With CBS once-again stacked so full of shows that it hardly needs to commission any new ones, there’s actually very little for it to present at this year’s upfronts – only five newbies. First, the descriptions, then after the jump, some ridiculously long trailers and my
random snarkinganalysis of CBS’s attempts to appeal to an audience that can’t remember the original run of Mr Ed.
Angel From Hell
When over-the-top Amy enters Allison’s organized but imperfect life and claims to be her guardian angel, they form an unlikely friendship and Allison can’t be sure if Amy is actually an angel or just nuts.
Writer/EP: Tad Quill (Bent, Scrubs)
Director/EP: Don Scardino (2 Broke Girls, Rescue Me, 30 Rock)
Co-EP: Jane Lynch
Amy: Jane Lynch (Glee, Two and a Half Men, The 40 Year-Old Virgin)
Allison: Maggie Lawson
Marv: Kevin Pollak
Brad: Kyle Bornheimer
Inspired by the award-winning documentary, this medical drama is set in the busiest and most notorious ER in the nation where the extraordinary staff confront a challenged system in order to protect their ideals and the patients who need them the most.
Writer/EP: Michael Seitzman (Intelligence, North County)
Director/EP: David Semel (Madam Secretary, Person of Interest)
EP/NW: Ryan McGarry (Code Black documentary)
EP/NW: Marti Noxon (Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Grey’s Anatomy)
EP/NW: Linda Goldstein-Knowlton (Code Black documentary, Whale Rider)
Leanne Rorish: Marcia Gay Harden (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Newsroom)
Jesse Salander: Luis Guzman (How to Make it in America, Boogie Nights)
Neal Hudson: Raza Jaffrey (Homeland, Smash)
Mario Savetti: Benjamin Hollingsworth (Backstrom, Cult)
Christa Lorenson: Bonnie Sommerville (Golden Boy, Cashmere Mafia)
Malaya Pineda: Melanie Kannokada (NCIS: Los Angeles, Parenthood)
Angus Leighton: Harry M. Ford
Rollie Guthrie: William Allen Young (Good Luck Charlie, District 9)
Picking up post the events of the film, a man discovers the power of a mysterious drug which allows him to access 100% of his brain, and he is coerced into using his newfound drug-enhanced abilities for good.
Writer/EP: Craig Sweeny (Elementary, Medium)
Director/EP: Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man, 500 Days of Summer)
EP/NW: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (Scorpion, Hawaii Five-0)
EP/NW: Heather Kadin (Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow)
EP/NW: Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, American Hustle)
EP/NW: Todd Phillips (The Hangover franchise, Due Date)
EP/NW: Ryan Kavanaugh (21 and Over, Out of the Furnace)
EP/NW: Tucker Tooley (21 and Over, Out of the Furnace)
EP/NW: Tom Forman (48 Hours Mystery, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition)
Brian Finch: Jake McDorman (American Sniper, Shameless)
Rebecca Harris: Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Gone)
Nasreen ‘Naz’ Pouran: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Grimm, The Perfect Storm)
Boyle: Hill Harper (Covert Affairs, CSI: NY)
Eddie Mora: Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Silver Linings Playbook)
Life In Pieces
A comedy about one family told through the separate stories of its various family members.
Writer/EP: Justin Adler (Better Off Ted, Samantha Who?)
Director/EP: Jason Winer (Modern Family)
EP/NW: Aaron Kaplan (The Mysteries of Lauren, Friends with Better Lives)
Matt: Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom, Wild, The Slap)
Joan: Dianne Wiest (In Treatment, Hannah & Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway)
John: James Brolin (Castle, Catch Me If You Can, Traffic)
Jen: Zoe Lister-Jones (New Girl, Whitney)
Greg: Colin Hanks (Fargo, Dexter, Band of Brothers)
Heather: Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, Parenthood, Masters of Sex)
Tim: Dan Bakkedahl (Veep, The Daily Show, The Mindy Project)
Colleen: Angelique Cabral (Enlisted, NCIS: Los Angeles, Friends with Benefits)
Tyler: Niall Cunningham
Samantha: Holly J. Barrett
Sophia: Giselle Eisenberg
Born on the plant Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago with her famous cousin. Now at the age 24, she finally embraces her superhuman abilities to be the hero she was always meant to be.
Writer/EP: Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow)
Writer/EP: Ali Adler (The New Normal, Glee)
Writer/EP: Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Arrow)
Director: Glen Winter (The Flash, Arrow)
EP/NW: Sarah Schechter (The Flash, Mysteries of Laura)
Kara Danvers/Supergirl: Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Glee)
Cat Grant: Calista Flockhart (Brothers and Sisters, Ally McBeal)
Alex Danvers: Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy, Taxi Brooklyn)
Hank Henshaw: David Harewood (Homeland, Blood Diamond)
James Olsen: Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness, True Blood)
Angel From Hell
I do like Maggie Lawson (Psych), but CBS needs to stick to multi-cam comedies – those aren’t funny either, but at least they keep Chuck Lorre out of our way.
Life In Pieces
A desperate attempt to do Modern Family but with CBS’s typical serial-killer level of empathy.
Another desperate attempt by CBS to finally crack the medical procedural format, this time by so obviously emulating ER that they flag up ‘ER’ in bold in the trailer. Nice documentary-style direction, but that’ll get wearing within about 10 minutes.
The best of the lot and quite a strong looking show, this one, taking some of the stand-out elements of the book and the movie – although mainly the ones that’ll work best for crime-fighting, rather than the ‘soul-improving’ ones. However, crowbarred into a procedural format, this could very quickly become forgettable in exactly the same way Numb3rs (“What’s the science this week?”) and Intelligence did. But at least Bradley Cooper’s in this one, reprising his role from the movie.
Remember that fake Black Widow movie trailer SNL put together? It’s this, isn’t it? I was really looking forward to this one, but even apart from the terrible CGI, the trailer now just makes me despair. The last 30 seconds quite possibly redeems the show, but thin ice – very thin ice.