Monday, June 16, 2014

2014-2015 Season: CBS Drama

I'm not a huge fan, but I watch Under the Dome. I tried out Elementary a couple seasons ago. I gave Intelligence a chance. I actually liked the short-lived Miami Medical and Made in Jersey. But, otherwise, I just don't get into CBS's dramas. Longtime readers know that I've preferred comedy since 2007 or so, so it is tougher to get me into drama, but CBS just can't really get there. Of their six pickups for the next season, there's one that catches my eye, though I don't know how it'll do. The numbers show that people like CBS drama... but somehow I'm just not in that demo... are you?

Red titles I'm not interested in. Green titles I'm going to try out. "Who" covers actors, writers, creators, etc. "Where" covers the location of the series. "What" describes the basics of the premise.

First, the fall premieres: 

Who? Katharine McPhee (American Idol season 5, Smash)
Where? not quite sure. Not Los Angeles, as far as I can tell. McLemore/MacLemmer/something airfield is the only geographical clue and I can't quite find one...
What? An international network of geniuses work together to fight crime, funded by an eccentric billionaire who has been hacking since he was a child. Now, they're going to help Homeland Security.
My Thoughts: For being inspired by a true story, I'm suspicious. The preview makes for a great movie trailer, but as a drama series, I'm inclined to look away. However, I'm also a sucker for super-smart people solving problems, so I'll take a peek.

Madam Secretary
Who? Tea Leoni (Nora on The Naked Truth), Tim Daly (Joe on Wings), Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith on Cheers, Frasier), Geoffrey Arend (Christina Hendricks' husband, Ethan on Body of Proof)
Where? Washington, DC
What? When the Secretary of State dies unexpectedly, a professor is asked by the President to take on the role.
My Thoughts: From the text, I'd immediately pass, due to my lack of interest in political anything. From the video snippets, I enjoy the humor but would rather see Tea Leoni as a college professor, given the personality of the character. Regardless, I'm passing on this one.

Who? Dylan McDermott (Bobby on The Practice), Mariana Klaveno (Lorena on True Blood)
Where? Los Angeles, California
What? Cops preventing and investigating stalking of all types, as it has tripled with all of the forms of social media available these days.
My Thoughts: I tend to shy away from shows that are clearly dated, and this series seems to focus an awful lot on trends that have been growing over the past decade. It's also a bit procedural for me, and the preview alone is too creepy for me to regularly watch.

NCIS: New Orleans
Who? Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek Enterprise), Lucas Black (the kid from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), C. C. H. Pounder (Dr. Hicks on ER, Claudette on The Shield)
Where? New Orleans, Louisiana
What? The same drama that’s been on for years now, just with new actors in a new place. A couple episodes of this past season's NCIS set it up.
My Thoughts:
Are people really desiring yet another incarnation of this series? I love New Orleans, but not enough to warrant even giving this a second look. These franchises are one of my big problems with CBS... but that's for another day. 

And, the mid-season replacements:

CSI: Cyber
Who? Patricia Arquette (Allison on Medium)
Where? Quantico, Virginia, in the future
What? Technology has advanced to the point that criminals are nearly faceless. Someone still has to solve the crimes. This is a step away from the forensic-style crime-solving found in the previous three CSI series.
My Thoughts: I don't care about crime shows, I don't like dark stuff, and I'm not impressed with the futuristic premise, so there's nothing for me to sink my teeth into here. I also question CBS's attitude toward this show... airing the backdoor pilot so much earlier than the actual series debut and releasing so little information about the cast and premise certainly doesn't seem like a recipe for success to me. Still, I'm sure some people will tune in for the cyber draw.

Battle Creek 
Who? Josh Duhamel (Danny McCoy on Las Vegas), Dean Winters (Detective Brian Cassidy on Law and Order: SVU, Dennis on 30 Rock, Johnny on Rescue Me), Kal Penn (House, Harold & Kumar)
Where? Battle Creek, Michigan
What? Two very different police officers are buddied up in an underfunded unit, where they still manage to get advanced technology as needed.
My Thoughts: First of all, the premise sounds more like a comedy than a drama. I know that CBS struggles with anything outside of fighting crime, but when do you draw the line? Now we've got technology but no money and that's worthy of yet another police procedural?
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