Network Showdown: Will CBS Step Up to the Plate?

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CBS is a network that I generally ignore, except when I want to bemoan the fact that its mediocre programs get better ratings than anything I love. But, this season they've actually got a couple of shows coming out that I've got my eye on. Let's see how they compare to the other networks' slates. Elementary: I don't know if the world really needed yet another iteration of Sherlock Holmes, but the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson was enough to get my attention. Aside from the fact that television is sadly wanting in representation of Asian Americans and women over 40, Lucy Liu is a phenomenal actress, so I'm always happy to see her getting more roles. Plus, creator Rob Doherty has said in interviews that he wants to explore a relationship where a man and woman work together and are close, but there's no romance. If he can stick to this, then Elementary will really stand out as a procedural about a man and woman that isn't all about the sexual tension between them. Fine, CBS, my interest is piqued. Vegas: Las Vegas in the 1960s has incredible potential as a setting. However, it's hard to tell from the previews whether the writing will be smart enough to make the most of it. What I can say for sure is that Michael Chiklis will be amazing in this and all things. Made in Jersey: This show has two of my pet peeves: It's one of those procedurals that pretends that lawyers do what cops do and all of the comedy seems to come from the fact that people from New Jersey and people from Manhattan are so different. It seems pretty annoying to me, but fans of CBS's other procedurals might be on board. Partners: From the previews, it's obvious that this will be full of typical, not-so-edgy sitcom humor, which is probably enough to turn off many more discriminating viewers. But, two gay main characters and the incredibly pleasant cast (David Krumholtz! Michael Urie! Brandon Routh! Sophia Bush!) are enough to make me willing to watch what looks like an otherwise mediocre sitcom. Overall, CBS is obviously sticking to their tried and true formulas, with three procedurals and a Friends-type sitcom. But, they're continuing to whip themselves into shape after failing their GLAAD score a couple years ago and casting some truly charming actors, so for once I'm optimistic that at least one CBS show will make it into my regular viewing this season.

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