Saturday, September 1, 2012

CBS takes a chance with ambitious new shows

The name of the game is stability as far as CBS is concerned.

In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s why the network only ordered four new shows to their fall slate. They don’t really need any new shows because their older shows are still performing – and performing well.

I think my biggest complaint about CBS’ lineup is that it is made up primarily of procedurals.

I’m thankful that CBS decided to step outside the box with their new shows – at least two of them – and at least try to broaden their horizons.

Elementary – A contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Lieu and set in New York. It has intriguing written all over it – and the trailers have been mildly interesting – to say the least.

Why it will work: This is high concept – but it looks to be so in a way that’s engaging. Plus, Miller and Lieu are both solid performers. It’s just crazy enough to be a hit.

Why it will fail: Some people may be turned off by the changes made with the source material – including that Watson is a woman.

‘Elementary’ debuts at 10 p.m. Sept. 27.

Vegas – This period piece -- 1960s to be exact --  is inspired by true events and stars Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis in the story of a sheriff’s battle with a powerful mobster.

Why it will work: Quaid and Chiklis are both powerful performers that can transcend even bad material. This looks to be well written and character driven – instead of plot driven.

Why it will fail: Period pieces can be really hit or miss. Just because ‘Mad Men’ works, that doesn’t mean this will. It may be too ambitious.

‘Vegas’ debuts at 10 p.m. Sept. 25.

Made in Jersey – This is your standard first-year lawyer going to a big law-firm show starring Janet Montgomery. I'm sure she'll have big dreams, big ambitions and strong ideals -- and all of that will be challenged as she realizes the real world isn't like her fantasies.

Why this will work: It’s vanilla – and it really doesn’t look like it will offend anyone.

Why this will fail: It also doesn’t look like it will inspire anyone. It just looks blah.

‘Made in Jersey’ debuts at 9 p.m. Sept. 28.

Partners – This is a comedy about two long-time friends and business partners and their significant others. It stars David Krumholtz, Sophia Bush and Michael Urie.

Why it will work: CBS has made a name for itself in recent years by launching solid sitcoms.

Why it will fail: CBS has also made a name for itself by holding on to shows (How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men) even though they’re past their prime. It’s not infallible. Plus, believing that Bush would fall for Krumholtz may be outside my wheelhouse.

‘Partners’ debuts at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.

What do you think? Are you interested in CBS’ new lineup?


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