Former prosecutor starts new gig on reality series 'Cold Justice'

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It might not have seemed that way at the time, but a failed election bid for the district attorney’s job in Harris County, Texas, has pointed to a new career path for ex-prosecutor Kelly Siegler.

Tuesday night, her new television series Cold Justice premieres on TNT. It pairs Siegler with Yolanda McClary, a former crime scene investigator from Las Vegas. The reality program sends the two women to look into unsolved homicides in small towns, the Houston Chronicle’s Tubular blog notes.

Siegler tried and won 68 murder cases before leaving the job and pitching the idea of the show to producer Dick Wolf, who created Law & Order. The show offers the ex-prosecutor, who always had a flair for drama, an opportunity to pursue the kind of unsolved cases that, in her old job, often had to simply await spontaneous new developments.

“You have those cases—they haunt you, they make you crazy,” she told the Houston Chronicle. “You’re waiting for that one little thing to happen—somebody to get a divorce, somebody to pass away, somebody to get out of prison, somebody to want to get right with God. Whatever it might be, that one little thing that’ll push you over the edge.”

The Los Angeles Times (reg. req.) describes the program as a fascinating look at the mundane details of ordinary unsolved crimes. A New York Times (reg. req.) reviewer found the second episode livelier than the first.

A Variety article says the “natural chemistry” between the two female crime-solving partners puts them in the same league as their fictional counterparts in Law & Order and brings life to the mundane details of ordinary unsolved cases, which lack the drama and plot twists of fictional crime.

Siegler and McClary “are attractive, experienced and articulate. They could quite easily have been turned into overly dramatized versions of themselves,” writes Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times. “Mercifully, they are allowed to be who they are, professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. Although they are friendly, with each other and the local law enforcement, there is no banter and their personal lives appear to play no role in the proceedings. Instead, the show seems content to walk viewers through the real work of murder investigations, reminding us that real crime fighters do exist and this is what they, and their jobs, look like.”

The program begins at 9 p.m. CT, and 10 p.m. on the east and west coasts.

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