Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CBS Fall Shows 

Yes, you read the previous post correctly: while The WB saw fit to renew Charmed for yet another year, CBS has tossed Joan of Arcadia off the schedule without a parachute. I know it got a little dismal and overly angsty (and too, too blue at the police station), but since Annie Potts' departure the skies have been clearing. Where it would have gone next, we'll never know.

Anyway, CBS has indeed announced its fall schedule. I refer you once more to The Futon Critic's timely posting of the official press release, which includes all the details on what's gone, what's back, what's new and what's on when. Here's what interests me (besides the premature slaying of Joan).

Cold Case will be back on Sundays at 8:00 (opposite both Charmed and West Wing. Since I've just started watching West Wing, but have much time invested in Charmed and Cold Case, West Wing's going to have to lose the Tivo competition). CSI: NY (The Girl enjoys this show, particularly Det. Bonasera. I can take it or leave it, but she'll be happy) will be on Wednesdays at 10:00 (opposite ABC's new supernatural drama, Invasion).

To replace Joan of Arcadia and her talks with God, they've added Ghost Whisperer, in which Jennifer Love Hewitt talks to ghosts. Dead people who need help seek it from her, but the messages are sometimes vague and confusing and other people often think she's kind of crazy. Big leap. Bring Joan back! But I'll try it. Fridays at 8:00.

Immediately following on Fridays at 9:00, Brent Spiner returns to regularly scheduled television on Threshold, along with Charles S. Dutton (hopefully this means he won't be making any more L Word appearances, because he was so not good for Kit) and Carla Gugino. The premise is that the Navy has discovered that an alien craft has landed in the Atlantic, and they call on Gugino and her team of contingency specialists to figure out what the story is, what the possible outcomes are, etc. Keeping Trek alum Spiner company will be executive producer Brannon Braga, who hopefully will do a better job conducting the affairs of this show than he did with the ill-fated and now terminated Enterprise. Also stars William Mapother, the late Creepy Ethan from Lost.

Lots of new legal and crime dramas this season, and CBS is doing their share. First we have Close To Home, on Tuesdays at 10:00 (opposite Boston Legal), which follows the back to work after having a baby adventures of a hotshot prosecutor who has never lost a case and who always takes on the tough ones. Christian Kane and his (hopefully still) washboard abs costars. This is yet another Bruckheimer production. I'm not feeling much hopeful vibe about this one, though.

Criminal Minds stars Mandy Patinkin in a "suspense thriller" about an "elite squad" of FBI profilers who bandy about the country from one evil psychopathic criminal to the next, hoping to stop their nefarious ways. It's been done with one Profiler - will making it a team bring ratings? Will Clarice be on the team?

Finally, two more I likely won't be watching but thought I'd mention for the Buffy connections. Alyson Hannigan stars in How I Met Your Mother, which does a flash back type of story telling by a man reminiscing to his young adulthood 20 years earlier. Kind of Wonder Years only looking back at his twenties instead of junior high. Half hour sitcom, Mondays at 8:30.

The Unit appears to be a gender role appropriate testosterone fest in which a bunch of male covert operatives run around blowing shit up while their wives maintain their cover at home. Amy Acker has washed off her Illyria makeup to join the cast. Also starring are Robert Patrick and Regina King, both of whom I enjoy as actors. Put a couple of women operatives on the team, and you might have me interested. Amy and Regina could certainly hold their own. This is a midseason starter, so they haven't yet announced the day or time.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:14 AM