First at 2011-12 pilots: CBS

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The pilot season for broadcast networks is heating up — most are cast and beginning production. Not all these pilots will air as everything is whittled down in early summer, and even more will likely get canceled. But, this year’s crop of newbies has potential so here’s a rundown of some of the more interesting pilots to keep an eye on for fall … if they make it that far.

There’s a lot of bad in the CBS line — procedurals and lame comedies, including one based on annoying ESPN personality Colin Cowherd and the “Untitled Rob Schneider Project.” Yikes! CBS also has a couple of interesting pilots, but it’s hard to tell how they’ll play with CBS’ mostly older audience.

The most promising pilot is “Persons of Interest,” a J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Fringe”) and Jonah Nolan — Christopher’s little bro and co-writer of “The Dark Knight” and “Memento”— project reuniting Abrams with “Lost’s” nefarious Ben Linus (Michael Emerson). “Persons of Interest” centers on a presumed dead C.I.A. operative (Jim Caviezel, aka Jesus) teaming up with a mysterious billionaire (Emerson) to fight crime. I expect this to be picked up, and if treated with any serialization, could be pretty good.

The other likely pick up is “Ringers,” a Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle. Geller plays a woman on the run form the mob that hides out by pretending to be her wealthy twin sister until her sister becomes a target as well. “Ringers” also stars Nestor Carbonell (“Lost”). It’s nice to see Geller back on TV and many of the “Lost” stars popping up in pilots on every network.

CBS’s one promising comedy comes from talented stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings. Starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as the titled “Two Broke Girls,” who try to make it in New York despite being, well, broke. Unfortunately, I expect this to be dumbed-down as Cummings will be fairly hands-off because she has a starring role in another comedy on NBC.