By no surprise, top-rated CBS renewed most of its lineup earlier this summer, and has added three more dramas and one comedy to the mix. Below is a preview of the new show pilots. Note this is not a review of the shows, as my opinions are based on the “not for air” pilots and pilots change (often drastically before the shows are set to premiere). However, this will give you a glimpse into some pretty great new shows the fall has to offer:
“It’s about four people, two relationships, and three couples,” claims CBS President Nina Tassler. And that’s a pretty good summation of the show.
From the creators of “Will & Grace,” Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, the show centers on lifelong friends and business partners, Charlie (David Krumholtz – “Numbers” and “Superbad”), who is straight, and Louis (Michael Urie – “Ugly Betty), who is gay. Co-starring as the duo’s significant others are Sophia Bush (“One Tree Hill“) as Charlie’s fiancé Ali and Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) as Louis’ partner.
There’s a clunky back-story surrounding the pilot, but I think is ultimately going to make the show succeed, though it will likely tie it down the first few episodes trying to put everything into context and explain character decisions. Nonetheless when comparing “Partners” to the rest of the freshman comedy class, it’s one of the best.
So while the show’s pilot was a bit lacking, that’s par for the course for CBS comedies – it has great potential. Take “How I Met Your Mother” – almost canceled, and now a network favorite. And let’s not forget “The Big Bang Theory,” which I outright hated in the beginning, until I found myself digging the nerdy banter. And then there’s last year’s “2 Broke Girls,” which took a solid chunk of episodes to really get going, and now it’s a weekly “must watch.”
So dare I say, I’m putting a lot of faith in CBS here and this quirky all-star cast they’ve assembled.
Watch it/skip it/DVR it? Watch it.
Premieres: Monday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m.
Starring: Sophia Bush, David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, and Brandon Routh
This is not the Vegas we know and love today. This is the Vegas before all the fancy corporate casinos. This is the Strip when pastures of cattle stood in lieu of strip-malls. This is the beginning of the Vegas that is to come.
This 1960s-set period piece centers on the true story of Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid – “Vantage Point,” “The Rookie,” “Frequency”), a fourth-generation rodeo cowboy living the peaceful on the quiet outskirts of Vega when a young girl is murdered by the Mob and he’s forced to investigate. Lamb stumbles into a seemingly endless world of corruption by Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis – “The Shield” and “The Commish”), a Chicago mobster who’s made his move to the city and is setting up shop.
Aiming for the time-piece success of shows like “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire,” rather than those that went belly-up like last year’s “Pam Am” and “The Playboy Club,” the show definitely has a few kinks to work out. Nevertheless the Quaid-Chiklis combination is definitely worth tuning-in to, and may very well be my favorite new drama (of any network this fall). It goes without saying that CBS may have just hit the jackpot with this one, but only time will tell.
Watch it/skip it/DVR it? Watch it.
Premieres: Tuesday, September 25 at 10:00 p.m.
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss
A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, the drama centers on the famed detective (Jonny Lee Miller – “Trainspotting” and “Dark Shadows”) who is now living in New York City solving mysteries. The Holmes-Watson duo is made complete with Lucy Liu (“Kill Bill” and “Charlie’s Angels”), playing Dr. John Joan Watson – a slight twist on the traditional character.
If you’ve seen the BBC’s “Sherlock” you’re going to have a hard time liking this one, as the BBC version is much better. However, if you give the show its own chance, it’s quite entertaining. Engaging and well acted, the Lee Miller-Liu repartee coupled with a detective mystery is enough to keep you coming back for more.
Watch it/skip it/DVR it? DVR it
Premieres: Thursday, September 27 at 10:00 p.m.
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu and Aidan Quinn
Made in Jersey
The legal drama centers on a working-class woman, the gorgeous Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery – “Entourage” and “Human Target”) who uses her tenacity street smarts to compete with her high-pedigree colleagues at a prestigious Manhattan law firm.
Perhaps a predictable tale, Martina is a likeable central character. Once you get past the Jersey-ness of it all (tune-in, you’ll see what I mean), it’s actually a pretty watchable show.
Watch it/skip it/DVR it? DVR it. With some much potential in a leading-lady, I hate to completely write this show off. If the producers are able to retool the pilot and make something memorable, this could be really good TV. But as it stands, it needs a lot of work.
Premieres: Friday, September 28 at 10:00 p.m.
Starring: Jessica Blank, Dominic Fano and Drew Beasley