In "Saving Grace," the new TNT drama, Holly Hunter is guided through turbulent times by an angel named Earl. It sounds silly, but Hunter has the chops to pull it off.

Saving Grace

(TNT, 10 p.m., July 23): Oklahoma City detective Grace Hanadarko is a fast-living, hard-boiled atheist who accidentally reaches out to the Almighty in a moment of panic. She's just killed a man while driving drunk. Her plea is answered in the form of a last-chance angel, Earl, a Billy Bob Thornton look-a-like who strolls down the dark country road offering answers, if only Grace will change her wild ways. Grace is stunned but willing to take any help out of her current scrape. Only an actress of sublime abilities could lift this material from the downright silly to something intriguingly watchable. As she searches for either her sanity, her salvation, or both, Ms. Hunter does that and much more. Grade: B+

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