One and only one of them will inherit the riches if they follow his extensive prerecorded last wishes. This sets off a feverish rivalry among siblings who were inordinately competitive to begin with.
There's Henry, the oldest child, a family hero with feet of clay. He's a ludicrously overscheduled Type A surgeon. Henry is played by Scott Foley, who has been persistently trying to find his prime-time niche since Felicity. Most recently, he was seen gumming things up on Scandal.
Chloe is a struggling but sharp wannabe actress, played by Becki Newton, who fulfills the comic potential she showed on Ugly Betty.
Then there's the baby black sheep, Jimmy, a simpleton and small-time thief just sprung from his latest jail term. He's played by T.J. Miller, who's always oddly appealing despite being typecast as a clueless loser.
The writing is clever and crisp at times, but there's little chemistry among the actors. And the premise is contrived and confining.
Bridges keeps popping up, dressed like Orville Redenbacher, via a box of VHS tapes maintained by his lawyer, presciently anticipating every move his kids make. About the third time Bridges nails a perfect posthumous reaction or rejoinder to his kids' shenanigans, the gimmick is already tired. And that's in the first episode. Wait until Week Six!
The drama debuting Monday also uses a conspicuous plot device, but this one is intriguing.
Motive (10:01 p.m., 6ABC) is a police procedural that identifies the killer and the victim right at the top of the show. Then it uses flashbacks and multiple vantages to show how the crime took place and how the case gets solved.
Its nonlinear, whydunit approach makes the show stand out. The fractured loop-de-loop narrative creates not just surprise but suspense.
Kristin Lehman ( The Killing) is fearless, funny and convincing as Detective Angie Flynn. Canadian TV veteran Louis Ferreira plays her partner, and Bristol's Lauren Holly ( NCIS) is the salty coroner. Lehman actually resembles the younger Picket Fences-era Holly, so much so that at first I though she was performing a double role.
And keep your eyes peeled in the pilot for a New Kids on the Block band member.
ABC must have some confidence in Motive, already a hit on Canadian television, because it's giving the show the post- Dancing With the Stars finale launching pad.
If Motive consistently finds imaginative ways to work its formula, it may be with us for a while.
The Goodwin Games
Monday on Fox29
Monday on 6ABC
Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_TV.
Read his blog at www.inquirer.com/daveondemand