Best TV Channel Tournament Primer: CBS

May 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

Over the course of I-don’t-know-how-long, I will be breaking down which network or cable channel currently has the best lineup of programming year-round.  It would be too much to simply throw it at you at once, so I’ve broken it up and we’re starting with the primers.

These primers will help me and help you understand the shows that are currently on, as well as the shows that have been picked up for the fall and so on.  It’s impossible to 100% accurately judge a show before it’s aired, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I mean, did anyone honestly think that Whitney was going to be good?  I think even Whitney herself saw those billboards and said “Oh God.”

We’re starting with a network that has almost nothing for you if you’re under the age of fifty. Okay, so I know that many of you just love The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, and I’m not discounting that fact, but CBS is a drama, sports, news, old person network.

CBS has six sitcoms and they are mostly shitty.

SITCOMS:

Two and A Half Men

How I Met Your Mother

The Big Bang Theory

Rules of Engagement

Mike & Molly

2 Broke Girls

Evaluation: Even if HIMYM and Bang were as funny as everyone tells me that they are, we live in a world where laugh tracks are about a decade behind when they were already outdated.  The sad part about it, is that there is still something ingrained in popular America that people just don’t seem to think that something is funny if the show doesn’t blatantly tell them: “Hey, DID YOU NOT NOTICE HOW HILARIOUS THIS IS?  LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE LAUGHING!”

Then again… Kaley Cuoco…

Basically all of the great sitcoms on TV anymore do not use a laugh track, and I have no problem understanding my cue to laugh.  Because laughing is a response to an emotion you feel, not something you do when you’re simply told to do so.  If you’re at the store and you see an old lady slip on a banana peel, do you need to me to come up next your ear and go “HAHAHA, ITS OKAY TO LAUGH NOW!”?

Laugh tracks are terrible, awful, gross, and pathetic.  No matter how good the writing is on these shows, it’s been covered in a veil of sorry laugh tracks and I can’t take them seriously. Again, even when CBS is good, it’s a channel for old people.

Two and A Half Men proved that they did the right thing by not paying Charlie Sheen because they still have huge ratings with Ashton Kutcher.  Shouldn’t they just replace all of the characters with monkeys and pay them in bananas?  Two and a Half Monkeys = Profit.

Dumb..dumb…dumb..dumby-dumby-dumb..hoohooohoohoo… duuummbbb!

DRAMAS:

CSI

CSI: NY

NCIS

NCIS: LA

Criminal Minds

The Mentalist

The Good Wife

Hawaii Five-O

Blue Bloods

Person of Interest

Evaluation:

Uhhh.. I watched CSI about seven years ago when it had the dad from Fear and not Lawrence Fishburne but is he even still on the show?  Maybe I don’t watch these shows but you know what?  I have never heard anyone talk about these shows either.  You know why?  Because I’m not 60 and my friends aren’t that old either.

And yet, according to a Harris Poll, NCIS was voted as America’s favorite TV show.  Ever?  Really?  Do you know who participates in Harris Polls?  Really freakin’ old people!  Not a single time in my life have I watched NCIS, and it’s been on for nine years, but I’ve never even seen a non-ironic tweet about the show either.  You know why?  OLD PEOPLE DON’T TWEET.

Just in case you’re wondering who is in NCIS.

It’s not mainstream, it’s not popular, people don’t have NCIS parties.  The only person I know who is on the show is Mark Harmon and only because I just read that article.  The only person I know on NCIS: LA is LL Cool J because haha LL Cool J your career is ridiculous.  NCIS has been on for nine years and has been nominated for two Emmy’s in it’s entire run (Stunt Coordination in 2008 and Guest Star Charles Durning in 2005) and not that awards are everything but it’s an indication that nobody gives a shit about NCIS or it’s spinoff.

I’ve heard that The Good Wife might be legit and The Mentalist has a really funny show title but that’s about it.  The saddest part is losing the David Caruso meme after CSI: Miami was cancelled.

However, none of this will ever change because nearly 20 million old people watch shows like NCIS and CSI every week and CBS is happy with it’s number even if it’s not the “target demo” that networks really seek.

New and Upcoming Shows:

Partners - “Partners centers around Charlie (Krumholtz) and Louis (Urie), two business partners who are also old friends. Charlie is straight and Louis is gay. When Charlie decides to propose to his girlfriend, Louis’ over-the-top attempts to be a supportive friend could result in the breakup of his own relationship.”

Read: Gay guy and straight guy?  Guess what: Partners is written/produced from the makers of Will & Grace!  No way!  Considering how many gay people are in/run Hollywood, you’d think other people would come up with shows with gay characters, but there aren’t many!

But then again… Sophia Bush…

I love you so much that I’ve seen Hitcher like 12 times.

Friend Me: “Pals from Indiana (Nicholas Braun and Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who move to Los Angeles to seek new jobs and have differing views about blending in.”

Read: McLovin’s movie career stalls, gets a TV pilot.  The friends work at Groupon, and while the internet coupon company says that they aren’t involved with the show, you have to believe that there’s some effort here to give new life to the quickly failing/scamming company.

I still like you.

Vegas: “Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis star in “Vegas,” a show inspired by former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth-generation rancher who tries to bring order to sin city in the 1960s.”

Read: D-Quaid makes the inevitable move to television.  Wasn’t there already a shitty show called Vegas on NBC?  This is set in the sixties and is based on a true story or something but frankly “gritty” shows on network television are rarely gritty.  If this was on cable, I’d be interested.

Four and a Half Men.

Elementary: “Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day take on the crime-fighting duo that’s set in New York.”

Read: I constantly hear Jonny Lee Miller referred to as “the guy from Eli Stone” but not to me.  Come on.  It’s the guy from Hackers!  That’s what he is!  And now he’s solving mysteries in a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, so maybe this will be as good as The Cosby Mysteries.  Mystery shows belong on one channel: USA.

What the pinnacle of a career looks like.

Made In Jersey: “Janet Montgomery as a lawyer at a high-powered New York law firm who draws on her background as a prosecutor in Trenton, New Jersey.”

Read: Street smarts in a “man’s world!”  Hey, it’s working for Maria Bello on Prime Suspect, right?  Oh, it didn’t?  That got cancelled?  Uh oh.  On the bright side, hellllooo there Janet Montgomery!

Golden Boy: “about the rise of the youngest police commissioner in New York and the professional and personal costs he pays to achieve that rank.”

Read: Also known as: Doogie Howser, P.D.  this show was originally set to star Ryan Phillippe but he pulled out and it’s now starring Theo James from Downton Abbey.  I tried to watch Downton Abbey once but in the middle of the first episode I got the hankerin’ to watch the second half of Titanic and so far haven’t gotten back to D.A. but I will one day so that I know what everyone is talking about.

Who Gets a Second Season Predictions: Partners, Elementary, and Made in Jersey.

Award Shows:

The Grammy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, The Daytime Emmy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Academy of Country Music Awards.  Nothing to see here.  Oh Grammys?  Yeah… I agree with Homer Simpson’s take on the Grammys.

Game Shows: The Price is Right.  Sorry Drew, but I miss Bob.

Yup.

Late Night: Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  

CBS has the best late night lineup, but I haven’t watched late night talk shows since I was a teenager and I won’t watch them again until I retire.

News: 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, 48 Hours: Mystery, Crimetime Saturday.

As a lover of real crime shows and mysteries, 48 Hours Mystery is a good show but I pretty much always watch shows like that on Investigation Discovery.  However, I applaud 48 Hours for these specials!

Reality: Big Brother, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss

Confession: BB is my guiltiest pleasure.  I didn’t watch it for a long time but now when it’s on, I become a little obsessed.  It’s a good way to pass the time, I think.  I haven’t watched Survivor in years, but it’s still a decent reality show.  Never watched much of Amazing Race.  Undercover Boss seems like total bullshit to me.  If there were cameras on me while I worked, I would do a really great job, too.  I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

We Put the Super in Superficial.

Upcoming reality series “3″ will follow three women as they search for love.  I’m sure it’s totally “unscripted.”

Another new series from Survivor-creator Mark Burnett is “The Job” as contestants vie for a “dream job” at some of America’s “most prestigious” companies, because, you know, it really sucked when we had to earn things like that through interviews, resumes, college, etc.

Sports: NFL – the AFC Games, AFC Championship, Super Bowl every three years, SEC College Football, Formula One, NCAA Mens Basketball including the Tournament, The Masters and the PGA Championship, US Open Tennis.

As a sports lover, I appreciate any channel that covers the NFL, though I am not as big of a fan of the AFC.  Having the Super Bowl is a major prize for any network.  SEC is the most dominant division in college football.  March Madness is huge.  The Masters is probably the tournament in golf.

If you’re a sports fan, CBS has major win.

Overall:

Do you think that CBS stands much of a chance in my TV Channel Tournament?  Am I underselling them in anyway?  Overselling them?  Forgetting anything?

CBS has a win in the sports department, probably for reality shows, and for comedies and dramas that you want to watch when you really feel like shutting your brain off.  Hey, that has a market.  A big enough market to make CBS the most-watched network in America!  Just not with very good programming.

“But we like it! You. Lawn. Off.”

 

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