Television Without Pity

CBS’s Fall and Midseason Shows: Our Early Look

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"Person of Interest" has piqued our interest

"Person of Interest" has piqued our interest (Warner Bros. Television)

CBS spent most of their upfront presentation telling us that they don't have a lot of new shows because their returning shows are so good. The event kicked off with "NCIS" star Michael Weatherly doing a pre-taped bit to appeal to advertisers. Then they had David Letterman, Steve Martin and Paul Schaffer doing a pre-taped song about how good all the new shows were. It was awkward and unfunny.

And then the cast of "Blue Bloods" did an extended segment in which they chased down a perp (Regis Philbin) in order to get the CBS fall schedule to the upfront in time. Was that really the best they could do with the talented "Blue Bloods" folks? On the plus side, Will Estes received more screen time in this bit than he has all season on the show.Before getting to CBS's new shows, it's worth mentioning that the network is making some major changes to their schedule. "Rules of Engagement" is going to serve some sort of penance on Saturday nights at 8pm (notable only because it's now unheard of for scripted shows to air that day), while "CSI" original flavor is getting bumped to 10pm on Wednesdays, which may signal the beginning of the end for that show (we hope). But the move that most concerns us is "The Good Wife" going to Sundays at 9 PM. That's far from the worst time slot for the show, but now we'll have to DVR some huge chunk of CBS real estate on Sundays in order to compensate for the inevitable sporting overruns.

[Photos: Check Out CBS's New Fall and Midseason Shows]

FALL SHOWS

"Person of Interest" (Thursdays at 9pm ET)

It's got Michael Emerson, which is fantastic. It also has Jim Caviezel, who is about as interesting as a block of wood. Hopefully, Ben Linus is prepared to carry this entire show on his shoulders, and judging by the trailers, he does most of the talking and Caviezel just shoots stuff. We can live with that. Emerson's character created some mega-spy database thing that tracks any potential terrorist activity, but it also predicts when bad things are going to happen to or by someone. The catch: He only gets their Social Security number and doesn't know if they are good or evil. That's where Caviezel comes in -- he's the muscle who tracks the people down and follows them. There's lots of webcams and stalking. So... our kind of show. Doesn't hurt that J.J. Abrams is involved, though then again: "Undercovers."

"Unforgettable" (Tuesdays at 10pm ET)

Poppy Montgomery is a cop who can remember every little detail of every single day she's ever had, except for the one when her sister was killed, which she's still trying to piece together. In the meantime, she can do fun party tricks like recall what color shirt someone was wearing on any given day, and bust criminals because she saw them hanging out in a diner having a snack. This also stars Dylan Walsh, but that still doesn't mean we're going to watch it.

"A Gifted Man" (Fridays at 8pm ET)

A cranky workaholic neurosurgeon is forced to reevaluate his life based on musings from his dead wife? Has "Everwood" been renewed? Nope. It's a new show from Jonathan Demme, starring Patrick Wilson and filling the "commune with the dead" void that "Ghost Whisperer" and "Medium" left behind. Now, we're suckers for medical dramas and if we've learned to buy McDreamy as a brain surgeon, we suppose we can wrap my head around Patrick Wilson as one.

"2 Broke Girls" (Mondays at 8:30pm ET)

Well, of the two comedies that Whitney Cummings is involved with this season, this one looks far more tolerable. It's too bad that she didn't cast herself in this one, though at least we get Kat Dennings as a Whitney-esque brash girl who hates the world and just wants to waitress and not be poor. Beth Behrs co-stars as a formerly spoiled girl whose father did some corrupt things and now she's flat broke. While it didn't have us rolling on the floor laughing, it did almost make us smile and we appreciated Dennings's dry delivery of the slightly edgy (by CBS sitcom standards) dialogue.

"How to Be a Gentleman" (Thursdays at 8:30pm ET)

Kevin Dillon owns a gym and works as a trainer who is trying to get etiquette columnist David Hornsby to behave more like a real man. And real men go to strip clubs, punch each other, do shots and hit on women, at least according to Dillon. It co-stars Mary Lynn Rajskub and Dave Foley in roles that just made us sad for them. Even Johnny Drama may have thought twice about this one.

MIDSEASON

"The 2-2"

Rookie cops hitting the beat for the first time. We didn't see any clips from it, but we've already got "Southland," so unless this show feature newbie cops wearing tutus (say the title fast), we're not particularly interested. The fact that Robert De Niro is an executive producer carries zero weight.

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Which new CBS show looks best to you? Let us know in the comments.

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