Broadcast Networks Fall Sked: New and Old Genre Offerings, Part III
CBS, the nation’s #1 broadcast network, is once again in a position to offer a few new shows, while continuing offer 47 different, yet the same, procedural cop shows. While some may not consider the CSI and NCIS franchise as science fiction, they do offer a lot of technobabble that really is more futuristic methodology than real science. So it’s more puedso-science mixed with the age-old mysteries that are about as mysterious as a puddle. One intriguing series will be ELEMENTARY, CBS’ attempt at emulating the BBC’s updated, modern version of Sherlock Holmes without copying it –to avoid lawsuits, you know. Jonny Lee Miller will play Sherlock Holmes, while Lucy Lui will play Jane Watson (ahhh, so see Steven Moffat and the BBC, this makes CBS’ version completely different). 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. While the BBC’s litigators will be keeping an eye out for any infringement, Steve Moffat –who created SHERLOCK for the BBC- has said it “has got three big changes: it’s Sherlock Holmes in America, its Sherlock Holmes updated and it’s Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. I wonder if he’s Sherlock Holmes in any sense other than he’s called Sherlock Holmes. It’s almost,” he adds,” like they should have made Watson a woman but kept the show in Victorian times…that would actually be quite interesting.” The show will air on the competitive night of Thursday at 10pm, but it’s only real battle will to take away the female viewers from SCANDAL.
For us gays, CBS takes on PARTNERS, which is semi-autobiographical comedy, based on the lives David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who created NBC’s WILL & GRACE. Michael Urie (UGLY BETTY) and David Krumholtz (NUMBERS) star as two architects, one straight and one gay, who find their partnership falling apart when the straight one proposes to his girlfriend, played by Sophia Bush (ONE TREE HILL), who just screams hilarity. The show gets the plum post- HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER timeslot on Monday.
With FOX out of the genre business this season, it leaves the CW to take up the slack. First off, hoping for the same success that SMALLVILLE did for them, the next DC hero to get a series is ARROW (who is, of course, The Green Arrow, but not Justin Hartley from SMALLVILLE). After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. The show will bow on Wednesday at 8, which is one of the boldest moves the network has made. It goes up against strong-hold CBS’s SURVIVOR and ABC’s comedy line-up, but it can offer an alternative to each of those networks programming, as ARROW, teamed with returning SUPERNATURAL, is one the few nights midweek schedule for male viewers.
Thursday brings the returning VAMPIRE DIARIES to be followed by BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which is a procedural reboot of the 1989-91 CBS series that once starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman and had GAME OF THRONES creator George R.R. Martin as script writer. Kristin Kreuk returns to TV as Catherine Chandler, a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective who survived an attack by gunmen 10 years earlier that killed her mother. Those attackers were killed as she watched by some beast, but no one has believed her that it could have been a man. As she continues to investigate he mothers tragic murder, she discovers leads that take her to a doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Soon, Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before.
For us gays, come January is THE CARRIE DIARIES, which is a prequel to SEX AND THE CITY and is based on the young-adult novel by Candace Bushnell. Beyond being set in 1984, the series will also have Walt, who is the gay character in the novels, plus it will co-star Feema Agyeman, who was Martha Jones on DOCTOR WHO.