CBS GIVES FULL SEASON ORDERS TO TELEVISION’S #1 AND #2 NEW SERIES — “VEGAS” AND “ELEMENTARY”
Freshman Dramas Win Their Time Periods in Viewers and Key Demographics
October 23, 2012 – CBS has given full season “back nine” orders to television’s top two freshman series — VEGAS and ELEMENTARY.
“VEGAS and ELEMENTARY have opened strong, delivering big audiences and winning performances in important time periods,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. “Each of the shows has rich characters, big stars and a unique visual style that have stood out in the crowd, helping make two of our strongest nights even stronger.”
VEGAS, the #1 new series of the season and ranked sixth overall, wins its Tuesday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in viewers and key demographics, averaging 14.94 million viewers, 2.7/08 in adults 18-49 and 3.8/09 in adults 25-54. VEGAS has improved the year-ago time period by +8% in viewers.
ELEMENTARY, the #2 new series of the season and ranked ninth overall, also wins its Thursday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in the key ratings measures, averaging 14.30 million viewers, 3.5/10 in adults 18-49 and 4.6/11 in adults 25-54. Compared to the time period last year, ELEMENTARY is up +17% in adults 18-49 and +10% in adults 25-54.
VEGAS stars Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jason O’Mara, Taylor Handley and Sarah Jones. Greg Walker, Nicholas Pileggi, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The newest addition to our staff, Redeye Rogue has some opinions of his own regarding my recent preview of the new fall additions to the CBS schedule. Since we’re all about diversity, I thought it only fair that we let an eight-foot cycloptic toaster chime in… even if it is after the fact. So, below see what I had to say and then what Redeye Rogue thinks about my dumbass opinions.
Shawn’s Take: When we first heard about Elementary, we wanted to repeatedly punch ourselves in the face because we are kind of tired of seeing the U.S. television industry lazily copy the success of magnificent BBC programming by stealing their shows and then thoroughly screwing up what has made the BBC versions so great to begin with. To make matters worse, someone thought it was a great idea to send Holmes to New York and making matters even worse, casting Lucy Liu in the Watson role. So, unlike the BBC’s Sherlock, which we’ll go as far to say may be the best show on television regardless of what side of the Atlantic you’re on, this adaptation of Doyle’s masterpiece not only has set the characters and the story in the modern era, but they’ve also gone so far as to change the locale to a completely different continent, ergo, destroying part of what makes Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes, and they’ve changed Doctor Watson from a male, British Army Doctor to a female Asian-American surgeon. Fantastic. Despite that, after watching the trailer, it really doesn’t look bad. Don’t get us wrong, it’s no Sherlock, but it doesn’t look awful. That being said, don’t fool yourself, the lame suits at CBS have brought us, yet again, another police procedural with a gimmick (see: Numb3ers, Unforgettable, CSI and The Mentalist for recent examples of CBS doing this).
Redeye’s Take: Lucy Liu in what could be a compelling crime procedural show. Only problem is, it’s a crime procedural show. Won’t someone please tell CBS that those are played out already?
Shawn’s Take:This actually appears to be really good but we have two big problems with it. First, the trailer seems to have just a whole bunch of random action scenes thrown together to make the show seem more exciting than it really is. Second, the show is filmed in Las Vegas, New Mexico, NOT Las Vegas, Nevada and the landscape isn’t even close to matching the majestic mountains of Southern Nevada (yeah, we’re biased on this issue). For crap’s sake, at least use some CGI and fake it.
Redeye’s Take: Come on dude! It’s the same guy who wrote Goodfellas and Casino. It’s got Dennis Quaid. Could it possibly be anything other than awesome? If CBS can resist going all ‘procedural’ on this one there might be hope.
Shawn’s Take: This looks so horrible we don’t want to waste any effort commenting on it further because it’s not worth our time. It’ll be lucky to get a two-paragraph review when it premieres. Watch the trailer and understand why. Next!
Redeye’s Take: Despite Shawn’s immediate dismissal of the show as looking “…so horrible [he doesn’t] want to waste any effort commenting on it,” I’d like to say that out of all the shows on the line-up, the one with the most heart and soul is quite possibly Made In Jersey. Not only does it score points with RedEye for having heart, but it seems to be a quirky “ethnic” comedy, vis à vis class comedy/legal drama. The comedy seems well-played. I don’t think this one is going to be as bad as everyone is expecting. Hell, it doesn’t even look like a CBS show.
This is what you call your ‘Truth in Advertising’
Shawn’s Take: Partners looks absolutely awful on every level conceivable. Not only is it filled with the most ridiculously stupid gay stereotypes and corny and predictable jokes, it is also a typically awful CBS comedy.
Redeye’s Take: I’m sorry to say that Partners doesn’t look very good. It looks very, very sitcom-y which I guess is standard fare from CBS. Shawn said that on any other network it would be gone quickly while I say that no other respectable network would have touched it. I’m embarrassed for everyone involved. It did bring back fond memories of Bosom Buddies, though… which I wish they would bring back.
Really late on the draw on this one, but better late than never. CBS’s new show schedule looks awful in comparison to the other networks. It’s a good thing they already have a decent lineup. We’re only doing the fall schedule this time around because CBS has three new shows coming out midseason and only one of them has a trailer available and it’s not even official.
Elementary — ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson. Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS
Our Take: When we first heard about Elementary, we wanted to repeatedly punch ourselves in the face because we are kind of tired of seeing the U.S. television industry lazily copy the success of magnificent BBC programming by stealing their shows and then thoroughly screwing up what has made the BBC versions so great to begin with. To make matters worse, someone thought it was a great idea to send Holmes to New York and making matters even worse, casting Lucy Liu in the Watson role. So, unlike the BBC’s Sherlock, which we’ll go as far to say may be the best show on television regardless of what side of the Atlantic you’re on, this adaptation of Doyle’s masterpiece not only has set the characters and the story in the modern era, but they’ve also gone so far as to change the locale to a completely different continent, ergo, destroying part of what makes Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes, and they’ve changed Doctor Watson from a male, British Army Doctor to a female Asian-American surgeon. Fantastic. Despite that, after watching the trailer, it really doesn’t look bad. Don’t get us wrong, it’s no Sherlock, but it doesn’t look awful. That being said, don’t fool yourself, the lame suits at CBS have brought us, yet again, another police procedural with a gimmick (see: Numb3ers, Unforgettable, CSI and The Mentalist for recent examples of CBS doing this).
Chance of Renewal: It’s a police procedural on CBS with a well-known title character debuting in the fall. Elementary will more than likely be picked up for a second season unless it’s just completely unwatchable, but you never know… with Lucy Liu in the main cast, it may be.
Vegas– Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis star in VEGAS, a drama inspired by the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth-generation rancher tasked with bringing order to Las Vegas in the 1960s, a gambling and entertainment mecca emerging from the tumbleweeds. Ralph Lamb (Quaid) wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life. Recalling Lamb’s command as a military police officer during World War II, the Mayor appeals to his sense of duty to look into a murder of a casino worker – and so begins Lamb’s clash with Vincent Savino (Chiklis), a ruthless Chicago gangster who plans to make Vegas his own. Assisting Lamb in keeping law and order are his two deputies: his diplomatic, even-keeled brother Jack (Jason O’Mara) and his charming but impulsive son, Dixon (Taylor Handley). Ambitious Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss), who grew up on the ranch next to the Lambs, also lends a hand in preserving justice. In Vegas, two powerful men – Lamb and Savino – are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the budding oasis, and for both of them, folding is not an option. Nicholas Pileggi, Greg Walker, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold, who also directed the pilot, are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS
Our Take: This actually appears to be really good but we have two big problems with it. First, the trailer seems to have just a whole bunch of random action scenes thrown together to make the show seem more exciting than it really is. Second, the show is filmed in Las Vegas, New Mexico, NOT Las Vegas, Nevada and the landscape isn’t even close to matching the majestic mountains of Southern Nevada (yeah, we’re biased on this issue). For crap’s sake, at least use some CGI and fake it.
Chance of Renewal: Tough to call at all because the information in the trailer is so limited that we we aren’t even speculating on this one until we actually see it and review it. In theory it looks good and we like the premise but it could all be smoke and mirrors. Then again, the cast is magnificent and A-listers like that usually don’t sign up for a crap show.
Made in Jersey– MADE IN JERSEY is a drama about a young working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete among her pedigreed Manhattan colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm. Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery) finds her firm’s cutthroat landscape challenging, but what she lacks in an Ivy League education she more than makes up for with tenacity and blue-collar insight. After just a few weeks, firm founder Donovan Stark (Kyle MacLachlan), takes note of Martina’s ingenuity and resourcefulness, as does her sassy secretary Cyndi Vega (Toni Trucks). With the support of her big Italian family, including her sexy older sister Bonnie (Erin Cummings), Martina is able to stay true to her roots as a bold, passionate lawyer on the rise in a new intimidating environment. Jamie Tarses, Kevin Falls, Julia Franz and Mark Waters, who also directed the pilot, are the executive producers for Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Pilot was written by creator and co-executive producer Dana Calvo. – CBS
Our Take: This looks so horrible we don’t want to waste any effort commenting on it further because it’s not worth our time. It’ll be lucky to get a two-paragraph review when it premieres. Watch the trailer and understand why. Next!
Chance of Renewal: ZERO. Made in Jersey will be canceled by Thanksgiving.
Partners– PARTNERS is a comedy based on the lives of creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, about two life-long best friends and business partners whose “bromance” is tested when one of them is engaged to be married. Joe (David Krumholtz) is an accomplished architect who leads with his head and not his heart, especially in his love life. That’s in stark contrast to his gay co-worker, Louis (Michael Urie), who is spontaneous, emotional and prone to exaggeration. Both have found joy in their love lives: Joe is newly engaged to Ali (Sophia Bush), a beautiful and sophisticated jewelry designer, while Louis is dating Wyatt (Brandon Routh), a vegan nurse who Louis insists is just a promotion away from becoming a doctor. As news of Joe’s engagement settles, time will tell if their business and personal bond can adapt to the addition of two other important relationships. Emmy Award winners David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television. Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot. – CBS
Our Take: Partners looks absolutely awful on every level conceivable. Not only is it filled with the most ridiculously stupid gay stereotypes and corny and predictable jokes, it is also a typically awful CBS comedy.
Chance of Renewal: 50/50 and only because CBS audiences are incredibly stupid when it comes to their comedies. Don’t believe us? Consider the fact the Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and How I Met Your Mother are still running strong and $#*! My Dad Says and ¡Rob! were almost renewed. On any other network, this would be gone quickly but you can never tell with CBS.
Two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. Nick and Pete are the local go-to guys with an eclectic client list who are still looking to hit their own jackpot. Leading the law firm of Morelli & Kaczmarek are Nick Morelli, an earnest, hard-charging attorney who represents his clients to the best of his ability, no matter how big or small the case; and his partner, Pete Kaczmarek, whose passion for the law is matched only by his love of fast cars, beautiful women and expensive clothes. Joining them in their growing law practice is new associate Lisa Tyler, an enthusiastic young attorney looking to put her exotic dancing days behind her; and their young assistant, Zoe Waters, a spunky and sweet ingénue who is eager to please her bosses. While Lady Luck shines on their legal careers, the partners have their hands full when it comes to their personal lives. With Pete busy cruising the Vegas Strip for his latest romantic conquest, Nick is focused on repairing a fractured marriage to his estranged wife and remaining present in the life of their young son. No matter the offense, Nick and Pete aim to prove that when the stakes are high, they’re willing to bet the house on the clients they defend in Sin City. – CBS
Shawn: I have to keep reminding myself that I am sick of legal procedurals and why but then I get dragged right back in by shows like The Defenders starring Jim Belushi (According to Jim) and Jerry O’Connell (Sliders) who star as a couple of working-stiff lawyers here in my city, Las Vegas. Here’s the thing, I’m not going to be watching this show because I expect it be some fantastic weekly legal thriller, on the contrary, I expect that part of the show to be clichéd as every other legal show. No, I’m watching because I like Belushi and O’Connell and after seeing the trailers and interviews associated with this show, I think I like these characters. Again, how relatable the characters are can make or break a series. Truthfully, this show doesn’t have to be about lawyers, it could have been about cops, plumbers, copier salesmen, the Mexicans on The Strip shoving the cards in your four-year old’s face offering hookers direct to you hotel room… whatever. It doesn’t matter because this is a buddy-[insert profession here] show and nothing more and this could work with Belushi as the comedian and O’Connell as the straight man. I think I’ll need to watch the first few episodes to get a handle on whether this show is worth hanging on to, but I will say this: if they start that crap like they do on CSI of randomly mentioning streets and neighborhoods in Las Vegas without any actual resemblance to where these landmarks truly are geographically-speaking, I will shut it off.
8 out of 10
Congratulations, CBS! You’ve given me a legal procedural that actually enjoyed and only winced at a couple of times while watching.
The Defenders works for the reason I thought it would: Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell and it’s not just the fact that they were cast in the roles of Nick Morelli and Pete Kaczmarek, but that the characters themselves were apparently written for these two. And for the record, I don’t care what anyone says, even though According to Jim was awful and lasted far too many seasons, Jim Belushi is a very good actor.
Our protagonists are a couple of working-class lawyers based on the real life Las Vegas attorneys, Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese. I appreciate this on a couple of levels.
First, unlike what most legal procedurals portray, most attorneys are not the kind of lawyers you see on Boston Legal or L.A. Law. Most attorneys are working-class folks who work long hours and although make a good living aren’t Rockefeller rich by any stretch of the imagination. Nick’s a recently separated father who cares as much about getting to his little boy’s little league game and reading to him before he goes to bed as he does about representing his clients. Kascmarek is a bit more Hollywood, but he’s still very believable as Morelli’s loyal right-hand partner who’s fiercely dedicated to his clients and to doing the right thing. So the realism factor on that is pretty refreshing.
The other thing that I like is that, again, unlike most legal procedurals, this one isn’t composed of an ensemble cast at a big firm or in a D.A.’s office. One of my pet-peeves with legal procedurals is that there are just too many characters and they take away from the actual cases and become too much of the story themselves. Legal shows are supposed to be just that… dramas about law, not soap operas. Too many characters on a show tends to invariably water down the cases and make them clichéd and predictable. The Defenders is primarily about our two main characters, Nick and Pete, and to an extent their new associate, Lisa Walters (Jurnee Smollet, Friday Night Lights)… that’s it. That small core group of characters allows the audience to focus on the compelling cases and the character development without losing anything in either department. And after two episodes this formula is working very well. I love these guys.
These stories are very compelling and very topical and unlike the laziness associated with Law & Order’s “ripped from the headlines” nonsense, The Defenders deal with issues as opposed to specific news headlines and what’s even more impressive is that they are actually addressing issues specific to Las Vegas. The prime example of this is in the second episode, Nevada v. Carter, where they focus on the very well-known issue in Clark County of the problem in the Public Defender’s Office having massive, overflowing caseloads that they can’t handle because of the limited number of often inexperienced attorneys and it is causing serious miscarriages of justice. It really impressed me that in the second episode they addressed this very hot and important issue.
The only aspects that I don’t like about The Defenders are the nit-picky things that bug me about all legal shows (like not being able to get the law or court procedure correct sometimes) and shows that take place in Las Vegas (that I noted in the preview), but the show is so good that I’m just going to let them slide and not even mention specifics.