Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CBS's Fall 2007

Here's what CBS has done with its schedule. Of all the networks this is likely the one with the least need to be adjused short of some slight tinkering.

3 LBS., Smith, King Of Queens , Close To Home, Jericho, The Class, Armed & Famous

Survivor, 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes, CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Numb3rs, Two and a Half Men, The Unit, Cold Case, Rules Of Engagement

Shark, Without a Trace

Viva Laughlin, The Big Bang Theory, Kid Nation, Moonlight

In addition Amazing Race, New Adventures of Old Christine, and a new series Swingtown are being held as mid-season replacements.

Complete Schedule: (New shows in Capitals, except NCIS)

8:00-8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9:00 p.m. THE BIG BANG THEORY
9:00-9:30 p.m. Two And A Half Men
9:30-10:00 p.m. Rules Of Engagement
10:00-11:00 p.m. CSI: Miami

8:00-9:00 p.m. NCIS
9:00-10:00 p.m. The Unit
10:00-11:00 p.m. CANE

8:00-9:00 p.m. KID NATION
9:00-10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00-11:00 p.m. CSI: New York

8:00-9:00 p.m. Survivor
9:00-10:00 p.m. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
10:00-11:00 p.m. Without A Trace (Moved)

8:00-9:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer
9:00-10:00 p.m. MOONLIGHT
10:00-11:00 p.m. Numb3rs

8:00-9:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday (Reruns)
9:00-10:00 p.m. Crimetime Saturday (Reruns)
10:00-11:00 p.m. 48 Hours: Mystery


7:00-8:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00-9:00 p.m. VIVA LAUGHLIN
9:00-10:00 p.m. Cold Case
10:00-11:00 p.m. Shark (Moved)

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about a group of brainy but socially awkward CalTech whiz kids, centered on Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) whose world is turned upside down when their new neighbour moves in. Her name is Penny (Kaley Cuocco) a newly single screenwriter/waitress who doesn't know anything about quantum physics. Produced by Chuck Lorre who is also the producer of Two And A Half Men.

An epic family saga Cane is the story of the Vega's, a wealthy Cuban-American family. Pancho Duque (Hector Elizondo) built the family sugar and rum business into an empire and when his chief rival offers to buy up the family cane fields allowing the company focus on the rum business, his natural son Frank (Nestor Carbonell) is enthusiastic while his adopted son Alex (Jimmy Smits) is suspicious. Also stars Eddie Matos, Rita Moreno, Michael Trevino, Lina Esco, Sam Carman, Alona Tal, and Polly Walker.

Kid Nation is a reality based show featuring kids between the ages of 8 and 15. Forty kids will spend forty days building their own society in a 19th Century ghost town, including cleaning their own outhouses, hauling their own water and even running their own businesses – like the saloon (selling root beer). Four leaders will be elected to pass laws, set bedtimes and generally guide the group through their adventure. Every episode will feature a town meeting where issues will be discussed. There are no eliminations but any kid can decide to quit at any town meeting just by raising their hand. From producer Tom Forman who created Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Created by movie producer Joel Silver, Moonlight is the story of a private detective named Mick St. John, who just happens to be a vampire. Converted 60 years ago by his new bride Coraline (Amber Valletta) Mick is disgusted with what he's become and has made the conscious choice to help the living with the aid a few undead confidantes, some of whom – like Josef (Rade Serbedzija) – can't be entirely trusted. At the same time he has fallen in love with reporter Beth Turner and fears that if he reveals his true nature to her she will see him as a monster.

Based on the BBC series Blackpool (known in the United States as Viva Blackpool for reasons known only to Americans), Viva Laughlin is described as a drama with music. Freewheeling businessman Ripley Holden (Lloyd Owen) is on the verge of making a killing but only if his not nearly finished casino in Laughlin Nevada opens. When his financing falls through though he is forced to make a deal with his enemy Nicky Fontana (Hugh Jackman). And when the body of his former business partner is found at his club, Ripley becomes embroiled in a police investigation. And that doesn't even touch on what's going on at home with his wife (Madchen Amick), his daughter (Ellen Woglom) and his son (Carter Jenkins).

Swingtown, which is being held as a midseason replacement, is a period piece set in the 1970s. When Susan (Molly Parker) and Bruce (Jack Davenport) move to an affluent Chicago suburb their expectations of get-togethers with their new neighbours over the barbecue are definitely expanded! They quickly discover – thanks to their new neighbours Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show and Lana Parilla) that people in this neighbourhood share more than a view of Lake Michigan, all of which is way too much for Susan's conservative best friend Janet (Miriam Shor), although her husband Roger (Josh Hopkins) may be way more interested than he cna let his wife know.

Does the plot synopsis of Cane sound vaguely familiar? As in substitute oil fields for sugar cane fields and you suddenly have Dallas familiar? That said the show looks to have a great cast and may plug a hole on Tuesday nights that has been hurting CBS since Judging Amy went off the air. It all depends on whether it can draw an audience from Law & Order SVU and Boston Legal.

Kid Nation sounds like a kids' version of Survivor and it sounds absolutely horrible. For this they cancel Jericho?! Hopefully the plug will be pulled quickly on this one and we can get The Amazing Race back sooner rather than later.

Setting aside the double entendre title, The Big Bang Theory looks to be another solid addition to the CBS comedy line-up, a line-up that's strong enough to be able to sit a relatively successful show like New Adventures of Old Christine out until mid-season. The premise vaguely resembles the Pamela Anderson comedy Stacked with the difference that rather than casting an over inflated blow-up doll they have the blonde daughter from Eight Simple Rules which might be enough to make the difference.

There's a sense of déjà vu in Moonlight for anyone who remembers the old CBS "Crimetime after Primetime" series Forever Knight. The lead character's age is a bit different but there are a lot of similarities including a deceitful potential ally (Josef in Moonlight, La Croix in Forever Knight). I just hope they inject a bit of the humour that the other vampire detective show – Angel – had.

The British have always been willing to try something different. Blackpool was different in its use of music as part of the drama. It was popular on BBC America as Viva Blackpool but it only ran for six episodes and a single 90 minute special as a sequel. I'm not sure how American audiences will react to a musical drama that runs 13 weeks – let alone 22. And for my friend Jaime Weinman, music clearances on this are going to be a cast-iron bitch.

I have no real opinion on Swingtown... but I imagine the PTC will. I imagine this one will make a quick exit from the schedule if only because it's a period piece that isn't played as a comedy. Remember American Dreams?

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