The Upfronts 2012 – CBS

The last of the big four networks is CBS, who frankly have such a huge number of massively successful shows that it’s a wonder they find any space for new things.

What’s out
Good news for me – I don’t watch a single show that CBS cancelled! The only particularly notable series disappearing is CSI Miami, which took the hit as the first CSI cancelled due to dwindling ratings. Almost every freshman series got canned as CBS tries and fails to find the next great procedural – A Gifted Man was fine but I didn’t like it, Unforgettable writes its own puns and I never even got round to watching NYC 22. How to Be a Gentleman was sufficiently unfunny that it was canned after just two episodes.

What’s Back
While they may not be great at finding new things, CBS’s stable of procedurals is still well populated and massively successful. CSI and CSI:NY survive their middle sibling, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0 form a massively popular little family of their own, although frankly NCIS has maybe outlasted its welcome. With The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, and The Mentalist (in descending order of quality from brilliant to mediocre) it’s a wonder that there’s any space left on the schedules at all, but somehow they found a space for the somewhat ridiculous Person of Interest snuck in.

Oh, and there’s also the bundle of comedies – the astronomically successful Big Bang Theory, the increasingly irritating How I Met Your Mother, the new 2 Broke Grils, Two and a Half Men which survived the Charlie Sheen debacle and Mike and Molly which I’ve never seen, and .

What’s New
Elementary – Sherlock Holmes goes to New York and Watson has a sex change. Nothing against Jonny Lee Miller or Lucy Lu, but I have no expectations of this being anywhere near as good as the BBC’s Sherlock. It’ll just be on more often.

Made in Jersey – a girl from New Jersey joins a top flight New York law firm. Too obviously trying to ride on The Good Wife’s coat tails in my opinion, and it just didn’t have the spark.

Partners – two childhood friends are now business partners, one has a girlfriend, one has a boyfriend. I have a weird amount of goodwill towards this, I like Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) and David Krumholtz (Numbers) a lot and it’s created by the people that made Will & Grace. The trailer didn’t really make me laugh out loud, but I did smile indulgently at it.

Vegas – 1960s Las Vegas, the glitz, glamour and gangsters. The cast on this is astonishing (Dennis Quaid, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jason O’Mara, Michael Chiklis) and it looks beautifully shot but the trailer left me a bit cold, probably because I’m not really that into mob stuff (despite every network seemingly having one on offer this year) or cowboys.

The midseason shows don’t seem to have trailers available.
Friend Me – comedy about two guys who move to LA to work for Groupon. Genuinely, that’s what the press release says. That and it stars a bunch of people I haven’t heard of and will involve the pair video chatting with their friends back home in Indiana. Sounds awful.

Golden Boy – a uniform cop’s meteoric rise to police commissioner. Stars Theo James whose credits thus far include Underworld Awakening and the god awful Sky series Bedlam which doesn’t really fill one with confidence.

The Futon Critic
CBS Website
The Guardian


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