THE MOB DOCTOR “Pilot.” Fox, 60m, 17 September 2012. Season 1, Episode 1. Jordana Spiro (Dr. Grace Devlin), William Forsythe, James Carpinello, Zach Gilford, Zeljko Ivanek, Floriana Lima, Jaime Lee Kirchner. Created by Josh Berman and Rob Wright , based on the book Il Dottore: The Double Life of a Mafia Doctor by Ron Felber. Director: Michael Dinner.

   As the pilot for the series which lasted less than half a season on Fox (13 episode, 17 September 2012 to 7 January 2013), this first episde works exceedingly well. It doesn’t hurt, though, that premise can be explained in one sentence: To keep her brother from being offed by the local Chicago mob, an extremely competent surgeon, Dr. Grace Devlin, has agreed to do their wished anytime the need comes up.

   There are other sub-stories in this first episode, but the major one, the one that will catch the average viewer’s attention right away, is that she is ordered to let a would-be witness in an upcoming trial die in the operation room. Well, I consider myself an average viewer and it certainly caught my attention.

   It is a dilemma, of course, and it has Grace sweating out how she’s going to get out of the spot she’s in all the way through. It comes out more or less OK, but there is also a twist in the tale that I didn’t see coming, one designed to keep all of us average viewers coming back next week.

   It helps that Jordana Spiro is not a knockout model type. In fact she is suitably harried throughout this entire episode. If she had been wearing the latest slinky dresses and high-heeled shoes, no one would believed it for a minute.

   Where the series is going, besides more of the same, I have no idea, but until it begins to repeat itself one time too many, I’ll keep watching.