Monday, September 17, 2007

CBS Fall TV Preview

Well, with a week to go until most networks begin showing their new shows for the Fall TV season, I guess I'd better get on with it.

If you're coming in late to this series of posts, you can read my take on NBC's and ABC's newest shows before you read tonight's thoughts on CBS.

While I'm waiting for you to review the previous posts, let me say a few words about CBS in general. Of the major networks, it has always been third place for me over the years. It always seems to program itself a decade or so older than me. I dabbled with "Survivor" early on, but I've never been a committed fan by any stretch. I did watch "CSI" for several seasons, but something turned off in me last year and I simply didn't watch. Right now, the only show on CBS that I am interested in is "How I Met Your Mother," which is going into it's third season. I have not watched the show consistently, mostly because it comes on at 8 pm on Mondays and I never get done with my parenting duties in time to watch. So, I am catching up on Netflix and have enjoyed it. I recommend that show to you, but for the rest of the Returning show, I haven't got much to say.

If you're all caught up, let's get to it.

The new show for CBS on Monday night is "The Big Bang Theory." (Monday Sept. 24 @ 8:30 pm) This show is about two geek roommates that know lots about quantum mechanics (natch) but don't know anything about girls. Will their super hot female neighbor--getting over a breakup herself--teach these dorks about love? Having watched 30 seconds of the preview video, I can report that the two geeks are named Sheldon and Leonard (sigh), that when the inevitable hook up occurs between the hot chick and one of the dorks, it'll be with Sheldon, because he's taller. (Johnny Galecki's Leonard exists to be the "angry nerd" with a height complex and a bit more worldly wisdom.) And, of course, the nerds have an Indian friend, but he's not named Kumar. Any further thoughts about "The Big Bang Theory" being a double entendre is best left unsaid.

If you like your new TV to do down a bit more mellow, might I suggest "Cane" (Tuesday Sept. 25 @ 10 pm). This is CBS's big attempt to get star power into their lineup because it's the return of Jimmy Smits to television, a fact that is the first point the network makes on it's preview video. Smits is the head of a sugarcane family that uses that white gold to make rum. Smits proclaims that "rum is the new oil" in such a way as to give vague overtones of a Corleone family man. (I might agree with him if my car could run on rum or I could heat my house with rum.) But, being a (seemingly) ruthless patriarch of a agribusiness isn't enough. He also has the sorts of family problems that we all face. So, he's probably down to earth also.

The CBS show with the most buzz going into it's premiere has to be "Kid Nation" (Wednesday Sept. 18 @ 8 pm--THAT'S THIS WEDNESDAY). This is a reality shows that describes itself, rather pithily, as "40 children, 40 days, no adults. Can they do it? Can they build a better world than grown-ups would?"

So, what do you think? Should we kick the adults out of Washington and let the kids take over? Or should CBS be vilified for this show concept?

"Moonlight" (Friday Sept. 28 @ 9 pm) is about as far from "Kid Nation" as you might care to get. It follows the travails of Mick St. John, a private investigator who once had a bad honeymoon sixty years ago. But St. John is not some grizzled old P.I. like a aged Jim Rockford. Nope, St. John is a vampire and he became a vampire thanks for a fateful bite from his bride when they married back after World War II. (I guess the dame had some great gams to go with those fangs?) So, St. John straddles the gritty world of a private eye and the moldy world of the undead. And he's in love with a mortal woman--who probably doesn't know that he's a vampire, but if it survives to sweeps week, she might be finding out. It's on after "Ghost Whisperer." Can you feel the synergy?

Finally, there is "Viva Laughlin" (Sunday October 21 @ 8 pm). This show is an Americanized version of a British show I've never heard of called "Viva Blackpool." The idea is that our hero is trying to live the American Dream, which to him entails building and running a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. Lloyd Owen stars as Ripley Holden (Hold'em?), former "Twin Peaks" alum Madchen Amick as the wife, I think . . . and Melanie Griffith as someone unfortunately named Bunny Baxter. But what you really need to know is that 1) the show is executive produced by Hugh Jackman, 2) he has a recurring role as a guy named Nicky Fontana, and 3) the show is described as "Part drama, part thriller, part musical (!!)" Count me out.

So, that's it for the new Fall shows. If you want more information, check out the official CBS website.

Next, up . . . FOX.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever met anyone named either "Sheldon" or "Leonard"? Let alone Gen Y-ers?

Neither have I.

And that seals the deal for me. No CBS this year with one exception-- CBS Sunday Morning. That is a fabulous show. Apparently, only because the super-hip execs at CBS have nothing to do with it.


David said...

The only Sheldon I know of was the fictional Shel Gordon that Sally dates in "harry Met Sally."

Remember him? Harry didn't think you could have great sex with someone names Sheldon, because of the name?

The only Leonard I know if Mr. Nimoy.

I used to watch CBS Sunday morning, but that was with Robert Kurault. The new guy isn't the same--bowtie and all.