Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall TV Preview: CBS

Well, it's the last week before Labor Day. This can only mean one thing, the Fall TV season will soon be upon us. Each day this week, The Hollywood Temp Diaries will focus on one network and evaluate the prospects for their new shows.

Last year I did similar, but not as extensive, exercise and accurately predicted the outcome in 7 of the 9 shows I reviewed. I have read the scripts for none of these shows. I've seen none of the screeners. I'm completely uninformed -- just like your typical network executive.

Today -- CBS

SUMMARY: Boy meets Jenna Elfman. Boy impregnates Jenna Elfman. Boy gets stuck on a TV show with Jenna Elfman.
ANALYSIS: Offers a lot of similarities to The Big Bang Theory -- four weirdos and a ditsy blond who can't understand what they're talking about. Or it's Knocked Up, the TV show. You pick.
PREDICTION: Will benefit from what I call the "Veronica's Closet effect," whereby a crappy show does ok only because it's sandwiched in between two popular shows. In this case, it's surrounded by How I Met Your Mother and 2 1/2 Men. 13 episodes should be just about enough.

SUMMARY: The title says everything. Same show. New location.
ANALYSIS: I don't watch NCIS. I don't know anyone who does. But it does pretty well in the ratings. This cast is certainly more unique than the NCIS. In fact, it sounds like the opening line for a joke, "Chris O'Donnell, Linda Hunt and LL Cool J walk into a bar..."
PREDICTION: Did you know that CSI: Miami is entering its eighth season? And that's with...gag...David Caruso. Imagine what CBS can do with a spin off starring people who can act! This show will stick around for a few years, or at least until LL quits and is replaced by Ludacris.

SUMMARY: Chris Noth cheats on Julianna Margulies. Something happens and she decides to go back to being a defense attorney.
ANALYSIS: The more I read the description on the Wikipedia page, the less I understood what this show is about. I view that as a bad sign.
PREDICTION: Since leaving ER and turning down a 3 year/$27 million contract in 2000, Ms. Margulies career has been in the toilet. The Coriolis Effect continues here as this show won't make it past mid-season no matter which hemisphere you're watching it in. Oh and Chris Noth dyes his hair. There. I said it.

SUMMARY: A drama following the lives of organ transplant doctors in Pittsburgh. FYI - That's the first time in recorded history that sentence has ever been said.
ANALYSIS: A use of the Steel City that ranks on the excitement scale somewhere between Striking Distance and The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh.
PREDICTION: Bland medical drama. Bland cast. Bland everything. Someone's getting the hook as an early Christmas present.

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