Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CBS: Those aren't initials, they're self-critique

Now it's the Eyeball's turn.

CBS, this TV season's top-rated network, followed its competitors in unleashing a preview of its new programming offerings for this fall. Frankly, we're underwhelmed. Creativity is apparently a dead issue in television studios and boardrooms these days. It's as though they aren't even trying to come up with original ideas anymore.

Launching on the Orb Web later this year will be these morsels of questionable entertainment value, all of which sound depressingly familiar:
  • Ghost Whisperer: Jennifer Love Hewitt is a woman who talks to dead things. (Perhaps at some point during the season she'll have a chat with her film career.) This offering is peculiar for two reasons: (1) NBC already has a show on the air exactly like this (Medium, starring Patricia Arquette); and (2) CBS just canceled another program, Joan of Arcadia, with a remarkably similar premise (yes, that was about a girl who talked to God, not ghosts, but you see my point).

  • Criminal Minds: Tracking down deranged evildoers with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. Didn't this used to be called Profiler?

  • Close to Home: A attractive young woman attorney juggles work and family life. Didn't this used to be called Judging Amy?

  • Threshold: Undersea scientists discover aliens living in our oceans. Didn't this used to be called seaQuest DSV, and before that, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? And didn't NBC already announce a new show called Fathom with a — you're way ahead of me — remarkably similar premise?

  • Out of Practice: Henry Winkler, decades beyond his leather jacket and motorcycle days as The Fonz, stars in this sitcom about a crotchety aging physician. Didn't this used to be called...well, it's been called many things, including The Practice, which starred Danny Thomas as a crotchety aging physician, and Doc, which starred Barnard Hughes as a crotchety aging physician, and Frasier, which starred Kelsey Grammer as a crotchety aging psychiatrist.
All together now: Ho hum.

Like I said, it's as though they aren't even trying.

(This article is cross-posted to my film/television blog at DVD Verdict.)

1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

Where's my cable channels? Or, better yet, where's my DVDs?

7:44 AM  

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