All week long as the other networks have been frantically renewing and canceling established shows and picking up new shows, CBS has been the cool kid leaning up against the wall in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette. [Yes, I'm picturing Pre-Upfronts Week as a '50s problem drama.]
Late Friday (May 9), CBS decided to get in on the action, announcing seven series pickups, five dramas and two comedies.
[Actually, it's kinda only six series pickups, since Vince Gilligan's "Battle Creek" had been acquired as a 13-episode series commitment pre-pilot.]
It's unclear which shows are headed for midseason and which are targeted for fall.
And CBS isn't expected to announce any additional pickups or cancellations today.
So let's get down to the details on CBS' new shows for the 2014-15 season, or at least the first batch.
*** "Battle Creek" - As you already know, Vince Gilligan wrote "Battle Creek" over a decade ago, dusted it off and now the story of a detective and an FBI agent working the hard streets of Michigan is coming to TV with David Shore ("House") as showrunner. The series stars Kal Penn, Josh Duhamel, Janet McTeer, Dean Winters and Aubrey Dollar, among others. Gilligan also directed the pilot.
*** "Madam Secretary" - Created by Barbara Hall, "Madam Secretary" stars Tea Leoni as a Secretary of State who struggles with diplomacy both abroad and in her own home. The Vocational Irony Narrative co-stars Tim Daly, Geoffrey Arend and Bebe Neuwirth and the pilot was directed by David Semel.
*** "NCIS: New Orleans" - This year's attempt at a nested "NCIS" spinoff was better received than last year's "NCIS: Red." It stars Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, CCH Pounder and Zoey McLellan.
*** "Scorpion" - "Prison Break" veteran Nick Santora wrote the "Scorpion" pilot which tells the kinda true story of ultra-genius Walter (Elyes Gabel) who recruits a team of fellow geniuses to fight the world's biggest problems. Katharine McPhee plays the Normal who helps the brains interact with the world. The Justin Lin-directed project co-stars Ernie Hudson, Jadyn Wong, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Robert Patrick and more.
*** "Stalker" - Written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Liz Friedlander, "Stalker" focuses on the detectives handling stalking incidents in the LAPD's Threat Management Unit. Dylan McDermott returns to CBS in the lead role, joined by Maggie Q, Victor Rasuk and Mariana Kaveno.
*** "The McCarthys" - Created by Brian Gallivan and executive produced by Will Gluck, "The McCarthys" is, as I'm sure you'd guess, the story of a wacky Irish-Catholic family living in Boston. And yes, it features at least one former New Kid on the Block, in this case Joey McIntyre, along with Laurie Metcalf, Jimmy Dunn, Jack McGee, Kelen Coleman and Tyler Ritter.
*** "The Odd Couple" - Matthew Perry plays Oscar to Thomas Lennon's Felix in this new take on the Neil Simon's classic and entirely self-explanatory story. Wendell Pierce, Lindsay Sloane, Sarah Baker and Georgia King round out the ensemble.
These are merely the shows that CBS wanted to announce today. It doesn't mean that the network's other pilots are dead. However, as TV's most-watched network, CBS has many fewer logical scheduling holes than several of the other networks and this is already more dramas than most observers expected them to pick up.
So stay tuned!
Anything pique your interest?
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
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