CBS poobah Les Moonves got us all excited about a one-minute-long upfront at the beginning of the network's presentation this afternoon, but it actually went on for over an hour. And considering the network only has four new shows this fall, that meant a lot of padding.
[Photos: CBS' New 2012-2013 Shows]
So they filled the time with "Mike & Molly" stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy bantering about their recent fake wedding and the lack of gifts they've received from their fellow CBS stars (except Ted Danson, who sent them a pony); the "Two Broke Girls" trying to find a way to make money; LL Cool J rapping; and Eli Manning trying to crack jokes (which, as we learned on "Saturday Night Live," is not something he can do). Still, despite the fact that this was the network that showed us the fewest clips, the ones we saw actually had more promise than the other three this week so far.
[Photos: CBS's Upfronts in NYC]
Partners (Mondays at 8:30 PM)
This comedy didn't exactly impress us, as the trailer had a lot of groan-worthy jokes, but it has the look of a successful CBS sitcom. Max Mutchnick and David Kohan (the creators of "Will & Grace") wrote this show based on their co-dependent friendship. Here, Joe (David Krumholtz) is straight and in love with Sophia Bush, while Louis (Michael Urie) is gay and dating Brandon Routh. Let's just say that both dudes hit the jackpot in the significant-other department. What we saw in the cutdown was unmemorable, but it might grow on us. At this point, it can't really be more torturous than "How I Met Your Mother."
Elementary (Thursdays at 10 PM)
Are you broken up about "House" going off the air? Well, this might fill that void. Jonny Lee Miller is playing a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, but one who's distinct from the recent version played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He's an addict fresh out of rehab, and Lucy Liu is Joan Watson, his sober companion. He seems like kind of a jerk, and she's got a past as a surgeon that she's trying to forget, but he's brilliant and able to solve crimes that other people can't. And he's relocated from working as a consultant for Scotland Yard to working with the NYPD. It may be a murder-of-the-week procedural, but the footage we saw was slickly produced and eye-catching, and the Holmes angle is more compelling than yet another "NCIS"/"CSI." Even "Sherlock" die-hards may want to give it a chance.
Vegas (Tuesdays at 10 PM)
One of the most promising trailers that we've seen this week, for sure, is this period piece set in the '60s. It's a mob drama about when Vegas just began its boom, written by Nicholas Pileggi, who has more than a little bit of experience with the subject matter after scripting "Goodfellas" and "Casino." It's also got quite the capable cast, with Michael Chiklis (returning to intense drama after the awful "No Ordinary Family") and Dennis Quaid (making his TV series debut). Chiklis is a mobster, and Quaid is a rancher/law enforcement consultant. Needless to say, the two are on a collision course. While the show seems to lack the grit or the intense violence that you can get on a cable show like "Justified," "Sons of Anarchy," or "Boardwalk Empire," it's already impressed us more than other recent period fare like "Pan Am," "Magic City," and "The Playboy Club."
Made in Jersey (Fridays at 9 PM)
So many things could go wrong here, particularly since it's a legal drama where the lead is from Jersey but is being played by British actress Janet Montgomery. Let's just say the accents are a lot to take in. But if you can get past that, Montgomery's Martina Garretti is a plucky lawyer who is underestimated when she goes to work in the big city and has to deal with some not-so-subtle digs from her coworkers. She's part Tess McGill from "Working Girl," part Elle Woods from "Legally Blonde," and part Mona Lisa Vito from "My Cousin Vinny." She's spirited and finds unusual ways to defend her clients -- in the clip we saw, she used her knowledge of manicures to help eliminate a possible murder weapon. Also, Donna Murphy is her mom, which is oddly perfect, and Kyle MacLachlan is the big boss who sees her potential. While it's no "The Good Wife," we can think of a lot of worse things to watch on Friday nights (*cough* "Supernatural" *cough*).
CBS also has three shows coming to midseason, but opted out of showing any footage of them. There's the poorly titled comedy "Friend Me", which seems to involve McLovin going on Craigslist or something to make pals in a new city. The drama "Golden Boy" is a cop show focused on a police commissioner in New York City (which is the same job Tom Selleck has on "Blue Bloods," so that's not overlappy at all), starring Theo James, Chi McBride, Kevin Alejandro, Holt McCallany, and Bonnie Somerville. Then there's a reality show from Michael Davies and Mark Burnett called "The Job," where people get to compete for a dream gig at a big company. It could be like what "The Apprentice" used to be, but with a little more focus on a variety of companies instead of just Trump's.
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