Previewing CBS’s Fall Season- Part 2

If any network is good at finding hits, it’s CBS. It renewed 19 shows for the Fall season and only has four new shows on its schedule. CBS has a way of defying the unpredictability and inconsistency of television. When it finds a hit drama, such as CSI, it can spin the show off into multiple shows and make those last as well. When CBS finds a hit sitcom like Two and a Half Men, they can make it last even after the disgraced star is forced to leave and the title makes no sense. CBS has managed to keep multiple shows on the air for a decade or longer all in the same time frame. Even though the new options for this season are limited, I’m always excited when a classic is found. CBS seems to have the best chance given their history.

Vegas

Vegas is a drama taking place in the 1960s. It stars Dennis Quaid as Sheriff Ralph Lamb. In the 60s, Las Vegas was evolving from a “rough and tumble town” to the city it is now. According to Quaid in the preview, Lamb became sheriff somewhat reluctantly. His straightforward personality and no-nonsense methodology may lend itself to exciting conflict. Michael Chiklis also stars as Vincent Savino, a man in the Chicago crime family. Lamb and Savino fight over who gets to develop Las Vegas into a large city.

I see potential in this show. The drama seems to captivating based on the characters alone. The actual plot lines of Vegas are not very thoroughly explored, which could be problematic. Regardless, it does seem to be a show audiences will like. That being said, I don’t think it is my type of show. It is very hard for me to relate to, and I am certainly not their target audience. While it seems to do a good job of captivating drama in general, any premises that become clear will probably not appeal to me. This is probably sustainable, as period dramas so often tend to be, but I find it very hard to believe it’s a show for me.

Elementary

Elementary is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in modern day New York. Aside from the fact that I tend to find the detective genre completely uninteresting, it is so hard to take this drama seriously. The Sherlock Holmes story has been told so many times. Except for the fact that the protagonist has the same name, this doesn’t seem to resemble it.

Cop dramas are told all the time. A show about NYPD partners is not a “detective” show. The way that Johnny Lee Miller’s Holmes solves crimes does not seem to be unconventional or unique in any sense. He’s no Columbo. The one thing that redeems this Sherlock Holmes is his confidence, which is unappealing. I frankly don’t think a traditional detective story works when it is set in the present. It is not captivating. There is also a change in gender for Holmes’ assistant, now known as Joan Watson. I highly doubt this will work. When a story as revered as this is adapted, it is important that the characters stay somewhat true to form. It is hard to believe the qualities of Watson’s character will be what they need to be now that they are portrayed in a woman.

Granted, I never paid that much attention to Sherlock Holmes. As I said, I do not find this genre interesting. Given that, I’m almost certain that I won’t be interested in an update of it. Audiences will probably tune into a few episodes if they are fans of the original story. I simply don’t think it is unique enough to last.

Reflecting on CBS’s Fall Season

CBS does not really need to try that hard with new material. It is not looking to break ground. It is simply looking to expand. The network is adding very few shows to the schedule in both the Fall and midseason and that is because it already trusts its current lineup. With the new lineup, there may be some problems, but there may also be some benefits. As I said in Part 1,  Partners is not going to last long. It is a sitcom that isn’t funny. That is really the most important part of a sitcom: there has to be humor in it. Since there is not, it’s got to go. In terms of dramas, Elementary tries very hard to impress, but it just isn’t impressive. In spite of this, it will probably be moderately successful. I also said in the previous preview that Made in Jersey has the most potential of the new shows. I think it will be unique and refreshing for the everyday TV viewer. I have some questions about Vegas, but I am still confident that it will be a good show. Even though it’s not for me, it’s going to last. If either of these shows turn out to be hits, it’ll make up for the shows that will probably bomb.  The new fall schedule is a mixed bag, but even if some of them turn out to be terrible, the network will be just fine.

To find out about NBC’s Fall Preview, check out these articles.

For Fox’s Fall season, look at these articles

Posted on June 2, 2012, in CBS, Comedy, Drama, Network Television, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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