CBS has just dropped the gauntlet on some of their new shows coming out this year, and we have to say from the get-go that this is not your grandpa’s CBS. The older-skewing network has developed a very strong niche when it comes to creating series that actually appeal to wide audiences of people across America, and this schedule features mostly more of the same.
We’re going to do something a tad different in talking about these shows, mostly because we have some strong opinions on all of them: We’re ranking them in order of our general excitement level, from “we must watch this now!” to “we’ll forget this is even on come October.”
1. “The Crazy Ones” – It’s Robin Williams in a modern-day version of “Mad Men,” minus all of the brooding and plus Sarah Michelle Gellar. It’s Buffy and Mork in the same room. You’re welcome, America.
2. “We Are Men” – This show has been in development forever, but we dig the cast (Jerry O’Connell, Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub), and we love the premise about a housing complex for recently-divorced men. There needs to be a great new comedy for guys out there given that “Guys with Kids” was terrible from the moment they announced the title, and this could be it.
3. “Intelligence” – One of two dramas ordered by CBS at the moment. It has “Lost” star Josh Holloway in his first TV role since owning the island as Sawyer, and it also has Meghan Ory … meaning that Red’s role on “Once Upon a Time” is about to be greatly reduced. The bad news? The story is basically a serious, less-nerdy version of “Chuck” and the reason we liked “Chuck” so much was because it was funny and nerdy.
4. “Mom” – It’s a Chuck Lorre comedy. That means that you will either love it, or claim that it is exactly what is wrong with America. At least Anna Faris is a huge comedic talent, but it’s hard to get excited about something that could be more of the same.
5. “Hostages” – We dig that Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, and Jerry Bruckheimer are all involved here in this story about family, politics, and conspiracies. The problem is that CBS has had about zero luck with any drama (minus “The Good Wife”) that is slightly serialized, and we just can’t see it doing well.
6. “The Millers” – We’ll start with the good: We love executive producer Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”), and we love Margo Martindale (now likely to see her role reduced on “The Americans”) and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. We just don’t have faith in a story about a man living with his parents, especially when that man is played by Will Arnett, who has failed to launch a high-rated series yet.
This has been a long day all around for prime-time. We’ve had massive cancellations, surprising renewals (we’re looking at you, “The Carrie Diaries”), and NBC deciding that “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” may be their only hopes. We may mock CBS often, but massive props for not ever straying, and keeping so much of your core audience happy.
With that being said, let’s close on a gripe: Why couldn’t we see another Garcia show in “Super Clyde” (starring Rupert Grint as a wannabe superhero) over something like “The Millers” that has been done 100 times?