Our upfront coverage comes to an end, nearly one month after upfronts week actually happened (hey – with a “Mad Men” project and a strict Netflix Pix schedule, what can you do?) with CBS, America’s most-watched network. Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, “The Most Recent Line On My Resume Under The ‘Previous Experience’ Heading.”
We’ve taken a look at ABC, FOX and NBC over the course of the last month, and of all the four major networks, CBS has the least amount of work to do, considering its stranglehold on that coveted No. 1 spot amongst viewers. This, in turn, has resulted in not much news coming out of CBS’s upfronts presentation. If it’s not broke, why fix it?
Last year’s Big Story came from Charlie Sheen’s departure and Ashton Kutcher’s arrival to what was at the time the most-watched comedy on television, “Two And A Half Men” (yuck). This year? Well, unless you were the treasurer of the “Rules of Engagement” fan club, there probably isn’t much for you to care about. A couple new shows, yes. But a slew of Earth-shatteringly high expectations for brand new programming that is sure to be a hit? Not so much.
Either way, below are three talking points for CBS. We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed TV Without A TV’s (somewhat delayed) upfronts coverage for the fall 2012 television season. Don’t forget to check back to these particular entries when the leaves begin to turn colors and you are seeking your New Favorite TV Show in the fall. It’s all out of love, remember.
CBS TALKING POINTS
1. Despite returning with monster numbers last season, “Two And A Half Men” is moving to … wait for it … Thursday. In is “2 Broke Girls” and “Partners,” the latter being one of the few new shows about which CBS is excited that features David Krumholtz and Michael Urie playing architects. One is gay. One is straight. Boom. Ratings gold. The bigger story here, though, is that the ex-Mr. Demi Moore’s comedy is being shipped to later in the week, alongside “The Big Bang Theory” and “Person Of Interest.” Does this mean that “Two And A Half Men” is on its way out? It wouldn’t make much sense, really. The show got a gigantic shot of adrenaline last year with the Charlie Sheen controversy and the Ashton Kutcher addition. On some level, it was as though the program hit the lottery with those two real life story lines, considering how much shows that have been around for years typically never actually gainpopularity in their 520,928th season. Even more so, the thing actually did well, too. Or, well enough to make the network and writers practically beg Kutcher to come back for a second season, at least. Moving the show to Thursday is … curious. The irony here, of course, is that “Men” helped “Big Bang” obtain its popularity and success in the first place, 246 years ago. Is this move aimed at allowing one of the most acclaimed and watched comedies on television to return the favor?
2. Johnny Lee Miller. Do you know who that is? To some, he’s a mere non-American character actor who has appeared in a ton of stuff. To me — and some other people who may or may not watch “Dexter” — he was Jordan Chase, “Dexter”‘s fifth season villain and guest star that ultimately overshadowed the actress who was supposed to be the main attraction for that particular season, Julia Styles. Not only did he out-act her, but he also proved to be one of the more interesting scum-bags to ever battle the do-gooder serial killer. In the fall, Miller is set to play … again, wait for it … Sherlock Holmes in “Elementary,” CBS’s most notable new drama. It’s true — a guy with a British accent playing Sherlock Holmes in a new series set in … New York … with Lucy Liu co-starring in the Dr. Joan Watson role. More shocking? The show is going to bump the seemingly much-adored “The Mentalist” to Sunday nights by moving into the 10 p.m. Thursday spot. Question No. 1: How many “Sherlock” reboots can one generation endure? Robert Downey Jr.’s movies have been a hit, and PBS’s series has been swooned over for two seasons now. Question No. 2: Does this mean “The Mentalist” might be on its way out? Moving shows to new nights is always a risk, and considering how CBS is doing this with two of its flagship shows in recent years is a bit of a head-scratcher. It’s not that I’m rooting against “Elementary” to succeed — I’m just wondering how it could possibly retain an audience because of all the other Sherlock reboots that have saturated popular culture in recent years. Benedict vs. Johnny. Who you got?
3. Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye. “A Gifted Man,” “CSI: Miami” and “How To Be A Gentleman” have all been sent to the funeral home. So was “Rob,” though it’s hard to think that even Rob Schneider’s mother would have had that show returning in her office poll. “Made In Jersey,” meanwhile, stars Janet Montgomery “as a young working class chick from Jersey who lands a job at a prestigious New York law firm with the help of a sassy secretary, a sexy older sister and a big Italian family,” the brilliant Lisa Des Moraes wrote in the Washington Post. “No cliché left behind on this one!” she added, pretty much leaving me with nothing more to add. And “Vegas” brings Dennis Quaid to CBS as the mayor of Las Vegas in the 1960s. When reached for comment, the actor reiterated the fact that 2008’s “Vantage Point” wasn’t nearly the awful movie critics and three-dollar movie bins said it was.