‘Partners,’ ‘Last Resort,’ ‘666 Park Avenue,’ ‘The Mob Doctor,’ And ‘Emily Owens’ Canceled

partners-parodyIn what we can only say amounts to news that we’re surprised took this long to happen, CBS canceled their freshman “comedy” Partners on November 13th.  Yes, we know we’re late on this, as well, but we never miss an opportunity to gloat as this year’s winner for the worst new series has FINALLY been canceled and we can say, “We told you so.”

FOX has also thankfully canceled (the dreadful) The Mob Doctor, and The CW has canceled the low-rated Emily Owens.

In sadder, but, again, not unexpected news, Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue have been canceled by ABC.  Both were very good shows that didn’t take off from the start, unfortunately. But, then again, this is the U.S. television market so why should quality of programming having anything to do with success, right?

FX Announces Premiere Date For Cold War Spy Series, ‘The Americans’

Via Press Release:



Cold War Spy Drama Starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys

Will Air Wednesday Nights At 10pm


FX logoNEW YORK, December 4, 2012 – The series premiere of FX’s newest drama, The Americans, has been set forWednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT.

The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.  The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who know nothing about their parents’ true identity – grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.   Complicating their relationship further is Philip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent.  Stan and his partner, Agent Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernández), are members of a new division of Counterintelligence tasked with fighting against foreign agents on U.S. soil, including KGB Directorate S illegals, Russian spies posing as Americans.

Created and executive produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies), a former CIA agent who went on to become an accomplished author, The Americans is produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions. Joel Fields and Graham Yost are also executive producers, along with Amblin Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. 

About FX Productions

FX Productions co-produces the award-winning hit drama series Sons Of Anarchy and Justified, and produces the critically acclaimed hit comedy series It’s Always Sunny In PhiladelphiaThe LeagueLouieArcherWilfred, the upcoming comedy Legit, and the late night series BrandX with Russell Brand and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. FXP currently has production output deals in place with RCG Productions, the production company of It’sAlways Sunny In Philadelphia Executive Producer/Showrunners Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, and Floyd County Productions, the production company of Archer Executive Producer/Showrunners Adam Reed and Matt Thompson. FXP recently announced a cable exclusive, first-look pact with Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and their Color Force production company, producers of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid feature franchise and The Hunger Games.

It was the first POD deal for FX Productions that was not established through a prior existing relationship with the studio.

The CW: ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Picked Up For Full Season

Via Press Release:


November 9, 2012 (Burbank, CA) The CW picked up a full season of its freshman hit drama BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it was announced today by Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Catherine, Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”) as Vincent, Max Brown (“The Tudors,” “MI-5”) as Evan, Nina Lisandrello (“Nurse Jackie”) as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson (“Make It or Break It”) as Heather, Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) as J.T., and Brian White (“The Shield,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as Joe.

Last night’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was up 9% in total viewers versus last week, and also grew in all key adult demos week to week. Season to date, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is averaging 2.4 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among women 18-34, and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-34, in most current Nielsen data.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Take 5 Productions/Whizbang Films with executive producers Sherri Cooper (“Brothers and Sisters”) & Jennifer Levin (“Without A Trace,” “Felicity”), Brian Peterson (“Smallville”) & Kelly Souders (“Smallville”), Gary Fleder (“Life Unexpected,” “October Road”), Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles,” “Thurgood”), Paul J. Witt (“A Better Life”) & Tony Thomas (“A Better Life”), Ron Koslow (“Moonlight”), Frank Siracusa (“The Yard”) and John Weber (“Borgias”).


NBC: ‘Chicago Fire’ Picked Up For Full Season

Via Press Release:


UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 8, 2012 – NBC has picked up its new freshman drama “Chicago Fire” with a production commitment for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.

“We all love this thrilling new drama with its sexy breakout cast. We are excited to see it gaining traction on our schedule,” said Salke. “Executive producer Dick Wolf and all the producers have done an amazing job developing a high-stakes series with lots of great heroic characters whose exploits are depicted in Dick’s typically epic storytelling style. We are incredibly invested in this one and can’t wait to hear about their plans for the rest of the season.”

“Chicago Fire” is averaging a 2.4 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers overall in “most current” averages from Nielsen Media Research through the season’s first six weeks. In “live plus same day” results for the current week, “Chicago Fire” generated new series highs in adults 18-49 and total viewers, making it the first new drama on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox this season to top its premiere results with any subsequent telecast.

From renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes the high-octane drama “Chicago Fire” — an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way.

The pressure to perform on such a high level has a way of taking a personal toll, sometimes putting team members from the Truck and the specially-trained Rescue Squad at odds with each other. Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, “House”), in charge of the Truck, butts heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, “The Vampire Diaries”) of the Rescue Squad.

The firehouse also includes: Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker, “Oz”); paramedics Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund, “The Good Wife”) and Leslie Shay (Lauren German, “Hawaii Five-O”); Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett, “Law & Order: SVU”), an academy graduate who is the latest generation in a family of firefighters; and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg, “Sex and the City”), a seasoned veteran who must uproot his family to move in with his in-laws.

In addition to Wolf, Haas and Brandt, executive producers also include Matt Olmstead (“Breakout Kings”), Joe Chappelle (“The Wire”), Danielle Gelber and Peter Jankowski (“Law & Order” brand). “Chicago Fire” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.

ABC: ‘The Neighbors,’ ‘Scandal,’ ‘Nashville’ Picked Up For Full Seasons

Via Press Release:


Monday, November 12, 2012

ABC Television Network




Pick-Up Joins Previously Announced Full Season Orders for “The Neighbors” and “Scandal”

ABC has picked up a full season of new drama “Nashville,” it was announced today. “Nashville” joins previously announced full season orders for new comedy “The Neighbors” and returning drama series “Scandal.” “Nashville” airs Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.

On average during Wednesday’s 10:00 o’clock hour, ABC rookie “Nashville” is No. 1 in its time period among Adults 18-49 (3.2/9), beating CBS’ veteran “C.S.I.” by 3% (3.1/9) and NBC’s freshman “Chicago Fire” by 33% (2.4/7). The new ABC drama also leads the hour with Adults 18-34 and across all key Women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). Overall for the season, “Nashville” ranks among the Top 3 new TV series in Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34, while qualifying as the No. 2 freshman program with Women 18-49. “Nashville” attracts an advertiser-coveted upscale audience, pulling in 30% higher ratings among Adults 18-49 in homes with $100k+ annual income (index of 130) to make it the top indexing new drama on broadcast TV this season, and the No. 2 highest-rated freshman show overall.

“Nashville” stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Eric Close as Teddy Conrad, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Robert Ray Wisdom as Coleman Carlisle and Powers Boothe as Lamar Wyatt.

Dee Johnson, R.J. Cutler, Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of “Nashville.” The pilot was written by Callie Khouri and directed by R.J. Cutler. The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Gaylord Entertainment.

(See our review of Nashville, here.)

VIC’S REVIEWS: ‘Elementary’ (CBS – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolutionhere.  To see Shawn’s original review of Elementary, go here.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.  A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance.  However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients.  He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs.  But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team.  With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS

Score:  75 out of 100

I don’t fancy the “Police Procedural” like I used to. Turning the tables on me though is Robert Doherty who is known for his exceptional work on Star Trek: Voyager and Medium. After hesitantly working up the nerve to watch a show which re-invents the famous Sherlock Holmes I’ve decided that while taking a few liberties and risks, Elementary is a slightly above-average crime show. Taking into mind that the BBC is light years ahead of CBS with their modern adaptation of Doyle’s iconic Detective with Sherlock, I still found some things to like here. I admit that I was very critical of CBS attempting this show. I, like Shawn and others, felt it was a blatant attempt to cash-in on the popularity of an already established “Reboot” or “re-imagining” started by Stephen Moffat.

First off, I was a bit thrown off by the casting of not Sherlock, but Watson. When they announced Miller I felt that it was an appropriate casting choice. Miller’s cool in my book. I’ve enjoyed his work going way back to Dracula 2000 and on. I believe I had issue with Watson being changed genders. Watson as the stoic male counterpart has always worked before so why change it? Well, I decided to accept Doherty’s take and I’m glad that I did. Kind of.  I won’t get into the chemistry between Miller and Liu too much here. It is a bit clunky at first but as each episode passes they start to gel. Watson is Holmes’ live in companion who is also an ex-surgeon. She needs to keep an eye on Holmes since he is in early addiction therapy. Some interesting moments between them include the often shown attendance of NA and AA Meetings meant to help Holmes with his rehabilitation.

From the pilot and further episodes it’s established that Holmes is combative, quirky and an isolationist. Jonny Lee Miller is very well capable dealing with the somewhat timid and redundant material and themes that he’s been given but I do like that he likes to pick locks and has decided to never pick up playing the violin again. Miller displaying his “Sherlockisms” is accurate and unconventional of course. Not much of the actual “essence” of the traditional Sherlock is displayed here. It comes in spurts. Doherty’s take falls into some conventions that can’t be helped but to be compared to other shows of it’s ilk like CSI and such. Despite my getting used to Liu and Miller there are times I wish that the crime solving was a bit more interesting and involving. Some of Doyle’s Holmes’ is on display here, especially regarding the addiction and obsessions. Holmes is quick, smart, perceptive and a social stooge. He’s brilliant but has absolutely no people skills. These aspects of the show are interesting. The crimes and stories in my opinion should have a bit more of a punch.

Aidan Quinn is just hands down brilliant as Captain Gregson. He’s fun to watch and even manages to steal a scene here and there. He provides simply placed drama playing against Miller. In one episode, he is forced to admit to Holmes that he has always known about his drug addiction. It is simply Quinn at his best. He acts with his eyes (I know it sounds weird) which is very fun to watch. Quinn plays the grizzled and work weary Captain to a “T.” He relishes having Holmes around, though, to help him with the mysterious and baffling  cases.

I’m five episodes into this season and I have grown to like the show a bit more than I did upon watching the pilot. My problem with the show is well… Lucy Liu. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with Liu’s interpretation and evolution of Watson. I got used to the gender change but I think that Watson is the most under-written character of the show. I do admit that we get to know about her much more in the later episodes. This is from Sherlock consistently picking her apart all aspects of her personal life from her love life to her now defunct medical career. Her role needs a bit more meat with more conflict and more revelations. Maybe I am being impatient but in keeping with the spirit of Doyle’s  Watson we should have had some more of a hands on feel for Watson and her inclusion in Holmes’ world. Liu is very cute, likable and very watchable but just when we want to know and see more of Watson doing her thing (with the exception of the episode, Lesser Evils, where Watson gets a diagnosis of endocarditis correct) we get some very routine melodrama (like some very lame boyfriend troubles… ugh.) and the character ends up at a standstill. I do believe that they will eventually get more out of Watson but I feel that she is falling by the wayside at times and gets boring. In Liu’s defense, she is spunky and very smart. She plays Watson with confidence and gives as good as she gets. She is just not as edgy and interesting as she should be. I’m nitpicking though.

The show is evolving nicely and I suspect the best is still yet to come.  The cast is great. Quinn and Miller being the standouts and the locale is just wonderful. Another show other than Person of Interest (CBS also) that beautifully shows off my old stomping grounds, NYC! Elementary just needs a bit more self confidence to elevate it above the mundane “Police Procedural” conventions.

FOX: ‘Touch’, ‘American Idol’ And New Kevin Bacon Thriller ‘The Following’ Premiere Dates Announced

Just a note here:  It’s not a coincidence that the Fringe series finale will be on the same night as the season two premiere of Touch.  Also, The Following is moving into the horrible The Mob Doctor‘s timeslot so we assume that it’s been cancelled.  We can’t imagine that they are moving it to another night.

Via Press Release:









FOX is announcing the winter season and series premiere dates for new and returning series, including the returns of AMERICAN IDOL and TOUCH, and the debut of new thriller THE FOLLOWING.

Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, along with returning judge Randy Jackson, the 12th season of AMERICAN IDOL begins with the exciting two-night premiere Wednesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

THE FOLLOWING, a psychological thriller created by Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Scream” franchise) and starring Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kevin Bacon (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Frost/Nixon”) and James Purefoy (“Rome”), launches Monday, Jan. 21(9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The intense, spellbinding drama follows RYAN HARDY (Bacon), an ex-FBI agent called out of retirement to track down JOE CARROLL (Purefoy), a devious and diabolical serial killer, and the mastermind behind an ever-growing web of killers.

Season Two of TOUCH, starring Emmy Award winner Kiefer Sutherland (“24”), kicks into gear Friday, Feb. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). As the action shifts dramatically from New York to Los Angeles, single father MARTIN BOHM (Sutherland) and his gifted son, JAKE (David Mazouz), find themselves at the center of a global conspiracy involving a mother in search of her missing teenage daughter, a mathematical genius and a religious zealot assassinating others with abilities like Jake’s. Joining the cast this season are Maria Bello (“ER”), Lukas Haas (“24”), Said Taghmaoui (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of The Cobra”) and newcomer Saxon Sharbino.




(Times for All-New Episodes are ET/PT Except as Noted)


Wednesday, Jan. 16:

8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part One)

Thursday, Jan. 17:

8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part Two)

Monday, Jan. 21:

9:00-10:00 PM            THE FOLLOWING (Series Premiere) 

Friday, Feb. 1:

9:00-10:00 PM            TOUCH (Season Premiere)



[EDITOR’S NOTE 1:  THE GOODWIN GAMES premiere date will be announced at a later date.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 2:  For photos and more information on FOX programming, please visit http://www.foxflash.com/d+iv.php/main/page?aID=1.]

CBS: ‘Elementary’ and ‘Vegas’ Get Full Season Orders

Via Press Release:


Freshman Dramas Win Their Time Periods in Viewers and Key Demographics

October 23, 2012 – CBS has given full season “back nine” orders to television’s top two freshman series — VEGAS and ELEMENTARY.

“VEGAS and ELEMENTARY have opened strong, delivering big audiences and winning performances in important time periods,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment.  “Each of the shows has rich characters, big stars and a unique visual style that have stood out in the crowd, helping make two of our strongest nights even stronger.”

VEGAS, the #1 new series of the season and ranked sixth overall, wins its Tuesday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in viewers and key demographics, averaging 14.94 million viewers, 2.7/08 in adults 18-49 and 3.8/09 in adults 25-54.  VEGAS has improved the year-ago time period by +8% in viewers.

ELEMENTARY, the #2 new series of the season and ranked ninth overall, also wins its Thursday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in the key ratings measures, averaging 14.30 million viewers, 3.5/10 in adults 18-49 and 4.6/11 in adults 25-54. Compared to the time period last year, ELEMENTARY is up +17% in adults 18-49 and +10% in adults 25-54.

VEGAS stars Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jason O’Mara, Taylor Handley and Sarah Jones.  Greg Walker, Nicholas Pileggi, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

*   *   *

REVIEW: ‘Nashville’ (ABC – Wednesday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who’s had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane. Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she’s not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna’s record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can’t wait to steal Rayna’s spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career?

Complicating matters, Rayna’s wealthy but estranged father, Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe), is a powerful force in business, Tennessee politics, and the lives of his two grown daughters. His drive for power results in a scheme to back Rayna’s handsome husband, Teddy, in a run for Mayor of Nashville, against Rayna’s wishes. – ABC

Score:     80 out of 100

Initial Impressions (July 20, 2012):  Is it just us, or is this the country music version of NBC’s Smash?  Proving that there is really hardly anything original in network prime-time drama, any more, Nashville, recycles a million and one film and television clichés in order to hobble together a weekly soap that all things considered, although not our cup of tea, doesn’t look particularly awful.

Shawn: As I noted in the preview, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.  This show is so reminiscent of Smash that on that level alone it induces eyeball rolling.  That being said, it’s a pretty good show.  I’m not going to spend too much time on Nashville not because it’s not worthy of it, but simply because it’s not the kind of show I have any real interest in.  More than anything, it’s a soap and since it doesn’t involve plotting revenge against socialites in the Hamptons, it won’t find a spot in my DVR lineup… that and the fact that my wife has no interest in it, either.

The first thing that stands out is the epic nature of this production.  From the opening scene, there really is no question that Connie Britton (Rayna James) and Hayden Panettierre (Juliette Barnes) are the country mega-stars that they portray on this new series.  They’ve gone to great lengths to produce a show that looks believably big… as if our stars are really in arenas with thousands of screaming fans.  It’s very effective because unlike a lot of other themed shows, nothing feels fake or contrived and it gives the show instant credibility with every other aspect of it.

The cast is diverse and the subplots are neatly woven together neatly so it’s fluid and nothing feels forced nor is it confusing.  The characters are well-fleshed out and pretty complicated so that there’s no real bad guys, just a lot of competing agendas.  Nashville is also very effective at making the city it’s named for and integral character to the story, from the modern high-rises in the business district, to the old hole-in-the-wall open-mic country music bars to the expansive suburbs, Nashville effectively incorporates every personality that the city offers which allows the audience to easily relate to it, despite the  fact that they may never have been there.

The musical numbers are actually fantastic (and I’m not even a country music fan) but they are unfortunately also the reason why I got bored and was constantly checking the time.  I could be wrong and maybe i’m expecting too much from a show that revolves around the music industry, but there were, from what I recalled, three complete music numbers during the pilot where nothing happened but the music numbers.  That’s like 12 minutes out of a 42-minute show, or about 29% of it.  In my book, that’s way too much.

So, if you like grand soaps with good music, you’ll certainly like Nashville.

Chance of Renewal:  80%

Nashville has had very strong ratings and on girl-powered ABC who has done traditionally very well with this format, this show should be successful.

Watch Nashvillehere.

REVIEW: ‘Chicago Fire’ (NBC – Wednesday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are America’s everyday heroes — the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. Big reputations and hefty egos, coupled with the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions, are bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there’s plenty of guilt and blame to go around. In the middle of a divorce, Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, “House M.D.”) tries to go about business as usual but can’t help butting heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, “The Vampire Diaries”) of the Rescue Squad – and each blames the other for their fallen team member.  When it’s “go-time” though, they put aside their differences and put everything on the line for each other. “Chicago Fire” is a look inside one of America’s noblest professions. Also starring are Eamonn Walker (“The Messenger”), Charlie Barnett, (“Law & Order: SVU”), David Eigenberg (“Sex and the City”), Monica Raymund (“The Good Wife”), Lauren German (“Hawaii Five-O”), Teri Reeves (“Three Rivers”) and Merle Dandridge (“Sons of Anarchy”).  “Chicago Fire” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.  Emmy Award-winning creator/ producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand), Derek Haas (“3:10 to Yuma”), Michael Brandt (“3:10 to Yuma”), Peter Jankowski (“Law & Order” brand) and Danielle Gelber serve as executive producers.  Haas and Brandt wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (“Homeland”). From renowned Emmy-winning producer Dick Wolf and the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma” comes an edge-of-your-seat view of a dirty job that often means the difference between life and death. – NBC

Score:     38 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  As much as we admit our bias in favor of J.J. Abrams, we are as equally honest about our bias against Dick Wolf who really hasn’t done anything creative in over twenty years.  But our biases aside, we would have the same opinon of Chicago Fire regardless of who developed it because anyone could have developed this cookie-cutter series.  It doesn’t really seem much different from anything that’s come before.  It’s simply a bland procedural with generic characters thrown in and an attempt to portray some kind of personal drama between the characters.  Sorry, Dick, but we’ve seen all of this before, we’re not impressed.  It’s not awful it’s just nothing new.

Shawn:  Yet another reason to hate Dick Wolf.  It wasn’t bad enough that he single-handedly destroyed the the police procedural for more than two decades turning a decent concept into a bunch of recycled garbage but now he has his sights on fire and rescue first responders with this terrible series.

Before I start tearing into this series, let’s take a look at the poster above.  Notice how it looks like it was ripped from one of those charity calendars and everyone looks like a supermodel?  It really is a metaphor for everything that’s wrong with the show.

The big problem with Chicago Fire is that it’s trying to convince us that it’s an accurate portrayal, albeit dramatized, of what life in a major city fire department is like but it doesn’t just fail in the five minutes, it fails right in that poster.  The characters and their dialogue are as equally superficial and quite frankly, you want to start punching them repeatedly in the face before the first commercial break.  I mean, seriously, you knew it was all going downhill when during the first five minutes you’re exposed to not only the most cocky and clichéd dialogue imaginable but a pissing match between two top firefighters reminiscent of a spat between twelve year-old middle school girls.

Once you get beyond that, it gets even worse by presenting a lousy version of Third Watch with far too many subplots involving each of the cast of thousand and you’re left in the end not being emotionally invested or caring about a single one of them. I don’t what’s more predictable and unbelievable, the characters or the plotlines, themselves.

Chicago Fire is a horrible series for anyone that appreciates actual compelling drama as opposed to what Dick Wolf calls drama but it’s not unwatchable.  If forced to, I could sit through it but if I have a choice, I won’t be.

Chance of Renewal:  80%

Like I’ve said, this is the typical crap that American audiences lap up.  As the current ratings indicate, this mess will probably be picked up for a second season.

Watch Chicago Fire, here.