Judging the Upfronts By Their Cover: CBS
We Are MenWhat's it about?: Bromance comedy about four single men living in the same apartment complex. There's an older one ("four-time divorcé who still fancies himself a ladies man"), a metrosexual ("speedo-wearing OB/GYN"), a non-white ("was caught having the world's worst affair") and the main one ("ditched at the altar mid-ceremony").
Who's involved?: Our band of bros consists of Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle; the Obama administration), Jerry O'Connell (Stand By Me) and Chris Smith (Paranormal Activity 3). Shalhoub's character has a daughter played by Rebecca Breeds (Home and Away) who will, no doubt, be a love interest for some or all of the men on the show because this sounds like a very feminist television program.
When will it air?: Monday at 8:30 EST
The Verdict: Nope. Absolutely no. But its slot after the 75th and final season of How I Met Your Mother will guarantee it's both a hit and something that guy from three dorm rooms down in college with a Bob Marley poster talks about on Facebook a lot.
MomWhat's it about?: A sober single mother of two is trying to put her life back together and mend her relationship with her mother while working as a waitress at a restaurant the exclusively employs stock sitcom characters.
Who's involved?: Anna Faris and Allison Janney play the central daughter/mother characters. The restaurants stock characters are Nate Corddry (Harry's Law) as the suave, skeevy bossman and French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun) as the loud-mouthed chef. The team behind Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre and Eddie Gorodetsky serve as executive producers.
When will it air?: Monday at 9:30 EST
The Verdict: In my mind Allison Janney and Anna Faris can do no wrong. But then again, Chuck Lorre can do no right. My gut is that this show will be more Two and a Half Men than The West Wing so it's probably safe to skip.
HostagesWhat's it about?: CBS' only new drama starting this fall, Hostages is about a family who's taken hostage by a rogue FBI agent ordering the doctor mother to assassinate the president during surgery.
Who's involved?: Toni Collette plays the surgeon in question and her husband is played by Tate Donovan (The O.C.). Dylan McDermott plays the FBI agent who may be doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. The show is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer who brought you every CSI or Pirates of the Caribbean or Amazing Race you ever saw.
When will it air?: Monday at 10:00 EST
The Verdict: This is probably CBS' most interesting-looking new show, but it's hard to figure out why this is a television show and not a movie. Keep in mind it won't run for a full season, but only until January when it will give up its time slot for a midseason replacement. I'll give this one a shot.
IntelligenceWhat's it about?: A bland thriller about a man whose brain has access to WiFi.
Who's involved?: Lost's Josh Holloway plays the man who took Google Glass one step too far. His boss is Marg Helgenberger (CSI), Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time) is a Secret Service agent whose job it is to protect him and John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise) plays the WiFi chip inventor.
When will it air?: Monday at 10:00 EST, as a midseason replacement
The Verdict: How boring. What if Jason Bourne could read Wikipedia by just thinking about it? And he still worked for the government? No thanks.
The MillersWhat's it about?: A local news reporter can't wait to re-join the singles scene after a divorce. Only his plans are ruined when his mother moves into his hip bachelor pad. Many a joke about wingmoms spring forth.
Who's involved?: The show is lead by Will Arnett and Margo Martindale (Justified). Beau Bridges (The Descendants) plays Arnett's father who is living with his sister played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and her family. J.B. Smoove (Saturday Night Live) is Arnett's best friend.
When will it air?: Thursday at 8:30 EST
The Verdict: Even if the plot sounds a little obvious, this is a great cast. And many comedies are more about the writing and performances anyway (describe the plot of Seinfeld and tell me if you think you'd like that based on the plot alone), so there's a chance this could be really good. Or it could be another Up All Night, ruined by the network.
The Crazy OnesWhat's it about?: A successful but unorthodox man runs a powerful advertising agency alongside his driven and focused daughter.
When will it air?: Thursday at 9:00 EST
The Verdict: It's a workplace comedy by the same man who made Ally McBeal which means you probably already have a good idea whether or not you'll like this. Watch anyway, if for nothing else than to see if this show has co-ed bathrooms too.
Here is the complete schedule:
8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
8:30-9:00 PM WE ARE MEN (new)
9:00-9:30 PM 2 BROKE GIRLS
9:30-10:00 PM HOSTAGES (new; fall) / INTELLIGENCE (new; midseason)
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
10:00-11:00 PM PERSON OF INTEREST
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM THE MILLERS (new)
9:00-9:30 PM THE CRAZY ONES (new)
9:30-10:00 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN
10:00-11:00 PM ELEMENTARY
8:00-9:00 PM UNDERCOVER BOSS
9:00-10:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0
10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS
8:00-10:00 PM COMEDYTIME SATURDAY (sitcom reruns)
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE
9:00-10:00 PM THE GOOD WIFE
10:00-11:00 PM THE MENTALIST
In addition to those on the schedule, CBS also renewed Mike and Molly, Reckless and Friends with Better Lives, which will begin airing midseason.