Fall TV Preview: Will CBS’ ‘Limitless’ provide unlimited entertainment?

Limitless -Sure, “Supergirl” is understandably getting the bulk of the attention right now when it comes to the variety of pilot pickups at CBS. To a certain extent, we do understand that. However, we would be crazy here to think that “Limitless” should be ignored! Not only is this an adaptation of the 2011 film, but they’ve even got the movie’s star in Bradley Cooper on board as a guest star. It’s high-octane, a little bit of science fiction, and it could be some summer popcorn fun on TV from September until May.

Rather than trying to describe this series further ourselves, why not have the official logline from CBS do the trick? Take a look at that below:

“A drama based on the 2011 feature. The series follows Brian Finch as he discovers the power of the mysterious drug NZT, and is coerced into using his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI.”

What works – Obviously, having Cooper appear in the pilot (he’s also an executive producer) is a nice touch. However, let’s not create any sort of expectation here that he is going to be appear in every episode! If the ratings are great, maybe you get a couple more appearances during the season. He’s a busy man! That aside, this is an exciting, younger-skewing premise for CBS that shows at least that they are trying to combine their age-old strategy of making crime procedurals with doing something a little edgier. The trailer is action-packed and really solid. Also, having Jennifer Carpenter on board is a huge win.

One other thing worth noting here is that Marc Webb of “(500) Days of Summer,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and the pilot for the great but short-lived Fox series “Lone Star,” is also behind this pilot. That should give you a little hope.

What doesn’t – It’s still described as a show with “weekly cases.” Unless the writing is superb, this could become really tiresome very quickly. The tricky thing about shows with a sci-fi edge is that over time, that is so easy to take for granted. Also, you run the risk a la “Agents of SHIELD” or “Gotham” were casual viewers watch expecting a ton of Cooper, and then are surprised to realize that he’s not the show’s star. That honor belongs to Jake McDorman.

Final verdict – “Limitless” is the sort of show you have to watch once. Maybe it’ll be terrible and you never want to watch again, but even if it is hardly an original idea we’re thrilled that CBS is at least giving it a chance. It’s certainly better than a more generic cop show.

What’s your early takeaway on “Limitless”? Share below, and head over here to get some other entries in our Fall TV Preview series! Also, you can sign up now to get some other updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)


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