CBS’s upfronts 2011

What's on CBS from the Fall

CBS Upfronts

CBS is, of course, king of the US schedules. It can put on more or less any unfeasibly bad TV show (Rules of Engagement, Mike and Molly, Hawaii Five-0, CSI Miami) and it’ll do well. So this year, they’ve actually had to move some of their best-rated shows to Saturday and Sunday (an unheard of move), just to add a little variety to the midweek schedule.

What variety? Well, there’s just a few new shows to tempt your palette with:

  • 2 Broke Girls from the ‘writer’ of the Sex and the City movies, Michael Patrick King, in which two waitresses try to start up a business making cupcakes
  • Unforgettable, about a police detective who can remember every single detail about everything except who killed her sister
  • How To Be A Gentleman, about an etiquette columnist who becomes detached from modern life and is forced to put a modern sexy twist on things with the help of Kevin Dillon, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Rhys Darby
  • A Gifted Man, which stars Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle and Julie Benz but is about a surgeon whose dead wife teaches him the meaning of life from beyond the grave.
  • Person of Interest from JJ Abrams, which gets ex CIA agent Jim Caviezel to team up with billionaire Michael Emerson from Lost to prevent violent crime before it happens.

Person of Interest looks good, and anything with Julie Benz in gets my vote (temporarily at least), but frankly that looks like a right bunch of clunkers to me. Still, what does CBS care, given all the shows it already has?

Unfortunately, in traditional CBS über-suck style, there are no videos for me to show you that work outside the US so enjoy the descriptions after the jump, UK readers; and have fun with the full vids US readers.

2 Broke Girls
2 BROKE GIRLS is a comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash. Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner. Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot. At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style. When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money. While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break. Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”) and writer-comedian Whitney Cummings (“Chelsea Lately”) are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.

UNFORGETTABLE stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember. Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.

How to be a Gentleman
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer. Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society. Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy. When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.” Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion. Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link. David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Adam Chase (“Friends”), Ted Schachter (“The Invention of Lying”), Joe Hipps and Modi Wiczyk are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Person of Interest
PERSON OF INTEREST stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese’s (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the person of interest and stop the crime before it happens. Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage. With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything. Emmy Award winners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (“Lost”), Academy Award nominee Jonathan Nolan (“Memento”), David Semel (“Heroes”) and Greg Plageman (“Cold Case”) are the executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.

A Gifted Man
A GIFTED MAN is a drama about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.” Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him. Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her. Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale). When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged. Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone. Academy Award nominee Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Neal Baer (“ER”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

The new 2011-2012 schedule is as follows:

8:00-8:30 PM       HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
8:30-9:00 PM       2 BROKE GIRLS (New)
9:00-9:30 PM       TWO AND A HALF MEN
9:30-10:00 PM      MIKE & MOLLY
10:00-11:00 PM     HAWAII FIVE-0

8:00-9:00 PM       NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM      NCIS: LOS ANGELES
10:00-11:00 PM     UNFORGETTABLE (New)

9:00-10:00 PM      CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM     CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (New Time)

8:00-8:30 PM       THE BIG BANG THEORY
8:30-9:00 PM       HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (New)
9:00-10:00 PM      PERSON OF INTEREST (New)
10:00-11:00 PM     THE MENTALIST

8:00-9:00 PM       A GIFTED MAN (New)
9:00-10:00 PM      CSI: NY
10:00-11:00 PM     BLUE BLOODS

8:00-8:30 PM       RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (New Time)
10:00-11:00 PM     48 HOURS MYSTERY

7:00-8:00 PM       60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM       THE AMAZING RACE
9:00-10:00 PM      THE GOOD WIFE (New Time)
10:00-11:00 PM     CSI: MIAMI

  • “Person of Interest” sounds like a mash-up of ‘The Equalizer’, ‘Vengeance Unlimited’, and especially ‘Checkmate’ for that “stopping a crime before it happens” angle…..