CBS’s turn to unveil their schedule came yesterday. But first, fellow Extratextual Ivan Askwith just posted some neat thoughts about serial television, and I’d hate for them to be swallowed amidst my upfront posts, so please scroll down to read those too.
As for CBS, there’s no eleventh hour reprieve for The Eleventh Hour, Without a Trace vanished, The Ex List is now on the ex-show list, Worst Week certainly had its worst week, The Unit got a bullet between the eyes, Harper’s Island experienced a horrific end too, and Game Show in My Head will remain in the head.
However, Patricia Arquette went from speaking to the dead to reincarnating the dead, as her Medium, just a day after getting tossed by NBC, is now on CBS. It will be on a new Women Who Talk to Dead People Friday, along with Ghost Whisperer.
Below the fold are CBS’ new shows, and that whole “rescued from death” theme is prevalent:
First, Accidentally on Purpose brings Jenna Elfman back to TV, as a newly pregnant and single movie critic. Hearing about it made me wonder why she was away for that long, given that she totally drove Dharma and Greg, and then I watched the clip and found it about as funny as someone lancing my eye with a hot poker, so there’s your answer.
Next, with ER dead and therefore her chances of holding out for yet more guest appearances, Julianna Marguiles stars in The Good Wife, a drama about a woman whose politician husband gets chucked in jail, leading to her returning to her career as a defense attorney. The trailer is very savvy in drawing upon our fascination with how Mrs. Spitzer or Elizabeth Edwards feel when their husbands are disgraced to create interest in her character. The clip’s somewhat interesting, and Marguiles does a reasonably good job, so who knows?
Three Rivers joins the medical drama fervor (Mercy, Trauma, Nurse Jackie, Grey’s, Private Practice, House, and probably some others I’m forgetting), with a bunch of transplant doctors bringing new life to those needing a spare liver, kidney, or other such organ. The trailer’s on the cheesy side, waxing long and sappy about the value of second chances and the importance of hero-doctors, but aren’t all medical shows sold with such junk around them? It seemed relatively well done aside from that, so if that “aside from that” component is more prevalent than the sap, it might be interesting.
And if you can’t ever get enough of those medical dramas, good news, since you’ll be getting another one from CBS midseason, Miami Trauma.
Meanwhile, CBS’s other key addition to its Fall line-up is NCIS: Los Angeles. It stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell, which has to be one of the funnier pairings I’ve heard of in a long while. When LL rapped about coming back to rule the rap world in “It’s Time for War,” who knew he intended to do so with an NCIS spinoff as his beachhead? The clip tries to make itself look as much 24 as NCIS, but when both O’Donnell and LL tell us the show is “hot,” I’m not convinced.
And midseason will also bring another Canadian-American coproduction (“another” since Flashpoint is returning in Summer 2010), The Bridge, starring BSG’s Aaron Douglas as a cop who becomes head of the police union. I love this Canadianization of American TV: first a sniper show in which you root for nobody to get shot, and then a show where the protagonist is a union head. When the US finally gets universal health care, you can thank CBS for allowing our Canadian thoughts access to the American mind.
Midseason also brings Arranged Marriage, a reality show, in which unlucky, perhaps undesirable, individuals let their friends arrange marriages for them. The show will follow their lives post-marriage (yes, the marriage will be real). Oh dear. Has it come to this?
Undercover Boss is another midseason reality show, placing bosses in low-level jobs at their businesses, yet in disguise so they can hear what people really think of them and maybe learn a bit about life at the bottom. It’s based on a UK version, which puts the boss in the job for at least 10 days, and occasionally ends up with people getting due change or recognition, but also results in people getting in trouble. Charming. I think I’m washing my hair that night (and, yes, for the record, I am mostly bald).
I can’t find embeddable clips at the moment, so just go here instead to see NCIS: LA, Three Rivers, The Good Wife, and Accidentally on Purpose.
Meanwhile, the Fall schedule for CBS looks like this:
- Monday is comedy night with How I Met Your Mother at 8, Accidentally on Purpose at 8.30, Two and a Half Men at 9, then Big Bang Theory at 9.30. And, because Horatio Caine’s always a barrel of laughs, CSI: Miami follows them at 10
- Tuesday is NCIS night, with NCIS at 8, NCIS: LA at 9, then The Good Wife coming in at 10 as a very odd thematic pairing
- Wednesday gives us The New Adventures of Old Christine at 8, Gary Unmarried at 8.30, Criminal Minds at 9, and CSI: New York at 10
- Thursday offers Survivor at 8, CSI at 9, and The Mentalist at 10
- Friday is, as said, Women Who Speak to Dead People Night, with Ghost Whisperer then Medium, followed by Numb3rs, which promises to use more ouija boards this season
- Saturday offers crime dramas, then 48 Hours at 10
- Sunday has stalwart 60 Minutes (can they cancel Andy Rooney, though, or at least spin him off to his own angry old man show called Another Thing I Don’t Like About Life After the Great War) at 7, then Amazing Race at 8, Three Rivers at 9, and Cold Case at 10
I’ll try and get to The CW soon, then will be back to discuss the dead pool, and also the head to head battles in the schedule (because, lest you and your TiVo/DVR be so wrapped up in each other’s company, a huge number of people still watch when the shows are actually played).Tags: CBS, Medium, NCIS, upfronts