Nerd Bites

CBS TV Promo Reviews 2019-2020

CBS has given viewers a lot to think about this year delivering a total of 8 promos to enjoy. There’s the usual lineup of police procedurals, sitcoms and legal dramas but there’s also some wild cards including a dramedy that is sure to make tears flow and a horror supernatural drama that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. With so many great new shows to choose from, the 2019-2020 television season is shaping up to be very exciting. 

All Rise

What’s it about: Follows the lives of judges, prosecutors and defenders as they try to get justice for the people of Los Angeles.

What we think: The promo started off a little slow and shaky but by the end had really established the main character well and given an idea of various interesting avenues the story could go. A legal show from the eyes of the judge is an interesting twist but other than that it seemed like every other courtroom drama we’ve seen before which means it may struggle to stand out. What the trailer did do very well was bring in some humour that I didn’t expect. Often this type of show can feel a little dark and boring so it was good to see some light-heartedness. Hopefully, they continue to bring that to the whole series. 

Excitement Factor: 3.5/5

Bob Hearts Abishola

What’s it about: A sock salesman falls in love with and pursues his cardiac nurse who took care of him after he had a heart attack.  

What we think: All the characters seemed fairly likeable in this promo, especially Abishola – she’s a star, and there were a few laughs, but the premise is a bit problematic. I know Bob’s pursuit of Abishola is meant to be cute and charming but it’s coming off as slightly creepy. The guy bribed someone to get her home address and repeatedly showed up at her workplace. And she doesn’t really seem to like him romantically. They need to make it clear in the pilot that she has an interest in him otherwise this has the danger of becoming a television show about a woman battling a stalker. Unless marketing it as a sitcom, then turning it into a dark psychological thriller has been CBS’s plan all along. 

Excitement Factor: 2.5/5

Broke 

What’s it about: A struggling single mother is forced to take in her estranged wealthy sister and her husband after they lose their riches. 

What we think: A cast including Pauley Perrette, Jaime Camil and Natasha Leggero gave me high expectations. Unfortunately, they weren’t really met with this trailer. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as great as I thought it could be. The whole thing seemed a little low energy for a sitcom, and the humour was lacking. When the jokes did land, they were good, and there was a lot of heart brought about by the great chemistry that the cast have together. It has potential so hopefully the pilot can deliver more than the promo did. 

Excitement Factor: 2.5/5

Carol’s Second Act

What’s it about: After getting divorced, Carol decides to change her life and pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. 

What we think: This isn’t the best comedy that Upfronts have ever delivered, however it is definitely one of the better comedy promos this year. Patricia Heaton is fantastic and she immediately makes me root for her character. The rest of the characters all seem rather interesting and varied which can be rare for a new sitcom. Most importantly, it’s not just the same recycled comedy concept. It seems like a fresh idea and I’m excited to see how it plays out. A note to the writers though: less old person jokes please, the premise is clear, we don’t need to be reminded of it every 10 seconds. 

Excitement Factor: 3.5/5

Evil 

What’s it about: A sceptical forensic psychologist teams up with a priest-in-training and assessor to investigate crimes with a paranormal element. 

What we think: I didn’t think anything could beat Prodigal Son for my favourite promo of Upfronts this year, but this one has done it. CBS has delivered a strong trailer that has a brilliant premise, talented actors, suspense and intrigue, and even some scares that made me jump. It’s very dark, so much so that it feels like more of a cable show than a CBS show but it could be a game changer for the network. Plus, it’s always nice to see Michael Emerson on a show again. There’s so much more I could write but I think it’s better for this excellent promo to speak for itself.

Excitement Factor: 5/5

FBI: Most Wanted

What’s it about: A spinoff of the show “FBI”, following a team that tracks down and arrests criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. 

What we think: It’s hard to judge this one as the promo was incredibly short. What was shown seemed both exciting and entertaining, and the premise was clearly established. More time needed to be spent on the characters however as although it has a good group of actors in it, I have no idea about what their roles are. I haven’t seen the original series “FBI” but it has been pretty successful for the network so if this follows the same format I’m sure it will be another winner for CBS. 

Excitement Factor: 4/5

Tommy

What’s it about: A former NYPD officer has to navigate politics whilst trying to fight crime and injustice when she becomes the first female Chief of Police for Los Angeles. 

What we think: It’s a cop show with just enough of a unique twist to intrigue me. It’s nothing ground-breaking but the promo looks good enough that it’ll be worth a watch. Unsurprisingly, Edie Falco stands out as she always does, and with her in the lead a lot of viewers will flock to this show. The trailer showed that the series has the potential to be really gritty and hard-hitting so I hope it follows that trajectory rather than falling into the clichés and tropes that so many crime dramas do. 

Excitement Factor: 4/5

The Unicorn

What’s it about: A widower with two young daughters gets back into dating with the help of his close friends. 

What we think: The casting for this is an absolute dream – Michaela Watkins and Rob Corddry are a match made in heaven and I can’t wait to see how they bounce off each other, and I’ve been waiting for the incredible Walton Goggins to get his own show for a while. From the promo, it’s clear that they all already have great chemistry with each other which made it so enjoyable to watch. Alongside “Mixed-ish”, this might be my favourite comedy of Upfronts week. They’ve both followed the same formula of balancing the humour and the heart, and I’m a sucker for a comedy that can make me cry. For anyone still on the fence, there is also a very cute family dog – if that doesn’t convince I don’t know what will. 

Excitement Factor: 4.5/5

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