Tag: the good wife

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 summarized 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

CBS | 2016/2017 – Fantasy Schedule

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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!

 

Dramas renewed: NCIS | NCIS: LA | NCIS NEW ORLEANS | CRIMINAL MINDS | HAWAII 5-0 | BLUE BLOODS | ELEMENTARY | MADAM SECRETARY | CODE BLACK | CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS

New dramas ordered: BULL | PURE GENIUS | MACGYVER | TRAINING DAY | DOUBT

Comedies renewed: THE BIG BANG THEORY | 2 BROKE GIRLS | MOM | LIFE IN PIECES | THE ODD COUPLE

New comedies ordered: KEVIN CAN WAIT | THE GREAT INDOORS | MAN WITH A PLAN

 

Tough year for CBS with Supergirl, Limitless & Code Black not becoming the hits they hoped for and needed, while shows like CSI Cyber & Elementary didn’t deliver. Les Moonves tries to convince everyone in the press that everything is okay, even better than ever, but of course it’s a lie. They’re not in immediate danger and other networks (ABC & FOX) are in way worst situations but they’re in a downward spiral and they have to react! With a development year that seemed weak, things won’t be easy for them…

 


MONDAYS

KEVIN CAN WAIT | MAN WITH A PLAN

SCORPION

PURE GENIUS

Now Supergirl is gone for good on The CW –a really bad idea from the get go but CBS never listens– they can revamp mondays and give an hour back to comedies. Honestly, none of their new drama entries are 8pm shows. Maybe MacGyver, but it’s unlikely it will be ready for fall with all the work they have to do to make it watchable. An hour of Matthew Perry & Matt LeBlanc would be a great marketing plan BUT I don’t think CBS is high enough on The Odd Couple, despite its solid performances since its late return, to start a night with it. They will probably keep it for a later time, as a joker if other comedies fail. Two new family comedies back to back, Kevin Can Wait & Man With a Plan, both about dads at home, might be a better solution. Younger viewers won’t like this but it will remind older people the CBS of the 90s with the monday comedy line-up and shows like King of Queens (hello Kevin James !). When CBS will have football on thursdays for five weeks at the beginning of the season, The Big Bang Theory can move here like they did the years before to help launching one of two new comedies, probably Kevin Can Wait. Scorpion is central to the night and should stay here, serving as a lead-in for new medical drama Pure Genius. They’re very compatible and CBS doesn’t have so many shows right now to help launching others. NCIS: Los Angeles can be put on a hiatus. Either Pure Genius is a flop and it can come back there. Either Pure Genius works and they can keep it for later in the year, like on fridays between two editions of The Amazing Race.

 

TUESDAYS

NCIS

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

BULL

Bull is not a show that will attract in the young demo, so it makes it a perfect fit with the NCIS shows, especially since it’s starring Michael Weatherly who just departed the mothership. And CBS can’t make the same mistake they did with Limitless. It was also an interesting option for the 9pm slot on sundays, taking over for The Good Wife but I don’t see it happening this year. But ultimately, that’s where it could end up.

 

WEDNESDAYS

SURVIVOR

CRIMINAL MINDS

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS

The 10pm slot is a problem for CBS for quite a few years now. They have to settle with something that does okay, rather than launching yet another drama that will ultimately fail. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders doesn’t provide incredible ratings but the retention with Criminal Minds is very good. And maybe it will be able to take over at 9pm someday.

 

THURSDAYS

THE BIG BANG THEORY / THE GREAT INDOORS

MOM / 2 BROKE GIRLS

TRAINING DAY

When football will end, The Big Bang Theory will once again debut the night and for the first time in many years CBS finally has a multicam sitcom that fits with it! The Great Indoors, starring Joel McHale, is about geeky millenials. If this one doesn’t work, nothing will. Oh, but maybe it’s very bad! (I think it is based on the script, but there’s potential anyway). Then Mom can be back, paired with 2 Broke Girls. But I have the terrible feeling CBS will push it to midseason, like they originally planned this year before Angel From Angel flopped, and try renewed single-cam Life In Pieces there. And it’s gonna be ugly. I’m not a huge fan of Training Day on Thursdays at 10 quite frankly. But I don’t have better option, except if MacGyver is ready for fall…

 

FRIDAYS

THE AMAZING RACE

HAWAII 5-0

BLUE BLOODS

No change here. No need. The Amazing Race doesn’t impress but since it’s renewed…

 

SUNDAYS

MADAM SECRETARY

CODE BLACK

ELEMENTARY

CBS has finally made a decision about medical drama Code Black, that showed some promise towards the end of the first season. It got a 17-episode season, with some tweaks to make it better and probably skew younger. But keeping it on wednesdays, where it has to face Chicago PD, doesn’t seem to be the best option. I think the 9pm slot on sundays gives it a better chance to succeed since there is less pressure there and it seems an okay fit with Madam Secretary. When the season will end, CBS could try Doubt there.

 

MIDSEASON

NCIS: LOS ANGELES / MACGYVER / DOUBT / LIFE IN PIECES / THE ODD COUPLE


Any thoughts? Feel free to comment.

 

SEE ABC 2016/2017 FANTASY SCHEDULE

 

Braindead (CBS) pilot preview: When The Good Wife’s creators go full zombies!

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Created by Robert & Michelle King (The Good Wife, Vertical Limit, Red Corner). Produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, Prometheus), Judy Smith (Scandal) & David W. Zucker (Police Squad!, Naked Gun). For CBS Television Studios, King Size Productions & Scott Free Productions. 67 pages.

Description: Laurel, the daughter of a Democratic political dynasty who left Washington, D.C. to become a documentary filmmaker, is pulled back into the family business when her brother, the senate majority whip, needs her help running his senate office. Now a young, fresh-faced Hill staffer, Laurel discovers two things: The government has stopped working, and alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of congressmen and Hill staffers…

With Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield LaneThe Returned US, A Good Day to Die Hard, Final Destination 3) , Aaron Tveit (Graceland, Gossip Girl), Danny Pino (Cold Case, Law & Order SVU), Johnny Ray Gill (Rectify, Harry’s Law), Nikki M. James (The Good Wife)…

STARTS JUNE 13th ON CBS

 

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Whether The Good Wife leaves the air next May or stays at least one more year remains a mystery, as CBS has not decided on its fate yet (or so they say). In my opinion, they should wrap it up before it gets too embarrasing. A show that once was so brilliant can’t keep on offering such meh episodes (and such bad ratings). It’s just not acceptable. Creators Robert & Michelle King are already looking ahead while working on their next projects: there’s the ambitious Vatican City for Amazon, about the first female Papal spokesperson, which sounds exciting and new, and there’s Braindead, ordered to series for a summer run, described as a horror dramedy, which sounds a bit weird, especially on CBS but summer is this time of the year when the network allows itself to be real dumb and plain boring, as Under The Dome & Zoo proved to be (Extant was “just” boring and nothing else much). Braindead isn’t dumb and boring on the page. But is it any good? After scratching my head til it bleeds a little, here’s what I can say about the King’s next move.

Braindead is as funny as the Kings can be in The Good Wife sometimes, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a good thing since we already have that kind of “why so serious?” zombie show. It’s called The Walking Dead and everybody saw at least a glimpse of it. There are even a few fans out there, I’ve been told. The tone of the show is much more looking towards Ash Vs. Evil Dead but it wouldn’t be fair to compare it to anything else on TV right now. Braindead is its own thing, familiar in a way but different. Highly entertaining but with substance – and not only raw meat. Laurel, our heroin, has a good sense of humor and it makes her instantly engaging. It certainly is a meaty role for Mary-Elizabeth Winstead, who deserves it. Laurel is not as cold as Alicia Florrick can look at first sight. She’s fresh, cheerful, a bit of a nerd. She’s described by the writers as “eclectic and lively“. Not sure what they mean, but yeah she’s all of that and probably much more as we get to know her.

The characters that surround her are for the most part politicians, whether they’re from her family or working against her family, and they already show their real faces behind the mask. That’s where it’s a good thing the show is written by the Kings and not some random writer. They know what they’re talking about. They know political strategies. They proved it on The Good Wife multiple times. It’s not a zombie show that happens to be set at Washington DC. It’s both a zombie and a political show, and both aspects are treated with the same care. You got the thrills and the violence of The Walking Dead, or let’s say The Strain; and also the excitement of a smart TV show like The Good Wife that doesn’t take you for a dummy. Juggling with both is much more difficult than it seems and they do it very smoothly. I’d like to add The Good Wife fans won’t be lost: they’ll have a good amount of walk and talk scenes, dialogues on the phones and the pilot starts the same way as a lot of the legal series’ episodes do, by showing an internet video, here it’s car crash in Russia directly followed by the fall of a meteorite.

When it comes to raising the stakes and giving us a good idea of what the show will look like on a weekly basis, the Kings kind of fail. They made a choice: not showing all their cards in the pilot. They don’t use flashbacks or flashfowards or any other writing tricks. I respect that. Totally. That’s the way most of cable shows work. And they treated Braindead as such. For a network, even during summertime, it’s dangerous but courageous. Hope they’ll be rewarded for it. And I also hope they have a plan but you can’t seriously throw yourself into that kind of story without a plan!

Something really good can come out of that pilot script and that idea of a television show, but Braindead isn’t there yet. For now, it’s total exposure. Getting to know the characters, understanding the political situation -which is never that easy- and attending the first few days of the epidemy. Will it become a survival show at some point? We don’t know, but we sure hope so. There’s exciting stuff ahead and there’s exciting stuff right now. We just have to accept Braindead isn’t a flashy show that makes your head spinning from the get go and leaves you breathless after an hour. It’s a more traditional writing but a very good one thrown into a mix of genres that makes it everything but traditional. It won’t make your brain hurts… yet.

 

NEXT REVIEW: AMERICAN GOTHIC (CBS)

CBS’s Fall Schedule revealed / Trailers

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MADAM SECRETARY – SUNDAY

THE GOOD WIFE – SUNDAY – 9pm

CSI: CYBER – 10pm

 

THE BIG BANG THEORY / LIFE IN PIECES – MONDAY – 8pm (September)

SUPERGIRL – MONDAY – 8pm (Novvember)

SCORPION – MONDAY – 9pm

NCIS: LOS ANGELES – MONDAY – 10pm


NCIS – TUESDAY – 8pm

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS – TUESDAY – 9pm

LIMITLESS – TUESDAY – 10pm

 

SURVIVOR – WEDNESDAY – 8pm

CRIMINAL MINDS – WESNESDAY – 9pm

CODE BLACK – WEDSNESDAY – 10pm

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (September)

THE BIG BANG THEORY / LIFE IN PIECES  – THURSDAY – 8pm (November)

MOM / ANGEL FROM HELL – THURSDAY – 9pm

ELEMENTARY – THURSDAY – 10pm

THE AMAZING RACE – FRIDAY – 8pm

HAWAII 5-0 – FRIDAY – 9pm

BLUE BLOODS – FRIDAY

 

MID-SEASON

CSI (2-HOUR SERIES FINALE)

PERSON OF INTEREST

THE ODD COUPLE

MIKE & MOLLY

2 BROKE GIRLS

RUSH HOUR

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS

CBS | 2015/2016 – Fantasy Schedule

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

Dramas renewed: CSI – NCIS – CRIMINAL MINDS – THE GOOD WIFE – BLUE BLOODS – NCIS: LOS ANGELES – HAWAII 5-0 – PERSON OF INTEREST – ELEMENTARY – SCORPION – MADAM SECRETARY – CSI: CYBER

New dramas ordered: SUPERGIRL – CODE BLACK – LIMITLESS – CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS – RUSH HOUR

Comedies renewed: THE BIG BANG THEORY – MIKE & MOLLY – 2 BROKE GIRLS – MOM – THE ODD COUPLE

New comedies ordered: LIFE IN PIECES / AMY FROM HELL

MONDAYS

September / 8pm- THE BIG BANG THEORY / AMY FROM HELL

November / 8pm- 2 BROKE GIRLS / AMY FROM HELL

9pm- SCORPION

10pm- NCIS: LOS ANGELES

Scorpion did well the past season at 9 and it was not an easy bet since CBS put sitcoms there for decades. They shouldn’t mess with that, keep the momentum, especially since they’ll have a new comedy to launch just before, first helped by relocated The Big Bang Theory during football, then paired with -more compatible- 2 Broke Girls, which lost steam. NCIS: Los Angeles stay put at 10. It would be a mistake to move it again. Too soon. Plus, Castle is no longer a threat but Blindspot on NBC could be. Too risky to launch something new against it.

TUESDAYS

8pm- NCIS

9pm- NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

10pm- RUSH HOUR

I’m not sure CBS care that much about Rush Hour. Yes, they ordered it but it’s a Warner Bros. production. I don’t think they’re betting a lot on it. They’ll give it a try there. It will bomb and then they will be able to bring back CSI: Cyber and it will be a special night dedicated to old people. CSI: Cyber wanted to skew young, but it’s a big miss! It doesn’t work and it skews old. For a first season, it’s really concerning. CBS decided to renew it nonetheless and reboot it a little bit. It won’t change anything. This one’s gonna be dead long before the syndication gods can help it. I don’t see where to put it else than Tuesday at 10, with a decent lead-in though. Will Patricia Arquette do better than Person Of Interest? It would be sad, but it’s likely. CSI: Cyber is way more compatible with the NCIS franchise than Person Of Interest was or Rush Hour is…

WEDNESDAYS

8pm- SURVIVOR

9pm- LIMITLESS

10pm- CRIMINAL MINDS

It’s about time CBS stops using Survivor, which is still a decent lead-in, to help Criminal Minds. The show is old and it begins to show. Plus, it’s too expensive, CBS co-owns with ABC Studios, they don’t make that much money out of it. Put it at 10! I see Wednesday working the same way as Monday: an old show at 10, with something new at 9. Limitless is CBS’s new pop-corn series after Scorpion, it deserves to get that chance. Rush Hour is another option, but let’s use this strategy with the best one.

THURSDAYS

September / THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

November / 8pm- THE BIG BANG THEORY / THE ODD COUPLE

9pm- LIFE IN PIECES / MOM

10pm- ELEMENTARY

Life In Pieces is some kind of new Modern Family. If it’s as solid as it should be, CBS can try it at 9. Pairing it with The Big Bang Theory wouldn’t make sense because 1/ They wouldn’t really work together 2/ The Odd Couple is renewed and it can’t move and become The Millers 2.0Life In Pieces & Mom is a pair that works better, even if I hate pairing a multicamera comedy with a single-camera comedy. But CBS doesn’t leave us much of a choice! At 10, I’m sad to report I couldn’t come up with a better idea than keeping Elementary there. Code Black was my first idea but I thought putting Code Black against How to Get Away With Murder would be kind of stupid. They’re trying to reach the same feminine audience… Rush Hour or Supergirl wouldn’t make sense. So here we go with another year of low-rated Elementary!

FRIDAYS

8pm- UNDERCOVER BOSS

9pm- HAWAII 5-0

10pm- BLUE BLOODS

At 8, scripted shows will continue. Undercover Boss first, The Amazing Race then but for just one edition this year. Hawaii 5-0 & Blue Bloods stay put, but one of them will have to go sooner or later to give its place to NCIS: Los Angeles for example.

SUNDAYS

8pm- MADAM SECRETARY

9pm- CODE BLACK

10pm- THE GOOD WIFE

This year, CBS successfully launched Madam Secretary on Sunday right behind 60 minutes and just before The Good Wife. Assuming The Good Wife‘s 7th season will be its last -as its creators want to- the show can move at 10 where its low ratings on the demo won’t be a concern anymore, plus it’s no longer a decent lead-in (Battle Creek learnt it the hard way). But was it ever? They need to give a shot of fresh blood to the night and medical drama Code Black seems the perfect way to do so! The Marcia Gay Harden-driven show would fit well with the so-called “prestige” night and its feminine vibe. It will prevent Code Black from being a huge it, but the expectations are so low that it can also be protected and with a 55-yearl old lead, it ‘sad but it’s the truth: CBS knows exactly it will be weak on the demo.

MID-SEASON

PERSON OF INTEREST / CSI / CSI: CYBER / CRIMINAL MINDS; BEYOND BORDERS / MIKE & MOLLY / SUPERGIRL

CSI will probably be back for just a 2-hour movie. Put it on a Sunday around December and you’re good to go. Person of Interest‘s fifth and expected final season will get The Mentalist treatment: an uninterrupted run during winter. Where? On Wednesday at 8 when Survivor is on hiatus? Doesn’t look good but why not? Regarding Supergirl… Gosh. I don’t know what to do with that. That’s why I decided to keep it for midseason (summer would be better…). I doubt CBS will give it the post-Superbowl slot since they don’t produce it in-house, it’s Warner Bros. but it may be the only way for it to work and tell the work: you wre wrong, we are young, look at us ! But in which regular timeslot then? I have no idea… It has to be at 8 to reach the younger viewers… Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders looks more like a midseason back-up. As always, Mike & Molly will be used as a midseason replacement if one of the new comedies fail. It would be fun that someday they can’t find a slot to put it because their new comedies would have worked! Who know? Maybe this it!


What do YOU think?

“Doubt” (CBS) pilot preview: Another legal drama that is NOT “The Good Wife” but…

Doubt

Written & produced by Joan Rater & Tony Philan (Grey’s Anatomy, Madam Secretary). Co-produced by Sarah Timberman & Carl Beverly (Elementary, Unforgettable, Justified). Directed by Adam Bernstein (Oz, Breaking Bad, Californication). For CBS, CBS Television Studios & Timberman-Beverly Productions. 65 pages.

Description: Sadie Barrow, a smart, successful 30-something defense attorney, shockingly falls in love with one of her very rich clients, Billy Conway, who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. As of now, she has been able to hide the affair from her colleagues at Klein & Associates, but she knows the truth will come out eventually and it could put her career in jeopardy…

With KaDee Strickland (Private Practice, Secrets & Lies), Teddy Sears (American Horror Story, Masters of Sex, Raising the bar), Laverne Cox (Orange is the new black), Dreama Walker (The Good Wife, Don’t Trust the B****, Compliance), Dulé Hill (Psych, The West Wing), Elliott Gould (Friends, Ray Donovan, American History X), Kobi Libii (Alpha House)…

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Sometimes, life is unfair. For Doubt, life is very unfair indeed. I read the pilot script just after watching the greatest episode of The Good Wife this year, and clearly Doubt can’t compare. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It’s just that The Good Wife is beyond brilliant. If the show wasn’t developed for the same network, it wouldn’t be that big of a problem, but it is. And The Good Wife is not dead yet. We’ll get one more year, at least. Lucky us. I doubt Doubt can be paired with Michelle & Robert King’s drama on Sundays, or put somewhere else on the schedule. It wouldn’t fit. In fact, CBS should forget the legal drama genre for a bit, so we can mourn The Good Wife peacefully when the time will come…

Sadie Barrow is certainly cute and I love Kadee Strickland since Private Practice -and I miss her since I don’t watch Secrets & Lies– but she’s no Alicia Florrick/Julianna Margulies, though she totally deserves to be the lead of a show. Sadie is more of the Meredith Grey/women of the Shondaland kind. Doubt has been created by two ex-writers and producers of Grey’s Anatomy, and it shows. Doubt is soapy. Not a problem for me, I like it. But will CBS audience do? It’s a huge bet. And CBS is not used to bet on anything, or just once a year. And their next bet is already called Supergirl. Anyway. Doubt is your classical legal drama with two prominent cases dealt with in the pilot episode. They are not particularly original but they do the job efficiently. I quite liked what they did with a man called the “subway pusher” who, as you can imagine, killed a woman by pushing her onto the tracks of the subway. The man is sick, crazy sick, and it reflects on his attorney, Cameron Wirth, a very interesting character since it’s a transgender woman, played by Laverne Cox, revealed by Orange is the new black. She shares some part of her personal story with her client, but there are many more things to say about her and I’m already sad we’ll probably never get a chance to hear it. She teams up with a second year associate, played by the sparkling Dreama Walker. Those two excited me. I wanted more of them.

The whole love affair story didn’t excite me this much for a simple reason: the accused is clearly not a murderer! He is handsome, gentle, even touching… he’s kind of perfect and there is no twist at some point telling you: “Hey, the man you find so attractive and cool is, in fact, the real killer!”. Maybe they’re planning to reveal it a later time but it will already be too late. It is a now or never situation in my opinion. You have to show quickly what you’re TV series is made of. That’s the way it works now, like it or not. I’m not asking to pile up cliffhangers like in a Shonda Rhimes show, I’m just asking for one! And Doubt gives none. In the last scene, Sadie tells her mom -who’s in prison for something we’re not aware of- she has an affair with her client. It is also revealed Carolyn, the mom, has a love connection with Sadie’s boss, Isaiah Klein. I’m sorry but it feels a little bit too close to the Richard/Ellis storyline in Grey’s Anatomy. And it’s not pilot material. It’s just a good story for later in the season, nothing more. If ordered, the first season will deal with Bill Conway’s trial, and it’s a little thin to fill in 22 episodes… After it is closed? I fear the show becomes a fine soapy legal drama we don’t particularly need. But I’d probably watch it so…

Doubt is a decent but shy show developed by/for the wrong network. On ABC or NBC, why not! On CBS, duh? If by any chance it gets picked-up to series, I’ll support it and even pray for it. I love the cast, I like the characters and their dynamics. But let’s be realistic here: it’s not gonna happen.