Judging the Upfronts By Their Cover: CBS
CBS had its first bad season in several years, though it remains the number one network in total viewers. Perhaps the biggest surprise from its upfront presentation is that the network is passing on How I Met Your Dad, the planned Greta Gerwig-starring How I Met Your Mother spinoff. But there are plenty of other new shows premiering on CBS this fall, sure, they’re mostly CSI and NCIS spinoffs, but they’re new nonetheless. To save you some time, Celebuzz has judged which shows you should give a shot, completely site unseen.
What’s it about?: Based on the real life of Walter O’Brien, the show is about a team of geniuses who protect us against complex threats.
Who’s involved?: The show stars Katharine McPhee (Smash), Elyes Gabel, Robert Patrick (The Unit), Eddie Kaye Thomas and Ari Stidham. Also Scooter Braun, yes that Scooter Braun, is one of the producers.
When will it air?: Monday at 9:00 EST
The Verdict: This seems like your average procedural with the only difference being that it’s based on a real person. Seems like a less-than-revolutionary concept.
NCIS: New Orleans
What’s it about?: It’s NCIS. In New Orleans.
Who’s involved?: The NCIS creative team (Gary Glasberg) is back. This one stars Scott Bakula (Looking), Zoe McLellan (JAG), CCH Pounder (The Shield), Lucas Black and Paige Turco.
When will it air?: Tuesday at 9:00 EST
The Verdict: I think everyone knows who is and isn’t an NCIS fan by now. If you are, by all means, spend a third hour every week watching military crimes get solved.
What’s it about?: This procedural (sensing a theme?) follows two detectives with the LAPD who investigate crimes involving stalking. Think of it as Law & Order: Stalkers.
Who’s involved?: Kevin Williamson, of the The Following, created the show. Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott play the detectives.
When will it air?: Wednesday at 10:00 PM
The Verdict: Maybe it’s just because I love Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott (I do), but I think they could be really interesting opposite each other. However, how interesting really is one stalker after another, week after week? Hell, give it a shot. Maggie Q!
What’s it about?: The McCarthys are a loud, brash and sports-crazed Irish-Catholic Boston family who all live together in a three-story home. Presumably they also fight a lot, but really love each other at the end of the day.
Who’s involved?: The show stars Jack McGee (Rescue Me), Joey McIntyre (The Heat), Jimmy Dunn, Tyler Ritter, Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) and Kelen Coleman. Mike Sikowitz (Welcome to the Family) serves as showrunner.
When will it air?: Thursday at 9:30 PM
The Verdict: I was just about to dismiss this show until I saw that the wonderful Laurie Metcalf is involved. For her, and for her only, I will give this pilot a shot. Otherwise it sounds like someone thought, “How can we do Modern Family but without all those pesky brown people?”
What’s it about?: This show’s about a female Secretary of State. I wonder if it’s loosely based on any future presidents.
Who’s involved?: Tea Leoni plays
Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State. The show also stars Bebe Neuwirth and Tim Daly (The Mindy Project) as Leoni’s husband.
When will it air?: Sunday at 8:00 EST
The Verdict: Saddling this right up to The Good Wife is smart. And this show could be just as good at Good Wife. It’s absolutely worth checking out.
What’s it about?: This is a CSI spinoff about the director of the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI. The show’s premise was already worked into an April episode of CSI.
Who’s involved?: CSI veterans Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony E. Zuiker, and Ann Donahue are writing and producing, while Jerry Bruckheimer is obviously producing as well. Patricia Arquette stars.
When will it air?: Sunday at 10:00 EST
The Verdict: Again, if you like CSI go for it. But how many procedurals can one person watch in a week, really?
The Odd Couple
What’s it about?: Come on. You’ve seen some version of The Odd Couple before. One’s neat, the other’s messy, perspectives are changed. Only this one stars Chandler Bing.
Who’s involved?: Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911) plays the titular odd couple. The show also stars Lindsay Sloane, Sarah Baker (Louie) and Wendell Pierce (The Michael J. Fox Show). The pilot was written by Perry himself.
When will it air?: midseason, TBD
The Verdict: I can’t imagine a world in which we need another adaptation of The Odd Couple adaptation. There’s some good talent involved, but I can’t see a world where this feels fresh or funny.
What’s it about?: It’s a detective series created by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, set in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Who’s involved?: Well, there’s Vince Gilligan. Starring are Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters (30 Rock, Janet McTeer (Damages), Kal Penn, Edward Fordham Jr. and Aubrey Dollar. Plus Bryan Singer is attached to direct and executive produce.
When will it air?: midseason, TBD
The Verdict: This is definitely an exciting project, especially for Breaking Bad fans. I’d certainly give it a shot.
Here is the complete fall schedule:
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (WHILE FOOTBALL AIRS), 2 BROKE GIRLS (AFTER FOOTBALL)
8:30-9:00 PM MOM
9:00-10:00 PM SCORPION
10:00-11:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
10:00-11:00 PM PERSON OF INTEREST
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM STALKER
8:00-11:00 PM THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (SEPT. 11-OCT. 23)
(BEGINNING OCT. 30)
8:00-8:30 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM THE MILLERS
9:00-9:30 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN (FINAL SEASON)
9:30-10:00 PM THE MCCARTHYS
10:00-11:00 PM ELEMENTARY
8:00-9:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE
9:00-10:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-O
10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS
8:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM MADAM SECRETARY
9:00-10:00 PM THE GOOD WIFE
10:00-11:00 PM CSI (IN THE FALL), CSI: CYBER (LATER IN THE SEASON)