Tag: cbs

Evil (CBS) pilot preview: The good mother, the good priest and the DEVIL

SERIES TITLE: Evil
NETWORK: CBS
GENRE: Supernatural Thriller Drama

LOGLINE: The battle between science and religion is in full force when Kristen, a skeptical female clinical psychologist, joins David, a priest-in-training and Ben, a blue-collar contractor as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there’s a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work…

Pilot Cast: Katja Herbers (Westworld,The Leftovers, Divorce), Mike Colter (Luke Cage, The Good Wife, Ringer), Aasif Mandvi (Shut Eye, Jericho, Blue Bloods), Michael Emerson (Lost, Person Of Interest, Saw), Skylar Gray

Series Creators: Michelle & Robert King (The Good Wife, The Good Fight, Braindead). 
Pilot Director: Robert King.
Producers: Liz Glotzer (Castle Rock, The Good Fight), Michelle & Robert King.

Studios: CBS Television Studios & King Size Productions.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

   

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: X-Files, MINDHUNTER, The Exorcist, Person Of Interest, The Following

Likely Timeslot: A 10pm slot is mandatory! But a sweet spot on CBS All Access would be something to think about…

 

WRITTEN BY: Michelle & Robert King.

PAGECOUNT: 63 pages.

DRAFT: Network draft 1/4/19

 

BACKGROUND: If you’re not familiar with Michelle & Robert King’s work, first be ashamed, second go to your room and binge watch popular and critically praised The Good Wife and then its incredible spin-off The Good Fight. Then we can talk. The Kings, as we fans like to call them, have been creative collaborators for 20 years and married for over 30 years. Impressive. So far, they were mostly into legal dramas. They created the 2006 ABC drama series In Justice, starring Kyle MacLachlan, which only lasted a short season, and the two brilliant shows I already recommended you just three seconds ago. In the summer of 2016, they launched on CBS something different, both for the network and for them, a little show called Braindead starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. It was a quirky and funny horror dramedy. Pure genius. But the ratings were horrendous. It was cancelled.

Last fall, they inked a new overall deal with CBS Television Studios. Now, they are busy with multiple shows at different stages of development. There is an upcoming Showtime legal thriller series Your Honor, which they are executive producing alongside writer Peter Moffat, based on an israeli format and starring Bryan Cranston. There’s also Girls with Guns at the script stage, produced with Scott Free Productions for CBS All Access. And Evil, which would mark their return on CBS with a show that is not a legal drama, though it’s one of its component. It could be summarize as a religious-themed supernatural thriller. It’s intriguing and worrying at the same time. Is another Braindead-like ratings disaster is coming?

 

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: New Orleans. KRISTEN BOUCHARD (34), a criminal psychologist and mother of four, interviews ORSON LEROUX (38), who is accused of murdering seven people. Kristen testifies in court that Orson is sane but the prosecution blindsides her on the stand their expert witness claims Orson is possessed by a demon named Roy. After she is fired by the DA’s office, Kristen investigates with DAVID DACOSTA (37), an assessor for the Catholic church. Kristen is skeptical at first, but after she meets with EMILY LEROUX, Orson’s wife, who plays Kristen, David, and BEN SCHWEIGER (30), a recording of whispers in her home, she starts to question if Orson is possessed. As Kristen dives deeper into Orson’s case, she begins to see GEORGE, probably a night terror but possibly a ghost, at night. When Kristen interviews “Roy”, and he tells her details about her encounters with George, she realizes someone has stolen her therapist’s notes and feed the information to Orson. LELAND TOWNSEND, the prosecution’s clinical psychologist, may have played a part in the devilish scheme…

 

COMMENTS:  It wouldn’t be far-fetched to bill Evil as a cross between cult series X-Files and David Fincher’s Netflix show MINDHUNTER. I don’t know if that’s the way it’s been conceived by the Kings, if those are references they had in mind, but once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it. You have the thrills of the investigations on mysteries combined with the psychological depth. Reading this pilot script gave me the same conflicting feeling I had when I read Braindead‘s. You’re so happy and excited to read something that has been written by those two geniuses that you expect every line to splatter your brain with brilliance. And even though brilliance there is in there, and splatterring too (!), it’s not everywhere on every page. The best compliment I can make about Evil is that’s it’s a boiling, riveting, bedazzling show hidden behind a stark, unimpressive, already seen concept. 

It’s not saying though that the formula is ill-conceived. It’s well-crafted and smart, but it’s also very traditional and a bit mechanical at the start. Which might be a requirement if you want to survive on CBS. The Good Wife was like that in the beginning. Same with Person Of Interest. You need to give CBS’ viewers what they want before surprising them and choosing a more deviant path. The predictable thing is that it can only end up one way: with Kristen accepting to continue working with David and Ben after their first investigation together. This pilot script is never boring despite all that. It has to do with the fast pace the Kings always get right and the interactions between the characters that always work so greatly on paper. And then on film since they always get the best actors for the parts. I’m really not afraid of the finished product. I’m more scared of how the audience will react to the graphic scenes, if they’re filmed and edited the way they’re described. The cold open is a blood bath. It’s spilling through fingers and on the polished floor. It’s a nightmare. There are also flashes of severed flesh and exposed brain. Can network television allow that?

But it doesn’t stop there because later on, our heroine Kristen has to deal with a dark figure that haunts her at night. And we’re in full horror movie mode, believe me. It’s scary and appalling because of what the ghost that calls himself George says and does to her. He’s obsessed with the hot and sexy connection between Kristen and the soon-to-become priest David. As we all are. He wants to know if she’s all wet between the legs when she sees David. And so he takes off her underwear to make sure he’s right. It definitely makes you uncomfortable… especially because you can’t repress a laugh at the same time since this ghost is funny too! It’s weird and it can’t leave you indifferent, that’s for sure. You know what else is damn creepy? The whole Michael Emerson’s Leland Townsend character. Remember his Ben in Lost? Same kind of ambiguous man. He’s the best incarnation possible for the role. Townsend is a seemingly kind and trustworthy man with a twinkle in his eye and an appealing manner. But outward appearances couldn’t be more deceiving: he’s an agent of evil who spurs his followers to acts of unspeakable violence and murder. It’s called “a connector”. He’s reminiscent of James Purefoy’s serial killer character in The Following. He’s like a guru, and he tells Kristen that there are 60 people online who could come to her house and cut her heart out right now, if he asks them to. Guys, you’ll get a thrill up your spine at this very moment!

Let’s talk about those three central characters now. Kristen is young but she’s already the (single) mother of four girls, and her own mother lives with them in the house that is both her home and her workplace. She works in her basement, her female version of a man cave, cold and messy. Kristen herself is not cold, and she’s not messy though her life is starting to become messier than she has expected to. She’s desbribed as a walking contradiction. She’s friendly, pretty and sunny on the outside, but probably darker in the inside. She’s a woman of science, while David is a man of faith. It’s Scully and Mulder all-over again, though David does not believe in aliens, but in God, and angels, and devils. He’s rugged and handsome, the kind of sexy priest you only see on television. We don’t learn much of anything about his past in the pilot but there’s probably a lot to say. Ben, our third main character, is a carpenter who was recruited for David’s team early on. He has a deep skepticism about all things supernatural and he is a genius at uncovering the organic reasons behind reported “hauntings,” but there may be things outside his understanding that will rattle his belief system sooner or later… He finds his place in the pilot right away, as the side-kick, but I don’t know what could be his role in the future, other than the light presence and the problem solver. Anyway, all three form a team you want to spend more time with, especially if the show becomes heavily-serialized and batshit crazy later on. They could if they would.

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Only the Kings can elevate such a traditional concept in the supernatural arena to the next level. And they did, quite brilliantly. Evil is not your typical CBS show and it’s not something you find these days on the other networks either. It’s a leap of faith that should be taken, but with a back-up plan in case it gets rejected. There should be a spot waiting for it on CBS All Access. With those writers, this cast and this strong potential, nothing can really go wrong. 

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

[  ] PASS
[  ] CONSIDER
[ X ] RECOMMEND

Tommy (CBS) pilot preview: Edie Falco is great, but is she enough?

SERIES TITLE: Tommy (aka Nancy)
NETWORK: CBS
GENRE: Cop Drama

LOGLINE: When Abigail Thomas, a former high-ranking NYPD officer, becomes the first female Chief of Police for Los Angeles, she uses her unflinching honesty and hardball tactics to navigate the social, political, and national security issues that converge with enforcing the law…

Pilot Cast: Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie, The Menendez Murders), Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black, Mercy), Russell G. Jones (The Americans, Godless), Adelaide Clemens (Watchmen, Rectify), Olivia Lucy Phillip
Series Creators: Paul Attanasio (Bull, Homicide, House, Quiz Show, Sphere).
Pilot Director: Kate Dennis (The Handmaid’s Tale, Secrets & Lies)
Producers: Paul Attanasio, Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey.

Studios: CBS Television Studios & Amblin Television.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

  

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: Madam Secretary, Bull…

Likely Timeslot: Sunday night might be the right way to go. It will skew old anyway.

 

WRITTEN BY: Paul Attanasio.

PAGECOUNT: 62 pages

DRAFT: “In Dreams Begin Responsibility” Revised network draft 02/1/19

BACKGROUND: In its first pilot season without longtime chief Les Moonves at the helm, is CBS is finally ready to give a chance to projects that are more female-driven. Tommyis one of this year’s contenders that would appear to fit the bill, but just because it’s on the development slate doesn’t necessarily mean the network has turned a new leaf. Inspired in part by a real-life surge in the number of female police chiefs (LA County alone had a record seven last year), the network developed two female-led cop projects last year: Chiefs, starring Jorja Fox, Alana De La Garza and Aunjanue Ellis as (you guessed it) three female police chiefs, and a Cagney & Lacey reboot starring Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sarah Drew. In the end, neither project made the cut. (The Magnum, PI reboot did). Will Tommy succeed where those projects failed? Read on…

 

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: We open on MARIA DE ANGELES (20’s) picking up her ten year-old daughter MADISON from school. LAPD and ICE are both watching her, but just when ICE is about to move in, LAPD officer ADAM REED (30) breaks Maria’s taillight, putting her under arrest before ICE can get to her. The following day, we are introduced to ABIGAIL THOMAS (known as TOMMY), 48, soon to be the next Chief of Police for the City of Los Angeles. Tommy takes the arrested woman’s young daughter into her protection, housing her with her own grown daughter, KATE WELCH (30). As the strange and mysterious circumstances surrounding the arrest are uncovered, Tommy finds herself in the middle of a political firestorm, facing pressure from both inside and outside the department.

COMMENTS: Tommy may be the perfect example of a project that doesn’t sound particularly compelling until someone great signs on to star. That’s not to say that having Edie Falco attached sudddenly makes Tommy my top pilot pick for the season — not by a long shot — but her involvement helps. Simply put, she has what it takes to singlehandedly increase any project’s chances of survival. The only person to have earned an Emmy Award for Best Actress in both the drama and comedy categories, Falco is beloved for her portrayal of Carmela Soprano in HBO’s groundbreaking series The Sopranos and for her nuanced performance in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. I don’t know whether her role in this project was written with her in mind, but it’s hard to imagine any other actor being a better fit.

With a New Yorker’s gift for being tough and sarcastic while still remaining likable, Tommy loves being a cop more than anything. Her dedication to her work, however, has clearly taken a toll on her personal life, where she’s been a less-than-stellar wife and mother. Moving to Los Angeles for work, she’s geographically closer to her daughter Kate and her grandchildren, and it might be time to make amends. Also living in LA is Tommy’s ex-husband, who’s an actor and a totally charming human being. They have an easy intimacy and have become close friends over time. These two relationships form solid ground for more serialized storylines. Tommy herself is an interesting character and an unusual lead: she’s a woman of a certain age, a lesbian, and is considered as a “feminist icon” by many.

So, as you can see: Tommy is a lot more ambitious than your typical network procedural. And although my personal interest in the pilot’s investigation waned along the way, it ends up being more ambiguous and complex than it appears at the beginning. And clearly Tommy is a complex character. Is that enough to carry a show that will inevitably fall into the more generic “case of the week” formula? To be honest, I’m not sure. Also of concern in the pilot script are the office politics and hierarchy of it all, which I found cumbersome and confusing.

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Tommy could become an important asset for CBS, which is in need of more strong female-driven programming. And it’s hard to envision anyone better than Edie Falco playing the complex, titular character. Still, this one is not a slam-dunk. My interest in the procedural part of the pilot script waned along the way, and the jumble of supporting characters were just that. In short, I’m not convinced this project has what it takes to retain a network audience. CBS may have better options… 

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

[  ] PASS
X ] CONSIDER
 ] RECOMMEND

Surveillance (CBS) pilot preview: The Sophia Bush Show

SERIES TITLE: Surveillance
NETWORK: CBS
GENRE: Thriller Spy Drama

LOGLINE: Madeline Yardley, the head of communications for the NSA for 13 years, finds her loyalties torn between protecting the government’s secrets and her own when an investigative journalist she met dies unexpectedly in mysterious circumstances…

Pilot Cast: Sophia Bush (Chicago PD, One Tree Hill), Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit), Matthew Modine (Stranger Things, Weeds, Full Metal Jacket), Catalina Sandino-Moreno (The Affair, The Bridge), Allan Leech (Bohemian RhapsodyDownton Abbey), Raphael Acloque (Tyrant, 24: Legacy), Nick Blood (Agents of SHIELD)…
Series Creators: David C. White (The Bridge, Sons of Liberty).
Pilot Director: Patricia Riggen.
Producers: Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, The Passage, Planet of the Apes), Sophia Bush, Patricia Riggen & David C. White.
Studios: 20th Century Fox Television, CBS Television Studios & 6th & Idaho.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

   

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: Person of Interest, Scandal, Homeland, 24…

Likely Timeslot: Monday at 9? Thursday at 10?

WRITTEN BY: David C. White

PAGECOUNT: 63 pages

DRAFT: Revised Network Draft, 1/12/19

BACKGROUND: Surveillance was picked up to pilot by CBS back in September 2018, long before the start of traditional pilot season. It was one of the biggest sales of pitch season, and marked a breakthrough in the relationship between CBS and 20th Century FOX Television as the network’s first buy from the outside studio in three years. A different incarnation of the project was originally set up at FOX for development last year, but didn’t make it to pilot stage. Instead, the script was reworked and the studio brought Sophia Bush and Patricia Riggen on board before taking the package out.

The project is a return to television for Sophia Bush, who most recently played Detective Erin Lindsay for four seasons on NBC’s Chicago PD, before exiting in 2017. The set of the cop drama has been described as a tough environment for Bush, who is said to have exited when it was clear that nothing would be done to make things right. In Surveillance, she’s not only the star of the show but also an executive producer. And she may have found a way to send a message or two to her old team through this show and this character.

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: The pilot opens in a convenience store parking lot, with a man named JACK HERBERT leaving a payphone and returning to his mess of a car. There are laptops, cell phones, legal pads and takeout containers everywhere. We next see him cruising down empty downtown city streets, before approaching a large brick wall… and crashing right into it. The car explodes instantly. Is Jack dead? A surveillance camera filmed the whole scene.

Cut to: a hotel room. Separated from her husband and far away from her two children, this is where our heroine MADDY lives. She’s the director of Strategic Communications for the NSA. She was sleeping but is awakened her phone. She grabs it and our question is answered: Jack Herbert is indeed dead. But Maddy has no idea who’s giving her this information. Her next call is from BARRY, telling her to get to work ASAP. Barry is the NSA Deputy Director, basically her boss, but also her mentor/father figure.

At NSA headquarters, Maddy is welcomed by her close colleague and longtime friend NATALIE. Natalie oversees all active operations at the NSA, and is the first woman to do so. Maddy has a favor to ask of her: trace the call she received a few hours before, off book. Natalie accepts, but not without some hesitation. Maddy goes to the conference room, where Barry and a group of other NSA higher-ups are waiting for her. She knows all of them, except one. THE MAN IN THE RED TIE. His identity and true mission are shrouded in secrecy. They have questions for her about Jack Herbert. Turns out she met him, perhaps more than once, and she’s asked to explain what she knows about him, what he was looking for when he came to her the first time… We’re transported to that moment through a flashback and it’s clear that Maddy is lying to the committee. But why?? What is she hiding?

COMMENTS: As discussed earlier, Surveillance was not originally developed as a vehicle for Sophia Bush, and I can’t help but wonder if she’s the right fit. Part of that may be because I know her from One Tree Hill, where she signed brighter than most of her co-stars, and from the short-lived sitcom Partners, where she proved she could be very funny. And although I’m less familiar with her work on Chicago PD (for which she was also lauded), her character in Surveillance feels very different. For one, she’s described in the script as a woman in her forties. (Bush herself is in her mid-thirties.) In addition, this isn’t just a leading role, the entire show is built her character, with Maddy appearing in nearly every scene of the pilot. That’s a lot to put on Bush in her first go as series lead, but clearly 20th Century FOX & CBS think she’s ready. Let’s hope they’re right.

The first season of the series has a title — “Operation Blackwash” — suggesting there will be one central storyline each year, with most of the cast and characters returning for subsequent seasons, except those who will die. Because this is the kind of show where people die, a lot. And, um, un-die sometimes. This is a big conspiracy thriller, with no holds barred. But as different as that may seem from the typical CBS formula show, it’s not revolutionary, either. At this point, you really can’t make a TV show about the inner workings of a federal institution, whether it be the FBI, the CIA or the NSA, without being compared to what’s been done (and done well) before. Which brings us to Homeland. The Showtime drama is definitely an influence on Surveillance, and there’s a lot of Carrie Mathison in Madeline Yardley, not only because she’s a woman in a world of powerful men — which is resonant with Bush’s own story — but also because she’s basically the same character: brilliant, determined, complex, and married to her job. She also has a messy private life — is an affair going on there? — and the requisite stress that comes with a job where a single mistake can lead to death and destruction.

The pilot plays the suspense card very well, revealing plenty of tantalizing details along the way. This isn’t Scandal — it’s not an over-the-top spectacle with characters over-reacting to everything — but Maddy’s job is pretty similar to Olivia Pope’s: she fixes problems, she sometimes hides the truth for the greater good, she manipulates, she bargains, and she threatens. This is serious stuff, but it’s also quite exciting. That it manages this may be the script’s greatest achievement. The NSA is about people working behind desks, making phone calls, watching, listening, and taking meetings, but the script’s fast pace compensates for that, and then some.

The show’s secondary characters stay mostly in Maddy’s shadow in the pilot script, but that’s not a problem at this point. If the show gets picked up to a full network-sized season, they’ll definitely need to be developed in later episodes to be more than just pawns in this wicked game but also actual human beings with their own stories.

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Surveillance is a little risky, but it’s too good a script not to try. It’s timely and captivating, and has the potential to do for CBS what The Good Wifeand Person Of Interest have done in seasons past. Poor execution or an unconvincing performance from Sophia Bush could quickly turn it into something less compelling but let’s be optimistic!

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

[  ] PASS
  ] CONSIDER
X ] RECOMMEND

 

CBS 2018/2019 Schedule (THOUGHTS & TRAILERS)

 

MONDAY

8- THE NEIGHBORHOOD / HAPPY TOGETHER

9- MAGNUM, P.I.

10- BULL

TUESDAY

8- NCIS

9- F.B.I.

10- NEW ORLEANS

WEDNESDAY

8- SURVIVOR

9- SEAL TEAM

10- CRIMINAL MINDS

THURSDAY

8- THE BIG BANG THEORY / SHELDON

9- MOM / MURPHY BROWN

10- S.W.A.T.

FRIDAY

8- MACGYVER

9- HAWAII 5-0

10- BLUE BLOODS

SUNDAY

7- 60 MINUTES

8- GOD FRIENDED ME

9- NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10- MADAM SECRETARY

MIDSEASON

ELEMENTARY | INSTINCT | THE CODE | THE RED LINE | LIFE IN PIECES | MAN WITH A PLAN | FAM

THOUGHTS

– CBS apparently got too afraid to break up The Big Bang Theory & Young Sheldon to help new comedies. As a result, the monday ones will have to fight for themselves without any support. That might ugly real quick! Hopefully, they have a few more to launch midseason. Though none of them are strong.

Magnum, P.I. will also have to self start but at least there will be curiosity for it that might help it get sampled the first weeks of its run. Other than that, I’ll probably be a struggle… Dick Wolf’s F.B.I. got luckier with the NCIS’ lead-in. Bull moving to monday at 10 could be a real challenge, facing both The Good Doctor & Manifest, but CBS probably wanted to put something that’s strong and not a dying show. Though Bull could die in the process.

– Not buzzy at all Murphy Brown revival is exactly where it should be: paired with Mom in a slot that’s not so important for them. But wasting Young Sheldon on Mom once again is a bit of a waste.

God Friended Me on sunday? I know it’s church day but this show that’s supposed to skew younger than other CBS dramas will never find this audience here in this slot, between 60 Minutes and NCIS: Los Angeles… Gone by december! Welcome back Instinct!


TRAILERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS | 2018/2019 – Fantasy Schedule

Those are predictions based on feelings and CBS final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Wednesday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

RENEWED

NCIS | NCIS: LA | NCIS: NEW ORLEANS | CRIMINAL MINDS | HAWAII FIVE-O | ELEMENTARY | BLUE BLOODS | MADAM SECRETARY | BULL | MACGYVER | SEAL TEAM | S.W.A.T. | INSTINCT

THE BIG BANG THEORY | MOM | LIFE IN PIECES | MAN WITH A PLAN | YOUNG SHELDON

ORDERED

F.B.I. | MAGNUM, P.I. | GOD FRIENDED ME | THE CODE | THE RED LINE

MURPHY BROWN | THE NEIGHBORHOOD | FAM | HAPPY TOGETHER

CANCELLED 

SCORPION | WISDOM OF THE CROWD

KEVIN CAN WAIT | SUPERIOR DONUTS | ME, MYSELF & I | 9JKL | LIVING BIBLICALLY

TO BE DETERMINED

CODE BLACK

 

Tough season for CBS: they’re still winning in total viewers but they skew older and older each year. And while ABC has a drama problem, CBS has a big comedy one. With The Big Bang Theory possibly ending next season -they’ll fight like crazy to get more I guess- and Young Sheldon being the only newbie doing good numbers, they’d better up their game and schedule them better. They surprisingly got rid of Kevin Can Wait but they still have some stones in their shoes like Man With A Plan or Life In Pieces, doing barely okay. Will their Murphy Brown revival help them like Will & Grace helped NCB and Roseanne helped ABC? Unlikely. The political-fueled show has many good reasons to come back in this troubled climate and will probably have relevant things to say but it’s not a comedy that left such a huge mark in pop culture. I’m not sure people will welcome it so warmly. In the drama department, CBS looks more and more like a syndication farm. Which is fine when you can find a home for your new shows. But as Scorpion proved after 4 seasons: if your show is weak from the get-go, nobody will buy it… CBS’s schedule is pretty unpredictable. They’d need to make drastic changes and bold moves to improve. But it’s not like them. Here’s what I would do:

 

MONDAY

THE BIG BANG THEORY / HAPPY TOGETHER or FAM

GOD FRIENDED ME

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

Yep. I feel like the only way for CBS to be back in the comedy game as they used to on monday is to bring back The Big Bang Theory the night it started more than 10 years ago. That’s also where it aired for a few weeks at the beginning of the past seasons when there was football on thursday and it always did great. This way, it will be able help a new comedy instead of helping Young Sheldon that should be fine without it now. Can’t decide which one between Happy Together with Damon Wayans Jr. or Fam with Nina Dobrev is the best option since they’re like twins based on the scripts. At 9, it’s a bit unconventional I know but I would give the slot to God Friended Me, first because it’s a dramedy, then because it’s CBS’ only chance next year at skewing younger. I have a feeling it won’t work, but I don’t see this show airing anywhere else. They ordered it so… At 10, NCIS: New Orleans would be used as a safe weapon when the other networks are bringing out the big guns (The Good Doctor on ABC and Manifest on NBC). Better not launch something new there…

 

TUESDAY

NCIS

F.B.I.

BULL

NCIS is starting to show its age on tuesday and it’s the occasion for CBS to use it to launch something new one last time before it’s too late. Dick Wolf’s F.B.I. looks generic as hell but could make an efficient lead-out. Bull may lose a bit of its loyal audience at 10, especially since Michael Weatherly will have to face Nathan Fillion (The Rookie) on ABC, but it should be strong enough by now to survive. Tuesday would look fresher overall and it needs to if they want to stay competitive on the night. Swim or sink!

 

WEDNESDAY

SURVIVOR

MAGNUM, P.I.

CRIMINAL MINDS

After wasting Survivor‘s lead-in with Seal Team last year, that never really took off, CBS should not insist and give it to a more promising newbie… aka Magnum, P.I. new generation. With Justin Lin driving the project, it may be modern enough to be worth a slot that is not on friday or sunday. Plus, the Hawaiian-set show looks like a good fit with Survivor, based on the beaches. At 10, Criminal Minds is doing okay business and should stay there, whether it’s for a 13-episode (final) season or a full one.

 

THURSDAY

YOUNG SHELDON / THE NEIGHBORHOOD

MOM / MURPHY BROWN

S.W.A.T.

With Young Sheldon leading the night, CBS should bet on shows with a strong family element and The Neighborhood might be a good candidate as a consequence. Mom should stay where it is doing solid business and that’s where Murphy Brown comes in. It’d be a female-fueled comedy hour and if the revival doesn’t work, they won’t look too dumb since it was not in a high-priority slot. Life In Pieces can comeback there once the shorten season is done. SWAT doesn’t have to move.

 

FRIDAY

MACGYVER

HAWAII 5-O

BLUE BLOODS

No adjustement to make. Magnum P.I. will end up there sooner or later anyway…

 

SUNDAY

60 MINUTES

SEAL TEAM

NCIS: LA

MADAM SECRETARY

So I would put serious Seal Team after serious news magazine 60 Minutes, where it should have aired from the get go! (Schedulet it there last year already). The rest of the night should stay intact, though Madam Secretary does horrible numbers. But it has a rich syndication deal so…

 

MIDSEASON

MAN WITH A PLAN – The show got a pity renewal because it’s fully owned but it should be benched until there’s a slot available for it. If God Friended Me doesn’t work on monday, it would be easy to put it here paired with either Fam or Happy Together.

ELEMENTARY – Shoud be back in deep spring again, airing mostly during the summer.

INSTINCT – Whenever to plug a hole.

THE CODE – If Criminal Minds is limited this year, it could take over in spring.

THE RED LINE – This one feels like a limited-show. Don’t know what they can do with it but it’s clearly something that they will be proud of but that they won’t be able to schedule properly…

Magnum, PI (CBS) pilot preview: By the people who already brought back Hawaii 5-0 & MacGyver

I saw the sun rise” written and executive produced by Peter Lenkov (MacGyver, Hawaii 5-0, Salvation, 24) & Eric Guggenheim (Hawaii 5-0, Parenthood). Based on the series by Donald P. Bellisario & Glen A. Larson. Also produced by John Davis (The Blacklist, Shaft, Predator, Waterworld, Paycheck) & John Fox (Timeless, The Blacklist, Joy). Directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond, SWAT, Scorpion). For CBSUniversal TelevisionCBS Television Studios & Davis Entertainment. 60 pages. Revised Network Draft. 12/12/2017.

Description: Thomas Magnum, a decorated ex-Navy SEAL, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator in Hawaii. With help from fellow vets Theodore “TC” Calvin and Orville “Rick” Wright, as well as that of disavowed former MI:6 agent Juliet Higgins, Magnum takes on the cases no one else will, helping those who have no one else to turn to…

With Jay Hernandez (Bright, Suicide Squad, Bad Moms, Scandal, Hang Time), Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadful, The Tudors), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings, FlashForward, Parenthood), Stephen Hill

  

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: Letting you guess.

Likely Timeslot: Monday at 10, wednesday at 9 or friday somewhere.

 

Haven’t we suffered enough? Was rebooting Hawaii 5-0 and more recently MacGyver enough already? Since both worked, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Lazy CBS is ready for another try and this time it’s the classic 1980s Tom Selleck series set in Hawaii that’s getting the remake treatment. And once again, it’s CBS Television Studios’ go-to writer for rebooting iconic procedurals Peter Lenkov who’s behind the wheel. Per Deadline, it is said to be CBS’ most expensive pilot this season. I’m not surprised after reading the script. It looks expensive. But first, let me tell you Magnum could have come back earlier, last season, when ABC developed a new version, which was supposed to follow Magnum’s daughter, Lily “Tommy” Magnum, who returns to Hawaii to take up the mantle of her father’s PI firm. She and her tribe of friends would have mixed tropical beaches with the seedy underbelly of international crime and modern espionage. It fell through. And you know what? It sounded way better and more modern than what CBS is cooking up. More respectful to the original also, not that this one is not respectful.

In case you were wondering, there were discussions about Tom Selleck getting involved in the reboot but he opted not to get formally on board but gave the project his blessing. He’s still the star of Blue Bloods on CBS and unless there’s a surprise cancellation this may, it will be on the air at least one more year, meaning he won’t be able to say hello to the new Magnum. But after that, everything’s possible. And there’s a role for him actually. Like in the original show, Magnum is “sponsored” by the pulp novelist Robin Masters, and lives in the beautiful oceanfront Hawaiian estate owned by the millionaire called “Robin’s Nest”. Only his voice was heard in the show, he never appeared. Though there’s a theory his majordomo Higgins was in fact Masters. Anyway, if he were to appear in the new version, it would be fun if he were played by Tom Selleck himself! Unlikely, but who knows? So, the big difference between the old Magnum and the new one -and probably the only one in terms of story- is Higgins. She’s a female now. Jonathan is now Juliet. She is commanding, confident, tough, uses sarcasm to deflect emotion and hard to get to know. She’s also strict and often in conflict with Magnum and his more easy-going methods. Very much like out old pair! But there’s something else going on there. Yeah, we’re having yet another “will they?won’t they? situation” as they clearly about to become more than just friends who act like they hate each other. Can’t blame CBS for this but I’m not sure this trope can still win the audience, unless there’s something special about it.

Our other principal characters are kinda non-existent in the pilot. It includes Rick, a former door gunner with the Marines who now runs Oahu’s coolest nightclub, he’s well-connected – if you want something on the island, Rick is the man to see; Theodore “TC” Calvin, an ex-Marine chopper pilot who’s still a chopper pilot.; and well Sebastian Nuzo, ex-Seal, who’s now… dead! He’s kidnapped, tortured and killed in the pilot, which gives a good reason for Magnum to investigate. There’s also another woman, Hannah Boyle, a former CIA Intel Analyst and Magnum’s ex-girlfriend. She was supposed to be dead, until we learn she’s not. She’s connected to the somber story of a sunken ship full of gold. Yeah, you read right. But it leads to what will probably a very good-looking and impressive scene that takes place underwater, with Magnum catching bad guys on scuba gear. We’ll also find our hero on his surf ski, wearing bord-shorts, paddling. Because he’s cool. And the opening scene includes a next-generation space capsule, a space-suit, a parachute and a water Buffalo. Just sayin’! Magnum wants to be cooler than Hawaii 5-0, Macgyver & Scorpion reunited so they’re going over the top and only a good director can make this look good and not too ridiculous. Fast & Furious‘ Justin Lin is probably the right guy for the job. He also gets the chance to film him in a Ferrari, and other cars I’ve never heard of. That’s the spirit! Landscape views are described as impossibly stunning and since they’re really shooting in Hawaii, they will be for sure.

They kept Magnum’s voice-over as part of the storytelling, which is not a good idea if you ask me. It makes it sound old-fashioned. It was not needed but one can argue it’s part of the charm of the original show and it would have been a pity not to use it again. Let’s just hope Jay Hernandez will do it right. Not sure what else I can tell you about this pilot. I didn’t describe Magnum but he’s exactly like you think he is. Exactly like other CBS’s leading men. Nothing new. Well, he’s a latino guy, so there’s that. And about the investigation, it works exactly as in any other CBS procedural. If you like that and if you’re not tired of it, then you should have a ball! Happy you! Something really bugged me: the patriotic message that’s all over the script and in the least subtle form. The end of the episode is a military funeral and OMG the speech of Magnum is just too much, full of clichés about brotherhood, soldiers for life… “As corny as it sounds” he says. Well at least they’re conscious about what they’re doing. And when I think about it, it’s really the perfect show for Republicans. And it’s way way more dangerous than Roseanne, believe me… But that’s what most of the CBS audience wants, right?

Compared to new Macgyver‘s pilot, Magnum P.I. ‘s is way more effective and less ridiculous, though Magnum sometimes acts like he’s MacGyver and there’s not much difference between him and Hawaii 5-O‘s McGarrett either. It’s the same show over and over again and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work at least a little for CBS. It’s fun to watch if it’s your kind of fun, and if you’re into very patriotic shows, it’s like heaven for you! The great thing for the eye network is that they can put it anywhere. It’ll do the trick!