Wednesday, April 11, 2007

CBS Fall 2007 : My Hopes & Predictions

This week I'm making my hopes and predictions for the fall public for all to know. Not that anyone would want to. I'm going through and making educated guesses about which shows will be on the primetime schedules come the fall. Be it returning shows or pilots currently in development.

Be warned: I'm an expert only insofar as a self-proclaimed couch-potato can be an expert. I watch a lot of network TV and so here is how I think the fall will go down for CBS. Eat your heart out, Les Moonves.

08.00 : How I Met Your Mother *new time*
08.30 : The Big Bang Theory *new series*
09.00 : Two And A Half Men
09.30 : The New Adventures Of Old Christine
10.00 : CSI: Miami

Let Me Explain My Monday
The only episode of How I Met Your Mother that I ever watched was on the day after this year's Super Bowl. And I laughed. It's not my kind of show, but it was funny. CBS has a pretty strong set of Monday night comedies. I dare anyone to mess with them. Therefore, I'm keeping Two And A Half Men and The New Adventures Of Old Christine right where they are. That and CSI: Miami. Like they say: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The only change I'm making to the night is the addition of The Big Bang Theory, a new series about a couple of eggheads (read: theoretical physicists) who meet a woman who shows them how little they know about real life. Like the majority of CBS's multi-camera comedies, the premise is lackluster but the folks behind it have had some success with being funny. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady wrote the pilot and James Burrows directed it. Can't say much for the cast, though. The only names I recognized were Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki.

08.00 : NCIS
09.00 : Criminal Minds *new night*
10.00 : Babylon Fields *new series*

Let Me Explain My Tuesday
In the days when I watched more TV, NCIS was on my list. I've missed almost all of the past few seasons, though. But I like it. I like the characters and I like the dialogue. I hardly notice the investigation storylines. I've never watched Criminal Minds but I hear it's a hit so it stays, just on a different night. You'll see why.

Now here's where the fun begins. Babylon Fields sounds like an absolute riot. Truthfully, I'm shocked CBS even considered going into development with such a crazy idea. Let me paint you a picture. Quaint town, average family. Dad's a mean drunk. Mom and daughter conspire to kill him and get away with it. Until... he comes back from the dead! It's a comedic drama wherein the dead come back to life and try to resume their lives. Amber Tamblyn and Kathy Baker star.

08.00 : Jericho
09.00 : Atlanta *new series*
09.30 : The Stumps Of Hollywood *new series*
10.00 : CSI: NY

Let Me Explain My Wednesday
First off, I'm enjoying the hell out of Jericho. At first I wasn't sure how the writers would find a way to keep the show interesting after the first few weeks but they have managed. So I'm keeping it right where it is along with CSI: NY.

With Criminal Minds moved to Tuesday, I opened up a slot to add a couple of comedies. I think we should have more than just Monday set aside for laughs (although, Babylon Fields). The interesting thing about these two comedies is their single-camera nature. If I'm not mistaken, this might be a first for CBS.

Atlanta is a comedy from Paul Reiser and Harold Ramis (hello? jackpot!) about a man and a woman who meet at a funeral and then can't seem to stop running into each other. Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Leslie Bibb have been cast as the leads. You know Reiser from NBC's Mad About You and Ramis from the film Groundhog Day.

The Stumps Of Hollywood (formerly titled Fugly) is a comedy from Greg Garcia and Todd Holland (hello?! double jackpot!) about three ugly siblings (twin sisters and a brother) who pool their money to get plastic surgery for one and move to L.A. and live off her new looks. Michael Rapaport and Nikki Cox star. Rapaport, however, is still committed to FOX's The War At Home, should it get picked up for another season. You know Garcia from NBC's My Name Is Earl and Holland from FOX's short-lived Wonderfalls.

08.00 : Survivor
09.00 : CSI:
10.00 : Shark

Let Me Explain My Thursday
Is there really anything that needs to be said? It's a solid lineup and it has served The Eye quite well. I refer you back to that mantra about fixing broken things.

08.00 : Viva Laughlin! *new series*
09.00 : Close To Home
10.00 : NUMB3RS

Let Me Explain My Friday
A bold choice to be sure, but I thought it might be interesting to see Viva Laughlin! on the air. I've never really heard of a primetime musical series. But I like Hugh Jackman and DB Woodside. I'm also a fan of British television, which reminds me, this is yet another U.K. import.

And anyway, I know I've been calling Friday night a garbage night, but it's different for CBS. Their audience usually avoids going out dancing for fear of breaking a hip. So to round out the night, I'll leave Close To Home and NUMB3RS right where they are.

08.00 : repeats
09.00 : repeats
10.00 : 48 Hours Mystery

Let Me Explain My Saturday
Saturday serves a purpose in network TV: to repurpose. I'm fairly sure I'm using that term incorrectly but the joke was hard to avoid. We'll give the people reruns of the CSIs and what have you and toss in a little news magazine goodness in the end.

07.00 : 60 Minutes
08.00 : The Amazing Race
09.00 : Cold Case
10.00 : Without A Trace

Let Me Explain My Sunday
If I had my way, I'd dip into the afternoon and cancel the football coverage, but since that's not up to me, I guess I'll leave it. The problem is the games always run over and always cause my TiVo to miss The Amazing Race. And I do love my Race. It's the ax to football or join 60 Minutes in progress. No, I know, that's never going to happen.

But just so you know, I was tempted to move The Amazing Race back to Tuesday and put Criminal Minds on Sunday. On the other hand, I did enjoy the Race-Case-Trace promos from last year. That reminds me. I'm keeping Cold Case and Without A Trace in their tried and true spots.

Can we please move on to the midseason now? As always, you need a handful of shows that can step in and serve as a replacement when one of your new shows does a swirly. I'm keeping The Unit but it will have to wait as there are just not enough hours in the week.

Now I'll move on to the new shows I'd like to see hit the airwaves in the not-too-distant future. Protect & Serve is one of those shows I like for the cast, despite the crew. Consider the likes of Dean Cain, Steve Harris, Monica Potter and Eric Balfour sharing the screen in a drama about cops living in the L.A. suburbs, dealing with stress on and off the job. But then Gary Scott Thompson is an executive producer. He's the genius behind NBC's Las Vegas. And I'm not amused.

The Captain is a single-camera comedy with a decent cast but a questionable premise. All it says is that a young writer's "life changes when he moves into an old Hollywood apartment building." So I have my doubts, but Chris Klein, Jeffrey Tambor and Raquel Welch are on board, so I'll give it a chance.

Twilight is a drama about a P.I./vampire who struggles with immortality and the feelings he has for a mortal. There's not a lot of information about this show, but if Rade Sherbedgia is the lead (read: vampire), I'd watch. But somehow, I just don't see this ever making it to air on CBS.

And that will bring us a drama about an ex-Jesuit priest/psychologist who performs exorcisms called Demons. With Ron Eldard as the lead and Harold Perrineau (ABC's Lost) co-starring, how could you go wrong really? Great actors and a fascinating premise. It might also be worth noting that this show comes from Barbara Hall, who last brough Joan Of Arcadia to our TV screens. So, yeah.

CBS already put the ax to 3 Lbs., The King Of Queens and Smith. If you don't mind, I'll take the liberty of adding Armed & Famous, Rules Of Engagement, Ghost Whisperer and The Class to the chopping block. I watched the beginning of The Class. Funny but nothing special.

So there, that was my run at playing the CBS Entertainment President. Moonves, you can have the job back now. I look forward to seeing your selection next month, as well.

CBS is not a network I'd have a lot of fun programming. It just seems like too many of their shows are too... lame. I recognize that was a lame description, but I can't help it. The three CSIs, Shark, NCIS, NUMB3RS, Close To Home, Cold Case, Criminal Minds and Without A Trace are all basically cop shows about meticulously solving crimes. It's like watching someone do a jigsaw puzzle. Almost literally at times. Boring. I'll take NBC, ABC or FOX over CBS any day.

Not that I don't enjoy some of their offerings. My CBS shows are The Amazing Race, Jericho and NCIS when I catch it.

Les Moonves announces the official CBS fall schedule on Wednesday, May 16.

No comments: