What to Watch prides itself on often offering a wide variety of material from TV seasons to On Demand exclusives to remasters of classic flicks. Not this week. All six of the New Releases that you may be drawn to in your favorite store or on your favorite service are movies, and all released in the last 18 months. But the variety within those movies is remarkable. A Best Picture winner, action flicks, a superhero, and two indie drams that waste talented casts. Pick your favorites. Here’s how we would rank ‘em.
CBS Renews ‘Cold Case,’ Picks Up ‘Medium,’ Cancels ‘Without a Trace’
CHICAGO – In a relatively shocking announcement as a part of fall schedule upfronts this week, CBS actually pulled the trigger on “Without a Trace,” a show that had reportedly gotten too expensive for the network. There were rumors that they may do the same with “Cold Case,” but that show will return with on-the-bubble shows “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Rules of Engagement” also being miraculously renewed and “Medium” being saved.
This Fall CBS adds the popular drama series MEDIUM, starring Patricia Arquette, Fridays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), forming a hauntingly compatible two-hour block with GHOST WHISPERER at 8:00 PM.
Photo credit: Robert Voets/CBS
CBS announced a number of interesting schedule changes, especially for a network that has been so successful over the last few years. They are moving two of their bigger shows - “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Mentalist” - and launching four new programs in the fall. They also canceled “The Unit” and “Eleventh Hour”.
“The Big Bang Theory” will move to the end of the Monday night comedy block, airing in between “Two and a Half Men” and “CSI: Miami”. “The Mentalist” will move to Thursday nights at 9pm CST, forming a powerful block with “CSI” before it.
Overall, 18 shows were renewed - “The Big Bang Theory,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “CSI: Miami,” “NCIS,” “The New Adventures Of Old Christine,” “Gary Unmarried,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: NY,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Numb3rs,” “48 Hours Mystery” and “Cold Case”.
The network also announced four new shows for the midseason and the return of “Rules of Engagement”.
Mondays will kick off with “How I Met Your Mother,” followed by the new comedy “Accidentally on Purpose,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “CSI: Miami”.
Tuesdays are dominated by “NCIS” with the original and a spin-off “NCIS: Los Angeles” airing for the first two hours of the night. The new “The Good Wife” ends the three-hour block.
Wednesdays remain exactly the same - “Old Christine,” “Gary Unmarried,” “Criminal Minds,” and “CSI: NY”.
Thursdays will be a powerful night for the network with “Survivor,” “CSI,” and “The Mentalist”.
Fridays feature a cross-network pick-up, as the network has taken “Medium” from NBC and dropped it in-between “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numb3rs”.
Saturday stays the same and Sundays feature “60 Minutes,” “The Amazing Race,” the new “Three Rivers,” and “Cold Case”.
New show descriptions:
NCIS: LOS ANGELES, a new CBS fall drama starring Chris O’Donnell (left) as Special Agent "G" Callen and LL COOL J as Special Agent Sam Hanna.
Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS
NCIS: LOS ANGELES is a drama about the high stakes world of undercover surveillance at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation’s security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets. Special Agent “G” Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld. His partner is Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J), a former U.S. Navy SEAL who has seen action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and a surveillance expert who uses state of the art monitoring equipment to look out for those in the field and feed them crucial information. Both Callen and Hanna report to Special Agent Lara Macy (Louise Lombard), the OSP team leader responsible for directing the operations and making life-or-death decisions. Assisting the team is Special Agent Kensi Lo (Daniela Ruah), the exceptionally bright daughter of a slain Marine who lives for the adrenalin rush that comes with undercover work, and Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), adept at getting into anybody’s head, profiling the target and monitoring agents’ states of mind before, during and after missions. Armed with the latest in high tech gear and sent regularly into life-threatening situations, this tight-knit team relies on each other to do what is necessary to protect national interests. Shane Brennan (“NCIS”) is the executive producer for CBS Television Studios.
THE GOOD WIFE is a new CBS fall drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick (right, with Archie Panjabi).
Photo credit: Eike Schroter/CBS
THE GOOD WIFE is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who must assume full responsibility for her family and re-enter the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband Peter (Chris Noth), Alicia Florrick (Margulies) starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney. As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner (Josh Charles), who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm’s top litigator, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realizes she’s going to need to succeed on her own merit. Alicia’s main competition among the firm’s 20-something new recruits is Cary (Matt Czuchry), a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but will use any means to ensure that he, not Alicia, secures the one full-time associate position that’s available. Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the firm’s tough in-house investigator. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach (Graham Phillips) and 13-year-old Grace (Makenzie Vega). For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the “good wife” and takes charge of her own destiny. Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, Dee Johnson and David Zucker are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
THREE RIVERS is a new Fall CBS medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts.
Photo credit: John P. Filo/CBS
THREE RIVERS is a medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts. However, dealing with donor families in their darkest hour and managing the fears and concerns of apprehensive recipients takes much more than just a sharp scalpel. Leading the elite team is Dr. Andy Yablonski (Alex O’Loughlin), the highly-skilled workaholic lead organ transplant surgeon, whose good-natured personality and sarcastic wit makes him popular with his patients and colleagues. His colleagues include Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig), a surgical fellow with a rebellious streak and fiery temper who strives to live up to her deceased father’s excellent surgical reputation; Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney), a womanizing surgical resident who’s broken as many hearts as he’s replaced; Ryan Abbott (Christopher J. Hanke), the inexperienced new transplant coordinator who arranges the intricately choreographed process of quickly and carefully transporting organs from donor to patient; Dr. Sophia Jordan (Julia Ormond), the head of surgery and a dedicated medical professional; and Pam Acosta (Justina Machado), Andy’s no-nonsense operating assistant and best friend. In this high stakes arena, in which every case is a race against the clock, these tenacious surgeons and medical professionals are the last hope for their patients. Carol Barbee, Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is a new Fall CBS comedy starring Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman as Billie.
Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is a comedy starring Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman as Billie, a single woman who finds herself “accidentally” pregnant after a one-night stand with a much younger guy, and decides to keep the baby… and the guy. A newspaper film critic, Billie is barely surviving a humiliating breakup with her charming boss, James (Grant Show), who’s still trying to resume their relationship. Suddenly expecting a child with her “boy toy,” Zack (Jon Foster), Billie and Zack make an arrangement: to live together platonically. Billie’s party girl best friend Olivia (Ashley Jensen), and Abby (Lennon Parham), her conventional, younger married sister, eagerly look forward to the new addition and offer their own brands of advice and encouragement. But when Zack and his freeloading friends, including Davis (Nicolas Wright), start to turn her place into a frat house, Billie isn’t sure if she’s living with a boyfriend, a roommate, or if she just has another child to raise. Lloyd Braun, Gail Berman, Gene Stein and Claudia Lonow are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot.