CBS announced its new fall shows today. Here are mini-reviews of four of ’em. Warning: they’re based solely on short clips provided by the network, so I (and you) reserve the right to adjust the grades of them, up or down, once full-length episodes are available. But that will be… in the fall. Who wants to wait to have an opinion until then?
• The Good Wife Julianna Margulies stars as a lawyer whose politician husband (Chris Noth) is convicted in a sex and corruption scandal. It looks a bit more sentimental than her previous lawyer show, Canterbury’s Law, and it plays to CBS’ older demo by surrounding her with a lot of snotty, twentysomething, know-it-all lawyers you just know she’ll prove wrong. But it’s also got a strong supporting cast including Gilmore Girls‘ Matt Czuchry and Sports Night‘s Josh Charles. And Noth is always a welcome TV face, even in the possibly-thankless role of a creep. (Or maybe he’ll make faithless creepiness… appealing?)
• Accidentally On Purpose Dharma & Greg‘s Jenna Elfman in a sitcom as a film critic who gets pregnant by a younger slacker during a one-night stand. The jokes are in the generation-gap, but again, the supporting cast looks as though it’ll help, with Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty, Extras) as one of Elfman’s pals and The Daily Show‘s Larry Wilmore as her doctor.
• Three Rivers Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight) looks stranded in this busy-busy-busy medical series about a team of organ-transplant surgeons. Lots of rushing around to harvest organs, lots of weepy moments of gratitude. But hey, if it moves viewers to become donors, I’ll cut it some slack for the moment and give it a
• NCIS: Los Angeles Chris O’Donnell inherits the buzz-cut Scott Foley wore in the cancelled The Unit and co-stars with LL Cool J in this spin-off. This one is critic-proof: If you like NCIS, you’ll probably like this. As LL said during the CBS presentation, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Which for a series like this means, lasting for 100 episodes to go into syndication.