Fall TV 2014 Check-In

It’s November, which means we’re in the special TV time known as Sweeps. In today’s day and age, there’s an increasing number of people who don’t watch TV shows the traditional way, live and actually on the TV; a lot of people DVR their shows or watch through various means (legal or otherwise) online. That being said, Nielsen ratings, as outdated as they are, still hold a lot of value to networks and advertisers – which is why November sweeps (along with sweeps periods in February and May) becomes sort of a battle ground for the networks. Sweeps somehow gauges what people are really watching, especially since a lot of shows and networks touting “big” episodes that you “must watch live.” Regardless, it’s a good time as any to check-in on the new batch of shows that premiered this season.

ABC

TIMOTHY PEPER, JOHN CHO, DA'VINE JOY RANDOLPH, KAREN GILLAN, ALLYN RACHEL, DAVID HAREWOOD

  • SELFIE [Cancelled]: The show follows in the footsteps of many horribly titled shows that came before it, commonly known as the Cougar Town effect, in which the show is much more than what the title implies. It’s like a modern-day retelling of My Fair Lady, that has had some really funny moments, in spite of some of the issues it faced in the first couple of episodes. If anything really, I quite enjoy the dynamic between Karen Gillan and John Cho, and the show has been fleshing out all the characters beyond just Gillan’s Eliza and Cho’s Henry. I’m really bummed to see that ABC cancelled it so soon, when it has started to find its footing.
  • MANHATTAN LOVE STORY [Cancelled]: The first casualty of the season was this odd attempt at a rom-com. The only surprising thing about the cancellation was that the show lasted a month before ABC pulled the plug on it. I really wanted to like the show because I really like Analeigh Tipton (who really was the only good thing about the show) and Jake McDorman (who somehow ended up being a greater jackass version of his Greek character). There just wasn’t anything good about it.
  • FOREVER [Full Season Pick-Up]: An immortal medical examiner helps the police solve cases because he can REALLY see the details everyone else misses. I watched the pilot, and it’s not terrible by any means. In actuality, it has a slight charm to it that I’m gonna say is due to Ioan Gruffudd. At the end of the day though, it’s just not really my thing so I didn’t continue watching.
  • BLACK-ISH [Full Season Pick-Up]: I know some people don’t like the title, but I think it’s funny and on the nose. An African-American family, that according to the dad, has been “white-washed”, making them “black-ish” – you can’t get a more straight-forward title than that. It’s been quite funny and a joy to watch; has certainly proven to be a compatible lead-out of Modern Family.
  • HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER [Full Season Pick-Up]: Of note, the show is only executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, not created by her, but is part of a Shondaland Thursday that has proven to be a winner for ABC. Right from the pilot episode, it got me. Seeing the back and forth between present day and the flash-forward of the murder mystery is really interesting. Also, it doesn’t really need to be said but Viola Davis is a FORCE. AMAZING. My only concern with the show is how they’re going to keep all of this going. I feel like this is setting up to be first season Revenge, with the reveal of what led to the main murder around winter break, and then the rest of the season showing the fallout. So then what will subsequent seasons (if any) look like? For now though, I’ll take it as it is.
  • CRISTELA: Honest, I haven’t watched it yet. I’ve heard it’s decent, ratings are so-so for a Friday, and that’s about it.

CBS

Pilot

  • SCORPION [Full Season Pick-Up]: A group of geniuses are tasked to help the FBI. A lot of people have called it the action procedural version of The Big Bang Theory with Katherine McPhee’s Paige being the Penny of the group. It’s a fun show to say the least and they have made an effort to give the characters more depth and not just stereotypes. Is it something I’m in a rush to see every week? No. But I don’t mind watching it from time to time.
  • NCIS:NEW ORLEANS [Full Season Pick-Up]: I don’t watch the show so I really have nothing to say about it. But we all know the NCIS name is sort of a goldmine for CBS.
  • STALKER [Full Season Pick-Up]: I watch the show for Maggie Q. Some aspects of it (the sociological/psychological implications, the back-stories of Maggie Q’s Beth and Dylan McDermott’s Jack) are interesting to me, but I’m really not a big fan of the procedural aspect of it. Again though, watching it for Maggie – and maybe the cool alt-cover songs at the end of each episode.
  • MADAM SECRETARY [Full Season Pick-Up]: I have no interest in the show. It just didn’t look like something I would be into.
  • THE MCCARTHYS: The show got a late premiere so I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. Even based on previews, I’m not entirely sure I want to watch it.

The CW

Pilot"

  • THE FLASH [Full Season Pick-Up]: There were high hopes for Flash coming into the season. Seeds were planted within the Arrow universe, allowing it to spin-off on its own, and by all accounts it has succeeded. The pilot became CW’s most watched EVER, after all the DVR ratings/playbacks were accounted for. Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg have done an incredible job taking what they’ve learned as executive producers on Arrow and put it into Flash. Excuse the obvious pun, but they really hit the ground running – there hasn’t been much of a learning curve and that has allowed the show to be very fun and more lighthearted than its dark Arrow counterpart. That doesn’t mean the show isn’t without some minor issues, but for the most part, it’s been doing an incredibly good job.
  • JANE THE VIRGIN [Full Season Pick-Up]: I was a little skeptical about the show at first, mainly due to the fact that I wasn’t sure what to expect. I quickly fell in love with the show after watching the pilot though; it was just so sure of itself from the get-go and knew what it was doing. Elements like the Telenovela speaker voice-over that you think wouldn’t work, somehow does. Anchored by Gina Rodriguez’ performance as our titular Jane, the show is just bursting with charm, humour, and heart.

FOX

Gotham

  • GOTHAM [Full Season Pick-Up]: This was one of the high profile shows of the new season, looking at the city of Gotham before there ever was a Batman; it was the “Batman show without Batman,” a label that was a little unfairly thrust upon the show. It’s a prequel series that follows Detective Jim Gordon return to Gotham, as the city itself is slowly crumbling from the crime and immorality. Yes, the underlying story is how a young Bruce Wayne became the Batman we know, but that’s not the main focus. Instead we get a serialized procedural – case of the weeks tied into the bigger story of a mob war for control of the city. It has been a slow build (as expected from a new series) but it’s been very solid. My only concern is that the show is getting a full 22-episode season, which if I remember correctly, wasn’t the plan. Initially, it was supposed to be like Sleepy Hollow and get an (at most) 18 episodes; stretching the episode count runs the risk of them adding filler episodes that don’t do much for the plot.
  • RED BAND SOCIETY: Some called it Glee meets The Breakfast Club, or Glee without the singing and set at a hospital. At the outset, it’s easy to make the Glee comparison (that is, first half of season 1 Glee) – these “outcasts” come together, in support of one another. I enjoy the show, but the first few episodes were obviously a process of learning to balance the teenage angst with the emotions involved with it being about kids in a hospital. While I disagree with some media outlets suggesting the show change focus to the doctors and nurses (led by the incredible Octavia Spencer, as well as Dave Annable), that would just make the show seem like Grey’s Anatomy-lite. It’s a tricky situation because realistically, not all the kids can “make it” and get a happy ending, but assuming the network gives it a chance, I really do think the writers can strike the right balance of teen and medical drama.
  • GRACEPOINT: I actually never watched Broadchurch, the UK series in which Gracepoint is based on, so it’s not like I was avoiding it and its similarities (as far as I’ve heard). I just slowly came to the realization that straight up murder mysteries don’t work for me; I need something else to hook me in (like the dual narratives of Showtime’s The Affair). The show was always touted as a limited series, so in the case of ratings, it will only play a factor in whether the show sees a second season, not a back nine.
  • MULANEY: I barely got through the first episode, and I don’t remember laughing at it once. There may have been a chuckle, but that was it. Chances of it surviving are slim.
  • UTOPIA [Cancelled]: FOX’s social experiment of tasking a bunch of strangers to form their own society, and live there for a year – what could go wrong? Well, no one cared. It was meant to be on air for 2 nights a week, which then got cut to just one night (on Fridays), and then straight cancelled. Can’t blame FOX for trying something a little different but this sounded like a terrible idea from the beginning.

NBC

Marry Me - Season Pilot

  • MARRY ME: I LOVED Happy Endings, and will never get over the fact that it got cancelled. That being said, I’m pretty happy that David Caspe has created this new show, loosely based on his relationship with series star Casey Wilson. Wilson and Ken Marino are the central couple, but like Happy Endings, the show is more than just about the couple – it’s also about their relationship with their friends. Pretty much if you were a fan of Happy Endings, the witty jokes, pop culture references, physical comedy – it’s all there.
  • THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA [Full Season Pick-Up]: I like Debra Messing and the show has Greg Berlanti (who somehow has the time to do ALL these projects, making everyone else look bad) as one of its executive producers, but something about it just didn’t appeal to me. I think the way the network sold the show to audiences – “She’s a mom AND a cop?! Whhhaaattt?” – just did not work for me.
  • A TO Z [Cancelled]: Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman starred in this cute little rom-com series that was to show their relationship from “a to z”/beginning to end. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see their relationship fully play out since NBC has decided to not give it a back nine, essentially cancelling it. I realize “cute” is a word I’m using a little too often in talking about a bunch of the shows, but sometimes that’s what you need. This show certainly put a smile on my face every episode, so I’m a little bummed that it won’t continue beyond the 13 episodes.
  • BAD JUDGE [Cancelled]: Kate Walsh plays a tough judge, who doesn’t have the rest of her life together. The ads did not do anything to make it seem anything less than stupid, so I didn’t even bother checking it out.
  • CONSTANTINE: It’s our third new DC show of the season, but this one got a bit of a later start than the rest. I’m enjoying thus far and it does have more of a supernatural feel to it than the dark grittiness of Gotham or the light superhero fun of Flash. But yeah, I’m liking it and it definitely makes for a fun creepy night of Friday TV paired with Grimm.

What about some of the returning shows?

  • Agents of SHIELD has been on a roll in its second season. The events that occurred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was definitely a game-changer for the series, and at least for those who stuck around, it sort of made getting through the first half of season 1 worth it. It’s been nice to see them broadening the show’s scope and actually incorporating characters from the comics (ex. the addition of Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird). Knowing what we know now about the MCU slate for the next 6 years, one can’t help but wonder how/if the show will play an instrumental role in setting things up for the movies.
  • Sleepy Hollow has continued to impress in its second season, despite ratings being less than last season. Some media outlets are saying that some things need to be “fixed” with the show, for which I disagree because that means there’s something that’s broken within the show. There are some aspects that could be worked on (let’s see Katrina show off her powerful witchery, get Irving out of the psych ward, and use Jenny more!), but take it week-by-week and it’s still the fun crazy show we know and love.
  • I’ve quite enjoyed the integration of Frozen into Once Upon A Time. I am however getting very annoyed by their constant use of the “Magic comes with a price” line, and the theme for this season (family and acceptance) is being layed on very thick.
  • Can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m kinda getting bored with Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. Still funny, but feeling very “same old, same old”
  • It’s been kind of hard to remember that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has moved to Sundays; I’m so used to Sunday nights of FOX to be strictly animation. That being said, there’s no sophomore slump here. Andre Braugher and his deadpan delivery is still the highlight of a very funny show.
  • Still on the top of its game? Arrow.
  • I haven’t watched Dancing With the Stars in full, live on TV for quite some time now, but I do still catch up with the performances afterwards. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched so much dance, but I’m not feeling it. Like some of the dances that are getting 10s, I’m like “Really? I wasn’t feeling it. I want MORE.” I think at this point, I just want to see professional dancing ALL THE TIME. And I really need them to get rid of contemporary and jazz (I will not stop complaining about this until it happens).
  • With a packed Monday, The Voice has been relegated to an afterthought – meaning like DWTS, I just watch the performances afterwards. I still love the show, but I can’t commit to the full two hours, when I have other things to watch. Though I do LOVE the addition of Pharrell as a coach.

So that’s my Fall TV check-in. What new shows did you check out this season? Any new favourites? Disappointments? Let me know!

Objectivity and Fandom: When Being a Fan Means Being a Critic

Consider this: You’re a fan of a certain show/band/actor/whatever, you will support them wholeheartedly, try to convince others of their awesomeness, and along the way because of your fervent fandom, you become blind to their faults and refuse to consider their flaws. Ever have that happened, to any degree? See, I’ve always considered myself a different type of fan; I mean, as a fan of MANY things, I don’t go stereotypical crazy fangirl. I’ll get excited but it wouldn’t be like “OH MY GOD! *flailing*” Even when it’s something that I’m a HUGE fan of, it never gets to the point where I’m blind to their faults and imperfections – I pride myself on still being objective. Take for example, Justin Timberlake. I love JT, love his music – there are some songs I love more than others, but for the most part, they’re all good to me. His movie career, on the other hand? Well let’s just say there’s been a lot of more misses than hits.

I ask and preface all this because I’ve had a weird feeling lately. I’ve had a few conversations lately about Maroon 5, plus my ongoing internal dialogue every time I listen to the new album, and every time a different thought/observation comes up. I’ve already given my thoughts on V with my review and I had said that as a whole, it’s a solid pop album. I was talking to a friend, who is a Maroon 5 fan, and she reiterated that she’s not a fan of the new music, which is something I completely understand. Again, I replied by saying that, “It’s nowhere near as good as Songs About Jane or Hands All Over, but it’s a solid pop album.” For some reason, that discussion about V, and then later on about music in general, lingered in my mind. On the one hand, I believe I’m still being objective by saying that V isn’t as good as M5’s old material. On the other hand, I found myself defending the album, still giving it some sort of praise. I mean, generally speaking, I do like the pop-ier side of music – it’s what I grew up on – but I also don’t like the majority of what is on the radio these days; a lot of it is just blah. Point of the matter is, I started to question my ability to be objective (or in other words, my sociology/over-analytical brain started kicking in). By calling it a solid pop album, was I just finding a reason to like it because I’m a big Maroon 5 fan and don’t like the idea of making myself seem like a bad fan if I don’t like the album? Have I already grown accustomed to this new Maroon 5 sound, that at the end of the day I’m essentially now grading them on a curve? Have I been unfair to compare them to their previous work, as opposed to treating each album as a separate entity in the general music landscape? Am I just being too harsh? Am I completely over-thinking things? (Probably, on the last question.)

The stage set-up for Maroon 5's Overexposed tour in 2013. They got pretty fancy with the walk-out bridge.

The stage set-up for Maroon 5’s Overexposed tour in 2013. They got pretty fancy with the walk-out bridge.

The other day while watching the season premiere of The Voice, my brother-in-law asked me about the new M5 album and again, I answered that it was pretty good, much better than their last album. To which he goes, “Yeah? I thought the last album was pretty good” (For the record, he doesn’t really listen to music out of his own volition. It’s pretty much what’s on the radio and then the off-time of whatever my sister’s listening to). Anyways, the conversation led to us talking about the popularity issue. Thanks to Adam being on The Voice, Maroon 5 is way more popular and mainstream than they were previously. And my bro-in-law brought up the point that like a lot of things in entertainment (games, movies, TV shows), once something becomes too popular and they start trying to cater more to the newer fans, but still attempting to appease the old fans, it’s just not the same as it used to be. Which obviously got my brain turning: Have Maroon 5 REALLY gotten too popular for their own good? Not that I hadn’t realized this to some extent already when I bought tickets for their upcoming tour (nearly $150 per ticket, fees included, for lower level tickets?! Really guys? I remember when it used to be HALF that!), but to have it stated in that way just clicked in my head. The guys themselves have said as much that music is really a producers’ game right now, which is more or less why we’ve been getting such pop-ish music from them. All of a sudden, everything made sense; they are catering SO MUCH to mainstream radio that I sometimes don’t even know if I’m listening to the M5 I fell in love with. The one day I went from listening to V in my car to Songs About Jane at the office, and it was such a stark difference between what they used to be and what they are now, that it was almost unsettling.

Maroon 5 kept it fairly simple for their 2007 tour, in support of their second album It Won't Be Soon Before Long

Maroon 5 kept it fairly simple for their 2007 tour, in support of their second album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long

Moving away from Maroon 5, let’s talk about TV. A self-described TV addict, I’ve come to be picky about what shows I watch and spend my time on. Long-running shows are bound to disappoint at some point in time; let’s be real, there’s just no possible way for the staff writers to always keep things new, fresh and deliver in the way that we want as fans. I liken it to a form of Stockholm syndrome – they may think it’s a good idea in the writers’ room but it’s likely that a lot of the writers on staff have been there a long time and there’s no fresh blood or a different set of eyes to be critical. Then there’s the case of new shows. A lot has to be put into place to get a show on the air and to just work so viewers will tune in: cast chemistry, a solid hook, building on that hook with some smart writing whether it be for laughs or dramatic effect. It’s in my belief that almost all new shows deserve a chance because they may surprise you and there’s probably something or someone there that is drawing you in to begin with.

Stalker is a new show by Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek, The Vampire Diaries, The Following) that premiered Wednesday night and follows the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit as they deal with various stalking cases. It’s a CBS show, so naturally it’s a procedural, case-of-the-week type show, and it follows the similarly dark/twisted Criminal Minds on the schedule. The majority of TV critics have been pretty much saying “avoid this show like the plague” because it overdoes the violence and how it treats the women in this show is appalling. My comeback line every time I read something that trashes the show? “But, Maggie Q!” Yup, Maggie Q is already back on TV after Nikita, and because of how much I LOVED Nikita, I am going to be watching this show for Maggie, against my better judgment. I don’t typically like procedurals but, Maggie! I once was a fan of The Following, which is more of a serialized show but got similar flack for its use of violence when it premiered, until it got ridiculous, but again, because of Maggie, I’m hoping for something decent. And you know what? It was okay. Is it the best show in the world? No. It went along doing its CBS procedural thing with a Kevin Williamson twist. I can understand why so many critics absolutely hated it, but if you look past the extreme violence (obviously a ploy meant to sell the show in the first place and attempt to hook viewers in), it was alright. The best thing the show has going for it is that there’s an attempt to flesh out the main characters of Beth Davis (Maggie Q) and Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) and give them some more personality and depth than your average TV cop. Plus, there’s something interesting about it from a sociological standpoint. I’m probably giving the show more depth than I should be, in my attempt to give reason for watching it, but MAGGIE FREAKIN’ Q you guys!

Pilot

I read an article recently, which was more or less an essay, written by Talib Kweli defending Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill is such a great artist, and ever since the release of the incredible The Miseducation of…, people have been clamoring for more. She hasn’t put an album since then, and hasn’t done very many shows either; there were a couple of times when she showed up extremely late for a show and people were outraged. In the piece, Talib Kweli talks about the relationship between artists and fans, and how it can be misconstrued. At the end of the day, artists have a responsibility to themselves, to do what they want; fans are not owed anything by the artists to do what they want as fans. I really suggest reading the piece because it’s so thoughtful and gives you a different understanding of what it means to be a fan. Reading this piece as I’m going through these thoughts and feelings, it just really brought up the things I’ve been wanting to say. Tying it back to Maroon 5, as a fan of theirs I want them to just do what’s right for them; I don’t want to see them lose who they are as artists, as a band because of this commercial success they’ve been getting.

So what’s the moral of the story/analysis/rant? Sometimes, being a fan means being a critic. You can be supportive of everything your favourites do, but remember you don’t have to like everything. You’re allowed to be objective, have opinions, and make it known. Not liking something by your favourites, doesn’t make you a bad fan – people change, tastes change, maybe the output really does suck and you’re just speaking the hard truth or it’s just not your cup of tea anymore. IT’S OKAY! There’s no need to blindly love something out of habit or just because. We’re all fans of something and with the help of social media we can revel in the successes of our favourites and dish out constructive criticism – let our voices be heard. I’m not saying our faves need to be meeting the wants and needs of all their fans out there, that would just get out of hand very quickly. Instead I say, be critical of your favourites and recognize that they’re not going to live up to all you expect from them. They are human beings too, and are allowed to do what they may feel is right for them at any given time, experiment with their music or acting roles. If you like it, great; if you don’t, whatever.

Sorry if this whole thing came out a little convoluted, I just needed to get all these thoughts in my brain out. But let’s turn things over to you: have you ever had a similar situation, wherein the definition of being a fan gets put into question? Is there such a thing as being a “bad fan”? What’s typically the “breaking point” to when you’re no longer a fan of something?

SDCC Panel Wishlist

With all the shows getting renewed or picked-up by the network over the past couple weeks, it immediately got me thinking – what could show up at SDCC in July? I’m not gonna lie, my interest in SDCC is for all the movie and TV stuff because that’s what I geek out about. (I know, I’m part of the problem that is causing SDCC to get CRAZY popular.) With two months to go until the big Con, it’s as good a time as any to have some fun speculating what shows (old and new) the studios might bring and wishing for what shows will make their way to San Diego.

NEW SHOWS

STALKER (WB): I feel like it’s not a typical show that would appear at Comic-Con but Warner Bros. has brought another similar Kevin Williamson show, The Following, two years in a row, so it’s always a possibility. Not going to lie, I want them to bring this show just for another chance to see Maggie Q, though she’ll probably be there anyways for Insurgent, the next movie in the Divergent series.

SALEM (FOX 21): Salem, WGN America’s first foray into original scripted programming, has been a hit. Fox 21, which also produces Sons of Anarchy, would be smart to bring the show to SDCC. It’s already been renewed for a second season, plus it has already appeared at sister-con Wondercon in Anaheim, so I think it’s a no-brainer. Again, I’m kinda of being entirely selfish because I want to see Shane West and Seth Gabel.

12 MONKEYS (Universal Cable/Atlas Entertainment): This is a new show that will air on SyFy next year, so I’m not entirely sure of its chances of making an appearance here. Granted, a pilot’s already been shot, so it’s possible that SyFy will give this a promotional push at SDCC like it did for Helix last year. On the other hand, SyFy might instead bring their other shows, Dominion (which premieres in June) or Ascension (which premieres in November).

GOTHAM (WB): There is absolutely no doubt that Warner Bros. will bring this show to SDCC. It is the most anticipated show of the fall season, so I’m guessing Ballroom 20 and complete excitement over it similar to SHIELD last year.

THE FLASH (WB): Another show that will without a doubt make an appearance.

AGENT CARTER (Marvel): Seeing as how a pilot hasn’t been shot yet and recent news that it will only run for eight episodes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they pair Agent Carter with SHIELD for a Marvel TV panel.

CONSTANTINE (WB): The third of four DC Comics getting the TV treatment next season will probably get a panel at SDCC as well. And come on, like the other comic inspired new shows, it’s totally playing right into the SDCC crowd.

RETURNING SHOWS

ARROW: Following a FANTASTIC season 2, obviously the show’s gonna get another panel. I was there at last year’s panel and then saw Stephen Amell again at FanExpo in Toronto – I just can’t get enough of this cast.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: There had to have been some sort of scheduling conflict for me to have missed last year’s panel and I know people didn’t know what to expect from it. But now, with it being one of the biggest successes of the past season, it’s definitely going to move up the ranks in terms of panel size.

ORPHAN BLACK: Again, it’s another obvious choice to come back. I’ve told this story before but I can’t get over it – I vaguely knew about OB before last year’s Con, didn’t get a chance to watch it yet. My cousin had already seen it, went to their panel, tried to get wristbands for the autograph signing. When she couldn’t get the wristbands, we showed up at the signing, standing away from it and I was taking pictures of the cast for her. Little did I know that a week later when I sat down to finally watch it, I was gonna become obsessed with these people that I was taking pictures of. This year, I join my cousin in the OB obsession.

RESURRECTION: It’s a really interesting show that premiered on ABC in March and it deals with how a town reacts/deals with the return of people who previously died. As the short season went on, a lot of questions were asked and we were only given a few answers. I think it’d be cool if they had a panel and we could try to pry some answers out of the producers/writers.

I feel like those are the shows I REALLY want to see at SDCC this year. Of course, there are a few others that I wouldn’t mind seeing but aren’t necessarily at the top of my list. So with two months to go, what do you guys hope to see at Comic-Con? Which of the recently announced new shows do you think will make their debut in San Diego? Let me know in the comments!

 

Upfronts 2014: CBS Releases Schedule for Next Season

Full disclosure: I haven’t been much of a CBS person, except for a few shows (The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, The Amazing Race, the now-finished How I Met Your Mother). I know there are a few shows on the network that I should be watching (The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Elementary), but CBS just screams “PROCEDURAL” whenever I think about it, so it takes a lot for me to watch something on the network – be it awesome actors, a VERY good hook, and/or something that proves it’s not just the same old cop stuff. That being said, the network has picked up 8 new shows that will somehow fit into the networks already packed schedule.

STALKER [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Kevin Williamson is bringing another psychological thriller to TV, with this show about two detectives who investigate stalking cases for the Threat Management Unit of the LAPD. Oh, and the detectives are played by Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q. I repeat, MAGGIE Q IS ON TV AGAIN! If anyone can get me to watch CBS, it’s Maggie.

Pilot

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9]: Another NCIS spin-off. Except set in New Orleans. Kind of self-explanatory? Not interested. Sorry.

CSI: CYBER [Drama – Sundays @ 10]: The pilot for this show was planted into an episode of CSI earlier this year, which revolves around Patricia Arquette’s special agent Avery Ryan who heads up the cyber crime unit of the FBI. Another CSI spin-off (zzzz….)

SCORPION [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: An eccentric genius and his ragtag team of other super geniuses work together to defend the world against complex and unexpected threats. Robert Patrick, Katharine McPhee, and Eddie Kaye Thomas star. Many journos out there are calling this the dramatic version of The Big Bang Theory, which is to say not many are taking this seriously with McPhee’s presence in the show (I know, who says a woman can’t be beautiful AND smart? Sexist much?). Until I see more footage out of this, to get a sense of what they’re trying to do (Is it going to super serious? Or will they allow themselves to have some fun with it?), I’ll reserve my judgement.

PILOT

MADAM SECRETARY [Drama – Sundays @ 8]: Tea Leoni is the Secretary of State, who must balance her complex family life with the international diplomacy and office politics her job entails. Because that’s what it always is – a female has to find a way to balance family and work, and kick-ass doing so. I appreciate there being more female roles beyond playing the significant other, but why are there so many shows now where the focus is on how the woman balances her life between family and her job as [insert occupation here]?

THE MCCARTHYS [Comedy – Thursdays @ 9:30, after football is over]: The McCarthy’s are a loud, sports-crazed Irish-Catholic Boston family, who all live under the same roof. Laurie Metcalf, Joey McIntyre, Tyler Ritter and Kelen Coleman star. Family dynamics mixed in with sports…we’re gonna be in for a lot of yelling dialogue aren’t we?

PILOT

THE ODD COUPLE [Comedy – TBA]: Matthew Perry stars in this updated version of the classic Broadway play as bachelor Oscar, while Thomas Lennon plays Felix. So it’s the older Joey and Chandler, if Chandler hadn’t married Monica? Kidding! (Sorta.) I’d really like to see Matthew Perry get a win at some point, seeing as how both of his previous shows (Mr. Sunshine, Go On) didn’t see past the first season. We’ll have to wait and see.

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BATTLE CREEK [Drama – TBA]: All I know about this show is that it’s by Vince Gilligan (who created Breaking Bad) and stars Dean Winters and Josh Duhamel as two detectives in the city of Battle Creek, Michigan. That’s it. Not really giving me much here.

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Notables/Thoughts:

  • The Big Bang Theory will anchor Monday nights at the start of the season. Once CBS’ run of Thursday Night Football is over, TBBT will return to its Thursday slot. The Millers, Two and a Half Men (which has been announced to be its final season), and Elementary will return to their timeslots after football as well.
  • Once TBBT returns to Thursdays, 2 Broke Girls will continue heading the Monday @ 8 slot.
  • NCIS: LA moves to Mondays @ 10. Honestly, I was almost expecting CBS to do a full night of NCIS shows, but I guess even they know their limits.
  • The Amazing Race moves to Fridays @ 8, which works for me! One less thing to watch on an already packed Sunday, and something to watch Friday nights. Perfect.
  • CSI moves to Sundays @ 10, which will at some point turn over to CSI: Cyber.
  • How I Met Your Dad was not picked up, despite previous reports. Apparently, the network and the producers wanted different things creatively for the show, so it just didn’t work out. Frankly, call me bitter about how HIMYM ultimately ended, but it’s for the best. I know HIMYD was going to be a completely different entity from HIMYM, but it’s still a spin-off, and I just didn’t want to see them mess it up.

So there you have it, CBS with more of the same and minor tweaks. Relatively painless. For more on the new shows and a complete look at the schedule, check out Entertainment Weekly.

Tomorrow, The CW unveils its schedule.