Time for more Totally Tube 2007! Today, it's all about the Eye net's new offerings. Read on to find out about a comedy, a drama and, yes, a musical (from Hugh Jackman, no less!). Check out the reviews, cast your vote in our Watch/Pass poll and then sound off on which shows you plan to put on your fall TV schedule.
And by all means, feel free to come back after watching the shows to share your own review in the Comments!
Greg Gayne/Warner Bros
DVR IT: The Big Bang Theory
Premieres Mon., Sept. 24 @ 8:30
Starring: Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons
Big Bang Theory rides this season's big nerd wave. This contribution from Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and Half Men and Dharma & Greg, joins the geek crime fighters of shows like Reaper and Chuck with geek-bait action series like The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Bionic Woman. Just as the actual Big Bang changed the universe from nothing into something pretty interesting, the arrival of Kaley Cuoco's Penny pretty much does the same for the desolate lives of scientists Sheldon and Leonard. (Also geeky: Sheldon Leonard is the name of the hugely successful TV producer credited with inventing the spinoff—with The Andy Griffith Show.) Witty and fun, while still game enough to play with broad comedy (see undie shot above), there's plenty to love about these geeks and their girl Friday. Everyone can find something to relate to: We all know what it's like to be intimidated by someone who is either fearlessly beautiful or dazzlingly bright. Plus, who doesn't love some good physics humor?
Bottom Line: A well-formulated Theory
Roberto D'Este/ CBS Broadcasting Inc.
DVR IT: Cane
Premieres: Tues., Sept. 25 @ 10
Starring: Nestor Carbonell, Sam Carman, Lina Esco, Hector Elizondo, Eddie Matos, Rita Moreno, Jimmy Smits, Alona Tal, Michael Trevino, Paola Turbay, Polly Walker
Welcome back, Jimmy! Jimmy Smits returns to television in this drama about a Cuban-American family, their sugar-cane fortune and the intergenerational tug-of-war over land and loyalty. Created by Cynthia Cidre, whose own father was a chemist for the sugar industry, the setting and scenario are particularly well done. The cast, featuring the likes of Rita Moreno and Hector Elizondo, is excellent, but the family storylines as outlined in the pilot are so baroque as to be exhausting. However, Jimmy Smits is one of TV's great leading men, and as the rising head of the extended Duque family of Florida, we have no doubt he'll give the show the strong center it needs. Indeed, the show might be well served if, in the early episodes, it pulled back on the feuds and the confusing intrigues for a while and zeroed in on the awesomeness that is Jimmy Smits.
Bottom Line: Sweet enough
SKIP IT: Viva Laughlin!
Premieres: Thurs., Oct. 18 @ 10
Starring: Mädchen Amick, Melanie Griffith, Hugh Jackman, Lloyd Owen, Eric Winter, D.B. Woodside
The cast is not bad. And...the cast is not bad. And if I followed what my mama said about not saying anything if you can't think of anything nice to say, I'd leave it at that. But you didn't come here for niceties, you came here for the truth about how you should spend your precious TV-viewing time, right? And the truth is that it took three attempts to finally make it all the way through Viva Laughlin's first episode—it's that cringe-worthy. Now, granted, the musical-drama format, based on the BBC murder-mystery-musical series Viva Blackpool, is intriguing. And the premise—a minimart-chain owner turned casino owner (Lloyd Owen) who's "living the dream"—doesn't sound so bad, not to mention Hugh Jackman and Melanie Griffith are on board. But the bizarro singing and the script and most important, the intense dislikeability of all the characters make Laughlin hard to stomach—at least for me. A little birdie told me Angel's Alexis Denisof was on the short list for the leading role—and if you ask me, he should consider himself lucky.
Bottom Line: Don't bet on it
—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin and Korbi Ghosh