Well, I’ve done it. I begged, borrowed, and stole. I cashed in my chips, my chits and a ton of favors and yesterday evening a little birdie flew down my chimney with something he got from a woodchuck which got it from a gopher, which knows an alligator, which knows a shark. And the shark just happened to have a spare copy of The Nine. And, now the shark tells me I owe a nice man in Malaysia my second-, fifth-, and twelfth-born. Even so, I have seen the future of television. Or, at the very least the future of one hour of television this fall. So today I will move away from what I spout on most Tuesday. I have nothing to say about last night’s Treasure Hunters or Hell’s Kitchen episode, for I have seen The Nine.

In past I have remarked how truly hard it can be to judge the future of a series from the pilot: parts get recast, showrunners leave, time periods change, etc. etc. But, as much as any show can be poised for success The Nine is: the cast is solid, the writing is sharp, it airs after Lost, NBC has moved Law & Order to a different timeslot, and perhaps most importantly I sat there for a full five minutes after I watched the pilot wanting to know what in God’s name happened during the robbery. I do not wish to get too deeply involved in specifics of the episode, but the series does seem to be firing on all cylinders.

Of course, there are concerns. If the bits and pieces of what happened during the robbery are revealed too slowly the audience may lose interest. Perhaps the next few episodes won’t be as good, maybe Kidnapped will be HUGE and suck away viewers. And there is also the universal truth that a good show (and The Nine is a good show) doesn’t necessarily make for a successful show. If networks and studios knew the exact recipe for a successful show nothing would ever fail.

If I had to make a prediction in order to save my second-, fifth-, and twelfth-born from the nice man in Malaysia I’d say that The Nine will make it to season 2. I still may watch Kidnapped instead (I like that Tim Hutton guy, he’ll always be Archie Goodwin to me), but maybe I can alter space and time and manage to fit both into my already over-burdened TV schedule. If I can, I’m sure I won’t be sorry.