Take Me to the Pilots '10: CBS' 'Blue Bloods'
[As I've already mentioned, and will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show: "Blue Bloods," CBS
The Pitch: "Law & Order: Family Edition"
Quick Response: My instinct is that "Blue Bloods" is exactly the sort of sturdy, professionally made drama that really ought to be successful for CBS on Friday nights. Crafted by "Sopranos" alums Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, it's serious and thougtful and when you can put Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan and Len Cariou in a cast together, there's a solid acting pedigree. But is "Blue Bloods" sexy and splashy enough to keep me engaged, much less to attract young viewers? I'm less sure. The saga of a multi-generational family with their fingers in different layers of New York City's legal pie plays as more "Law & Order" than "Damages," which will be again be a boon for certain audiences, but despite a stab at introducing a heavily serialized element in the last act, I wasn't completely hooked. Do I buy that this family of cops and lawyers would constantly be involved in so many of the same cases in a city this big? Well no. Several parts of the pilot *bellow* "Conflict of interest!" And several parts of the pilot became a bit too much like "Brothers & Sisters," only with badges. But I think there are enough pieces to work with here, along with the admirable commitment to shooting in New York City, that I can be curious. Best case scenario, "Blue Bloods" is given the chance to develop like "The Good Wife" (which would have been a terrific programming compliment, and still might be in the future) a show that thrives (for this viewer at least) when it's most character-driven and least procedural. The two shows have a similar feel and a similar respect for letting characters have high-minded arguments and debates. That concentration on characters is what makes "Blue Bloods" feel different from CBS' "CSI"/"NCIS" masses, not that I doubt "CSI: NY" audiences tuning in at 9 p.m. will stick around in the 10 p.m. hour for a highly compatible NYC crime drama.
Desire To Watch Again: I'm definitely in for a second episode. "Blue Bloods" has already experienced some behind-the-scenes upheaval and it may take a couple episodes to see how the show's tone and feel shakes out.
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