Spring TV Roundup, Week 4

We've hit Spring and the broadcast season is winding down, but the flow of new shows continues. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episodes of new series. Don't see a new scripted series below, check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Of Kings and Prophets, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC (Premiered March 8)
About: No point in kicking a show while it's down. "Of Prophets and Kings" practically broke a land speed record in getting cancelled after two episodes. That's not really bad news. The show was a hot mess. Based on The Bible, the series was supposed to chronicle the story of David and King Saul. I guess it did, kind of. But the first two episodes were not only boring, they were poorly constructed and not that interested in the source material. No one watched, and they've been cancelled.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: D

Wednesday Nights:
Underground, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on WGN America (Premiered March 9)
About: This is the latest drama from WGN America, and it centers on a group of slaves in Georgia in 1857 who are planning to escape. At the same time it focuses on the family that runs the plantation, the brother who is working with the Underground Railroad, and the local slave catcher trying to make a way for his family. It was a brutal and dark time in our history, but this series captures it in an interesting way. It does blend in some modern music — selected by John Legend — to round out the series. I like the performances and the way the story is setting up in the first few episodes. I'm curious to see where this goes. It might not be for everyone, but it's an important story from our history that can't and shouldn't be forgotten.
Pilot Grade: B-
Second Episode: C+

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS (Premiered March 16)
About: If you enjoy the formula for "Criminal Minds" set overseas as the FBI tries to rescue Americans who stumble into trouble in foreign lands, this series is for you. That's essentially what this series is. Gary Sinise, no stranger to CBS crime drama spin-offs, takes the lead here. But all the characters and plot in the pilot were beyond bland, as is the series. This is probably the kind of show that kind find an audience on CBS — though it's worth noting that "Criminal Minds'" ratings continue to ebb down — but it feels lazy and unoriginal. It was fine, but not compelling.
Pilot Grade: C-

Sunday Nights:
Crowded, Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC (Premiered March 15)
About: This is the latest NBC sitcom, which got a premier behind "The Voice" last week before settling into its Sunday night home. The series focuses on a couple — Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston — who are empty nesters enjoying some freedom before their grown millennial children return home and his father and step-mother keep barging in. Their house becomes... crowded. Hence the title and the source of the "comedy." The first two episodes were dry, stilted, and rough to watch. The characters have no chemistry together and the stories lack pop. This doesn't feel like a comedy that's long for the air.
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: D


Popular posts from this blog

Working Out Our Salvation

Kobe, Phil, and the languishing Lakers

Fall TV Roundup, Week 6