Friday, May 9, 2014

CBS's 2014-15 dramas -- my initial thoughts

CBS has announced its new dramas, and it had announced renewals a couple of months ago. There are a few shows whose fates are technically unknown but that I'd be surprised if they aren't canceled ("Hostages," "Intelligence," and maybe a few others). On the renewal front, "Person of Interest" and "Hawaii 5-0" are the only current CBS dramas that I care about. On to the new shows!

* "NCIS: New Orleans": Oh geez, do we need another spin-off??? This one stars Scott Bakula and CCH Pounder. Well, I'm a big fan of CCH Pounder from "The Shield" but non-Hawaii-based procedurals bore me, although I'm guessing this will do well in the ratings. Pass.

* "Madam Secretary": This is about "a maverick female Secretary of State as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics, and balances a complex family life." In other words, Tea Leoni is playing Hillary Clinton? I haven't seen a lot of Leoni's performances, but it doesn't seem like she has the gravitas that Geena Davis does, and Davis' "Commander in Chief" didn't fare well. I wouldn't bet on this lasting long. Pass.

* "Stalker": Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott star as LAPD detectives who handle stalking threats. Interesting pairing of actors. Maggie Q was quite wooden in "Nikita" while McDermott is one of the best scene-chewers in Hollywood. Still, another procedural??? Pass.

* "Scorpion": Um, here's the description: "An eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age." Sounds like "Revenge of the Nerds" crossed with "24," which I guess has some promise. Robert Patrick (the liquid metal terminator from "T2: Judgment Day" is always good on TV. Katharine McPhee (yes, the "American Idol" runner-up, and "Smash" actress), not so much. This has the whiff of trying to copy NBC's success "The Blacklist" without being too obvious about it. I'll check it out but don't have high hopes for it.

For a first place network, CBS sure doesn't seem to have a lot of imagination. I mean, at least some of ABC's new dramas sound really weird.

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