Promising Pilot Premises,Part 2: CBS

E: Continuing our look at new projects the networks are considering for the fall, here are a few of the ideas that CBS likes enough to order a single episode of – and that we like the looks of enough to comment on.

Hail Mary

“Buddy P.I. show about a suburban single mom in Atlanta who teams with a streetwise hustler.”  Stars Minnie Driver, Stephen Tobolowsky and Enrique Murciano, and is being written by Jeff Wadlow and Brad Silberling  (with an executive producer credit for Joel Silver).

E:  Yeah, I pretty much love this idea and cast.  I’m guessing that it’s Without A Trace‘s Murciano who’s the streetwise hustler, rather than Needle-Nosed Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky, also of Glee and Heroes), but I guess you never know.

M: Ohhhh, I hope you’re wrong and Needle-Nosed Ned (who just had a guest spot on Community) is the “streetwise hustler.”  That would be so much more fun!

Person of Interest

“Presumed dead, an ex-CIA agent teams with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes in New York.” Starring Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson, and James Caviezel.  Created by Jonathan Nolan, Bryan Burk and J.J. Abrams.

E: Is there anything not to love about this cast and this idea?  Nolan, in case you’re wondering, is the brother and writing partner of director Christopher Nolan, so he’s responsible for a few thing you might have heard of like, oh, I don’t know, Inception and The Dark Knight.  Henson I’ve loved since Hustle and Flow; you might remember her Oscar-nominated turn in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I’ll let M drool over the rest of the cast.

M: Yes, E knows that from the moment I saw a blurb on Ain’t It Cool News announcing this I have been uber-excited.  Jim Caviezel was a favorite of mine before The Passion, really stemming back to Frequency, which if you haven’t seen you need to Netflix or RedBox NOW.  Like, tonight.  I’m not kidding, I love that movie.  Michael Emerson’s work on Lost (continuing the excellent trend ABC had going on!) was nothing short of brilliant, and that doesn’t even properly convey how good he was.  Throw them in with Nolan, Burk and JJ?  Holy crap do I want to see this!  I haven’t been this excited for something that hasn’t been made yet since FlashForward…  hm, maybe that should temper my excitement a little?  Nope.

C: The premise sounds like a violent-crimes White Collar meets Batman, which I have no complaints about at all.


“On the run from the mob, a woman hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister – until she learns that her twin’s life has a bounty on it as well.”  Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nestor Carbonell, Mike Colter, Ioan Gruffudd, and Kristoffer Polaha. Among the many executive producers are Peter Traugott, Richard Shepherd, Pam Veasey, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder.

E: Three guesses why this interests me.  1. Buffy Summers.  2. Horatio Hornblower. 3.  Did I mention Buffy and Horatio?

C: #2 is really enough for me. I sat through The Fantastic Four for that guy.

M: Don’t forget the connection to Lost…  Mr Guyliner himself, the ageless Richard!  And believe it or not, I kind of like Kristoffer Polaha, who was pretty good on the admittedly totally cheeseball North Shore, and in a guest role on an episode of House.

E: Yeah, I kind of like him too.  Worth checking out, if we get the chance.

Two Broke Girls

“Two broke 22-year-old women tackle life in New York as they try to make their dreams come true.”  Stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, brought to you by Michael Patrick King.

C: Wow. Could that premise sound more boring?

E: Well, you know how I feel about sitcoms, but I really like Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist).

M: Seems dull to me, maybe they could make it a little more interesting by having 2 Live Crew do the soundtrack?

Vince Uncensored

“After a life-changing experience, a man decides to take a more honest approach to his life, work and family.”  Stars Michael Chiklis and Elizabeth Perkins.

E: The title’s hideous, I know, but I like Michael Chiklis and Elizabeth Perkins.

M: Yeah, the title immediately invoked thoughts of Gary Unmarried, and no, those are not good thoughts.  But like you I like the leads a lot.  I think Chiky can play anything, and play it well, and while I haven’t seen Perkins in anything in a long time, she was always likable.


E: CBS is also the new home of the other Summers sister: Michelle Trachtenberg costars in an as yet untitled comedy about venture capitalists.  Okay then.

M: Yeah, sounds like a great idea for a comedy… in a down economy.  Ugh.

E: We also have another slayer, Eliza Dushku, on another untitled comedy (this seems to be a trend at the moment on CBS; this one’s about sports radio) with Damon Wayans and Nia Long.

M: That I might be able to get behind.

E: And then there’s another untitled project – this one a drama about a family medical practice – blessed with actors Christine Lahti, Eva Amurri, Michael Boatman (poaching, boo!), Scott Foley (more poaching, bah – does this mean Teddy’s not going to end up with Henry?) and Kyle freaking MacLachlan.  That’s a serious cast.

M: Wow, that’s a lot of great people…

E: Then there’s yet another untitled comedy starring Ugly Betty‘s Becki Newton and old-time family favorite Gerald McRaney, neither of whom has a lot of luck with new shows.  This one’s about a blue-collar dad (presumably McRaney) whose single daughter (presumably Newton?) and grandchild come home to live.

C: Is Gerald McRaney a favorite of mine? I wish I could remember who he is…

M: Recent failures (we’re back to Undercovers again!) aside, McRaney has certainly worked a lot more than his Simon and Simon co-star Jameson Parker.

E: And finally there’s an untitled show about a surgeon whose dead ex-wife haunts him, helping him change his life – like a sort of ongoing Christmas Carol, perhaps.  This Susannah Grant-produced drama stars – get ready for it – Patrick Wilson (Little Children, Morning Glory), Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice), S. Epatha Merkeson (Law and Order) and Julie Benz (Buffy, Roswell, No Ordinary Family, Dexter).  I don’t know about the premise, but the cast?  Crazy!

C: Wow, and it’s not even on cable.


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