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October 9, 2015

TV Week gives a peek at CBS's new shows

by Allison Waldman, posted May 15th 2008 2:02PM
logoYesterday, CBS presented their new schedule for 2008-09. If you'd like to see a sample of the new shows coming to CBS next year, click over to TV Week. There are clips from Eleventh Hour, The Ex-List, Harper's Island, Project Gary, The Mentalist and Worst Week. I've given them a once-over (actually, I watched them more than once) and here's my impressions. That means if you want to watch them fresh without my observations mucking up yours, take a look at them first before reading on.

Eleventh Hour: This looks good. Rufus Sewell is attractive and the situation is very X-Files-ish, about cloning, which piqued my curiosity. It also has an expensive look, good cinematography. Yes, that's superficial of me to say (also about how cute Rufus is), but it matters. This show is getting the royal treatment by CBS; great time period (after CSI, Thursday at 10 o'clock). I'm betting we'll be watching it for a full season at least.

The Ex-List: You can tell this has the smart crackle of a show like Veronica Mars, probably because Diane Ruggiero wrote the script. On first glance, this looks very promising -- and funny. It reminded me of Men in Trees -- a female-centric, romantic comedy with a splash of drama (also the bicycle!) -- and we know that ABC didn't give MIT much of a chance. Here's hoping CBS has more patience. Sandwiching this between Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs on Friday nights may be an odd fit, but I'm thinking that CBS has figured a female demographic loyal to Ghost will stick around for Ex-List. We'll see.

Harper's Island: Okay, call me crazy, but the first thought I had was Twin Peaks. Creepy murder, woodsy location, scary music. I also saw a flash of actor Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Sleepless in Seattle) -- how come CBS isn't promoting that he's in this! He's a star, you know, unless he's the first one killed. So, will I give Harper's Island a chance; maybe one viewing. If I don't get hooked, I won't be back for more.

Project Gary: Oh, dear. This is the sitcom that's getting good buzz? What does that say about the others that weren't picked up, like Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal and Fred Savage in Single White Millionaire? True, this is just a minute of Jay Mohr and the kid, but it looked so sitcom typical, like I've seen it many, many, many times before. The laugh track sounded like the same guffaws and chuckles from The Facts of Life. Did I say I've seen this before? Family sitcoms have a place, but this needs a shot of vinegar or something to spice it up. It looked very retro to me. They should watch a little of Everybody Hates Chris.

The Mentalist: Well, it's definitely not another PSYCH, like someone commented based on the title. Simon Baker is good; a much more believable Simon Baker character than the cold-blooded killer on Smith. That was too much of a reach. Here, he seems like a highly intelligent guy, slightly abrasive. I loved the reference to Fangoria and the way he said of the detective leading the case, "He irks me. He's irksome." Very nice, snarky. This show will be worth a viewing or two. Procedural, yes, but since he's not a cop or a scientist, this may be more interesting. The other characters standing around watching, however, bugged me -- were they extras?

Worst Week: Outrageous, dare I say, wacky? That seems to be where they're going based on the clip. The real plus is the actors. I recognized every face and they're all very good. The situation would seem to be limited, though. How long can the in-laws be a roadblock to the engaged couple before they finally get married and the in-laws have to accept this schlub is their son-in-law?

[via PopCandy]

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I'm not sure "Eleventh Hour" (well-acted by Stewart and Jensen but far from perfect) really will benefit from being Jerry Bruckheimered-up, but I think it's chances for survival are reasonably high. The Jay Mohr sitcom was just painful to watch. The others look pretty decent, with "Harper's Island" the most interesting...but also the show I most expect to see fail. Serialized mysteries, with rare exception -- and I think "Lost" is the current long-running exception -- don't fare well on broadcast TV.

May 15 2008 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You have to be kidding me. Ex-List better than Moonlight?

The rest of them - I guess I'll be spending my time on other networks.

May 15 2008 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Eleventh Hour: Yes, Rufus Sewell is handsome and a pretty good actor, but Patrick Stewart and Ashley Jensen were excellent in the original Brit version. Also, looks like at least this cloning case is a repeat of one of the original episodes.

Project Gary: Snore. I like Jay Mohr, but it seems that like most new sitcoms, the humor has been dumbed down and made predictable and safe.

The Mentalist: I thought the scene played as very stilted and awkward. Plus, I find Robin Tunney very annoying.

May 15 2008 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow! I watched all the clips and I think your in upside-down world. The only one that actually looks interesting(and not a total retread of something already on that network) is the one you have the least amount of confidence in.

No wonder good shows get cancelled.

Okay, okay...Project Gary looks lame. I'll give you that one.

May 15 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They will probably all get about 10 million Nielsen viewers then they will cancel them all because they didn't do better than Idol. Then there will be 5 or 6 groups of people sending crap to cbs trying to save their shows. I just won't watch any of them and save myself some time and trouble. I ain't wasting any more of my time on new shows that are just gonna get cancelled before their 2nd season, especially on cbs!

May 15 2008 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope the best for Rufus Sewell's Eleventh Hour. I'll give it a shot. He's a good actor, not too hard on the eyes I must say. . .

May 15 2008 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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