News Column

The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Va., Casey Gillis column

May 15, 2013


May 15--Here's what you can expect from CBS and ABC during the 2013-2014 TV season:


CBS's slate of new series is sparse compared to some of the other networks' offerings.

It also has very few cancellations. Only "CSI: NY," "Golden Boy," "Vegas," "Partners" and "Rules of Engagement" will not be returning.

On Wednesday, CBS announced eight new series, five that will premiere in the fall and three at midseason. And they've all got some pretty big names attached to them.

On the comedy front, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams are teaming up for "The Crazy Ones," about a father/daughter duo who run an advertising agency.

Anna Faris is starring in "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre's latest, "Mom," about a newly sober single mother, while Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn and Jerry O'Connell bond while living in a short-term apartment complex in "We Are Men."

"My Name Is Earl" creator Greg Garcia is also returning to TV with "The Millers," starring Will Arnett as a recently divorced reporter dealing with his parents' (Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale) marital problems.

The one new drama coming this fall is "Hostages," a serialized drama about a surgeon (Toni Collette, "United States of Tara") whose family is taken hostage by a rogue FBI agent (Dylan McDermott, "American Horror Story," "The Practice"). Tate Donovan, last seen on NBC's short-lived "Deception" also stars as Collette's husband.

Midseason, expect "Intelligence," starring "Lost's" Josh Holloway (Sawyer!) as an intelligence operative with a microchip in his brain; "Reckless," a legal drama set in Charleston, S.C.; and "Friends With Better Lives," a comedy about six friends that stars James Van Der Beek, Kevin Connolly ("Entourage") and model Brooklyn Decker.


The alphabet net announced the addition of 14 new shows during its upfront presentation, joining veteran series like "Grey's Anatomy," "Castle," "Dancing With the Stars," "The Middle," "Modern Family," "The Bachelor," "20/20" and "Shark Tank."

Newer series that also will return next season are "Scandal," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Revenge," "The Taste" and comedies "Suburgatory," "The Neighbors" and "Last Man Standing."

"Once" is getting a spin-off, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," following Alice down the rabbit hole.

Other new dramas premiering this fall include "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which follows a group of covert agents who "investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe" (Clark Gregg leads the cast, reprising his role from last summer's "Avengers" movie); "Lucky 7," about a group of gas station employees who win the lottery together; and the convoluted sounding "Betrayal," about an unhappily married female photographer who starts up an affair with a lawyer who ends up defending a murder suspect being prosecuted by her husband.

New comedies are the Rebel Wilson vehicle "Super Fun Night," about what happens to a group of best friends when one of them (Wilson) gets a promotion; "Trophy Wife," starring Malin Ackerman, last seen on "Suburgatory," as a woman dealing with her new husband's (Bradley Whitford, "The West Wing") ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden and Michaela Watkins); "Back In the Game," about a former all-star softball player (Maggie Lawson, "Psych") and her son, who move back in with her estranged father (James Caan); and "The Goldbergs," about a family in the 1980s, led by an overprotective mother (Wendi McClendon-Covey, "Bridesmaids") and a hot-tempered father (Jeff Garlin, "Curb Your Enthusiasm").

Mid-season entries include "Mixology," a comedy set at a high-end Manhattan bar; "Killer Women," about a tough-talking female Texas Ranger (Tricia Helfer, "Battlestar Galactica"); "Mind Games," starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn as brothers who solve problems "using the hard science of psychological manipulation," whatever that means; "Resurrection," set in a Missouri town where deceased loved ones suddenly start returning (stars include Omar Epps from "House," and Kurtwood Smith from "That '70s Show"); and "The Quest," a reality show that sounds like a video game come to life. It purporting to "conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods, agents of darkness stir in the shadows, and mystical beings infiltrate the keep." OK, then.

Not returning: "Body of Proof," "Happy Endings," "Family Tools," "How To Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)," "Malibu Country," "Red Widow" and previously cancelled series "666 Park Avenue," "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23," "Last Resort," "Private Practice" and "Zero Hour."


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