about this young girl over a very long course of time."
Is 13 episodes too long? I guess we'll find out.
It's the season when fans of NBC's "Chuck" begin to think about buying footlong subs to keep cancellation at bay.
Maybe they should be lobbying CBS, which tomorrow launches its own semi-comic spy series in "Chaos."
It's April Fools' Day, but "Chaos" - which is not quite an acronym for Clandestine Administration and Oversight Services, a CIA unit that appears unrelated to "Get Smart's" old KAOS - is no joke.
Not with Eric Close ("Without a Trace"), Freddy Rodriguez ("Ugly Betty") and Kurtwood Smith ("That '70s Show") in the cast.
Created by Tom Spezialy ("Reaper"), it seems to be an actual attempt by the network that employs more law enforcement agents than some cities, to have some fun - but not too much - with the CIA, an agency it portrays as so inept that when a new recruit (Rodriguez) shows up for his first day, the soup his mother packed for his lunch sets off a security scare.
(And suddenly USA's "Covert Affairs" looks like a documentary.)
I didn't hate the pilot, though it veers from silly to serious so quickly a girl could get whiplash, but I didn't for a minute buy it as a serious contender for next fall on CBS, either.
And I'm guessing the network, which has stuck it on the night where it expects to find viewers who remember the original KAOS, doesn't have much more confidence in "Chaos" than I do.
Maybe it's the success of "Spartacus," but Starz is all about the costumes lately. Or at least about losing them.
Starting tomorrow, it's headed for "Camelot."
The latest reimagining of the King Arthur legend stars Jamie Campbell Bower ("Twilight: New Moon") as young Arthur and Joseph Fiennes ("FlashForward") as the sorcerer Merlin, who's older than he looks.
"This is the story of Camelot that has never been told before," says Starz, its warning that Arthur's going to be getting busy with a bare-breasted beauty before we've been properly introduced and that little we see will resemble the 1960s musical.
Bower's not the most compelling hero - and Fiennes can be a bore - but the story, however twisted, remains amusing, and "Camelot" could help pass time until HBO's "Game of Thrones" arrives April 17.
Who won't be amused: Starz non-subscribers who'd hoped to watch through Netflix, which reportedly has been saddled with a 90-day delay before it can stream "Camelot." *