TV & Film Magazine
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New Series on TV: CBS

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This featured article is one of a series in which pilots each of the networks have ordered to series for the coming fall schedule are listed in detail. Skip to the bottom to find links to others and more information.

With two of the big four networks done, CBS comes next on Wednesday morning. Detailed information on the new shows can be found beforehand if you know where to look. This series seems to be decently popular, so if any readers have any gripes, suggestions, or extra information they'd like to share, you are more than welcome to email me.

CBS has a very light schedule of new fall shows this year, bringing just 1 comedy, 4 dramas, and 1 reality show to the air. ABC alone had nearly double this many all by themselves. I also question the developing trend moving away from sitcoms. As has been noted by people far wiser than I, a hit sitcom can last much longer than any other genre show and are far more profitable than any other as well.

This network though sits in a pretty good position, having split the past week in ratings with Fox, so they aren't in a position to have to take a lot of risks like NBC, nor do they have as much to lose as perhaps ABC. So let's see what they've got on store for us this fall.

Once again, this only offers a look inside new series, not those that have been renewed. As was previously the case, you can skip to a particular genre if you'd like (Sitcom, Drama, Reality) or take them one at a time.

  • The Big Bang Theory

    From: Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre

    Sitcoms don't generally need a detailed setup, just one that serves as fertile ground for making jokes. I don't know if this one delivers or not, it really depends a lot on the acting and writing. The plot for 3Rd Rock From The Sun sounded pretty stupid, but it was entertaining as hell.

    Big Bang plays two brilliant scientists against a woman...and that's about sums it up. Prady and Lorre have varying backgrounds in comedy and drama, including Two and a Half Men, Dharma & Greg, Cybill, and Roseanne. The experience is certainly there, and if they can put together a good cast and writing staff, this one just might stick.

    synopsis: A woman shows two brilliant physicists how little they know about life.

  • Cane

    From: Cynthia Cidre

    This drama comes from what seems to be a bit of a television neophyte. Her imdb record only shows a smattering of screenplays and freelance scripts, so I'm not certain how she got this gig. This of course doesn't mean she has no talent, only that it's very rare for a newcomer to be in a position to pitch a pilot, much less get one shot and then ordered to series.

    Jimmy Smits is on board both as an actor and an executive producer, which means in reality the shows weight is on his shoulders more than Cidre's. The plot revolves around two competing Latin families in the sugar and rum industries. Based on that, I'm not sure how this will play out. It may, in the end, be really good, but it isn't grabbing. Things that don't grab die -- fast.

    synopsis: A Latino family works together to operate a rum business.

  • Moonlight/Twilight

    From: Ron Koslow and Trevor Munson.

    Munson and Koslow bring us a fantasy/drama involving an investigator that's also a vampire. Koslow worked on Beauty and the Best for an unknown number of episodes as a writer, but has only been credited with two other projects in the past 20 years. Munson has essentially no documented history on imdb. Perhaps most interesting is that Joel Silver is listed as an executive producer, I can just about guarantee is how this project ever got off the ground.

    It was ordered to series though, which means it must have had at least some potential. The background is thin to say the least -- the investigator/vampire who struggles with being immortal, and of course, his love for a mortal. I don't give it long to live on network air, but it may turn into a cult hit like Firefly if they play it right.

    synopsis: A vampire lands work as a private investigator and falls for mortal woman.

  • Swingtown

    From: Mike Kelley.

    Sounds like a drama version of That 70's Show; a "of sexual liberation in 1970s households - such as open marriages and 'key parties'." Kelley has been moving on the ranks the past few years, writing and producing for Providence, One Tree Hill, The O.C., and Jericho. He's got the credits, but does he have a solid premise?

    Probably not.

    synopsis: As America celebrates its 200th birthday, two generations of friends and neighbors in a Chicago suburb explore new freedoms and seek connections with each other in the midst of the socio/sexual revolution.

  • Viva Laughlin!

    From: Robert Lowry and Peter Bowker.

    Based on a BBC series titled Blackpool, about a man and his family trying to run a casino in Las Vegas. Bowker ran the original series in the UK and has come on board for the U.S. version. Well, this is an odd trend. It used to be that foreign series no matter where they came from failed horribly here, and that the chief US export were television series. Now we're importing them? Interesting!

    I wish I could say the same for this show's premise, but I can't. In fact, I've heard this thing described as a musical. How in the hell did that happen? Anyway, Lowry wrote one episode of NBC's short lived The Black Donnellys, 22 eps as creator of Huff and a handful from Profiler (ooh, 90's entertainment!) I give it a 50% chance of survival -- after it gets a new name.

    synopsis: Small-time casino owner, Ripley Holden, dreams of opening up a snazzy resort on the Laughlin Strip. Based on the BBC murder-mystery-musical series, "Blackpool."

  • Pop Dynasty

    From: About 1 million different executive producers.

    This show has seven executive producers listed, amongst them is Jamie Foxx, setup as a direct competitor of American Idol, except entire families sing instead of individuals. Judges: Jermaine Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Tito Jackson. I am not kidding.

    Eight episodes ordered.

    synopsis: N/A

That wraps it up for CBS, and as before I will update this sheet when time slots become available along corrections, if any are necessary. Up next are Fox and The CW sharing Thursday. I'll make best efforts to cover The CW, but I make no promises -- Fox must come first, it's simple numbers.

This featured article is one of a series in which pilots each of the networks have ordered to series for the coming fall schedule are listed in detail. As each network takes their turn making official "upfront" announcements this coming week (May 14-17) these pages may be updated at any time. Much of this information has been gathered from outside sources. A huge thanks to The Futon Critic for making their development tracker available to the public. Without it, this series would not even be possible.

Part 1: NBC, Part 2: ABC, Part 3: CBS, Part 4: FOX. (links will go live as new parts become available.)

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May 16, 2007, 4:05:00 PM
I apologize for not getting this online sooner. The script I use to auto-post things to blogger when I'm not around choked, and I only just now found out about it.

May 16, 2007, 8:38:00 PM
I guess that the suits at CBS just don't know how to get anything right. Dumping Imus was bad enough, but cancelling "Jericho" is just stupid. It was, in my opinion, a well-written drama about characters my daughter and I came to care about. I don't currently have cable, but I can guarantee you that if HBO or someone else picks up the series, I and everyone else who doesn't give two (2) hoots about Sanjaya's hair or whether or not someone's leg flys off while they're dancing will be turning off CBS and tuning into "Jericho."

May 16, 2007, 8:51:00 PM
I have the entire second half of the season sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched. I was looking forward to seeing it commercial-free and for as many consecutive hours as I can stand.

It's going to suck now, knowing that there won't be any more to it. And they are essentially admitting that its ratings drop was entirely due to the hiatus they forced it to take.

Just plain stupid.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.