Tag: ted humphrey

Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS) pilot preview: Wisdom would have been not picking it up!

Written and produced by Ted Humphrey (The Unit, The Good Wife, Incorporated). Executive produced by Alon Shtruzman (DIG), Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?), Rachel Kaplan (Manhattan Love Story, Do No Harm), Avi Nir (Homeland, Tyrant), Dror Mishani,  & Shira Hadad. Directed by Adam Davidson (Fear the Walking Dead, Hell On Wheels, Community). For CBS Television Studios, Universal Television & Keshet Studios. 63 pages. Network Draft. 01/23/17.

Description: Jeffrey Tanner, a successful tech innovator from Silicon Valley, creates a cutting edge crowd-sourcing hub named CrowdSolver to solve his own daughter’s murder, as well as revolutionizing crime solving in San Francisco. Tommy Cavanaugh, a tough cop for 16 years, reluctantly accepts to run the place…

With Jeremy Piven (Entourage, Mr Selfridge), Richard T. Jones (Judging Amy, Santa Clarita Diet, The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Blake Lee (Mixology), Monica Potter (Parenthood, Boston Legal)…

 

You’ll like if you already like: The Mentalist, Bull, APB, Pure Genius

Likely timeslot: Anywhere on CBS quite frankly.

 

I have a feeling you’re not interested in this script preview. Well guess what? Me neither. So I’m gonna keep it short and direct (and thank you for reading it anyway). It’s one of those CBS procedurals that give you so much of a “déjà vu” impression that even if it’s effective and moving at an appropriate pace, it still feels tired, unnecessary and boring. So I won’t bore you with too many details. How many more white handsome rich guys with exceptional skills and a deep dark wound -which is always a dead relative, here a daughter- will we have to endure? Now that the initial charm has worn off, isn’t it time to put it to rest for like… forever? Police procedurals need to reinvent themselves and as recent flops like CSI:CyberAPB (or Pure Genius in the medical area) suggest, using high-tech isn’t the solution. It certainly helps giving a modern feel to the projects, but it never make them special.

This season, CBS provided us with Bull. The legal drama is starring Michael Weatherly and is protected in the timeslot that immediately follows NCIS, where the actor spent 13 years of this career. Very smart scheduling obviously. So of course, it’s doing okay numbers. But not great numbers, not exactly what the network expected I guess. Same for MacGyver. It does a decent job for friday nights but it’s not a hit. To me, it proves this concept has been overused and is progressively dying. CBS only ordered two of these this pilot season, meaning they more or less took into account the rejection. The other one is Instinct with Alan Cumming that I already wrote about (HERE) and which is better. Funnier. And more distinctive.

The thing is Wisdom of the Crowd is an Israeli concept that has been sold to CBS and it shows. It doesn’t sound like a script that comes from the mind of its writer, it doesn’t sound like something personal or something that has been thoughtfully prepared for weeks or even months. It’s just a product he’s trying to sell us, carefully following what he has been asked. It’s just a job he’s paid for. There’s no life or passion between those lines. It leaves you unimpressed.

The main investigation checks the usual boxes meticulously, without surprising us a bit. Yes, it’s easy to read and probably comfortable to watch but it never challenges the viewer. I’d like to think we’re smarter than that. The main character also checks the usual boxes, except he’s not even fun. I have to admit I’m not a big Jeremy Piven fan. It doesn’t help imagining him in the role, but I guess he fits right in the part and he looks like the traditional CBS leading man. Secondary characters are non-existent and there’s a fuzzy political storyline regarding Jeffrey’s ex-wife that is unpromising.

Wisdom of the Crowd is yet another uninspired CBS police procedural script that’d be better left in a drawer or thrown in a trash can. It would have been a convincing option 5 or 6 years ago but we’ve been there too many times since then.