Somehow CBS managed to find room in their upcoming TV schedule to add some new shows. Alongside their long-running hits, and five unexpected renewals, the network is launching three new dramas and two comedy series. These wildly different shows cast a wide net, with something for every viewer. CBS released extended trailers for each one, an effective way to get us sucked in before the premieres. Check out these five new series and see which one(s) you’ll add to your rotation.
1. “Code Black”
Based on the critically-acclaimed documentary about America’s “busiest and most notorious ER,” this new drama aims for hardcore reality. The hospital is as crowded as a New York subway car, relentlessly loud and busy. Both miracles and tragedies swirl together in all the chaos. Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden stars as a tough, risk-taking doctor who deeply cares about the lives of her patients.
This is a strong offering from CBS, and if it can keep up this level of intensity, they’ll have a hit on their hands. I challenge you not to tear up with emotion during this extended preview.
2. “Angel from Hell”
Jane Lynch went from her signature track suit on “Glee” to a signature army green vest in this new comedy. Fans of the actress will be happy to see her irreverent, quirky style in full effect. Lynch swaggers her way through the plot as Amy, a woman who talks fast, dispenses blunt advice, and knows way too much about her new friend Allison’s life.
Maggie Lawson, fresh from roles on “Two and a Half Men” and “Psych,” costars as the perfectionist dermatologist who learns Amy is her guardian angel, or just a crazy person who hacked into her life somehow. Either way, as Allison says, she could use “a weird friend.”
“Angel from Hell” looks like good, crazy fun. The added bonus of Kevin Pollak (“Mom”) makes it even better.
Who can say no to Bradley Cooper on the small screen (or any screen, for that matter)? The actor brings his film character, Eddie Mora of “Limitless,” to a series spin-off from the original film. While he won’t take on the central role in the new show, he will appear in your living room as often as his filming schedule allows.
Jake McDorman (“American Sniper,” “Shameless,”) will star as Brian Finch, Mora’s protégé and user of the same brain-boosting drug. Finch uses his enhanced intelligence to help the FBI solve cases, but Mora has a mysterious separate agenda in mind. We get two kick-ass women to balance out the guy power, with Jennifer Morgan (“Dexter”) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (“Grimm”) on the FBI side of things.
While the brain’s potential is limitless in this series, the artificially-induced surge of intellect is not. It looks like the series will have fun playing with the time-clock aspect of our protagonist’s power to up the suspense level and keep us on the edge of our seats.
Melissa Benoist (“Glee”) stars as a wholesome girl who goes from fetching coffee for her evil media mogul boss to saving the world. The TV version of the comic book aims to reach a younger, female audience, but this syrupy teen drama queen might be too perky for anyone else. Looking at the extended trailer, I still have my misgivings about the casting for “Supergirl,” particularly the Cat Grant role.
That said, I did get goosebumps seeing this new superhero in action, and there are some high-quality effects. This could be an intriguing coming-of-age story as well, with the flighty, hair-tossing girl becoming the crime-fighting woman we cheer for.
5. “Life In Pieces”
Imagine “Modern Family” taken to even crazier places. This new comedy series about the different stages of life is packed with familiar faces, including Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Betsy Brandt, Colin Hanks, and Zoe Lister-Jones. Wiest and Brandt starred in the movie and TV versions of “Parenthood,” respectively, which seems fitting for all the family melodrama.
As long as this one doesn’t push the envelope too far into ridiculous situations, it should do well with such a talented cast. I also notice that matriarch Wiest is one of many strong female characters CBS is promoting in its new offerings. The unique array of shows has something of interest for everyone, especially everyone who loves awesome women on TV.
CBS certainly found some gems to add to their already exciting lineup. Do you have a favorite?