Synopsis by Hal Erickson
After years of upholding law and order on the cop drama Homicide: Life on the Street, Andre Braugher crossed over to the criminal side as the title character in the FX network weekly Thief. Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, the series cast Braugher as Nick Atwater, who supplemented his income as a vintage-car dealer by masterminding a team of thieves. Although Nick tried to keep his personal and professional life secret, this proved difficult when he was forced to shoulder the responsibility for his resentful and trouble-prone stepdaughter, Tammi Deveraux (Mae Whitman), after his wife, Wanda (Dina Meyer), was killed in a car accident. (In the first episode, Nick was arranging to get Tammi out of a jam with the New Orleans cops even as he and his cohorts were in the middle of pulling off a jewel heist in San Francisco!) Further complicating his life was a botched assignment in which Nick's team wound up with money stolen from a particularly vicious band of Chinese gangsters -- not to mention our "hero"'s ongoing struggle to play on both sides of the legal fence in order to keep his head above water. Also in the cast was Michael Rooker as Nick's nemesis and verbal sparring partner John Hayes, a corrupt police detective to whom extortion was second nature; Linda Hamilton as Rosalyn, Nick's fence, who like many TV-series outlaws had her own peculiar code of ethics; Clifton Collins Jr. as Nick's confederate Jack "Bump" Hill, the obligatory "crook with a conscience"; Yancey Arias as Gabriel "Gabo" Williams, the equally obligatory loose cannon of the gang, who also had a hit-and-run romance with Detective Hayes' wife; Malik Yoba as comedy-relief character Elmo "Mo" Jones, who like his boss Nick did his best to be a good family man; and Will Yun Lee as irascible Chinese hit man Vincent Chan, who was willing to let Nick live only long enough to get his mob's money back. By the time the series had concluded its initial six-week run, Nick and company were neck-deep in a scheme to steal govnerment money originally intended to pay off local authorities in the Colombian drug war. Based loosely on the 1981 James Caan theatrical feature of the same name, the weekly, hour-long Thief premiered March 28, 2006.