CBS has four new shows this fall, plus one crossover from another network (Medium from NBC). I don’t plan to watch any of these shows. In fact, the only show I consistently watch on the network is How I Met Your Mother, and I occasionally watch CSI and The Mentalist. Despite my disinterest in CBS’s fall lineup, for the sake of a balanced look at all the networks’ new offerings, read on for an overview of the newcomers. I’ve ordered them from least to most interesting.
- Accidentally on Purpose – Description from tv.com: “A San Francisco newspaper film critic becomes pregnant after a hookup with a much younger man and together they raise a nontraditional family. Golden Globe Award winner, Jenna Elfman plays Billie, who after a hard breakup with her boss, James, played by Private Practice‘s Grant Show, then gets knocked up by Zack, Windfall’s Jon Foster. They make a nontraditional arrangement to live together platonically and raise the child. But when Zack friends turn her place into a frat house, Billie isn’t sure that the plan can work out.” What a surprise. Yet another bland Jenna Elfman sitcom… I was insulted by how not funny the promo was. Elfman’s character, Billie, was behaving like an idiot hopped up on caffeine pills, and the younger “dudes” weren’t impressing me with their intellect or social skills either. I predict this one will go the way of Elfman’s last show, Courting Alex: nowhere fast.
- Three Rivers – Description from tv.com: “This is the story of an acclaimed transplant hospital and the team, which hold life and death in their hands everyday […] Every case is viewed from the perspective of the team, the recipient and the donor.” I’m sure there will be some interesting stories – some inspiring, some depressing. But in my opinion, this is an example of a premise that is too specific, much like NBC’s new show The Forgotten. It’s one thing to watch an occasional episode about organ donation on a medical show with a broader scope, but another to watch the same issues play out week after week. I have nothing against a show that reminds us of the importance of organ donation, but that doesn’t mean I’ll watch it. Well, I might tune in to one episode just to see Alex O’Loughlin, who we last saw as vampire Mick St. John on Moonlight. It also stars Julia Ormond, who brings a bit more star power to the table. Bottom line: it seems like this is CBS’s attempt to replicate the success of House, only with much more heart, and much less crankiness. Update: A reader of my blog who is more well-informed about this show than I am let me know that Julia Ormond has been replaced by Alfre Woodard, and while the show will still be set in Pittsburgh, it will now be filmed in L.A. This information doesn’t change my opinion of the show, although it’s a shame that the show won’t have an authentic Pennsylvania setting now.
- NCIS: Los Angeles – Description from tv.com: “The Office of Special Projects (OSP) is a clandestine division of NCIS and is located in Los Angeles, California. They go deep undercover to capture criminals that are threatening national security. They have access to the latest technological developments.” This show only earned a spot ahead of Three Rivers because it stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. What an unlikely combination, and quite a dynamic celebrity duo for a CBS show! And I am sure that the “latest technological developments” will make for some fun investigative techniques. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to make me watch. I’ve never watched NCIS, and I don’t intend to watch this spin-off. My guess is that it will mainly appeal to fans of the original, and people who really love LL Cool J or Chris O’Donnell. I would probably watch at least an occasional episode if someone like David Anders or Bradley Cooper were in it, but they aren’t. Out of CBS’s four new shows, this is probably the only surefire hit. For whatever reason, people are always willing to tune in to slightly different variations on their favorite crime or legal procedurals. It continues to work for CSI and Law and Order, so it will probably work for NCIS. What’s next? How I Met Your Brother? 😉
- The Good Wife – Description from tv.com: “‘The Good Wife’ is a female-driven drama about a politician’s wife who pursues her own career as a defense attorney after her husband is sent to jail on charges of political corruption. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) will not only have to deal with her career but also with keeping her family together by providing a stable home for her two children.” The previews for this show have not done it justice. They are making it look like a Lifetime movie based on a true story, which it isn’t. Now that I understand the premise, I am at least considering watching the pilot episode. It’s part legal drama, part family drama, and all about female empowerment. (It’s nice to see at least one show with a female lead whose sole purpose isn’t hunting down younger men.) I’m sure Julianna Margulies will do a good job in this role. In addition to Chris Noth, who will appear as her “bad husband,” she’s joined by Matt Czuchry (Rory’s boyfriend on Gilmore Girls, Lyla’s boyfriend on Friday Night Lights), who seems to be playing another slightly conceited but well-meaning go-getter. Another familiar face is Josh Charles, who played Dan Rydell on Sports Night. He will play Will Gardner, a colleague (and perhaps potential love interest?) of Alicia. And finally, Christine Baranski, who is perhaps best known for her role on Cybill, will take on the role of another of Alicia’s colleagues. The interesting cast is there, the potential for some realistic family and professional drama is there, but that special something that holds it all together may be missing, because I’m just not feeling much motivation to give this show a chance. That being said, it’s the closest thing to interesting that CBS is offering this fall, so I will perhaps watch the pilot.
So there you have it. CBS’s mediocre freshman class. Well at least there are no annoying reality shows among them. Are you interested in any of these shows?
- Fall 2009 Preview: NBC’s New Shows
- Fall 2009 Preview: ABC’s New Shows
- Fall 2009 Preview: Fox’s New Shows
- Fall 2009 Preview: The CW’s New Shows