CBS didn't have a ton of space for new shows on its 2012-2013 schedule, but the network's new offerings do look interesting. The procedural gets an interesting makeover in Elementary, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes drama with a female Watson played by Lucy Liu. And there's a straight drama in Vegas, which has a sure bet with its all-star cast. CBS (conservative CBS!) is also taking a chance with new comedy Partners, featuring a main character who's gay! The times they are a changin'! Let's take a look at the new shows and see what we got.
CBS's pitch: 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.
Our take: Well, this looks pretty damned good, and for CBS it's a step toward getting away from its typical procedural stuff. Chiklis is much better as a mobster than he is as a bumbling, super-powered dad who also is a police sketch artist. We're all in.
CBS's pitch: 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.
Our take: A lot of people have been bashing this, but sorry, it looks pretty watchable. Jonny Lee Miller has a chance to be the star he's always been meant to be, but we'd like to see a little more chemistry between Miller and Liu than there is in the trailer. Still, there's potential for unexpected darkness here, and as long as you haven't seen the BBC's Sherlock, this looks like a fresh take on the character.
CBS's pitch: 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.
Our take: Sooo...a person from the outside world shows stuffy lawyer types how it be? We've seen this about a million times before. Erin Brockovich + Jerseylicious just doesn't do it.
CBS's pitch: 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.
Our take: CBS should have called this The Michael Urie Show for as much screentime as he gets in this trailer. It looks like a sweet 30-minute movie, but where does it go after the pilot?
Note: Previews for Golden Boy and Friend Me aren't yet available.
What looks good to you so far? Let's hear your first impressions in the comments!