Sunday, May 23, 2010

and, finally, CBS for the couch

The last of the big three to announce, CBS received rather different reactions to its fall lineup: Stuart Elliott at The New York Times said "CBS shook up the upfront week... with the most startling moves of any network for the coming season." The Wall Street Journal, however, summed up the news in an article titled "Playing it Safe: New CBS Lineup Includes Crime Dramas, Remake."

Given that CBS' Tuesday is already a powerhouse with NCIS, NCIS:LA and The Good Wife and their Thursday is two-thirds full with CSI: and The Mentalist, I'm not sure you could say they needed that much of a shake-up. So, ignoring those half-hour things that persist in cluttering up my television watching landscape, here's what's going to be new on the eye:

Hawaii Five-O. Did I say "new?" I meant kinda sorta new. Because what we really need is another cop show, and what we really, really need is another remake. On the other hand, we do need another (or just "a") good Alex O'Loughlin vehicle, so it's got that going for it. If you don't know, this is the show from whence we get "book 'em Danno!" O'Loughlin plays McGarrett (Jack Lord), Scott Caan plays Danno, and Daniel Dae Kim plays the other cop. Unlike all the other new shows, the producer and writer credits for this show are, well, buried. Deep. That worries me. After some serious digging, I did learn that the show will be exec produced by Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the latter two of JJ Abrams/Alias/Fringe/Star Trek/and so on and so on fame). Here's hoping this isn't Hawaii Five-O meets Three Rivers.

The Defenders. Hey, look Ma, another lawyer show! (This is what happens when you announce last.) Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell partner up as partners in a law firm partnership. The family guy and the womanizer. The serious and sincere lawyer "balanced by" the reckless but brilliant wild-card. No law show would be complete without an eager new associate, a winsome assistant, and a beleaguered wife. Add those, stir and, presto, it's a TV show. They might be going for The Blues Brothers meets LA Law, but I'm thinking this sounds more like Justice meets Trust Me. Ruh roh.

Blue Bloods. ...aaaand, it's a cop show. But with Tom Selleck (we can only count our blessings that — so far — no one has green lit a remake of Magnum PI). Selleck plays the current NY Chief of Police, Len Cariou his father (and former COP) and Donnie Wahlberg his son (next COP?). Bridget Moynahan plays the daughter, a DA, while Will Estes plays the youngest son. You know, the one who turns his back on his stellar academic record, including Harvard Law, to, shocker!, become a cop? Yeah, that one. From Leonard Goldberg, longtime partner of Aaron Spelling, and Mitchell Burgess ("The Sopranos," "Northern Exposure"). NYPD:Blue meets Dallas?

At some point mid-season, we'll see the Criminal Minds spin-off with Forest Whitaker.

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