In much the same way that ABC’s got a few potentially excellent new shows that could fill the gaping maw left behind by the tear-stained exit of Brothers & Sisters, CBS too has some serious drama to contend with – and now, to present. Just because Charlie Sheen is now the poster child for SoTheyReallyMeantIt.com (conveniently headquartered in Hollywood at 2020 Hindsight Way), the network’s not quite off the hook just yet. There’s still the matter of placating fans deeply disgruntled by the demise of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, The Defenders, Mad Love, and $#*! My Dad Says.
My guess is that, come fall, Michael Emerson and Patrick Wilson could be just the salve those forlorn viewers need.
Now CBS already has a slew of popular shows, and they’ve taken great pains to generate plenty of additional good will via Ashton Kutcher. Sure, he’s in the $1M An Episode Hot Seat, but in point of fact he’s also got a certain lovability Sheen never really had. Nor could the support and crossed fingers of a zillion fans — who will be more than happy to cut him a break — hurt. (In my opinion he’s also got Jon Cryer, whose sheer genius may make the transition seamless – if it matters at all).
But CBS has a few new shows that actually look pretty intriguing. I will be truly astonished if Person of Interest isn’t successful. For one thing, we have J.J. Abrams producing it, which is never, ever a bad thing. Then Jonathan Nolan wrote it (he and brother Christopher know a little something about storytelling as well). But the coup de grace here? Michael Emerson. Here, Lost’s creepmeister is back as one of those mysterious, omniscient types. This time, he manages to get ex-CIA hit man Jim Caviezel to stop crimes. You know, long before they happen. It’s a great concept and with the kind of firepower (both literal and literary) CBS has behind it, Person of Interest may develop a rabid fanbase but quick.
Another promising drama is A Gifted Man, which stars Patrick Wilson as a doctor haunted by his ex-wife. Now before you go thinking that’s what ex-wives are supposed to do, note this little wrinkle: the lady’s deceased. He can see her, but nobody else can. (Think Ghost meets a serious I Dream of Jeannie). I like the concept and this may be breakout stuff for Mr. Wilson, whom you know from a thousand movies but who has yet to earn the big-time recognition many feel he deserves. It may surface this fall.
CBS also has some new odd couple-y comedies: 2 Broke Girls and How To Be A Gentleman. The Girls are waitresses with not a nickel between them – only one’s a fallen heiress and the other is played by Kat Dennings who could very well supply massive comic goodness. Gentleman features Kevin Dillon and David Hornsby as piggy-slob-with-a-heart-of-gold and uptight-gent-who-needs-to-loosen up, respectively. Either – or both – of these may attract the Two and a Half Men crowd, additionally or residually.
That said, I’m pretty sure CBS will continue to reap the benefits of its current hit lineup, and I’d be very surprised if A Person of Interest and A Gifted Man don’t aid and abet this roster nicely.
1) 2 Broke Girls
2) A Gifted Man
3) How To Be A Gentleman
4) Person of Interest