Babylon 5, Grease & Taxi Star Jeff Conaway Dead At Age 60 UPDATED: Dr. Drew Speaks on Conaway’s Death (VIDEO)

Jeff Conaway: 1950 - 2011

It is with great sadness that we report that it has been confirmed that Jeff Conaway, star of Taxi, Babylon 5 and the classic film Grease has passed away at the age of 60 due to complications from pneumonia and an apparent overdose of prescription pain killers which he suffered on May 11th.  He was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital that day and put into a medically induced coma.  Based on the advice physicians who had described his situation as “hopeless” for several days, his family made the decision to remove him from life support.  Conaway’s history of substance addiction was well-documented in the media and on the VH-1 reality series Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Rehab.

Conaway’s manager, Phil Brock, said this to the media:

“We loved Jeff as a person, respected him as a consummate performer and entertainer. Somewhere in heaven, somebody is getting a hickey from Kenickie.  On a darker side, we’re happy his personal struggles are now over. We do not have memorial plans yet. The family has asked for forbearance and privacy today. It’s a very difficult time.

Our staff has been with him through his struggle over the last few years. He is one of the nicest, kindest people. The most gentle person, and that may have been his downfall in the long run. He was a really nice guy in general, a person who would give the shirt off his back for anyone. He loved and lived to be on stage and entertaining others.

Jeff Conaway on Babylon 5

On a personal note, I shared a flight with Conaway and a female companion (not his girlfriend, Vickie, who appeared on Celebrity Rehab) in 2006 to Burbank on my way to appear on a game show in Studio City.  Phil Brock’s statement mirrors my impression of him.  He was a very kind and gracious man and very accessible. I spoke at length with him both during and after the flight and completely enjoyed my limited time with him. Although, even I could see that he was someone who had a long history of drug and alcohol use despite the fact that he was sober on that flight, he was nothing like the persona that was portrayed on VH-1 and I hope that people realize how greatly reality television distorts our perception of people, celebrities and otherwise.  Yes, Jeff Conaway had his demons that he could never exorcise, but he was a truly decent human being.

Noel Gallagher of Oasis: Pretentious Limey Prick

In closing, not only would we like to thank Jeff for the years of entertainment he provided (especially on Babylon 5) and the wonderful conversation I had with him on that flight but I’d also like to thank him for doing what someone should have done a long time ago: Conaway pulled a knife on Oasis’ Noel Gallagher backstage at a Marilyn Manson concert in 2008 for mocking him.  We really don’t care why he did it, we’re just glad it was done and for his efforts, he posthumously earns The TV-Tastic Bad-Ass Seal of Approval, ‘The Walken.’  Thanks Jeff, you’ll be missed.

RETRACTION: The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!

Yesterday we reported that Cheryl Cole had been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger as a judge on FOX’s upcoming singing competition show, The X Factor. Everything in the piece itself was accurate however our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not.  Simon Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone.  Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her.  Since Simon Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision.  This obviously was a mistake.

We have also issued the retraction made the correction on the original piece.

ALERT! The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says FOX Execs: ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!

We reported two weeks ago that Paula Abdul had signed on as a judge alongside her former American Idol co-judge, Simon Cowell on his highly anticipated singing competition show, The X Factor, along with Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid.  TMZ is reporting that Cheryl Cole, who was a judge on the U.K. version of the show, has been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger citing concerns over American audiences having difficulty understanding her because of her thick British accent and a lack of chemistry with Abdul.  Producers now want Cole to return to the U.K. version of the show but sources say that she is so angry about how the situation was handled that she may sever ties with the franchise entirely. We doubt it.  We wouldn’t even know who she was if not for this so she needs all of the exposure she can get.

We look at this two ways: first how bad could her accent possibly be?  If American audiences can sit through Ewan MacGregor’s Scottish brogue in Trainspotting:

… then we can certainly handle this:

Now of course, the best part of the clip above is that if you listen closely, she pauses in the middle of that to squeak out a little fart.  G’head… go back and play it again, we’ll wait.

See, we told you.

Now aside from the obvious issues of farting on the air and how that probably isn’t something that will be embraced by American audiences (except us), the ultimate irony here is that Simon Cowell is concerned that American audiences aren’t going to be able to understand My-Fair-Lady/the-rain-in-Spain-falls-mainly-on-the-plain up there but he doesn’t have any concerns about two or three nights per week of this in primetime:

Steve Jones: Limey Stud

Obviously, though, if the other issue was chemistry with Abdul, it was simply a no-brainer that Cole would be the expendable judge.  Scherzinger was originally cast to co-host the show with Steve Jones but now with the move, he’ll be doing it alone.  Don’t feel bad folks, we don’t know who he is either however, apparently he’s quite popular in the U.K. and in order to get this gig he had to initially promise not to nail his fellow co-stars and no, we aren’t kidding. Just for that alone he gets our endorsement.  But seriously, how hard can it be? Seacrest has been doing it for a decade and he hosts a daily radio show and that dopey show on E!

EDITOR’S NOTE – RETRACTION:  Our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not correct.  Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone.  Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her.  Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision.  This obviously was a mistake.

See the full retraction, here

Meet CBS’s New Shows For 2011 – 2012 (VIDEOS!)… And Watch How We Tear Them Apart (Preview – Review)

"The 'Tastic Says: You FAIL!"

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)

ALERT! CBS Announces 2011 – 2012 Schedule

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)

MONDAY

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

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              NCIS

9:00-10:00 PM            NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10:00-11:00 PM          Unforgettable (NEW!)

WEDNESDAY

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

THURSDAY

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

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              A Gifted Man (NEW!)

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI: New York

10:00-11:00 PM          Blue Bloods

SATURDAY

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

SUNDAY

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


CBS: Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O RENEWED… The Defenders, $#*! My Dad Says, Canceled… Person Of Interest PICKED UP!

H-50: See ya This Fall!

The New York Times is reporting that CBS has renewed Blue Bloods, Mike & Molly, and Hawaii Five-O.  No surprise about any of these shows and in fact last week, we predicted BB was a sure thing with the news that the show’s creators, Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, had been ousted.  The logic:  why fire the creators a week before the upfront media events if you’re going to cancel the show?  H-50 is a lot of fun but it’s a hit-and-miss show and not nearly as good as the pilot had led us to believe.  We simply refuse to watch M&M because we know how awful it is without ever having to watch a single episode and we are saddened by the fact that audiences continue to be so stupid when it comes to the sitcoms they’ll accept in their living rooms every week.  But then again, this is the same audience that made that horrible show Two and a Half Men a hit.

As far as cancellation is concerned, some sanity has prevailed at CBS, dumping the worst sitcom ever made, the horrific $#*! My Dad Says (a show that every time we mention it, we feel we should advise our readers to read our review of it if for no other reason than it’s a quality PSA), a comedy we had ZERO interest in Mad Love (that was a comedy, right) and a very underrated show we actually liked a lot, The Defenders, starring Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi.

J.J. Abrams (left), Jonathan Nolan (right)

As far as new pilots are concerned, CBS has officially announced that the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan series Person of Interest (which we had reported on back in February with much enthusiasm) will be added to the Fall 2011 – 2012 schedule, as well as the comedy Two Broke Girls.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson

Stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) as a presumed dead former CIA agent who teams with a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson, Lost) to prevent violent crimes in New York. Taraji P. Henson (Boston Legal) co-stars in the Warner Bros. TV drama from scribe Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), who produces alongside J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk (Fringe), Ben Brafman (The 4400), Margot Lulick (Kings) and Greg Plageman (Cold Case). Dave Semel (No Ordinary Family), who directs.

Two Broke Girls 

Revolves around two 22-year-old women (Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs) who tackle life in New York as they try to make their dreams come true. The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. Television is written by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) with stand-up comic Whitney Cummings on board as a producer. James Burrows directed the pilot.

TV NEWS! DONE DEAL: Paula Abdul To Join Simon Cowell This Fall On The X-Factor, FOX’s Highly Anticipated New Talent Show

If you’re anything like us, you freely admit that the only reason you turned into American Idol for as long as you did was because of Simon Cowell and it wasn’t just for how brutal he was to the first round contestants.  Despite Cowell’s dry and sometimes cruel wit, he was generally the only one on that panel who could relay any particular insight to the audience regarding the music industry itself and at the end of the day you had more faith in his opinion than anyone else on the judge’s panel.  This is not take anything away from the other judges and guest judges that have graced AI over the years, but Cowell truly brought a sense of balance to the Force and if you’ve watched recently, even if you are still a fan, you can’t help but to admit that it’s become kind of a disjointed mess since his departure.  Honestly, does anyone take Steven Tyler seriously at all?

Now if you’re still being honest, even if you hate to admit it, Paula Abdul certainly had her place on that panel and even when she left it was like we lost a part of the family. Between her obnoxious over-the-top praising, soft-peddling, sometimes inebriated commentary and the banter between her and Cowell, it made for good television.  So when we heard a couple of months ago from the T-Shirt himself that he would love to get Paula back on his new talent show, The X-Factor, and that he was actively courting her, we were excited about the prospect of two-thirds of the old team getting back together albeit skeptical at the possibility because, let’s be honest, how often do these situations pan out?  But then again… this is Simon “King Midas” Cowell we’re talking about, as well.

So without further adieu it gives us great pleasure to announce that Paula Abdul has indeed signed on as a judge on TXF along with Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.  This is not only going to be great fun for fans but this is very good for FOX broadcasting as it will increase the advertising value of this show even more than we already had expected.

Why should we care about that?  It’s simple: the more money TXF makes, the more money FOX has to justify keeping lower rated, critically acclaimed scripted programming and it also acts as great lead-ins for the scripted shows as well, putting more eyes on them. You like your shows like Lie To Me, Human Target, Breaking In and The Chicago Code? Then, even if you don’t have any interest in reality show talent competitions you need to be rooting for TXF to make as much money as possible.

Why We Love Paula:

FOX for some reason has decided to one-up ABC in the ridiculously long press release department so feel free to quit after the first paragraph below.

Via Press Release:

GRAMMY AND EMMY AWARD WINNER PAULA ABDUL

JOINS CHERYL COLE, ANTONIO “L.A.” REID AND SIMON COWELL

ON “The X Factor” JUDGES PANEL

Auditions Continue in Dallas on Thursday, May 26

Singers and Vocal Groups Age 12 and Over Eligible to Audition

For Chance to Win a $5 Million Syco/Sony Music Recording Contract

America’s sweetheart, world-renowned choreographer and pop icon Paula Abdul will join Cheryl Cole, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Simon Cowell as a judge on The X Factor, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Abdul, who sat alongside Cowell for eight seasons as a judge on American Idol, has worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. Abdul will join Cole, Cowell, and Reid as they travel to The X Factor audition cities searching for the next global superstar or breakout music group.

“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this – I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” said Simon Cowell.

“I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor.  I couldn’t be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show,” said Paula Abdul.   “I’m looking forward to being back with the FOX/FremantleMedia family and know that it will be an extraordinary journey — we’re going to have a blast.  I’m also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again…but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!”

“Paula is not only the lovely, nurturing person that America fell in love with, but she’s also one of the  fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen — which makes her a perfect fit to judge The X Factor,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Paula and Simon have undeniable chemistry, and together with L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole, I think we’ve put together an incredibly entertaining judges’ panel.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Paula again,” says executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “A consummate entertainer in her own right, she has an extraordinary talent and generosity for nurturing performers — and her chemistry with Simon Cowell is like no other. I especially look forward to seeing her signature sensibilities in action during our mentoring rounds!”

Auditions continue in Dallas, TX, on Thursday, May 26.

The X Factor is searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.  Interested solo artists and vocal groups should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor or call toll-free 855-345-5678.

In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time contestants audition for The X Factor judges, they will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to win an unprecedented $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

As previously announced, Pepsi will serve as an official sponsor of The X Factor. The comprehensive sponsorship includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online.

The X Factor is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

About Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul is one of the most-recognized pop singers and choreographers in film, television, video, stage and live tours. Her celebrated work in choreography includes Emmy-winning contributions to “The Tracey Ullman Show” and Emmy-nominated choreography for the Academy Awards, as well as Abdul’s own performance on “The American Music Awards.” Other triumphs include her award-winning work with Janet Jackson, which garnered two MTV Video Awards; and working with such music legends as Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Luther Vandross, INXS, Heart and Prince. Abdul’s favorite memory is dancing alongside her idol, Gene Kelly, in a celebrated and acclaimed commercial campaign. Abdul’s choreography contributions in feature films include the Academy Award-winning “American Beauty,” working with Cuba Gooding Jr. on his Academy Award-winning performance in “Jerry Maguire” and transforming Val Kilmer into Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Abdul’s music career encompasses worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. She has also been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Hall of Fame. Abdul served as a judge alongside Simon Cowell for eight seasons on the hit series American Idol. An acclaimed jewelry designer, Abdul introduced her Paula Abdul Jewelry Collection on QVC to record-breaking sales. The collection consists of charms, pendants, earrings and bracelets in a mix of textures and metals, adorned with meaningful phrases. Abdul, who got her first break as a Los Angeles Laker Girl, continues to honor her roots by running dance and cheerleading camps, competitions and scholarship programs throughout the country.

About “The X Factor”

Since its debut in 2004, “The X Factor” has remained the U.K.’s #1 program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million with 65% audience share for its 2010 finale. The format swiftly broke similar records around the world, where local versions have consistently rated #1 in 15 territories, with a worldwide audience now well over 100 million. In Denmark, it has ranked #1 for the last four years, peaking with an 80% share of the audience. In Colombia, it has consistently ranked #1 with a 75% share of the audience. Additionally, “The X Factor” consistently delivers a 50% to 65% share of the viewing audiences in Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Italy – with the highest percentage of these shares in A15-34. In some markets, “The X Factor” has increased the channel average demographic by up to 250%. The series has received numerous honors worldwide, including three BAFTA awards, numerous NTA awards and the coveted Rose d’Or. In the U.K., an unprecedented 1.5 million iTunes downloads were made from “The X Factor” contestant performances in 2010. Globally, more than 100 million records have been sold by artists launched through the series, including over 90 #1 singles and albums and 150 Top Ten records.

About Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Syco/Simon Cowell

Syco, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music, television and film production joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. Syco Television owns and produces the BAFTA Award-winning “The X Factor,” which has topped the charts around the world. Syco Television is also the owner of the “Got Talent” television format. Versions of both “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” are co-produced by Syco, and are shown in more than 70 countries and have won multiple awards including national television awards and BAFTAs. The X Factor launches in America on FOX in Fall 2011 with Cowell as a judge. Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 200 million albums and delivering more than 180 No. 1 records. Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 launched the global singing career of Susan Boyle. Her debut Syco album sold over 8 million units in six weeks, making it the world’s biggest-selling album of 2009 and the fastest-selling album in history and a total of 20 million records to date. In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter’s Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and Entertainment Weekly’s Top Entertainer of the Year. In 2010 Simon Cowell was awarded Variety International’s Humanitarian Award for his extensive charitable work, The Rose d’Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA’s Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry and development of new talent. He also appeared on Time Magazine’s list of Most Influential People in the World and was awarded the International Emmy Founders Award.

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon American Idol (FOX), “America’s Got Talent” (NBC), “What Chilli Wants” (VH1), “Hole In The Wall” (Cartoon Network), “Jump City: Seattle” (G4), “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS), “Family Feud” (syn), “The Price Is Right” (CBS) and the much-anticipated The X Factor in Fall 2011.

Fall 2010 Post-Game Wrap-Up (Monday)

Welcome to part two of the mid-season 2010 – 2011 review. In this post we’ll be discussing Monday’s programming.

8:00 p.m.

FOX – House

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.

NBC – Chuck

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.

9:00 p.m.

FOX – Lone Star

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.

FOX – Lie to Me

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.

NBC – The Event

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.

10:00 p.m.

CBS – Hawaii Five-O

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.

NBC – Chase

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.

‘Outsourced’ (NBC – Thursday, 9:30 p.m.)

“Outsourced” is NBC’s new workplace comedy series centered around a catalog-based company, Mid America Novelties, that sells American novelty goods including whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon, and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India.

After recently completing Mid America Novelties’ manager training program, Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) learns that the call center is being outsourced to India, and he is asked to move there to be the manager. Having never ventured out of the country, he is unprepared for the culture shock. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world.

The sales team Todd inherits includes Gupta (Parvesh Cheena, “Help Me Help You”), a socially awkward employee; Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan, BBC’s “Five Days II”), a young romantic who is enamored with America; Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood, BBC’s “Doctors”), a smart, striking woman who finds herself intrigued by Todd; Rajiv (Rizwan Manji, “Privileged”) the assistant manager who wants Todd’s job; and Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan, Broadway’s “Bombay Dreams”), a wallflower who suffers from extreme shyness.

Todd also discovers other transplants working in his office building, including an American expatriate, Charlie Davies (Diedrich Bader, “The Drew Carey Show”), who runs the All-American Hunter call center, and Tonya (Pippa Black, “Neighbours”), a beautiful Australian who runs the call center for Koala Air. – NBC

The Preview (Originally posted on 9/23/2010):

Shawn: I don’t know what appeals to me more, the politically incorrect tone of this series or the fact that it looks absolutely hilarious. I also like the premise that they telemarket novelties like rubber vomit and whoopee cushions. Looking forward to this, I hope the show can live up to the hype in the trailer.

The Review:

7 out of 10

Unfortunately, Outsourced looked a lot funnier in the trailer than it has turned out to be. I’m not saying that I don’t like the show but I think the whole concept of the series works better for a film than it does for a weekly sitcom.

The hilarious trailer is literally a four-minute summation of the entire pilot episode and though the jokes while rapid-fire in the trailer are very funny, they don’t work particularly well for comedic value over the course of 23 minutes. That or it was one of those issues like with the film The Hangover where they literally showed every funny scene in the movie in the trailers and because of that when I actually saw it I didn’t think it was that funny. Probably not, though, because every episode following the pilot has followed the same trend and I’m still not laughing as much as I would have hoped.

Every single episode kind of follows the same formula and that is Todd dealing with an issue involving the differences between American culture and Indian culture. Some of the jokes work but a lot of them don’t and the reason why is that they keep reverting to this standby of taking an American turn-of-phrase and having one of the Indian characters repeat it using a funny accent and saying it in the style of… well… an Indian. Here’s an example:

Gupta: As you say in America, it looks like you are up a creek and have forgotten your paddle. Also, this is a creek of feces… a most unpleasant creek for you.

See what I mean? That line was one of the funnier ones but every episode is full of these and it gets a little stale when there’s a dozen of those per episode because you really just start expecting it. Like I said, it’s the kind of thing that works sporadically in a feature film but it can’t carry a series. Just think of how well it worked during the few cameo scenes with Mooj (Gerry Bednob) in The 40 Year-Old Virgin (and it was even funnier because he was so foul-mouthed).

WARNING: NSFW (LANGUAGE, SEXUAL REMARKS)

But you wouldn’t want a whole series based around that (foul language and sexual remarks notwithstanding). It would be like having an entire series based around people who tried to speak American English but they also sounded like Yoda. It would be funny the first couple of times but it would lose its appeal rather quickly.

Beyond that, though, these characters are very likable and although the different scenarios all have the same general premise, I find myself still wanting to tune in every week. It’s very charming.

So, in the end, Outsourced is an enjoyable show even if it’s not as funny as I would have expected and it does have the potential to pick up steam and become a lot funnier with a little bit of effort on the writer’s part.

Watch full episodes of Outsourced, here.

‘Hawaii Five-O’ (CBS – Monday, 10:00 p.m.)

When Steve McGarrett’s father is murdered, he decided to return home to Oahu in order to catch the killer. The governor offers him the opportunity to run a new task force where he is able to call the shots. Detective Steve McGarrett brings together his own team, beginning with Chin Ho Kelly; an ex-Honolulu Police Detective and former protégé of McGarrett’s father. Kelly has been assigned to a federal security patrol after being suspected of corruption. Detective Danny “Danno” Williams is a New Jersey cop who recently moved to the island and is raising his 8-year-old daughter. Kono Kalakaua is Kelly’s cousin and a rookie officer, fresh from the academy. McGarrett’s team is giving full backing from the governor and plays only by their own rules. – CBS

The Preview (Posted on 9/15/2010):

Shawn: Way to go CBS for making this show sound like every other dry, formulaic cop show.  Thank God for trailers, eh?  I have to say,  I was just going to recommend the pilot and only the pilot simply for the sake of novelty (and the great cast). Watch it, know it’s probably going to be crap-tastic and forget about it. Then I saw the trailer below.  This isn’t Hawaii Five-O, this is friggin’ Alias in Hawaii with cops and it looks great!  Back to that great cast, you’ve got Alex O’Loughlin (The Shield) as McGarrett, Scott Caan (Boiler Room and the Ocean’s Eleven films) as “Danno,” Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, 24) and the smoking hot Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica) as Kono Kalakaua.  This one of the best casts of any show this season and I’m really glad to see Kim in a more prominent lead-role where he actually speaks his native language for a change… which of course is Eastern Pennsylvania English.  Heck, he didn’t even have to move for this show considering his last gig was on Lost for six seasons which is was of course, also filmed in Hawaii.  And, by the way, I am well aware that for a cop show the amount of action looks ridiculous.  That’s part of the reason why it appeals to me so much.  I mean, crap, if you’re going to go camp, go all the way… and we’d better see Wo Fat, too or I’m writing a letter.  This is another definite must-watch show.

The Review:

8 out of 10

Shawn: It’s becoming very easy to write reviews when the trailers really do an excellent job of telling you exactly what a show is all about and you don’t pay any attention to the show description on the network’s website.  Hawaii Five-O was exactly what I suggested it would be.  It’s a great fact-paced action show and the premise (albeit absurd but it was absurd for twelve seasons of the original series) of having the “Five-O” task force autonomous and only answering to the governor allows the audience to suspend disbelief to be able to enjoy all of this fantastic, frenetic action that would seem more appropriate in a Michael Bay film than a Monday night cop show.

The show is not all flash and no substance.  The pilot presented excellent and well-defined back-stories on all of the characters and really made it clear that even with all of the action involved, they can keep you entertained with a compelling story for an hour.  The cast is great and they play well off of each other with the best relationship being between McGarrett (O’Loughlin) and Williams (Caan).  It’s a typical straight man/comic routine with Caan’s biting sarcasm propelling the dialog between the two.  It’s thoroughly enjoyable all the way around and I highly recommend it.

Watch full episodes of Hawaii Five-O, here.