Fall Preview 2016: Was picking up ‘Pure Genius’ a genius move by CBS?

Pure Genius -

We get it: CBS really likes shows about super-smart people. First, we had “The Big Bang Theory.” Then, it was “Scorpion.” We’ve now seen what super-smart people look like on both comedies and action procedurals. Why now stick one in a hospital and call it a day?

This brings us to “Pure Genius,” another twist on the medical drama featuring a super-powered hospital that can do almost anything … including provide hope for the hopeless. Yet, is there any hope at all for this show? As we’re about to tell you in the latest chapter of our Fall Preview series, this is a show with some serious challenges.

Premiere Date and Timeslot Competition – Thursday, October 27 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. Thanks to football, you’ll be waiting for this one a while. In theory, its competition is manageable in “The Blacklist” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” However, at the same time CBS struggled mightily much of last year to find any show in this spot that would generate marginal ratings. “Elementary” was eventually moved to Sundays.

Logline – “[Pure Genius] follows a young Silicon Valley tech titan (Augustus Prew) who enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting edge, “new school” approach to medicine.”

Cast – Augustus Prew, Dermot Mulroney, Brenda Song, Reshma Shetty, Ward Horton, Aaron Jennings, and Odette Annable.

Trailer – The biggest problem is that it’s far too long, and gives away what could be potentially its big twist: Prew’s James Bell having a disease himself that could cause him to forget everything about who he is in a matter of years. He built this hospital with the front of helping others, but ideally, he just wants to help himself. One other petty issue is that we don’t know is “introducing” Prew, a gut who has been in the business for years and was on prominent shows like “The Borgias.” That just seems weird.

Overall Take – Prew is great in the trailer, and we love the cast. Shetty gives us serious “Royal Pains” nostalgia vibes, and Song and Annable have needed a consistent series for a while. Our concern here is mostly that the title is pretty terrible (they should’ve just kept “Bunker Hill”), it’s a weak timeslot, and this trailer to date just isn’t getting a lot of buzz or attention. There is some promise here, but the trailer drags and the show needs to be as innovative as its hospital to stand a chance.

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