On Wednesday, CBS presented its Fall 2012-2013 programming slate to advertisers and to the media, giving us a first look at its three new dramas and an exciting new comedy offering. Though it doesn’t have a ton of new material — we heard very little of its two mid-season newbies — the new shows that it is presenting have some serious potential, as well as the potential to lure in some younger viewers.
First up, the network presented “Partners,” from “Will and Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. “This is the story of two lifelong best friends and business partners, one straight, one gay, and their other significant others,” said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. “This is a smart comedy with a lot of heart.” Could this signal a return to the Halcyon sitcom days of “Friends” and “Will & Grace”? “Partners” seems to fit in alongside ABC’s “Happy Endings” and FOX’s “New Girl” — smart, young-skewing comedies with writing that manages to feel modern and innovative despite their time-tested concepts. As big fans of “One Tree Hill,” we’ve been waiting years to see Sophia Bush take on some light-hearted fare, and of course, David Krumholtz does his usual cranky-but-loveable stick brilliantly. In the trailer, it’s Michael Urie who shines. Though Louis definitely has a different dynamic from his “Ugly Betty” character, the twinkle in his eye is familiar and there’s no doubt that he’s going to become a breakout star again.
In the drama department, CBS will air “Elementary” on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. We’re hesitant to fall in love with this one because the BBC’s “Sherlock” is so brilliantly done, but the promotional trailer went a long way toward winning us over. There’s a touch of Robert Downey Jr. in Jonny Lee Miller‘s performance, and the choice to put Lucy Liu in the traditionally male Watson role may, in fact, work. (Though we will miss the bromance. A lot.) “Elementary” is particularly successful in its homages to the source material — though it takes place in New York, Sherlock’s roots remain in Scotland Yard, and he remains as obsessive and volatile as ever, with his drug problem very, very close by in the rearview mirror. This is Sherlock Holmes in the world of Google, so he’s got to be even smarter, and they may have pulled it off. Plus — how can you not love a person who learns to be a person from TV? We can relate.
Dennis Quaid makes his series television debut in “Vegas,” a 1960s period piece about legendary sheriff Ralph Lamb, who opened up to creator Nicholas Pileggi about his 20 years of experience for the role — and Michael Chiklis‘ Johnny Savino. Color me intrigued. “It is literally fisticuffs between these two guys,” says Tassler. “One wants to
preserve the city as it was then, the other one is very much there to
represent the cusp of change.” Another relationship that greatly intrigues us, though, is the one between Lamb and his younger brother, played by Jason O’Mara.
The only show we’re unsure about is “Made in Jersey.” First of all, its timeslot between gritty dramas “CSI: NY” and “Blue Bloods” seems… odd. We love Janet Montgomery and can’t believe how great her Jersey accent is, considering she’s British — but this feels very “Legally Blonde” goes big-haired, tattooed brunette, which doesn’t exactly scream CBS Friday night. We’ll definitely give this one a chance, but probably via our DVR on Saturdays, if we’re honest.