Monday, December 04, 2006

Once again, CBS goes the crime route

So CBS has decided to hand the post-Super Bowl timeslot to "Criminal Minds" instead of "How I Met Your Mother." Sigh... The timeslot's not what it used to be in the '80s and early '90s, but if there's a show on CBS' schedule that could really benefit from being introduced to viewers who don't usually watch CBS, it's "HIMYM," which is basically the best sitcom NBC never aired.

I don't know that "Criminal Minds" has a ceiling much higher than what it's doing now, where "HIMYM" could do much, much better if its target audience knew it existed.

Clearly, I think CBS made the wrong call. Make no mistake.

18 comments:

Matt said...

That's simply idiotic--even though Criminal Minds is successful, it seems like it's pretty universally reviled. As another option, why not use it to launch TAR All-Stars?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think TAR's shot at breaking through and becoming a huge hit has come and gone. You use that timeslot on one of three things:

1)A new show you think could do well with the borrowed audience;
2)A veteran show that has some upside if you show it to that borrowed audience;
3)A veteran show that's guaranteed to do well and that you can use to sell more expensive ads.

Criminal Minds sort of qualifies for number 3, but if you're going that route you might as well have the CSI guys do an episode.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think it's such a bad thing. Did you see the Friends Superbowl episode? If they couldn't pull it off, I don't know if HIMYM could either. And given how much Criminal Minds has been giving Lost a run for its money lately I kind of don't blame CBS for giving it a big push. At the very least HIMYM will be spared from the high expectations that come in that slot--and which certainly didn't do Alias any favors when it got the slot.

Dan Coyle said...

I'm actually kind of surprised Criminal Minds is giving Lost a run for its money- I mean, sure, Lost is really dropping the ball this season but I find Criminal Minds terminally boring. Even the cast looks tired most of the time. What's the appeal of this show, other than Mandy Patankin??

kj said...

I think the fact that it's not Lost is a big enough draw for a number of people. Sometimes a quick and dirty procedural is much more satisfying than a string of murky flashbacks that fail to meaningfully propel the story (an overgeneralization, I know).

The show itself is an interesting story for CBS, as a once-modest draw that turned into a hit, and as it's been getting all of that "beating Lost" buzz, why wouldn't the network give it a shot?

J said...

Criminal Minds is, at its best, hilariously awful. Usually, it's just insulting and sadistic.

Hopefully the post-Superbowl slot will inspire the "creative" team to come up with something legendarily howl-worthy.

So much better to show contrived crazy people shoving guns into the bellies of pregnant women than Janet Jackson's nipple. CBS, you are America's Network!

Dan Coyle said...

Hey Alan, this is OT but Matt Seitz said on his blog that you turned him on to Preacher; as a fellow fan of that series, what do you think of the recent HBO announcement?

Joel said...

Hey, Alan... I linked to this entry on TV Squad. Where did you find out about this? It wasn't on any of the news sites and there wasn't any press release on CBS's press site.

Dark Tyler said...

I trust the HBO standards are going to do Preacher justice. But Mark Steven Johnson's involvement isn't exactly a good first sign, is it? Alan, usually how much time does it take for a show that early in development to actually start, you know, developing?

And by the way, what's going on with Alan Ball's next HBO project? I'm kinda psyched about it, but I haven't heard a whisper for like six months.

BF said...

Maybe CBS smells blood in the water and wants to knock Lost out for good. What better way than to get people hooked on Criminal Minds right before Season 3.2 starts up?

Jacob said...

Neat. What you said was neat. I don't care if you post or if you read, I just wanted to say that you're neat, and what you said was neat.

Anonymous said...

I just hope Alan Ball doesn't drop the ball on his new show. After season 3, 6FU is UNWATCHABLE!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Joel, I got a CBS press release e-mailed to me yesterday morning around 10 a.m.

Dan and Dark Tyler, I think an HBO series is basically the only way to do Preacher justice -- what I heard of the Ben Affleck movie script didn't excite me too much -- but Mark Steven Johnson's involvement does dampen quite a lot of enthusiasm.

Dan Coyle said...

Alan: as I said on Matt's blog- Mark Steven Johnson LOVES Preacher. He also LOVES Daredevil, and look how that turned out.

dez said...

I think TAR's shot at breaking through and becoming a huge hit has come and gone.

Thank God for the Emmys to keep it going :-)

I understand Without a Trace's ratings are flagging this year. Why not give it a push in that post-SB timeslot instead of Criminal Minds? At least WaT's a good show.

Johanna said...

I completely agree with Alan on this one. I think CBS is blowing their chance to take HIMYM to the next level. Regarding the whole "big expectations" thing -- I don't really think that would affect HIMYM in the same way it did Alias. As much as I loved it, Alias was a convoluted mess part of the time. It was also a fairly high profile show, despite its only mediocre ratings.

HIMYM has never had a huge audience; so many people don't even know it exists. The post-Superbowl slot could have taken care of that pronto. Merely being given the spot would have automatically started some great word of mouth for the show.

Also, Criminal Minds doesn't really have the potential to be a buzz-worthy show; HIMYM does. A lot of Superbowl viewers may dismiss Criminal Minds, thinking, "Oh, another procedural. Yawn. I've seen all this before. No need to hang around." But with HIMYM CBS could have teased the Superbowl audience with hilarious commericals for the show all druing the game. If you show enough catchy, fun clips during the Superbowl I bet a lot of people might stay tuned in "just to see if this comedy is as great as it looks."

Lori said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who is disappointed in CBS. I love how they put out another press release on the same day about airing reruns of HIMYM on Christmas day. Like, great consolation prize, CBS!

I don't understand the hype behind Criminal Minds. I really wanted to like it --- I love Thomas Gibson, and I always thought Shemar was, well frankly, he's sex on plate --- but not even they can redeem that show.

Dark Tyler said...

Don't know if anyone besides Alan is going to see this comment, but because some people here were interested in Preacher from HBO, here is an interview with Mark Steven Johnson over at Newsarama:

http://www.newsarama.com/movies/Preacher/MSJPreacher.html

He basically explains how he's going the Robert Rodriguez route, practically using the comic series as a storyboard. That's, erm, creative. Not.