As CBS will tell you themselves, quite often and with a bit of smugness, they are “America’s Most Watched Network”. I struggle to see how that is possible given that all their shows seem to be the same – either a predictable crime procedural or a predictable sitcom – but apparently people like predictability because CBS sits on top of ratings and has done so for years. They have a lot of pilots in production, a lot is typical CBS fare (I wonder if Chuck Lorre has naked pictures of Les Moonves somewhere, or he’s just made a deal with the devil that somehow the free world will love his crappy shows) but there are a few that look to be somewhat promising.
I’m choosing to believe that this one will be better than the typical crime procedural. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I am. After NBC decided not to go forward with a Dwight centered spin-off of The Office, Rainn Wilson has found himself on CBS playing an “overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior.”
Based on a Swedish series of crime novels,THR has said that the show would take place in Portland which will be interesting to see if they make the city a character itself. Hart Hanson, creator of Bones, is behind this project which is promising. No matter how crappy Bones has become, it started off quite strong and was also based on a series of novels so he’s in familiar territory. Not only that but any show that has Dennis Haysbert is one I will watch.
[tab title=”Super Clyde & Unnamed project”]
If you aren’t watching Raising Hope on Fox, well then you need to remedy that, immediately. Greg Garcia’s show about a man who finds himself a single dad raising his daughter while living with his parents is easily one of my favorites. Add in My Name is Earl and Yes, Dear and it’s safe to say I’m a Greg Garcia fan. So you can only imagine my excitement when I saw he was developing not one, but two pilots this year. They both have potential and some pretty big names attached.
The premise of the unnamed project looks to have similar plot points as Garcia’s Raising Hope given that it’s a grown man living with his parents. This time, however, it’s Margo Martindale (who is perhaps one of the greatest character actresses ever) moving in with her recently divorced son, Will Arnett while her husband, Beau Bridges, moves in with their daughter Mary Elizabeth Ellis who you probably know as the Waitress from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Add in Michael Rapaport and this is a great looking cast.
One has to imagine that Will Arnett is primed to have a commercially successful show. We all know that Arrested Development is a genius show, but his 2010 sitcom, Running Wilde, was also really good but sadly was canceled after one season. Up All Night had potential but has crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. Is this Will Arnett’s time? We’ll have to wait and see.
If Super Clyde doesn’t get picked up and CBS instead opts for another mindless crappy formulaic sitcom, I might cry. I have a feeling I’ll be joined by quite a few Anglophiles and Potterheads.
Ron Weasley is possibly coming to TV and I couldn’t be happier. Rupert Grint stars in the title role of Garcia’s Super Clyde playing the fast-food worker who decides to become a superhero. Everything in that sentence sounds awesome. If I needed more reason to want this show to make it to air, I’d find it in Stephen Fry. Yes, Stephen Fry. That Stephen Fry.
This show is a fangirl’s dream come true!
[/tab][tab title=”Second Sight”]
Speaking of My Name is Earl and all things Britain, Jason Lee is returning to network TV in a remake of the British crime drama, Second Sight. I’ll admit that I really didn’t think anything of this pilot until I saw the logline.
[quote]Based on the British crime drama, the gothic psychological thriller follows a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes him to hallucinate about subjects in his subconscious. He soon learns that catching killers depends as much on insight as eyesight.[/quote]
I have not seen any of the British version so I can’t attest to how successful this premise is, but it certainly sounds different and promising. Perhaps a bit of Medium mixed with Ghost Whisperer with a bit of Memphis Beat added in for good measure. Set in New Orleans, much like Backstrom I imagine the city will be a star as well.
Michael Cuesta is behind Second Sight and if his work on the re-imagining of the Israeli show Hatufim (Cuesta is an executive producer of Homeland) is any indication, the production value of Second Sight should be rather high. He’s also worked on this little show called Dexter that has a few fans so he’s no stranger to big shows.
[tab title=”The Surgeon General”]
Lie to Me, Awake, Commander-in-Chief, Lord of the Rings, Ringer
That’s just some of the shows and movies people involved both in front of and behind the camera of The Surgeon General have on their resumes. Given how much I like each of those shows and movies, I imagine that my knowledge of the Surgeon General is going to go beyond this episode of West Wing.
We have to hand it to Jason Issacs who resisted the urge to burn NBC to the ground after his show Awake was canceled. I don’t think anyone would have blamed him as it was as close to a crime as you can get without actually committing a crime. Now he’s moved on over to CBS and is in the lead role as the top doctor in the country, the Surgeon General. His chief of staff is being played by one of my favorites, Kathryn Morris. She’s done a few things here or there but has mostly been unheard of since her show Cold Case went off the air in 2010.
Both Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings obviously) and Mike Colter (Ringer) are listed as doctors but their roles aren’t any more specified than that.
From Samuel Baum, who created Lie to Me, The Surgeon General looks to be like most other political shows but instead of the President, it’s the Surgeon General. Will this be enough to make it seem like a fresh and unique show? Well Rod Lurie is directing that pilot and he did a pretty nice job making a show about the President seem new when he was an executive producer of the canceled before it’s time, Commander in Chief, so chances are good.
[tab title=”The Crazy Ones”]
BUFFY IS BACK!!!!!
Okay, well sort of. Sarah Michelle Gellar is back at least. After spending a year over at CW with Ringer (a show people should have stuck with as it got much better as it went on), Gellar is teaming up with a little known actor/comedian named Robin Williams for a workplace comedy about a father/daughter run ad agency.
If Gellar and Williams weren’t enough to pique your interest (seriously?) then some of the other cast will. Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) will play the agency’s art director and James Wolk (Political Animals) has signed on as a copywriter.
Of course having big on-screen names is great, but having TV royalty behind the scenes is even greater. David E. Kelley might not have hit gold with Harry’s Law but one has to imagine that Crazy Ones will find an audience pretty quickly, even if they are people who are just looking to finally have something to fill that Just Shoot Me! void in their lives.
So there we go! A somewhat varied group of prospects that hopefully will see the light of day. If for no other reason than perhaps we can see something else besides Big Bang Theory and NCIS promos on the network. That would be a refreshing change.