THIEVES. “Pilot.” ABC, 28 September 2001. John Stamos (as Johnny), Melissa George (as Rita), Robert Knepper, Tone Lōc. Written by Jim Leonard. Director: James Frawley.

  It’s so tempting to start this review by saying, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before,” and guess what? I just did. Two young cat burglars, male and female, each successful on their own, are caught trying to steal the same set of diamonds, and given an ultimatum” Work for us (the government) or go to jail. By story’s end, they have (guess what) decided to work for the government.

  They of course bicker between each other a lot, but one can imagine that if the series had been allowed to continue (only eight of the ten films were aired before the plug was pulled), the sparks would have been romantic ones as well as those generated by their competitive natures. Both lead actors are extremely attractive (and the female partner of the two seems to dress in clothes that show as much bare skin as much as possible).

  There is an old adage in the television business (or if there isn’t, there should be), that you need a story, too, not bits of pieces of one that need as much padding as to make each episode fit comfortably in a 60 minute time slot, less commercials.

  Each of the two leads ha gone on to have had successful careers. This series wasn’t much of a step up along the way, however. It remains a relic only, of interest only to those of us who love digging up old relics such as this.