Cliff Lipson/CBS, Cam Camarena/CBS, Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros. Entertainmentf
Cliff Lipson/CBS, Cam Camarena/CBS, Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros. Entertainmentf
Want to know what we really think of CBS's Fall offerings? Behold, E! Online's brutally honest assessments of the network's new series. Tuesday brought you our thoughts on ABC's new shows, and now it's the eye network's turn.
Melissa Benoist dons a cape as Supergirl; Jake McDorman follows in Bradley Cooper's footsteps in Limitless, Marcia Gay Harden enters the ER in Code Black; Modern Family gets an edgy twist in Life in Pieces; and Jane Lynch is an Angel From Hell.
Matthias Clamer/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Premiere Date: Monday, Oct. 26 at 8:30 p.m. (regular time period debut on Monday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.)
Time-Slot Competition: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW), Gotham (Fox), The Voice (NBC)
Stars: Melissa Benoist, Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan and David Harewood
Kristin Dos Santos: Another Glee-bie turned superhero I cannot help but love! Melissa Benoist is such a ray of pure light you actually believe she came from a different planet in real life. But it's actually Calista Flockhart who steals the show. The artist formerly known as Ally McBeal SLAYS as the boss from hell and balances out Benoist's fluffiness perfectly.
Tierney Bricker: I am a lover of all things DC superheroes when it comes to the small screen, so I had high hopes, even if I think Supergirl would be a better fit on different network. And the pilot basically confirmed my suspicions, as Supergirl kind of feels like a weird fit, tonally, for the network. But Melissa Benoist is a STAR, and Calista Flockhart is delicious as her Devil Wears Prada-esque boss. So I'm definitely going to keep tuning in--Greg Berlanti hasn't lead me astray. Yet.
Chris Harnick: First, let me say the effects are great. Second, let me say I was left wanting more from this pilot that seemed to excite so many people. I wasn't expecting the cheese factor to be so high, specifically with the dialogue. And now for my questions: Why do so many people know Supergirl's "secret" identity by the end of the pilot? Why won't they say "Superman"? Why wasn't Jeremy Jordan singing at all? Who told Laura Benanti to be that stiff? (Still love you, Laura!) How much money did that plane sequence cost? I'm willing to give this show another shot because I love comic books and there is something there, underneath the obvious problems, that would make this a very fun show.
Jean Bentley: I wish this female-fronted superhero drama were anything more than "meh," but it's not. Melissa Benoist is totally charming and, the card-carrying feminist that I am, I will watch at least the first few episodes to see if it gets more interesting. But unless the show introduces something to actually hold my attention—no, Mehcad Brooks' sculpted abs do NOT count, though I will happily gaze upon them as many times as CBS wants to show them—I can see this one fizzling out super-quickly.
Lauren Piester: Cutest superhero show on TV, which is a nice change of pace from all the dark and brooding superheroes, but at the same time, I wouldn't have said no to a dark and brooding lady hero. There is also a lot going on in this pilot. However, Melissa Benoist is delightful and I'm just really thrilled to have a female superhero headlining a TV show.
Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Beyond the Tank (ABC), Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (NBC)
Stars: Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Hill Harper (oh yeah...and sometimes Bradley Cooper)
Kristin: Wow. Was not expecting to be into this show at all, but halfway through, I was locked in! Way more personality/sass/edge than it seems—especially for a CBS show—and now I am intrigued. Also, Bradley Cooper casting his Alias buddy Ron Rifkin and them almost-sorta-kinda sharing screen time makes me tingly in all the right places. Can this please be a secret back-door Alias spinoff?
Tierney: Is it good or bad that I find Bradley Cooper to be the best part of the pilot? Probably bad, considering he's only supposed to be make an occasional appearance (November sweeps, anyone?), but on the plus side, I do think Limitless has a lot of potential, and I find Jake McDorman extremely charismatic.
Chris: Another splashy show with good effects, Limitless wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It was hard for me to look at Jake McDorman and not think of last year's truly awful Manhattan Love Story, but once I did, I saw Limitless has the potential to be another formulaic CBS drama that will probably never hold my attention.
Jean: Confession: Despite my love of B Coops, I haven't seen the movie Limitless. But if it's anything like this fun thriller, I should totally watch it. You know, for work purposes (or Bradley Cooper purposes). Greek fans will be happy to know that Jake McDorman is still a total babe.
Lauren: I remember being super excited about this movie before it came out, and then being fairly let down when I actually saw it. I'm pleased to report the complete opposite in terms of this show. Expectations surpassed!
Premiere Date: Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Nashville (ABC), Chicago P.D. (NBC)
Stars: Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman, Raza Jaffrey, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Bonnie Somerville, Melanie Chandra, Harry Ford, and William Allen Young
Kristin: Full disclaimer: Medical shows have never been, nor will they ever be my thing. Code Black is slick, well-produced television but nothing in it inspired me to tune in for episode two. Too stressful!
Tierney: Seeing as I can't stomach the sight of blood and surgeries (rich coming from the girl that works at the home of endless Botched repeats, I know), watching a show set entirely in a fast-paced, high-intensity and over-packed emergency room is my version of self-inflicted torture, knowingly choosing to induce a 42-minute long panic attack. There's not enough Xanax in the world. Sorry, MGH. It's not you, it really is me.
Chris: Medical drama tropes are in full swing here, but I don't mind! Code Black could be a worthy heir to ER's throne. So glad they gave Marcia Gay Harden more to do and retooled the show. Bring on episode two!
Jean: While I'm glad everyone from Trophy Wife has been able to find steady employment since its too-soon cancellation, did Marcia Gay Harden's project have to be this snoozer of a medical drama? There's nothing here you haven't seen a million times before. Justice for Marcia!
Lauren: I didn't hate this as much as I thought I would. In fact, I didn't hate it at all, but I did not love it. I just have no desire to watch a new medical show, because nothing about this proved that there was anything new to say about hospitals. It felt super dated.
Life in Pieces
Premiere Date: Monday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m. (moves to Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 5)
Time-Slot Competition: Mondays: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW), Gotham (Fox), The Voice (NBC); Thursdays: Grey's Anatomy (ABC), The Vampire Diaries (The CW), Bones (Fox), Heroes Reborn (NBC)
Stars: Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Betsy Brandt, Dan Bakkedahl, Colin Hanks, Angelique Cabral, Thomas Sadoski and Zoe Lister-Jones
Kristin: Cute, but…we have Modern Family? One tune-in was enough for me.
Tierney: Oh, how I laughed at that seriously morbid coffin gag, which is in the promo, so calm down, spoiler-freaks. It's definitely Modern Family with an edge, but it works. And the cast is great. I think it's CBS' best offering of the fall.
Chris: I wanted more considering the A-list cast, but only one of the segments truly entertained me. There is potential here, but I'm not immediately wanting to come back for more.
Jean: Like Parenthood, but a sitcom! This is definitely making the cut on my DVR roster, but it's still unclear how long it'll stay there.
Lauren: I unexpectedly loved this. It's kind of a raunchier Modern Family situation involving Colin Hanks, and most situations involving Colin Hanks are situations I'm down to watch, especially when Jordan Peele is also involved. (They were both in Fargo together! That was a good time, too.)
Angel From Hell
Premiere Date: Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Scandal (ABC), The Originals (The CW), Sleepy Hollow (Fox), The Blacklist (NBC)
Stars: Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson, Kevin Pollak and Kyle Bornheimer
Kristin: Nope. Love Jane. Love Maggie. But…nope. Didn't laugh out loud once and the whole thing just felt off to me.
Tierney: If I wanted to be around an obnoxious, overbearing, wacky lady all the time, I'd spend more time with my aunt [name redacted to avoid awkwardness at the next family holiday]. The road to Hell might've been paved with good intentions, but none of them are funny.
Chris: Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson have good chemistry, but there's nothing here that makes me want to continue investment.
Jean: Everything about this show is a big ol' why. Why did the wonderful Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson decide to do this? Why did CBS decide to pick it up? Why did I have to watch the whole thing?
Lauren: I wanted to love this because I love Maggie Lawson and Jane Lynch, but I didn't like it. I didn't hate it, but again, I did not like it. Maybe I just didn't get it? Is Jane Lynch actually supposed to be magical? I might give it a chance, just based on the cast, but I'm not promising anything.
Get our rapid-fire reviews of ABC's pilots too! And leave your thoughts in the comments below!