I just finished plowing through a stack of DVDs of the pilot episodes of several new fall series. Overall, it was a decent bunch of programs, and there are a few of them that I plan to watch. Here is my rundown on the new shows.
Big Shots (ABC, Premieres September 27, 2007) -- A drama about four friends who are rising stars in Corporate America. Good cast (Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermot) and interesting characters. Hard to tell what it's going to be about, but it could be good. The tone is a little odd, though. Grade: B
Bionic Woman (NBC, Premieres September 26, 2007) -- A disappointing remake of the classic television series. Choppy, overblown and poorly cast (the lead actress in particular is weak). Good concept, but poor execution. Grade: C-
Cane (CBS, Premieres September 25, 2007) -- A drama about a successful Cuban-American family that has grown rich from the rum business, but still faces many challenges. Excellent cast (Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo) and interesting plot. A little soapy, but not bad. I liked it better by its original title, though: Los Duques (the name of the family). Grade: B
Cashmere Mafia (ABC, Premieres November 27, 2007) -- The latest project from the creator of Sex in the City seems to be a very similar show (while admitting that I only watched Sex once) about four Manhattan career women. It's silly and unbelievable, but I suppose it's modestly entertaining. Grade: C+
Cavemen (ABC, Premieres October 2, 2007) -- A comedy (based on the Geico commercials) about a trio of cavemen living in the modern day. This was surprisingly not awful, and was actually kind of funny in spots. But how this could possibly last more than a few episodes is a mystery. I predict it will be the first of the bunch to be canceled. Grade: B-
Chuck (NBC, Premieres September 24, 2007) -- My favorite show of the group. A hip spy thriller reminiscent of Alias, but with more humor. Good action, interesting characters and lots of potential. Grade: A-
Eli Stone (ABC, Premieres January 1, 2008) -- A lawyer finds out that he's having prophetic revelations and decides to use his powers for good. A corny set-up, but the results were actually touching, in a manipulative sort of way. But how long can they keep that up? (Random thought: What's Victor Garber doing in such a small role?) Grade: B-
Journeyman (NBC, Premieres September 24, 2007) -- Kevin McKidd, the guy who played Lucius Vorenus on Rome, is a reporter in San Francisco who finds himself yanked back into the past, revisiting key moments in his own life, and that of another person. The premise is revealed in occasionally jarring fashion, but a compelling plot and strong lead give this one promise. Grade: B+
K-Ville (Fox, Premiered September 17, 2007) -- A police procedural set in New Orleans, two years post-Katrina. Melodramatic and overly earnest, this show wastes the talents of the excellent Anthony Anderson. Shows like The Wire and The Shield have raised the stakes for crime dramas, and this falls short. Grade: C
Pushing Daisies (ABC, Premieres October 3, 2007) -- The story of a man who can bring the dead back to life with a touch, but has to touch them again within one minute (returning them to death) or somebody else will die instead. Unwatchable, sappy nonsense. Grade: F
Women's Murder Club (ABC, Premieres October 12, 2007) -- The James Patterson series brought to life: four women (a cop, a reporter, a DA, an ME) solve crimes together. Hopefully the guy from Pushing Daisies will hurry up and touch it. As trite and ludicrous as the books. Grade: D-
I liked Chuck the best, and Journeyman looks promising as well. I'll give Cane and Big Shots a try to see if they hold up. The rest, with the possible exception of Eli Stone, I'll give a pass.