Before their pilot episodes will even air this Fall, two lead cast members from two of FOX’s new series are leaving their respective shows. Saffron Burrows, who played Ike on the Bones back-door pilot for the new series The Finder is exiting as producers are re-imagining the character. In related news, Damon Wayans, Jr.’s role on the Zooey Deschanel comedy, New Girl will also have to be recast as Wayans’ other show, ABC’s Happy Endings, was renewed for a second season.
As promised, The ‘Tastic is proud to present the first-look trailers for all of CBS’s new shows… the few that are there due to CBS hardly canceling anything. Along with synopses and videos, in true TV-Tastic-style we’ll give you a preview assessment of each of the new series (in other words, we plan to pretty much rip most of them apart) letting you know what we think about them and if it’s worth your time to check them out this Fall and just to give everyone a heads up: on CBS this season: drama = good, comedy = bad.
Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember. Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.
The ‘Tastic Says: Well… we think it looks good, but it’s kind of hard to tell. We really do not like when instead of just getting a straight-up trailer on a new show, we wind up getting a hybrid trailer/cast & crew interviews video and that doesn’t really tell us a whole lot because the cast and crew always beam about the new shows they are in. What are they going to say? “Don’t watch my new show, it sucks?” So we will just go with what we know. It’s a cop procedural, alright, and you know how much we hate those, however, it has very unique twist on the main character and that could play out very well. Can’t really say for sure whether or not if we like this so we’ll go with “maybe.”
Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the person of interest and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.
The ‘Tastic Says: We were excited about this show from the moment we heard about it back in February. It’s not just a J.J. Abrams action-spy thriller, it’s a J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan action-spy thriller that stars Jim Caviezel (The Prisoner, The Passion of the Christ) and Michael Emerson (Lost). We didn’t even have to watch the trailer to know it was going to look fantastic, but of course we wanted to and even though it was another one of those hybrid trailers, it’s a lot better than Unforgettable‘s. It’s not just action, this show has a serious level of mystery and suspense to it and very deep, shades-of-gray characters. It also doesn’t hurt that it looks like a Summer blockbuster action flick. This is going to be great and we can’t wait for the premiere.
A Gifted Man is a drama about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.” Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her. Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale). When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.
The ‘Tastic Says: The show description sucks, however the trailer makes this show look very heart warming and charming. We can’t believe that we’re saying that we’re actually looking forward to this because it’s a chick show completely. This is the first trailer we’ve seen so far for the new season that actually falls into the category of “high-concept.” Seriously, can CBS do any wrong any more?
2 Broke Girls is a comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style. When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money. While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.
The ‘Tastic Says: Well, we obviously spoke to soon because this is awful but what are we expecting from the network that has made successful comedies out of both Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly? What’s shocking is that this show will probably become a hit because CBS comedy audiences check their brains at the door regularly. Fish out of water, classic odd couple, world’s collide.. all the same typical crap with the same recycled jokes that sitcoms have been using for 30 years. Boring and uninteresting.
How to be a Gentleman, inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy. When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.
The ‘Tastic Says: Is it just us or is this not the same show as 2 Broke Girls except for it’s an odd-couple-with-dudes comedy. This looks only slightly better than 2BG and probably only because it has Kevin Dillon in it. It still looks like the typical awful sitcom, though.
The New Midseason Series:
From Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal comes The 2-2, which follows six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the gritty streets of upper Manhattan. The new trainees include Jennifer “White House” Perry (Leelee Sobieski), a former college volleyball star and Marine MP in Iraq with a take-charge attitude; Ray “Lazarus” Harper (Adam Goldberg), the oldest rookie and a former police news reporter with better sources than many seasoned cops; Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte), who comes from a family with a criminal history and has a very personal connection inside the force; Ahmad “Kiterunner” Kahn (Tom Reed), an Afghani native who fought his way to freedom; Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands), a fourth-generation police officer with great instincts but qualms about joining the force; and Jayson Toney (Harold House Moore), a young basketball legend who squandered his opportunity in the NBA. Their demanding Field Training Officer, Daniel “Yoda” Dean (Terry Kinney), is a case-hardened, unsentimental veteran of the force who emphasizes basics and holds each cop accountable for their actions. With unique backgrounds, personalities and reasons for being on the force, the new cops will make their share of rookie mistakes while they figure out how to relate to their boss, each other and to the people they swore to protect. Two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro (“The Godfather: Part II,” “Raging Bull”), Jane Rosenthal (“Meet the Parents”), Academy Award nominee Richard Price (“The Color of Money”), Ken Sanzel (“Numb3rs”) and James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Tribeca Productions. The pilot was directed by James Mangold.
The ‘Tastic Says: Yeah… we don’t know about this one. It seem like another dull and boring police procedural just shown from different rookie-cop perspective. The characters don’t seem to be very original at all and we don’t really see the necessity for another bland police procedural with nothing particularly unique about it (a cop show set in New York? No way! Get out of here!). We’ll give it a shot because Robert De Niro’s name being attached to it but we can’t promise sticking around for it for very long.
(Sorry, but no trailer on this one yet)
Here it is, folks, direct from the CBS Upfront Advertising Event, CBS’s 2011 – 2012 Primetime Programming Schedule (scroll down for complete schedule). Please note, if you don’t see your favorite show from this season, recent cancellations have been covered here and here.
If you have any questions about other shows, post them below.
Some programming notes:
- CBS’ very strong lineup has had limited changes. So unless you were just dying for The Defenders, Mad Love or the worst television show ever made, $#*! My Dad Says, if you’re a fan of CBS, you did O.K., and in fact a lot better than anyone else.
- As far as new programming is concerned, other than the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan Project, Person of Interest, as with most of the new network offerings, there’s a recurring theme this fall with all of the networks, and that is that there a recurring themes in most of the new programming. There really aren’t that may particularly original concepts showing up for any of the new scripted programming.
- Rules of Engagement has been moved to… SATURDAY??? Why bother renewing it?
- We’ll be doing a preview assessment on all of the new shows as well as providing trailers later tonight.
Via Press Release:
CBS ANNOUNCES 2011-2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
America‘s Most Watched Network Adds Five New Series
New Dramas Include a Thriller from J.J. Abrams, PERSON OF INTEREST,
And Two Shows with Very Cerebral Twists – UNFORGETTABLE and
A GIFTED MAN
Comedies Feature 2 BROKE GIRLS from
Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”), and Two ‘Odd Couple’ Guys
In HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN
CSI Moves to Wednesday at 10:00 PM,
The Good Wife Relocates to Sunday at 9:00 PM and
Rules of Engagement Moves to Saturday at 8:00 PM
19 Series Return to Top-Rated Line-Up
Undercover Boss and THE 2-2, a New Drama from Tribeca Productions and Executive Producers Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, to Premiere Mid-Season
NEW YORK — CBS announced today its new 2011-2012 primetime schedule, ordering five new series and making key time-period moves for CSI and The Good Wife to strengthen its already top-rated primetime lineup. CBS will, once again, finish the season as America’s most watched network, marking the eighth time it has done so in the last nine years.
The new series include three new dramas and two new comedies: PERSON OF INTEREST, a crime thriller from renowned executive producer J.J. Abrams starring Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson; UNFORGETTABLE, starring Dylan Walsh and Poppy Montgomery as a former detective with a rare condition that enables her to remember virtually every detail from every day of her life; A GIFTED MAN about a preeminent surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife returns, starring Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle; 2 BROKE GIRLS, a comedy about two strikingly different young waitresses who form an unlikely friendship, starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs; and an odd-couple comedy, HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, starring David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon, about a refined magazine columnist and his very unrefined personal trainer.
The freshman series will be joined by 19 returning shows, including the season’s #1 drama/scripted series,NCIS; #1 comedy, The Big Bang Theory; #1 news magazine, 60 Minutes; # 1 new comedy, MIKE & Molly; along with two franchise reality series, SURVIVOR and the seven-time Emmy Award winner, THE Amazing Race.
The other returning series include: How I Met Your Mother; Hawaii Five-0; NCIS: LOS ANGELES; Criminal Minds;CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; The Mentalist; CSI: NY; Blue Bloods; Rules of Engagement; 48 Hours Mystery; The Good Wife; and CSI: MIAMI.
For mid-season, CBS will present the third season of the reality series Undercover Boss, and the new police drama, THE 2-2, from Tribeca Productions and executive producers Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.
The new 2011-2012 schedule is as follows:
On Monday, the veteran How I Met Your Mother returns at 8:00 PM, to provide a strong lead-in for another young comedy, 2 BROKE GIRLS, at 8:30 PM. Ashton Kutcher joins the cast of the top-rated comedy, Two and a Half Men, at 9:00 PM, followed by returning freshman hits MIKE & Molly at 9:30 PM and Hawaii Five-0 at 10:00 PM.
On Tuesday, the #1-rated scripted series, NCIS, returns at 8:00 PM followed by the #2-rated scripted series,NCIS: LOS ANGELES, at 9:00 PM, providing a powerful lead-in to the new drama, UNFORGETTABLE, at 10:00 PM.
On Wednesday, SURVIVOR returns to the time period it improved 100% in viewers last season (8:00 PM). Criminal Minds, one of the top-rated dramas on television, is back at 9:00 PM, and is paired with CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION to form a strong two-hour crime drama block from 9:00-11:00 PM.
On Thursday, CBS adds a new comedy and drama to the middle of the line-up, book-ended by two established hit series: television’s #1 comedy, The Big Bang Theory, returns at 8:00 PM, providing a strong lead-in to the new comedy, HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN. J.J. Abrams’ new crime-thriller, PERSON OF INTEREST, joins the line-up at 9:00 PM, followed by the time-period winning drama, The Mentalist, as the night’s strong anchor at 10:00 PM.
On Friday, CBS’s time-period winning, two-hour New York police drama block returns from 9:00-11:00 PM withCSI: NY and Blue Bloods. A unique new series opens the night at 8:00 PM with A GIFTED MAN, a medical drama with a spiritual twist.
On Saturday, original programming opens the night at 8:00 PM with Rules of Engagement, which will be paired with COMEDYTIME at 8:30 PM, featuring encore broadcasts of CBS comedies. The successful duo of CRIMETIME at 9:00 PM and the time period-winning 48 Hours Mystery at 10:00 PM closes the night.
Sunday night has an award-winning flare. The acclaimed and always top-rated 60 Minutes opens at 7:00 PM, followed by the seven-time Emmy Award winning series, THE Amazing Race, at 8:00 PM, leading into the critically acclaimed, award-winning drama, The Good Wife, at 9:00 PM. The always successful CSI: MIAMI caps the night at 10:00 PM.
The New Dramas are:
UNFORGETTABLE stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember. Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.
PERSON OF INTEREST stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the person of interest and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything. Emmy Award winners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (“Lost”), Academy Award nominee Jonathan Nolan (“Memento”), David Semel (“Heroes”) and Greg Plageman (“Cold Case”) are the executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.
A GIFTED MAN is a drama about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.” Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her. Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale). When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone. Academy Award nominee Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Neal Baer (“ER”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
The New Comedies are:
2 BROKE GIRLS is a comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style. When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money. While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break. Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”) and writer-comedian Whitney Cummings (“Chelsea Lately”) are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy. When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link. David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”), Adam Chase (“Friends”), Ted Schachter (“The Invention of Lying”), Joe Hipps and Modi Wiczyk are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
The New Midseason Series:
From Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal comes THE 2-2, which follows six diverse NYPD rookies as they patrol the gritty streets of upper Manhattan. The new trainees include Jennifer “White House” Perry (Leelee Sobieski), a former college volleyball star and Marine MP in Iraq with a take-charge attitude; Ray “Lazarus” Harper (Adam Goldberg), the oldest rookie and a former police news reporter with better sources than many seasoned cops; Tonya Sanchez (Judy Marte), who comes from a family with a criminal history and has a very personal connection inside the force; Ahmad “Kiterunner” Kahn (Tom Reed), an Afghani native who fought his way to freedom; Kenny McClaren (Stark Sands), a fourth-generation police officer with great instincts but qualms about joining the force; and Jayson Toney (Harold House Moore), a young basketball legend who squandered his opportunity in the NBA. Their demanding Field Training Officer, Daniel “Yoda” Dean (Terry Kinney), is a case-hardened, unsentimental veteran of the force who emphasizes basics and holds each cop accountable for their actions. With unique backgrounds, personalities and reasons for being on the force, the new cops will make their share of rookie mistakes while they figure out how to relate to their boss, each other and to the people they swore to protect. Two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro (“The Godfather: Part II,” “Raging Bull”), Jane Rosenthal (“Meet the Parents”), Academy Award nominee Richard Price (“The Color of Money”), Ken Sanzel (“Numb3rs”) and James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Tribeca Productions. The pilot was directed by James Mangold.
CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
2011-2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)
8:00-8:30 PM How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9:00 PM 2 Broke Girls (NEW!)
9:00-9:30 PM Two and a Half Men
9:30-10:00 PM Mike & Molly
10:00-11:00 PM Hawaii Five-0
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES
10:00-11:00 PM Unforgettable (NEW!)
8:00-9:00 PM Survivor: South Pacific
9:00-10:00 PM Criminal Minds
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Unit
8:00-8:30 PM The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9:00 PM How to be a Gentleman (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM Person of Interest (NEW!)
10:00-11:00 PM The Mentalist
8:00-9:00 PM A Gifted Man (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM CSI: New York
10:00-11:00 PM Blue Bloods
8:00-8:30 PM Rules of Engagement
8:30-9:00 PM COMEDYTIME SATURDAY
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 Hours Mystery
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 CSI: Miami
About CBS Television Network
CBS was established in 1928, when founder William Paley purchased 16 independent radio stations and christened them the Columbia Broadcast System. Today, with more than 200 television stations and affiliates reaching virtually every home in the United States, CBS’s total primetime network lineup was watched by more than 100 million people a week during the 2010-2011 season. The Network has the #1 drama/scripted program, NCIS; #1 sitcom, The Big Bang Theory; #1 newsmagazine, 60 Minutes; and #1 daytime drama, THE YOUNG AND The Restless. Its programming arms include CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports. For more information, please visit http://www.cbs.com/.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime Networks, Smithsonian Networks and CBS College Sports Network), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), motion pictures (CBS Films) and sustainable media (EcoMedia). For more information, please visit www.cbscorporation.com.
Photos are available at www.cbspressexpress.com.
Follow us on Twitter @cbstweet
With CBS’s upfront advertising event this Wednesday, four new shows have been picked up for the 2011 – 2012 lineup. A Gifted Man, The 2-2, Unforgettable and How to be a Gentleman all got the green light for episode orders. For more information on what shows from this season have been renewed, cancelled or picked up by CBS for 2011 – 2012 check out this piece we did earlier.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
A Gifted Man (formerly The untitled Susannah Grant Project)
Patrick Wilson (Little Children) stars as an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle, The King’s Speech) dies and begins teaching him what life is all about. Julie Benz (No Ordinary Family) co-stars in the CBS Television Studios drama, produced by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly andJonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married), who directed the pilot.
The 2-2 (formerly Rookies)
From CBS Television Studios, the project revolves around six NYPD rookies who learn to balance their personal lives with working the streets of Manhattan. The ensemble cast includes Leelee Sobieski (Joan of Arc) and Adam Goldberg (The Unusuals). Robert De Niro is on board as an executive producer, along with Jane Rosenthal, showrunner Ken Sanzel, Alysse Bezahler (In Treatment), Brandon Brito, Meghan Lyvers andRichard Price (Blue Bloods), who wrote the pilot. James Mangold (Men in Trees) executive produced and directed the pilot.
Unforgettable (formerly The Rememberer)
The drama, from Sony and CBS Television Studios, centers on a NYPD detective who has the ability to remember everything. In a strategic shift to pepper its schedule with female leads, the show stars Poppy Montgomery, best known for her work in former CBS show Without a Trace. Ed Redlich (Without a Trace) writes and executive produces alongside EP Sarah Timberman, EP Carl Beverly and writer/co-EP John Bellucci.
How to be a Gentleman
A buddy comedy based on the book by John Bridges that follows an unlikely friendship between a traditional, uptight columnist (David Hornsby, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and his rough-around-the-edges friend and trainer (Kevin Dillon, Entourage). From CBS Television Studios, Hornsby penned the pilot and executive produces with Adam Chase, Joe Hipps and Modi Wiczyk. Pam Fryman (How I Met Your Mother) directed the pilot.
Here it is, folks, direct from the FOX Upfront Advertising Event, FOX’s 2011 – 2012 Primetime Programming Schedule (scroll down for complete schedule). Please note, if you don’t see your favorite show from this season, recent cancellations have been covered here, however as we reported, the status of Breaking In is reported to be still up in the air.
If you have any questions about other shows, post them below.
Some programming notes:
- Some solid scripted shows, however the new comedies seem weak, despite the star power behind them.
- The elephant in the room that is Terra Nova: The Big Gamble. Depending on how well or poorly this does could change the direction of the entire schedule. Read why we believe TN is such a big gamble, here and here. Believe us, we’re rooting for it, we’re just nervous about it and we think FOX is too. We’re still trying to figure out if they plan to run this for an entire 22 episode run because it’s nowhere on the mid-season schedule. So it’s either going for 13 episodes (which we believe would be the smarter move) or it will have an abbreviated 19 episode season non-stop through December.
- New J.J. Abrams, series Alcatraz to premiere mid-season. Perhaps the smartest move of the schedule to avoid hiatuses and loss of interest by audiences of what no doubt will be a Lost-type serial.
- After 24 seasons, America’s Most Wanted is no longer a regular series. It will now be shown as four specials throughout the year.
- The Cleveland Show has swapped places with American Dad, going to the less desirable 7:30 – 8:30 PM spot on Sunday and putting AD back into its longstanding 9:30 – 10:00 PM for the first half of the season. New series Allen Gregory will be in the 8:30 – 9:30 PM slot, a slot that was filled by The Cleveland Show for the first half of the season and Bob’s Burgers for the second half. This gives credence to our suggestion that we made when the announcement for AD‘s renewal was made in which the press release claimed that an order had been placed for 22 episodes, however it contradicted itself by stating that the show was renewed through 2013. We suggested that one of the only ways this would make sense would be if AD was going to get half-season treatment, although we did find that scenario the most unlikely. This could change, however depending on the success/failure of AG and ND.
- We’re not expecting a whole lot from AG and ND and we don’t think FOX is either. We explain why here. We expect these shows to both be canceled pretty quickly as the two had seven and six episodes orders, respectively. We hear that FOX has at least two more animated shows in the hopper waiting to go, though, just in case.
- Finally, keep in mind that an NFL lockout is looming. This could send ripples through the entire FOX schedule.
So without further adieu:
FOX FALL 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Terra Nova (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM House
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:00 PM The X-Factor (Results Show) (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM Bones
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
FOX MIDSEASON 2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:30 PM American Idol
9:30-10:00 PM I Hate My Teenage Daughter (NEW!)
8:00-9:00 PM American Idol (Results Show)
9:00-10:00 PM The Finder (NEW!) / Bones (Spring)
8:00-9:00 PM Kitchen Nightmares
9:00-10:00 PM Fringe
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
On Friday, NBC announced the cancellation of Outsourced, Law & Order: Los Angeles and The Event. We predicted every single one of these cancellations months ago.
Outsourced (from our Fall 2010 Post Game Wrap-Up on 01/13/2011)
Outsourced is one of the most disappointing shows this season but it’s not because it’s a bad show. It’s cute and it’s clever but it’s a sitcom trying to be funny and it’s really not. We pointed out in our review that the problem is that the novelty of the culture clashes and funny accents only works for about ten minutes, yet Outsourced is an entire series that revolves around those gimmicks… If we’re going to watch a sitcom, we want it to be funny. Outsourced unfortunately is not. It’s currently leaning toward “the-more-likely-to-be-renewed-than-not” category but we doubt audiences are going to continue to tolerate it until May.
Law & Order: Los Angeles (from our review of the show on 10/09/2010)
And before you say to yourself, “Well, this could be different,” I’m going to have to stop you right there because, no, it’s not going to be different. Do you know how I know? There are two obvious reasons. First, take a look at the first sentence of the show description by NBC:
“Law & Order: Los Angeles” fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.”
The first thing that they mention as a selling point is what made the show suck to begin with (the “ripped from the headlines” crap). It’s the reason that people stopped watching… period, you unoriginal nit-wits at Dick Wolf Productions.
This show is nothing more than the original Law & Order that just got cancelled after 20 seasons except for the fact that it’s set in L.A… This whole show is just awful and no one is getting a free pass.
The only reason it’s getting three stars is because it’s not as bad as Outlaw. I expect it to be canceled by the end of the season.
The Event (from our What’s Wrong With The Event and How To Fix It In Five Easy Steps piece back on 12/22/2010)
Unfortunately, since its premiere, the audience numbers have dropped steadily and the show is on life-support at this point and it’s completely unnecessary… The truth is that the long hiatus (new episodes will not air until March 7, 2011) may be the final nail in the coffin for The Event…
What is a surprise to us, however, is that NBC has ordered 13 episodes for a fifth and final season of Chuck. We got bored with it but we didn’t hate it and we’re glad that a fan-favorite was picked up for one last hurrah.
In related news, the awful David E. Kelley, Boston Legal-clone Harry’s Law has been renewed by NBC and just when we thought NBC had ZERO standards remaining they did smartly pass-on Kelley’s reboot adaptation of the comic book classic that no one ever reads, Wonder Woman. Tracie Thoms, who would have played Diana Prince’s best friend Etta, had this to say about the news via Twitter:
I am very sad that NBC passed on Wonder Woman. But that just goes to show you: There is no such thing as a “sure thing” in this biz.
Sorry to disappoint you, Etta, but there is one sure thing in Hollywood: that show would have reached the highest level of suckitude© imaginable.
Welcome to part three of the mid-season 2010 – 2011 review. In this post we’ll be discussing Tuesday’s programming.
We’re sad to say that as much as we were excited after the pilot of No Ordinary Family, the show has turned out to be, well, pretty ordinary and it’s suffering in the ratings because of it. In our review, we noted that one of No Ordinary Family’s greatest assets was the focus on the Powells as a family. Well it’s turned out that this aspect of the show is becoming its greatest liability. This is supposed to be a live-action Incredibles which means at the heart of the series, it should be a superhero show first. It hasn’t worked out that way. This show is far more focused on the dysfunctional nature of the family and each character’s individual neurosis than it is in crime-fighting.
To make matters worse, they go through this charade every week about how “it’s too dangerous to use these new powers so we won’t use them” and then they go ahead and use them. That’s getting pretty stale and it’s frustrating for audiences because it’s like they haven’t come up with a premise for the show, yet. Are they crime fighting superheroes or what?
The next problem is Michael Chiklis and not him per se, but the casting of him in this role of police sketch artist, Jim Powell. In the beginning we felt that his talent and presence would carry this show, but again it’s not working out that way because of how the character is written. To put it bluntly, we don’t mind sensitivity in a male character, but Mrs. Powell has more balls than Jim. We can’t remember the last time we saw a protagonist as completely emasculated as Jim Powell and it’s even more striking considering Chiklis’ last lead role on The Shield. Quite simply, Vic Mackey needs to grow a pair.
It’s not looking good for No Ordinary Family in the ratings and based on that alone it would be unlikely that it would be picked up for a second season, however, No Ordinary Family is no ordinary show. It’s an ABC Studios production and is the personal pet-project of Disney. Despite the low ratings, it is entirely conceivable that No Ordinary Family may get at least a second season to sort out its issues.
We still like the show and because it hasn’t had any kind of real serial arc, it is much easier to fix the problems in the show going forward and save it than it is to save a show, for example, like The Event without a massive overhaul.
CBS – NCIS
In its eighth season, NCIS is as good now as it has been in the past several years and it is still one of the highest ranked dramatic series on television for that reason. Not much more to say than that.
FOX – Glee
*Sigh* It pains us to say this, but Glee has become a victim of its own hype. The musical numbers are still wonderful but the show itself has become so exaggerated and unbelievable that we aren’t even watching any more. Prime example: we tuned in on a whim the other night to watch the Christmas episode and here is the premise that we were supposed to buy:
Exceptionally nerdy kid in a wheelchair is dating cute blonde cheerleader, Brittany… who (and I’m not kidding) still believes in Santa. So, the Glee Club takes her to the mall – together… because they can’t take a dump without each other – to sit on black Santa’s lap (and mind you, a black Santa who was wearing his beard off of his face) and Brittany comments on how tan he is and asks him for her boyfriend to be able to walk for Christmas. Santa says, “OK.” Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Sue has rigged the “Secret Santa” event and put her name on every slip of paper in the empty protein shake container. It gets better: We are also treated to an ever-so- slightly creepy rendition of Baby, it’s Cold Outside by the gay kid and another gay kid he’s pining for that is sure to be a hit with the NAMBLA crowd and to top things off, at the end of the episode the aforementioned nerdy kid has a pair of robot legs from Israel waiting under his tree and nobody knows where they came from! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
So basically, the show has gotten ridiculous but it doesn’t seem to care because they are walking on water right now after their breakout surprise success last year and can pretty much do what they want. We believe that they have jumped the proverbial shark but via stealth and no one has noticed yet. Although the show is incredibly popular right now (it is FOX’s highest rated scripted show) and will certainly be renewed for a third season, we believe that when it crashes it will crash hard and suddenly because audiences are going realize that they’ve been watching a, if not horrible, at least very silly show for a while.
Glee completely lacks the heart it was known for in its first season and the only really positive aspect of the show in its sophomore season was the GQ photo spread the cast appeared in.
The ‘Tastic would like to say to all of our male readers in advance, “You’re welcome.”
The Battlestar Galactica prequel failed miserably during the second half of its first season for many reasons and was cancelled with five episodes remaining. It was certainly a show we liked, but we get why it failed. We did an analysis of its demise, here.
When we’re wrong, we admit it. We started watching NCIS: Los Angeles this season because we promised we would. We’ve watched the first three episodes in the last week and I have the rest on DVR and we are impressed. It’s a lot more compelling and complex than it was in the beginning of last season (when we stopped watching) and the characters have actually become likable. This is good for this franchise because it’s using all of the elements that have made the original NCIS so successful. The audience numbers for this show are phenomenal so you can be sure that there will be a season three.
Another case of admitting when we were wrong with this one. As noted in our preview and subsequent review, Raising Hope is a surprisingly funny and charming show. It’s officially a bubble-show at this point so it could go either way for a second season.
The watered-down version of Battlestar Galactica meets Star Trek: Voyager has also been canceled. SGU wasn’t a particularly bad show, it just wasn’t a particularly good show and it wasn’t nearly as good as the other series in the franchise. Sorry, SGU, but you really won’t be missed.
In yet another example of we here at The ‘Tastic admitting when we were wrong, as noted in our review, Detroit 1-8-7 has been a pleasant, if not completely original, surprise. Yes, it’s a formulaic cop show that rips off its style from every cop procedural that’s aired in the last 20 years and yes there are a handful of cringe-worthy, eye-rolling clichéd moments in every episode but overall, the stories are compelling and the characters are pretty well-written if not all fleshed out yet.
We are particularly impressed with Michael Imperioli (Life On Mars, The Sopranos) as Detective Louis Fitch and although this is an ensemble cast, Imperioli steals the show. We couldn’t be happier as Imperioli is an excellent actor and it’s not only nice to see him in a lead role but it’s particularly nice to see him as something more than a foul-mouthed gangster. Nothing against The Sopranos, but we feel that it’s pigeon-holed a lot of fine actors who have found little success since the series ended in 2007.
Unfortunately, though, Detroit 1-8-7 is on the ropes right now and will probably not be renewed for a second season.
Next up, we take a look at Wednesdays.
Welcome to part two of the mid-season 2010 – 2011 review. In this post we’ll be discussing Monday’s programming.
Not a whole lot to say about House. If you’ve been following the show, you understand what’s going on this season with the storyline so it really doesn’t need to be expanded on. House continues to be the most reliable and stable fare offered on FOX for good reason; a great lead character, a strong supporting cast that brings out the best in the main character and fairly original compelling stories. I’m not a fan of medical procedurals but House continues to transcend that genre. House will certainly be renewed next Fall and expect to see reruns on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. as the lead-in to new episodes of Fringe.
It pains us to say this but, unfortunately, Chuck has either lost what it once had or you can only take a gimmick so far. The problem as we see it with Chuck is that it’s a show that’s confused about what it’s trying to be and audiences, I think, are starting to notice this and are equally confused.
The premise behind Chuck of part comedy, part action/spy thriller was cute and fun for the first couple of seasons but the problem is that now, into its fourth season, the producers still haven’t been able to effectively combine the two premises and develop one cohesive identity for the show. It’s like you’re watching two different shows at all times and because of this it can’t seem to find any really compelling focus for audiences to latch onto. That, on top of its predictability, means that it’s just not working for The ‘Tastic anymore. Chuck, honestly has been on borrowed time since its first season and we find highly unlikely that it will be renewed for a fifth season. We still like Chuck, we just wish it would grow up and it doesn’t show signs of doing so.
As predicted here on ‘The Tastic, Lone Star was destined for the early cancellation bin before it even aired. We just figured it would last a little longer than it did. FOX, in typical pants-pissing fashion, dropped this very well-conceived and well-received show after a mere two episodes. It should have been a clue that it was going to be canceled shortly after the pilot episode aired when FOX referred to it as its “new smash hit show.” Way to go, FOX, you murdered a great show… again.
And the worse part is that it wasn’t even necessary. It should never been on Monday nights to begin with and we question the prudence of airing it on FOX to begin with thinking it could have thrived on F/X with a 12 episode season as its seemed it was tailor-made for that network which has found success with similar drama. Again, another fine example of how awful FOX is as a network for scripted television.
There’s a reason why The ‘Tastic didn’t include Lie to me in the Fall Preview: we just don’t like it. And it’s a shame as well because we especially like Tim Roth and the rest of the cast, but the show does nothing for us. It’s a dry and predictable, formulaic, detective procedural that tries to be hip with the premise of the show being that they “detectives” in this case are private behavioral experts who are called in by authorities and private individuals to act as human lie detectors. Meh. It’s no different from any other procedural and it’s just as predictable and unoriginal despite the gimmick. It’s not horrible but not worth being in our lineup by any measure. We’re quite surprised that it’s lasted as long it has considering that it’s on FOX but it’s a bubble-show right now and it would seem unlikely to be renewed for the Fall and knowing FOX, it could be suddenly canceled at any time in early 2011. We really don’t care, though.
Here’s the thing about The Event: the show is on life-support at this point and it’s completely unnecessary. We still stand by the contention that it’s one of the best new shows on TV but we are backing off the contention that we made that is the second best new show on TV and if we were to review it today, instead of the admittedly generous 9 out of 10 we gave it after the premiere of the pilot, we would probably rate it a 7 or 7.5 at best. Read our post here about what’s wrong with The Event and the five steps that need to be taken that we think can save it… we hope.
We’re still loving Hawaii Five-O but we are a little disappointed that it hasn’t taken the serial route that we thought it would in the pilot. Still though, that might actually be a good thing as it is becoming harder and harder to attract new audiences with serialized television (even though we love serialized shows) and if they had gone that route it might have spelled an early end to what really is a very fun series. There’s nothing particularly different from this than other police procedurals aside from the very well-developed and likable characters and the high-intensity action. As we noted, the funny man/straight man routine not only works incredibly well between Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) and Scott Caan (Dan “Dan-o” Williams), but what’s really clever is that they often switch roles in that routine. The story lines are pretty compelling and as original as one can be with this type of show, with the occasional twist thrown in for good measure. The formula is working which accounts for the high ratings and sure bet that it will be renewed for Fall 2011.
We hate Chase as noted by our review, here. It was one of our least favorite shows of the new season and we are thrilled that it’s done so absolutely miserably in the ratings and is destined for cancellation. Serious piece of crap show and it should be noted, that all of the worst scripted new dramas are or were all on NBC (Chase, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outlaw) and only Law & Order: Los Angeles has a chance at survival.
Next up, we take a look at Tuesdays.
***UPDATE: DOUG DREXLER HAS CONFIRMED WITH THE THE ‘TASTIC TODAY THAT HE IS ATTACHED TO THE BLOOD & CHROME PROJECT AS WELL***
“Happy New Year Shawn! Yes! [VFX Supervisor]Gary [Hutzel] drags my bleeding corpse with him everywhere he goes!”
Check out Doug’s blog at the Drexfiles, right here on WordPress. LOTS of fun stuff there.
Well, Battlestar Galactica fans, it looks like the highly anticipated prequel, Blood & Chrome is quickly becoming a reality. Last month, we reported to you in our Caprica post-mortem that the pilot for the series had been green-lit and what the premise was. Blastr.com has obtained exclusive concept art from the show’s producers (scroll down to the bottom for the slideshow) and the word is that principle shooting is to begin in late January, 2011.
Galactica SITREP did a brief interview with writer and executive producer, Michael Taylor who provides a bit of insight into these images and into the pilot:
“Those pics were just the first of the many concept art sketches we’ve been creating. They don’t necessarily reflect any particular incidents in the script; as “concept” drawings they’re helping us flesh out the new world of Blood & Chrome. And it is a new world, one that owes much to the BSG series of the past but at the same time uses CGI to open up that world in ways that we hope fans will find fresh and exciting.
As for the show’s status, SyFy has officially green-lit a two-hour pilot, and we have begun pre-production, with filming expected to begin at the end of January, or very shortly thereafter. This is the fun part for me: seeing the script take tangible shape (or “virtually tangible” shape, since practically all of the pilot will be shot on green screen) as our director (Jonas Pate), DP (Lukas Ettlin), VFX supervisor (Gary Hutzel) and a host of artists — and of course the cast that we’ll soon be gathering — bring it to life.”
We have just a few observations about this latest news:
First, it seems to us that all of this is coming together amazingly quick which means either one of two things: SyFy is incredibly eager to wash the taste of Caprica out of its mouth and breathe life back into the most successful franchise in its history or this is a lot of wishful thinking on the producers’ part as to how fast this is all coming together.
We’d like to hope it’s the former, but this whole process seems to be going at FTL speed for us. Goodness, the project just got green-lit it in November and the casting hasn’t even been made public on IMDb. Then again, this is Hollywood and if, as Taylor notes, virtually all of the two-hour pilot will be shot on green-screen then you don’t have to do a whole lot as far as set dressing is concerned and we suppose it could be done that quickly. It’s the post-production and visual effects that will take a lot longer than usual.
Which brings us to another concern, not necessarily a criticism, but a concern nonetheless: Virtually all of the two-hour pilot is going to be shot on green screen? Really? Are we talking Phantom Menace here? One of the more appealing aspects of BSG was the ability to effectively mix practical sets with digital elements to the point where it was generally seamless (at least in the interior scenes) and it always makes us cringe a little when we hear about such a dramatic shift in production (especially THIS shift because we are very much opposed to the over-reliance on CG) to a franchise known for high-quality visual effects. That being said, Gary Hutzel is in charge of visual effects again and he is a master at combining practical filming and CG effectively (see: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and, of course, Battlestar Galactica). So, at this point we will remain less skeptical than we normally would be.
We also need to correct the Blastr.com piece we alluded to earlier. Despite what the piece says, Blood & Chrome will not be a “two-hour pilot movie,” it will simply be a two-hour pilot episode. The distinction needs to be made because calling it a “movie” implies by its nature that it is a “backdoor pilot.” A “backdoor pilot” is a made for television movie that is produced with the intention of the movie acting as a pilot episode for a potential series but is written as a standalone, self-contained story if the series isn’t picked up. This is an important distinction because if the indications were that a project was to be a “movie,”that would mean that the network would be waiting to see how the “movie” does in the ratings before ordering episodes for the series. That means that if it doesn’t do well in the ratings, you’ll never see a regular series episode. If it does do well, however, it will be several months before you’ll see new episodes.
If, on the other hand, a show is planned as a conventional pilot, that means that the network heads will watch the pilot, decide if it’s good enough to order additional episodes, and then proceed from that point. They will then air the two-hour pilot episode and shortly thereafter, air the new series episodes. If the network heads don’t like the pilot, don’t worry about the series being canceled because you’ll never even see the pilot. There has been absolutely no indication whatsoever that the two-hour pilot for Blood & Chrome is anything but a two-hour pilot episode and in this case that’s absolutely a good thing. SyFy isn’t going to wait around to see how the pilot does in the ratings when they already have the established BSG audience built-in, just as they did with Caprica, so if it airs (which we are sure it will) expect that the series will follow.
Yes, we are certainly aware that Blastr.com is a SyFy Channel project, but they got this wrong and it happened for one of two reasons:
1. It was completely intentional in order to hype the pilot. This is a well-known practice in genre. The Star Trek franchise was notorious for calling two-hour episodes “movies” or “movie-events” in the mid-to-late 90’s and in more recent years, 24 did the same thing with their two-hour episode Redemption, and in fact, they are still clinging to this notion that Redemption is a “film.” Nah… it was just the season seven primer that aired two months prior to the season premiere to make up for the fact that the series had gone 18 months without an original episode because of the writer’s strike and they wanted to spark interest in it again. So, again, this practice isn’t unheard of, but it’s misleading for the average audience who thinks that “movie” implies that they will be watching an original feature film on basic cable.
2. It was just a mistake, typical of an over-exuberant blogger. We freely admit that we’ve made similar mistakes based on our excitement for a particular project. Simply look at our rating of The Event for evidence of that. Blastr.com is a professional site but it’s still a blog.
Finally, we are very excited about the choices in writers for Blood & Chrome if what’s reported on IMDb is accurate. Ignore the references to Ron Moore because he has nothing to do with the new series (and we doubt Glen Larson does either), he’s simply listed as the developer as a courtesy and because he is responsible for developing the franchise and tacking his name onto the project gives it credibility.
On the other side of the coin, though, it is being Executive Produced by David Eick (and that is confirmed, it’s not just a courtesy title) and Michael Taylor as well as being written by Taylor, David Weddle, and Bradley Thompson. This trifecta of writers was not only part of the major core of writers for BSG but they are also responsible for some of the absolute best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well, which has been hailed by critics as the best series of that franchise, and it revolved around an intergalactic war so these gentlemen certainly have credentials in that department.
The ‘Tastic will keep you up to date as we find out more about Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome.
As noted in our original review, we here at The ‘Tastic are big fans of the new NBC series, The Event. Unfortunately, since its premiere, the audience numbers have dropped steadily and the show is on life-support at this point and it’s completely unnecessary. We still stand by the contention that it’s one of the best new shows on TV but we are backing off the contention that we made that it is the second best new show on TV and if we were to review it today, instead of the admittedly generous 9 out of 10 we gave it after the premiere of the pilot, we would probably rate it a 7 or 7.5 at best. We think we know what’s wrong and how to fix it.
The problem with the show is simple: the audience needs less talk and more rock. Showrunner/executive producer Evan Katz, who is probably the greatest asset to the show, is probably its biggest liability as well. The Event has been acting as if it’s a successful genre show, with a built-in audience in the middle of its fourth or fifth season and truthfully it’s been acting like this since the mind-numbing (albeit exciting) pilot episode with the 8,000 flashbacks and flash-forwards. The ‘Tastic admits that as genre-geeks, we may have been a little bit more over-exuberant and a little less objective for The Event than we probably would have been for another type of a show.
The fact is that as cool as this show is, we can certainly understand why the confusing back-and-forth in the pilot episode probably caused a substantial portion of the audience to jump ship immediately. Now, the flashbacks have been used much more effectively, not as much and solely for the purpose of character development (similar to how Lost did it but not as significant to the plot) since that pilot and that is an improvement, however, what’s killing this show now is the fact that was alluded to before: it’s not doing anything to keep or attract audience members. The story is very good but it’s also very slooooooooooooow for the most part with the occasional highlights of frenetic action.
Again, this type of “behavior” from a show is completely acceptable and often quite typical from a popular, established genre show with a dedicated audience but it is incredibly dangerous to do with a new show especially when it’s a niche-genre show to begin with. It’s difficult enough for a standard procedural show to build an audience, but for a Sci-Fi/Action-Thriller, it needs to immediately appeal to a general audience and hook them and the producers have to be simple about how they go about doing that. They need to go with what always works: ‘splosions… lots of them… often… and repeated chases and gunfights. Get into the cerebral crap and the plodding character development later on when you’ve already got ’em hooked. Tell an easy to follow story, initially, with a couple of good twists thrown in for good measure and rock and roll, already.
The failure of The Event to play it safe and do what’s necessary for a genre show to be successful on network TV rests squarely on the shoulders of Katz and as fans of the genre, it’s coming off to us as a bit arrogant. We are big fans of Katz and his work but he is running this show as if it’s 24, season nine or Lost, season seven as if 10 million people are tuning every week without fail. Sorry, but The Event is nowhere near ready to be at that comfort-level. General audiences are skeptical of genre shows to begin, and they are particularly skeptical of Sci-Fi shows.
We love The Event and we want to see it last more than just one season. We have come up with a plan of action that if followed, may indeed save this series (if it’s not too late already).
1. You got some splainin’ to do. Stop acting as if every week, everyone already knows what’s happening. Explain it every week until at least the second season and we don’t mean just in the teaser. You’re never going to build an audience with new viewers if they have no idea what’s going on when they jump in mid-stream.
2. Simplify. We love a complex Sci-Fi story, but you need to pare it down a little bit. There are far too many sub-plots going on with this show considering how new it is. Simplify it just a tad. The joke with Lost was that it was four seasons in before fans realized they were watching a Sci-Fi show. That’s how The Event needs to position itself. Compelling stories that are easy to follow that make the audience forget that they are even watching a Sci-Fi show.
3. Less flashbacks. As noted, the flashbacks are not nearly as bad as they were in the pilot, however, they are unnecessary for the most part as is most of the character development. This is one of the more confusing aspects of the show production. Here we have a show that has been described (even by us) as the mutant offspring of 24 and Lost and is executive produced by the former executive producer of 24 (Katz) and it is obvious that the intent is to produce a show similar to 24 (which is something else we noted in our review in regards to NBC). So knowing this, the question is, why exactly are they wasting their time with so much back-story and so much character development?
This is an action-thriller. We don’t need this much information about these characters. Fill us in with the minor details as we go along. We don’t need the life story on all 500 characters of this ensemble. I found out more about Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) in the first six episodes of this season than I ever knew about Jack Bauer in 192 episodes of 24.
Leave some mystery for God’s sake. It makes the show more interesting. Here’s a prime example: It turns out that Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole) has a son. Instead of just letting us know that she had this child and having our protagonists use the knowledge of this child to manipulate her, the writers provided us with this protracted and elaborate origins story in the form of several flashbacks explaining how she took the child as a baby from one of her assassination targets when she was supposed to kill the baby as well and she has been raising him as her own in secret ever since (with the help of her mother). This was completely unnecessary for the story and the flashbacks took up nearly an entire episode. If they wanted to drop that story in along the way in bits and pieces, in the form of exposition through dialogue, fine, awesome, bring it, but don’t waste an entire episode in a lame attempt to take the audience by the hand to guide them through a story.
It’s not only insulting to the audience, but it paints you in a corner with nowhere to go with the character’s history in case the story goes in a different direction. Just consider how long it took to tell the back-story of the characters on Lost. The audience was given snippets for years on each character until the picture was complete and not only did it work brilliantly but it left them completely open to change the characters as the story progressed.
So, between these protracted flashbacks with these elaborate back-stories and the numerous subplots, The Event is wasting a lot of screen time unnecessarily. So, from now on, no more flashbacks unless absolutely necessary.
4. More ‘splosions, please. And what we mean by this is more action in general. This goes back what we said about “less talk, more rock.” For an action show, The Event is lacking in the action department and if the producers follow the advice as set forward above regarding sub-plots and flashbacks, they’ll have a lot more time for the action. “Action” was used four times in the preceding two sentences. Are we making our point clear about the need for more action on this show.
5. Manny Effing Coto. For those of you who don’t know, Manny Coto is one of the premiere producers and writers in television today and his particular forté is genre, specifically Action, Horror and Sci-Fi (check out Manny Coto’s bio at IMDb). Among those of us in the know (*snicker*), Coto really gained attention when he came into the third season of the miserable failure of a series, Star Trek: Enterprise and actually gave the show some respectability with the writing. In season four he was made showrunner/executive producer and changed the direction of the series entirely, allowing the series to end on a high-note. Season four of Star Trek: Enterprise is widely considered to be the best of the four seasons and that has everything to do with Manny Coto. And, yes, we expect to get hate mail from Trek fans about the “miserable failure of a show” remark.
After leaving Star Trek: Enterprise, Coto became an executive producer alongside Evan Katz for seasons five, six, seven and eight of 24. Without, a question, season five was the most critically acclaimed season of that series (winning the Prime-Time Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series) and it’s no surprise why, really.
Katz and Coto worked together for several years on a successful genre Action-Thriller and Coto has an excellent track record of bringing a new vision to a series to change its course. It would seem to be a perfect pick for Katz to hire his old colleague to come in and see if he can do something to change the direction of this struggling show with great potential to put more asses in the seats as the great Reggie Jackson would say.
Now, we don’t know what Manny’s schedule is like, and truthfully, the Manny Coto dream may just be wishful thinking, but season five of Dexter just finished airing two weeks ago and he was an executive producer and writer for that show and according to IMDb his plate looks pretty empty as of today. We simply can’t think of anyone else that would be better suited to change the direction of this series and potentially save it.
The truth is that the long hiatus (new episodes will not air until March 7, 2011) may be the final nail in the coffin for The Event, so this may be all be moot anyway, but we hope not. There are promising signs that NBC still has faith in the series, particularly that a week before the new episodes air, they are dedicating two hours on Monday February 28, 2011 to a “catch up ” episode (for more information, click here). Why that’s a such a promising sign is because it’s stealing a page out of the Lost playbook and goes back to the first recommendation we made, which is that you need to explain to the audience what’s going on until the show picks up steam and has a dedicated, solid following. Progress, indeed.
The Event is truly a bubble-show. In the end, we hope despite all of its problems, NBC rides with it for at least one more season. If not, meh. It’s just TV, after all.
You can get caught up with The Event and watch all ten episodes, right here.