Hit or miss? Predictions for every new show on CBS this fall

We’re less than one week away from Premiere Week, when the four major broadcast networks start debuting their new shows. Whether you’re planning to watch them as they happen (i.e., you’re old) or you want a sneak peek of the shows you’ll be binging next spring when they finally reach Netflix, the Agony Booth TV squad is here for you. We’re predicting the fate of every new broadcast show, one network at a time. Yesterday, we covered ABC. Today, we tackle CBS.



Remember that 1980s show that became a 1990s punchline that became a 2000s “I can’t believe you’re still making MacGyver jokes” groan? Well, it’s back. Only this time, it’s less of a MacGyver reboot and more of a shameless, low-budget rip-off of Iron Man.


Premieres Friday, Sept. 23.


Winston – Are we really supposed to take this premise seriously again after MacGruber? I half-expected each scene to end with exterior footage of a building exploding. Also, the main actor kinda looks like an annoying douche, sorry (not sorry). CANCELLED.

Julie – I feel like MacGyver as a main character worked way better in the ’80s, back when there were still some people out there who cared about finding ways to accomplish things without the use of modern-day technology. Now, fortunately, there’s an app for that. CANCELLED!

Marion – Can a mere mortal with mad science skills make it in a Marvel-ized superhero universe? I’d like to think so, and I do think there’s enough MacGyver love for a reboot. If nothing else, Lucas Till will get the ‘tween girls hot and bothered. RENEWED.

Susan – Just because people have nostalgia for cheesy MacGyver episodes doesn’t mean they want a cheesy MacGyver reboot. CANCELLED.

Rick – Nobody misses MacGyver. CANCELLED.

Odds of survival: 20%


Pure Genius

Dermott Mulroney is an old-fashioned surgeon who believes technology can never replace the heart, passion, and intuition that humans bring to the (surgical) table. But, get this, he’s at a Silicon Valley hospital founded by a Silicon Valley billionaire where everyone worships technology because Silicon Valley. Oh, the ideological clashes!

Premieres Thursday, Oct. 27.


Winston – This looks to be a one-note premise where every case boils down to a generational conflict between our two leads, peppered with appearances by whatever technology happens to be grabbing headlines: 3-D printing! Robots! Telepathy! Wait a minute, telepathy as medical science? CANCELLED.

Marion – A Zuckerbergesque tech billionaire builds hisself a hospital because of reasons revealed in the first three minutes of the trailer. I’d upvote this one for the medical jargon and House-like diagnostic mysteries alone. I miss House. RENEWED.

Julie – I agree with Marion that the main character’s true motivations for building the hospital should have been kept under wraps, at least until mid-season. It would have added a bit of intrigue and potential nefariousness to an otherwise almost over-the-top earnest series. Nonetheless, I was surprised by how much this trailer made mushy my cold, jaded heart. RENEWED.

Susan – If this medical drama was any more feel-good, I would need a cigarette. Its bland but optimistic message is the cure for anyone tired of “dark and twisty” medical dramas. RENEWED.

Rick – CBS’s septuagenarian audience likes bland hospital dramas and is scared of technology. RENEWED.

Odds of survival: 80%



Sadly not a long-delayed Night Court spinoff. Instead, it’s the latest in a long line of brash, rich, never-wrong, white guys who are supernaturally proficient at their high-stakes jobs, a la House and all the other shows that wanted to be House but in a different profession. This time, he’s a jury selection expert.

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 20.


Winston – High-tech lawyering! I mean, how can you argue with a guy who’s got a big wall-sized computer screen with little icons of each of the jurors? I mean, they’re all up there! Supposedly, this is based on the early career of Dr. Phil, though I’m pretty sure he never owned a magic jury wall. CANCELLED.


Julie – I just didn’t like it. I mean, criminals and lawyers can be sexy. Judges can be funny. Jurors are just the folks really hoping you don’t pick them for a trial so they don’t have to spend more than the three mandatory days in the courthouse, playing Candy Crush on their phones, before going back to their normal lives. Nonetheless, the Law & Order, NCIS, CSI procedural junkie crowd will eat this crap up. RENEWED… reluctantly.

Susan – The Mentalist meets NCIS meets any other CBS show that did mildly well. Of course it’s getting RENEWED.

Marion – Is Michael Weatherly wearing glasses for the gravitas, or so we’ll know he’s not playing the same guy as on that series he was on for a million years that no one ever watched? Sure. I’ll vote yes because The Good Wife‘s been cancelled and we need a lawyer show. It might get better in time. RENEWED.

Rick – CBS thrives on uninspired programming. RENEWED.

Odds of Survival: 80%


Kevin Can Wait

Kevin James is smart enough to know that Paul Blart: Mall Cop is the peak of his movie career, so he’s returning to his King of Queens home network to rest on his laurels. This time he’s a recently retired cop with too much free time on his hands.

Premieres Monday, Sept. 19.


Winston – All the crass, lowbrow humor you expect from both Kevin James movies and terrible CBS sitcoms. Also, there seems to be no reason it’s called “Kevin Can Wait” besides a dumb play on words. CANCELLED.

Julie – You know it’s a bad sign when most of the promotion for the series involves Kevin From His New Show chatting casually side-by-side with Kevin From His Old Show in the hopes that CBS viewers are so old and doddering that they will watch Kevin Can Wait just because they mistake it for reruns of The King of Queens. CANCELLED.

Marion – Does Kevin James get to casting-couch his hot television wives? I believe Lao Tsu wrote, “After a moderately successful series the similarly themed series always fails.” Or maybe it was Kay Gardella what said that. CANCELLED.

Susan – In the extended trailer, there was a minute-long segment of Kevin James and his generic Hot TV Wife testing out a “no spill” bowl. With a laugh track. Enough said. CANCELLED.

Rick – If Kevin James thinks all he has to do is show up and this’ll be a hit, it won’t be. Ask anyone who used to be on Friends. CANCELLED.

Odds of survival: 0%


Man with a Plan

Ever seen the 1983 Michael Keaton comedy Mr. Mom? Of course not. You’ve probably never even heard of it, which doesn’t bode well for this hopelessly out-of-date premise: Matt LeBlanc is shocked to find out being a stay-at-home parent is hard work. Men, amirite?

Premieres Monday, Oct. 24.


Winston – There’s literally nothing to this trailer besides twenty-year-old jokes about men being terrible at raising children. You know what? Anyone can tell this show is going to suck. So instead, I’ll try to be positive here: …it… um… well… it doesn’t look as horrible as Kevin Can Wait? CANCELLED.


Julie – It’s almost as if CBS needed one more sitcom to fill its weekly lineup and had nothing. So, they decided to dust off this old, used, slightly smelly, never-picked-up pilot from 1995 just to see if it had any legs. “We’ll just throw in some iPad jokes,” they said. “They’ll never know the difference.” CANCELLED.

Marion – Ha-ha. The menz try to do women’s work! Has anyone explained to the folks who write these things that working moms have been a thing for a while now and it’s not “babysitting” if they’re your kids? Also Matt LeBlanc is no Tony Danza. CANCELLED.

Susan – I get that Matt LeBlanc is trying to line up another job where he doesn’t have to play a fictionalized version of himself, but Bumbling TV Dad is not a good role for him. Thankfully, this bland show will be CANCELLED and he can try another show.

Rick – Is Matt LaBlanc trying to be a second-rate Tim Allen? CANCELLED.

Odds of survival: 0%


The Great Indoors

Millennials are so baffling and ridiculous! All selfies and emojis and participation trophies! Can you just imagine if they worked at a wilderness magazine? If you think that’s surefire hilarity, there’s a pretty good chance you watch CBS and/or work there. Joel McHale is bizarrely cast as a roll-up-your-sleeves, experience-the-world-firsthand outdoors reporter and not one of the detached, ironic urbanites who have taken over the magazine.

Premieres Thursday, Oct. 27.


Winston – Oh good, more comedy about generational clashes in the workplace, this time due to Millennials being overly coddled technology addicts with poor social skills. This looks awful, but the cruel irony of the universe dictates this show will breeze through seven seasons while Community lived its entire life on the bubble before ending up in TV purgatory (RIP Yahoo Screen). RENEWED.

Julie – Best things about this trailer: McLovin from Superbad, the adorable baby bear that ate the support dog, lots of exposed brick and bay windows in the set design (because I love me some exposed brick and bay windows). Worst things about this trailer: EVERYTHING ELSE. CANCELLED.

Marion – New from the “GET OFF MY LAWN” network: Lots of jokes about things you can’t say anymore because of the scourge of political correctness, which is worser than war and racism. At last, a sitcom for white males over 40 who aren’t rich enough to get laid by twenty-something babes and just want to be able to feel smug again. Unfortunately, it’s slick enough to be a hit with the brain-dead, who make up about half of CBS’s audience, and Joel McHale is very good at this. I hate to say it, but I think it’ll last more than a season, if for no other reason than the aging executives will believe in it. RENEWED.

Susan – CBS’s Baby Boomer audience can rag on Millennials in the comments section of any article. They don’t need a sitcom with too much canned laughter to do it for them. CANCELLED.


Rick – Wince. CANCELLED.

Odds of survival: 40%

Check out yesterday’s predictions for ABC. Tomorrow comes FOX. Thursday is NBC. 

We want to hear your predictions in the comments!

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