Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TV: My Unfair Previews, Fall 2007: CBS


Continuing my Unfair Previews of TV's Fall Season, up next is CBS. Unfortunately, their promo website doesn't have individual pages for each of their five new shows, so instead of linking each show to its homepage, I'll just give you this link to the main page.

On Monday, in between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men, is The Big Bang Theory. It's about a bunch of nerds and the hot blonde who moves in next door. I like Johnny Galecki, who plays the lead nerd, but the blonde is bland and unfunny (Kaley Cuoco of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter). And the show as a whole is extremely conventional, with a comedic rhythm on par with Two and a Half Men (which is no surprise, since it's from that show's creator). I'll probably wind up watching it, based solely on where it's scheduled, but I don't expect much out of it.

Tuesday's Cane has a very strong cast, featuring Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, Rita Moreno, Rome's Polly Walker, and Nestor Carbonell, whom I always enjoy seeing (guess he's not making it to the next season of Lost!). But in the end, it's just another night-time soap opera, and I'm not very interested. Could be a pleasant surprise, but I wouldn't count on it.

Kid Nation, on Wednesday, is a new reality show, so already I'm out. It's about 40 kids who spend 40 days building their own society in an abandoned Old West town. It's an original and somewhat intriguing idea, but I always give myself a free pass when it comes to reality shows, and this will be no exception.

The new show on Friday is Moonlight, about a vampire detective. Really, CBS? Huh. Okay, whatever you say. Look, CBS doesn't do well with much of anything outside of straight-up crime dramas or something to do with the military (or both, as with NCIS); their two most original shows of the past two years, Love Monkey and Jericho, were both cancelled before a second season. So expect this thing to disappear quickly. And when the clip for this vampire show opens with the cliche, "You know what? Being a vampire sucks," well... writing that bad ain't gonna help it stick around. Just a bad idea overall, and an especially bad network to try it out on.

Take what I just said about originality and CBS not mixing, and then try to figure out how long Viva Laughlin will last on Sunday. This is part drama, part musical, based around a man trying to open a casino in Laughlin, NV. I like the setting -- I've been there many times -- and I admire the audacity behind trying to adapt the weird BBC Viva Blackpool to American TV. And I like Hugh Jackman, who executive produces and has a recurring guest role, one which, I presume, will require him to sing (there is no preview video). But there's no way this is going to work, especially not on the "we fear change" network, CBS. I'm betting six episodes, seven tops, and out.

And that's that for new CBS Fall shows. Hey, when you're #1, you don't have to replace much. Back tomorrow with the worst slate of new shows on a major network (hint: calling it a major network is an act of kindness).

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