(By the way, in yesterday’s NBC column, I failed to note that “Deal or No Deal” is dead, kaput, over and done with. Gideeup!)
Prior to yesterday, the only officially canceled show was “The Ex List.” And on the other side of things, we knew that a bunch of the procedurals would be coming back (“Criminal Minds,” the three “CSI’s,” “NCIS” and “The Mentalist”), as would “Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Ghost Whisperer.” And of course, “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor” keep on keeping on. But there were still quite a few shows on the bubble, including “The Unit,” “Eleventh Hour,” “Gary Unmarried,” “Cold Case,” “Without a Trace,” “Numb3rs” and “Rules of Engagement.”
And damn it, CBS canceled “The Unit.” This bums me out, but I’m not devastated because I’m still in my “Chuck”-renewal hangover, and this season finale wasn’t nearly as cliffhangery as the previous. And I’m already looking forward to cracking out the DVDs for this show in a decade and enjoying the testosterone boost again.
CBS also canceled “Eleventh Hour,” “Worst Week” and “Without a Trace” (and it looks like “Flashpoint is no more, too). However, “Cold Case,” “Numb3rs,” “Gary Unmarried,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Rules of Engagement” are all coming back. (“Rules of Engagement?” Really? Does anyone watch that show?)
Of course, the big Eye news came out yesterday, shortly after NBC’s upfront announcement, when news came out that CBS might be swooping in to pick up “Medium” (Contrary to most reports, it actually wasn’t a done deal at the time, just very likely — now it’s a done deal). This network shift, like “Scrubs” last year, makes sense because “Medium” is produced by CBS’ television arm. And in yesterday’s announcement about this possible move, CBS also took a few (accurate) swipes at the Peacock, noting that “Medium” has outperformed many of the shows NBC did renew, and that NBC mismanaged the show’s development and scheduling. Hee — I love when networks bitch-slap each other.
Meanwhile, CBS has also ordered up quite a few new shows, including two medical shows, another cop show, and a quasi-lawyer show. Oy. As it notes in its press release, each of the new shows airing this fall has an “established franchise” serving as a springboard lead-in, which is of course a smart way to put a new schedule together. Might be why CBS is the only network to see an overall uptick in ratings last season. Also, CBS wisely doesn’t do fall and midseason schedules, shuffling shit around. There are few new shows I’ll mention at the end which are set as midseason replacements, but they’re truly replacements for when CBS decides to yank something. In any event, let’s see what’s going on…
Sunday. The nights starts off at 7, as always, with “60 Minutes” (these times are all fuzzy in the fall, of course, because of football). Then it’s “The Amazing Race,” “Three Rivers” and “Cold Case.” The only newbie of the night, “Three Rivers” is one of the new medical show, and it stars Alex O’Loughlin (which will make “Moonlight” fans happy, I guess) as the good-natured but sarcastic head of a fancy-schmancy organ donors/transplant team. It will follow the doctors dealing with donor families as they “race against the clock” in “this high stakes arena.” No thanks.
Monday. “How I Met Your Mother” moves to a new time, leading the night off, and leading into the new “Accidentally on Purpose.” Then it’s “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “CSI: Miami.” Again, just the one newbie, “Accidentally on Purpose,” which is a new Jenna Elfman comedy (because the world was clamoring for more Jenna Elfman?). Elfman plays a newspaper movie critic who has “a humiliating breakup with her charming boss” (Grant Show) and then winds up getting knocked up by a way younger dude (Jon Foster). So she and this younger dude decide to live together, though not as scrump-buddies, and shenanigans ensue. Sounds like a generic sitcom setup, and Elfman is actually quite fine in the right role, as is Show. So I may be willing to give this a shot.
Tuesday. CBS made an interesting move here, because while it breaks up its various “CSI” shows, it’s kept “NCIS,” at 8, together with its new spinoff, “NCIS: Los Angeles.” The pair is then followed at 10 by “The Good Wife,” one of the new lawyer shows. It stars Julianna Margulies as a “steadfast wife and mother who boldly returns to work as a lawyer when her husband is imprisoned for a high profile political scandal.” Margulies is good and all, and I love me some Chris Noth when he’s not playing Mr. Big (he plays the husband), as well as Christine Baranski (she plays the head of the firm Margulies joins). But I think I’ll be passing on this, thanks.
“NCIS: Los Angeles,” meanwhile, is based on the recent “NCIS” backdoor pilot episode with LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. They work in the Office of Special Projects, doing undercover stuff. O’Donnell’s character is “a chameleon,” while LL’s character is a former Navy SEAL who’s got lots of wartime experience. I’m sure this will be a perfectly competent procedural for those who like the CBS procedurals. If any of you watch “NCIS” (surely some of you must considering its ever-increasing ratings) and saw the backdoor pilot, soundoff and tell us if it was any good.
Wednesday. No changes to the schedule here, and nothing new added to the mix. It’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Gary Unmarried” in the 8 o’clock hour, followed by “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: NY”
Thursday. “Survivor” at 8, of course. “CSI” at 9, of course. And then “The Mentalist,” in its new home, at 10.
Friday. Here’s where CBS has planted “Medium,” at 9, with “Ghost Whisperer” as its 8 p.m. lead-in (which seems to make sense, as they probably have similar primary demographics). And then “Numb3rs” remains at 10.
Saturday. “Crimetime Saturday” from 8 to 10, meaning reruns, followed by “48 Hours Mystery,” something I’ve never seen one second of.
So there you go.
The network has a few new shows in its pocket for the midseason — two new drama (“Miami Trauma” and “The Bridge”), two new reality shows (“Arranged Marriage” and “Undercover Boss”) and returning comedy (?) “Rules of Engagement.”
“Miami Trauma” is the other new medical show, not to be confused with NBC’s new “Trauma,” is about trauma surgeons. In Miami. Who do trauma surgeon stuff. In Miami.
“The Bridge” is about a cop who becomes the head of the police union, where he’s going to try to clean up the stinky, corrupt force. Focusing a show on the internal mechanizations of a police force is a fine idea and my only real problem with this is that I’ll surely be comparing it, the whole time, to “The Wire.” And there’s no way it’ll live up to that.
As for the new reality show, ugh. “Arranged Marriage” is exactly what you think it is — “three adults who are anxious to get married, but who have been unsuccessful in their own search for a mate” are going to let their family and friends pick a spouse for them. The show will follow the search, the marriage, and post-marriage life. Yup. And “Undercover Boss” will follow big company execs go undercover as low-level employees at their own companies. Feh.
There you go. If CBS posts video clips of its new shows later today, I’ll put ‘em up this afternoon or tomorrow, should you be the type who likes self-inflicted suffering.