Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Network Upfronts III: CBS

I'm pleased to report absolutely legendary news, that CBS will renew "How I Met Your Mother" for next season.

For me, the show is in a tie with "The Office" as TV's best sitcom, so this is great news.

As for the rest of the network's new fall lineup, it will look much the same as last year's. Notable cancellations include "The Class" and "Jericho," which started out to strong ratings but was killed by the network's stupidity with a long break of over two months between the first and second halves of the season.

Other bubble shows that survived the cut are "The Unit," "The Amazing Race" and "New Adventures of Old Christine."

CBS will likely have the fewest changes of any of the networks. There are only five new scripted shows and two reality/game shows.

Most notable among the new crop is "Viva Laughlin" (Sundays, 8 p.m.) Executive produced by Hugh Jackman, who will occasionally appear in the series (similar to Salma Hayek and "Ugly Betty"), the show is based on the BBC musical series "Viva Blackpool." It's a musical-romance-mystery, about a gambler who buys a casino. Jackman plays the gambler's main rival.

CBS' other big drama is "Cane," (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.) starring Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo in a multi-generational story about a Cuban-American family and their sugarcane business. It also stars Rita Morena, Nestor Carbonell and Polly Walker.

Other shows announced by CBS:

-"Moonlight" (Fridays, 9 p.m.) is the tale of a vampire who uses his powers for good by battling other vampires, starring newcomer Alex O'Loughlin. I liked this show the first time around - when it was called "Angel."

-"Big Bang Theory" (Mondays, 8:30 p.m.) is CBS' lone new sitcom, about two geniuses who lack social skills. I've been told that I could be classified in such a way, though not so much with the genius part.

-"Swingtown," starring Molly Parker, is a midseason replacement about the swinging lifestyle in a suburban neighborhood in 1970s Chicago. Sounds like a premise that would work better on HBO or Showtime, but we'll see.

-"Power of 10" is a game show hosted by Drew Carey, in which contestants battle for a $10 million prize by guessing statistical facts about the average American.

-"Kid Nation" sounds like "Survivor" crossed with "The Twilight Zone." Forty kids will be sent to a New Mexico ghost town and be given six weeks to turn the town around by running it completely - no adults are present. They must cook, clean, govern, run the businesses, etc.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Though Bob Barker isn't retiring until the summer, the venerable game show host gets a big sendoff tonight with "The Price Is Right Million-Dollar Spectacular" (CBS, 8 p.m.) One can only hope Neil Patrick Harris makes a cameo, in case you missed the instant classic "How I Met Your Mother" three weeks ago. It's followed by the season finales of "Criminal Minds" and "CSI: NY."

In case you haven't caught up on "Lost" (ABC, 10 p.m.) yet on your DVR, I won't spoil last week's killer (pun intended) ending except to say we won't find out the fate off that specific character this week. Make a note, though, that TV Guide has reported that four characters are supposed to die at some point before the end of the season. I'm just saying...

"Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) wraps up its sophomore year with another case, and more importantly, the wedding of Hodgins and Angela. It was kind of ingenious how the writers diverted the attention between a Booth-Bones romance by shifting gears with these two characters. It's followed by the "American Idol" voting results show, in which fans of the show get down to the final two.

NBC airs the series finale of "Crossing Jordan" at 9 p.m. and the season finale of "Medium" at 10 p.m.

Finally, "Hustle" (AMC, 10 p.m.) is also all-new.


zodin2008 said...

So, you don't want to "ruin" about who may or may not have died last week on "Lost", even though the episode aired 7 days ago and this is a daily TV Blog, but you will spill about the wedding of Hodgins & Angela? I believe that is referred to as throwing large stones through a glass window...

Anyhoo, my wife & I had not gotten around to watching "Bones" yet from last week, but you needn't worry...TV Guide already spoiled last week's episode and I had heard rumors for a month anyway about a 'wedding' so I just assumed Angela would change her mind from 2 weeks ago. It was a given and the show is so enjoyable we will still watch anyway, both episodes.

As for "Lost" everyone reading this Blog today should know which character and if indeed they killed this character off, the best character on the show by miles, then I may say to hell with "Lost".

I mean, I could care less if they killed boring annoying characters like Claire or even Charlie, but if they kill this guy off, the show maybe dead to me. This character is SO important to "Lost", I would compare it to "24" killing Jack Bauer or "The Office" killing off Jim Halpert.

Phillip Ramati said...

I'm not spoiling anything on Bones, since Fox has been running ads all week showing scenes from the wedding. Lost has deliberately shown ads that don't mention the character whose life is in the balance. Big difference.

Plus, it's not as if Bones hasn't been building to the wedding most of the season.

zodin2008 said...

re: CBS new shows

First, let me be the first to add a 'hell yeah' to your statement about "Mother" being one of the 2 best sitcoms on Television along with "The Office". I would argue that "30 Rock" is right there (because of Alex Baldwin alone) but "mother" is 'totally awesome' and I can't think of a show I will be more happy to see back in September, save for "Friday Night Lights".

As for "Jericho", I am getting thedistinct feeling of deja vu. (someone call Denzel Washington). Last year, I became totally inthralled with ABC's brilliant, "Invasion" (which also started slow and finished out as one of the best things on Television), and "Invasion" finished, like "Jericho", with a huge cliffhanger.

Alas, just like "Invasion" we will never have closure. It is so depressing to get into these serials with these interesting plots and characters and contuining story arcs...only to have these shows dumped with no closure. ARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG.

By the way, phillip, a correction...the giant ripoff of "Angel" is called, "Twilight", not "Moonlight". They might as well call it, "Angel 2: Electric Boogaloo".

And finally, for CBS to only have 5 new shows, well, that's the spoils of war I guess...when you are the #1 network (despite having the overall least compelling lineup of shows save for 1 great sitcom with "Mother"), you get to keep everyting around.

I will continue to not understand people's viewing habits, watching endless CSI's and junk like "Criminal Minds".

Phillip Ramati said...

No, the vampire show is called Moonlight, as listed on TV Guide and Hollywood Reporter. We aim for accuracy here at The TV Guy.

Sarah said...

I am so glad that "Mother" is sticking around! It is one of my favorite shows and Barney is hilarious.

Phillip Ramati said...

Of all the shows on all the networks, HIMYM was the one I was sweating the most, so for me, CBS had a good day today.

I'm guessing they will introduce the titular Mother next season, so it will be interesting to see how they do that.

zodin2008 said...

It was originally titled, "Twilight" so we are both right.

Jonathan said...

I really thought "Mother" wasn't getting renewed for the simple fact that Monday's episode felt so much like a series finale which I'm sure they did on purpose since their fate was up in the air. I will be happy to see Barney finish the sentence he left us hanging with next fall, however, along with the other dozen fans the show still has: "It's going to be legend...wait for it..."

I agree with Zodin, for us that stuck with "Jericho" up to it's pretty cool finale and like he said, huge cliffhanger, it's a bit annoying that we won't get to see it continue. But CBS had screwed this show's chances up so much with that long hiatus without even showing nary a rerun to get new fans caught up. It would be a lot easier to get some people into "Mother," which doesn't have as complex a storyline. Plus, I'm sure it's much cheaper to produce. But "Jericho" is not the first ("Invasion," "Nowhere Man," "John Doe," etc.) nor will it be the last continuous saga that will get us sucked in for one season and then dissapear. So long, Skeet Ulrich, for once and probably only once I didn't think you sucked.

Jonathan said...

Oh, and I almost forgot. I guess that zombie show that was being touted all over the place didn't get picked up as a series. That's a little sad for us genre nuts since it sounded pretty cool.

Phillip Ramati said...


I don't know of the zombie show of which you speak, but TV can always use a few more of the undead around.

Jonathan said...

It was called "Babylon Fields" and starred Ray Stevenson and Amber Tamblyn. It was listed as an hour long comedy/drama about a town taken over by zombies. I don't know how far they could have gone with it, but to my knowledge we have never had a continuing series about zombies, so it could have been fun. I guess we'll never know.

Phillip Ramati said...

I remember it now. Hey, maybe the "Angel" ripoff show will have a zombie guest star...