CBS’s upfronts 2019-20 – a rundown and clips from the new shows: All Rise, Bob ❤️ Abishola, Carol’s Second Act, Evil and The Unicorn

All through ‘upfronts’ week, TMINE will be revealing the new shows that are going to be hitting US TV screens from September 2019

It’s that time of year again – the ‘upfronts’. What’s that, I hear you ask?

What are the upfronts, TMINE?

It’s when all the US networks reveal to advertisers the new shows that are going to be hitting the TV screens some time from September 2019 through to nowish 2020. However, this isn’t the same as the international screenings, where buyers from TV networks around the world turn up to see what they’d like to acquire, so we won’t know what will be heading our way for quite some time.

This weekend, US TV networks killed off a whole bunch of existing shows (prompting howls of protest from their fans) and are about to commission a whole bunch of new shows (prompting howls of ‘you cancelled x for this rubbish?’ from said-same fans).

5. CBS’s upfronts

For years, CBS didn’t have to do much at the upfronts, since it was king of the ratings and could renew pretty much everything. However, for the past few years, it’s been flagging, while simultaneously doing its best to acquire a young, new vibrant (or at least under 60) audience to replace its current dying breed.

Last year, CBS went big with nostalgic remakes for the 40+ age-group, procedurals, studio comedies and minoriteams, unveiling:

Only two cancellations, then, which is probably the best strike rate of all the networks. That means that this year, CBS has less work to do. All the same, it’s still unveiled four new dramas and four new comedies, which is perhaps a sign of both ambition and the fact that a lot of its longer-running shows are starting to wind down. Or its firm expectation that a reasonable number of them are going to be cancelled by this time next year.

The newbies are:

  • All Rise
  • Bob ❤️ Abishola 
  • Carol’s Second Act 
  • Evil
  • The Unicorn 

And for mid-season:

  • FBI: Most Wanted
  • Broke
  • Tommy

That’s more new shows for the autumn than for mid-season, which makes a nice change; there’s also only one spin-off from an existing CBS TV show, which also makes a nice change.

Want to know more and exactly when these (and the surviving old shows) will be airing? And do you want to get TMINE’s hottest of hot first takes? Follow me after the jump if at least one of those things interests you…

Coming in the Autumn…

Simone Missick in All Rise
Simone Missick in All Rise

All Rise 

Legal drama from writer Greg Spottiswood (Frontier) that follows the lives of judges, prosecutors and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks and cops to get justice for the people of LA amid a flawed legal system. Simone Missick and Wilson Bethel star.

Time slot: 9pm Mondays

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: The first show to benefit from the collapse of Netflix’s Marvel’s shows nevertheless squanders what it has with a dreadful mish-mash of comedy, drama and dreadful dialogue that’s about seven light years away from legal reality.

Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku in Bob ❤️ Abishola © Sonja Flemming/CBS

Bob ❤️ Abishola 

The multicamera comedy from writers Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky (Mike and Molly), Al Higgins and Gina Yashere stars Mike and Molly‘s Billy Gardell as a middle-age businessman who falls for his nurse, a Nigerian immigrant (Folake Olowofoyeku). Also stars Christine Ebersole.

Time slot: 8:30pm Mondays

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: The hardest title of any new show to type has its heart in the right place but no actual jokes, so it looks like I won’t have to type it too many times at least.

Patricia Heaton (right) with some young people in Carol's Second Act
Patricia Heaton (right) with some young people in Carol’s Second Act

Carol’s Second Act 

Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Patricia Heaton returns to CBS in this multicamera comedy from Trophy Wife duo Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins as a mother who, after raising her two children and retiring from teaching, pursues her dream of becoming a doctor. Kyle MacLachlan co-stars.

Time slot: 9:30pm Thursdays

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: Old person does medicine, invoking lots of jokes about old people. Ha ha? But Kyle MacLachlan.

Mike Colter and Katja Herbers in Evil
Mike Colter and Katja Herbers in Evil

Evil  

Westworld‘s Katja Herbers stars alongside Luke Cage‘s Mike Colter and The Daily Show‘s Aasif Mandvi and Person of Interest‘s Michael Emerson in a psychological mystery drama that examines science versus religion and the origins of evil.

Time slot: 10pm Thursdays

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: Another show to benefit from the Netflix/Marvel fall-out, one that seems to do a lot better with its present. Despite being another go at ABC’s old Miracles format, it’s actually quite scary looking and clever in places, but also looks quite slocky in others. Looking forward to this one – with reservations.

Walton Goggins, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Omar Benson Miller and Maya Lynne Robinson in The Unicorn © Michael Yarish/CBS

The Unicorn 

Converted from a multicamera comedy to CBS’ lone new single-camera effort, Walton Goggins (Justified) stars as a widower who, with the help of his friends and family, moves on following the most difficult year of his life, which includes being an ill-equipped but devoted single parent to his two daughters and re-entering the dating game to find out he’s a hot commodity. Rob Corddry and Michaela Watkins co-star.

Time slot: 8:30pm Thursdays

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: Basically a male version of Hot in Cleveland, but with the somewhat odd belief that Walton Goggins is the male equivalent of Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick or Valerie Bertinelli. That said, some funny lines, some real pathos and it’s a lot better than all the multicamera comedies CBS is serving up.

Mid-season shows

Pauley Perrette in Broke
Pauley Perrette in Broke

Broke  

The multicamera comedy, from Jane the Virgin‘s Jennie Snyder Urman and writer Alex Herschlag (Will & Grace), follows a wealthy trust fund baby who is cut off by his father as he and his wife move into her estranged sister’s Reseda home, forcing the two siblings to reconnect. Jane the Virgin‘s Jaime Camil and CBS favourite Pauley Perrette (NCIS) star alongside Natasha Leggero, Izzy Diaz and Antonio Corbo.

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: The usual rich v poor narrative is desperately unfunny (again) but the interactions between Corbo and his manservant actually did provoke a few chuckles so we could see a show that evolves over time as it realises what works and what doesn’t.

FBI: Most Wanted  

FBI spin-off starring Julian McMahon and Alana de la Garza that explores the Fugitive Task Force of the FBI.

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: Not much less daft looking or different in concept from 80s Treasure Hunt follow-up Interceptor, but there’s a certain adrenal fun to be had from a weekly chase, plus Julian McMahon is always watchable.

Edie Falco in Tommy
Edie Falco in Tommy. © Cliff Lipson/CBS

Tommy 

Edie Falco stars in this drama about LA’s first female chief of police. The writer/showrunner is Paul Attanasio (Bull).

TMINE’s hottest of hot takes: Billed as a drama but would work better as a comedy, and has all the quality of Bull, too. Still, Falco clearly still has her comedy chops.

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