Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall TV Preview 2010: CBS

Today I'm going to try to give a quick overview of the new Fall line up for CBS. In the past, I've always watched CBS less than the other networks, as they tended to program for a different, older demographic. But in recent years I've been watching more.

Here's what's up for them:


No new shows on the network for the start of the week. Of course, 60 Minutes anchors the night, starting at 7 pm as it has for decades. The Amazing Race (9/26 @ 8 pm) is back again. If it wasn't for the fact that shows must tape months ahead of time, I would say that this show, which has dominated the Emmy for Reality Programming in the past, would be spoiling for a fight. It lost this year for the first time in many, many years. Undercover Boss (9/26 @ 9pm)did surprisingly well last year. It was the most-watched new reality show, apparently. You can guess what it's about and from that, determine if you want to spend your time on it. Finally . . . wait, let me whip off my sunglasses . . . is CSI: Miami (10/3 @ 10 pm). More murder, more procedures, more jokes and YouTube clips.

Really, what everyone will probably be watching or want to be watching on this night are on other networks. But I'll get to them in another post.


How I Met Your Mother (9/20 @ 8 pm) is back after what I believe was its weakest season last year. In interviews, the show creators say they have learned from those mistakes and will be rectifying them swiftly this year. I just saw a promo for tomorrow night's new episode, and it looks encouraging. There is also Two-and-a-Half Men (9/20 @ 9 pm). I think the half-man gets more involved with girls this year? But will he follow the dating style of the one lecherous man or the other, more timid man? Oh . . . the mind reels. There is a new show for CBS on Monday night, called Mike & Molly (9/20 @ 9:30 pm) in which the two title characters meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Yes, they are overweight, and no it's not Hollywood style "slightly" overweight. They could be contestants on NBC's The Biggest Loser. Hopefully they can mine the comedy for more than fat jokes and focus on character. Because, didn't Hurley teach us anything?

And speaking of Hurley, he brings us back nicely to the big news for CBS--their new Monday show, Hawaii Five-O (9/20 @ 10 pm). It's set in Hawaii, it has Daniel Dae-Kim (Jin from LOST) sticking on the (not THE) island. And it also features Grace Park (Boomer the Cylon from BSG). So, many elements are in place that might make me watch. But . . . I don't know if I'll book it (Danno). I guess it'll depend on how rockin' the theme song remains.


If you like NCIS, you'll like CBS's Tuesday night lineup. Because there is NCIS (9/21 @ 8 pm) and NCIS: Los Angeles (9/21 @ 9 pm). As someone who gave up on most procedurals a few years ago, I don't think these are drawing me very strongly. But, there is the return of The Good Wife, (9/26 @ 10 pm) which some say was pretty good for a new drama last year. If you've got thoughts on these shows, help me fill in the blanks in the comments below.


Do you still watch Survivor (9/15 @ 8 pm)? Well then you don't need me to tell you that it started last week and that it is currently set in Nicaragua. And I'm glad that you already know all of this because I've got nothing else to add. But if you don't like surviving, then maybe you like trying to understand the mysteries of the criminal mind? In that case, you are probably a HUGE fan of Criminal Minds (9/22 @ 9 pm). This show, as you know, tells stories about crime . . . and . . . uh, some other stuff that totallymakes it different than all the other crime dramas that have been on TV since, like forever. And you are a huge fan, aren't you? Finally, there is The Defenders (9/22 @ 10 pm), a show starring Jerry O'Connell and Jim Belushi as Las Vegas attorneys who will take on any case in Sin City. But you already know that too . . . um, what? You DON'T know that? You mean The Defenders is a new show? But that violates the theme I have established for Wednesday night's CBS overview?!! 


One of my favorite (newish) shows on CBS is The Big Bang Theory (9/23 @ 8 pm). And it used to be on Mondays. But CBS decided to move it to Thursday. Hopefully it won't hurt the show, which just came off of a big Emmy win for Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon. Also of note is the return of semi-regular villain Evil Wil Wheaton, played by Actual Wil Wheaton. Another show on the CBS Thursday lineup is $#"! My Dad Says, (9/23 @ 8:30 pm) the show built originally from the popular Twitter feed. AND it is starring William Shatner as the (shi)titular Dad! What could go wrong with this? (The only thing that I can think of is if NBC decided to put its midseason replacement "Stuff White People Like" up against it come January. (And, yes, I'm kidding ... but it just might actually happen. So, NBC, prepare to hear from my lawyers if you decide to go forward with this. You can't infringe on my creative property.) CSI (9/23 @ 9 pm) is still the anchor (I guess?) of Thursday night and its coming back with an explosive (LITERALLY!) season premiere. And, to round out the night comes The Mentalist (9/23 @ 10 pm). I feel like I ought to be able to make a good joke from that title, but if I couldn't pull it off in previous years, I guess I should just admit defeat and move on.

Oh . . . I forgot why the CSI premiere is IMPORTANT. It marks the acting debut of Justin Bieber! (I know, right?) I guess CBS is wanting to rename Thursday Must Tweet TV? And who knows . . . if he's a hit, maybe they'll revive an old show and rename it Leave it to Bieber.


There are three shows in the CBS end-of-the-week schedule, but (as I seem to be typing throughout these things) only one of them is new. I know that networks are in trouble and that all the creative, really-want-to-watch stuff is on cable these days . . . but it feel like the Big 4 1/2 just aren't really trying anymore.

But here's what there is: Medium (9/24 @ 8 pm) is back again and the most significant new thing seems to be that the family is growing up. And doesn't it seem odd that a show built on the premise of supernatural stuff is being described in terms of a typical family drama? Where is the hook that makes it stand out? Oh . . . wait, here it is . . . over here with the two-hour block of CSI: New York (9/24 @ 9 pm) and Blue Bloods (9/24 @ 10 pm). What is the hook you ask? Well, both are set in New York--the only city that ever mattered, and both are police-based dramas. One is more procedural (CSI) and the other is more character-driven (Blue Bloods). One is starring Gary Sinise and the other has . . . wait for it . . . Tom Selleck! Still don't see the hook? Well, CBS is marketing these shows as a block of NY crime time or some such goofy conglomerate idea like that. It's lazy and all that. But when you're trying to find a way to get people to watch on Friday night . . . you'll do anything. Heck, NBC used to do it with its own Thrillogy slogan for The Profiler, Pretender, and that other show I don't remember.

So, that's it because I don't think CBS has anything on Saturday and neither does anyone else. It's just football and other reruns of junk.

Have we learned anything from this? I think all that I have learned is that nothing on CBS is likely to draw me in that I'm not already committed to. I don't think that I'm going to get involved in Hawaii Five-O, just because all I'll do is think of LOST. And I'm already going to be watching Castle over on ABC instead. (Assuming, of course, that I'm ever actually watching TV when it airs live . . . as I'll either be putting kids to bed or doing office work into the wee hours of the morning.)

But that's just me. Does any of this look appealing to you? Give me comments and tell me what I missed out of or what you really like to watch.

1 comment:

Kelly Ball said...

The Good Wife is awesome. I'm especially fond of the tension between Julianne Marguiles's character over whether to stick with her stupid (yet hot) husband or hump around with the nerdy (yet hot) college friend who's in the same firm as her. Plus, Jason Street of Friday Night Lights fame is a new cast member. The eye candy just gets better.