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ABC may see success with 'Traveler'


May 28, 2007

By Jeff Korbelik

One of the members of my golf league asked me what happened to "Traveler." He watched the pilot, but couldn't find it on the schedule the next week. I told him not to worry. ABC was trying something different with the summer drama.

Apparently, the strategy worked with him. He was hooked and anxious to see what was going to happen next on the thrill ride.

ABC premiered "Traveler" on May 10 after an original episode of "Grey's Anatomy," one of the network's highly rated programs. The debut drew 8.6 million.

After whetting viewer appetites, the network waited. It re-ran the pilot last Wednesday — 20 days after it originally aired — and followed it up with a new episode.

Like my fellow golfer, I have found "Traveler" worth my time.

It appears ABC may have hit on something to run with this summer — a time when networks usually fill their schedules with reality shows and repeats.

"Traveler" is about two graduate school friends who are set up by a third friend — named Will Traveler — who either blows up or has a hand in blowing up a New York art museum.

The two friends are suspected of being terrorists — thanks to their questionable backgrounds — and go on the run, trying to prove their innocence along the way.

If it sounds a bit like "The Fugitive," it is. Only they are looking for their friend instead of a one-armed man.

The drama stars Matthew Bomer and Logan Marshall-Green as the runners. Aaron Stanford is Will.

The most recognizable actor is Steven Culp, who plays an ambitious FBI agent. It takes awhile to get used to him in this role after seeing him in a comic part as Bree's first husband in "Desperate Housewives."

Of course, watching the drama requires a suspension of belief. I rolled my eyes when the FBI let one of the supposed terrorists go after an idle threat. Like that would ever happen.

The same can be said for such shows as "24" and "Prison Break." Don't get bogged down in the details and enjoy "Traveler" for what it is — a fast-moving mystery thriller that should have enough legs to carry it through the summer.

Across the remote

* "Traveler" is one of the many new summer programs for those wanting to escape the impending hot, humid weather.

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