A Gifted Man, which moves to its new 9 p.m. time slot on Friday, February 17, could use a bit of divine intervention. CBS still sees potential in the medical drama, which stars Patrick Wilson as a doctor haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife, but the show remains firmly on the bubble. Executive producer Neal Baer is no stranger to medical drama, both on screen and in real life. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Baer used to practice medicine between seasons as a writer on ER. Later, he made the transition to Law & Order: SVU, which he ran for 11 seasons. Now, as the creator of A Gifted Man, Baer has made several tweaks to the show in recent months, putting the focus on the show's medical setting (where Wilson's character is assisted by critics' fave Margo Martindale) and bringing in both Rachelle Lefevre as a love interest and ER alum Eriq La Salle as an old colleague. Baer answered our showrunner survey in the hopes that Man will be gifted with more viewers.
TV Guide Magazine: Friday night is usually date night. Why should I stay home and watch A Gifted Man instead?
Neal Baer: We're a cheaper date than
Emily Deschanel, Katharine McPhee, Mark Harmon
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can't wait for Bones to come back in April! Got any scoop until then? — Gina
ADAM: One of Brennan's books is being turned into a film, and wouldn't you like to know who Hollywood has chosen to play our blood-and-guts lovers? You will, when a murder on set brings Booth and Bones and their movie alter egos together. Booth's stand-in is an action star whose stunts aren't limited to filming. It seems his criminal history of drug use and assault are just attempts to make headlines on TMZ. The actress playing Brennan? Well, she's kind of a slut. No thanks, poetic license; we'll stick with the originals.
So Ivy won the role of Marilyn Monroe on Smash. But Katharine McPhee is in all those commercials! Safe to say that's not permanent casting? — Lucy
Patrick Wilson and Margo Martindale
The future of CBS' A Gifted Man may still be up in the air, but executive producer Neal Baer hopes the show has packed its remaining episodes with enough punch to earn a second season.
Get more scoop on your favorite shows in our Winter TV preview
For starters, Friday's episode (8/7c, CBS) finds Dr. Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) in the center of a hostage situation after he testifies that a young man charged with manslaughter and arson only committed the crimes because he was suffering from a brain tumor...
Rachelle Lefevre and Patrick Wilson
When CBS' A Gifted Man returns in January, Patrick Wilson's Dr. Michael Holt will place his family jewels in the delicate gloved hands of the very sexy — and very married — Dr. Kate Sykora (Rachelle Lefevre). While not a sex scene, it...
Diane Neal is returning to the courtroom for an upcoming episode of CBS' A Gifted Man.
Neal's casting reunites her with showrunner Neal Baer, whom she worked with on Law & Order: SVU. "@DianeNeal Great to have you on A Gifted Man grilling Patrick Wilson on the stand," Baer tweeted on Friday.
CBS orders three more episodes of A Gifted Man
During his 11-year reign as Law & Order: SVU's executive producer, Neal Baer dissected the horrors of nearly every sex-crime scenario imaginable. But there's one story he never tackled. "We never explored on SVU what it's like for the child of a child molester to deal with what their parent has done," says Baer, who now executive produces CBS's A Gifted Man. "The legacy haunts the child of the molester as well as the molester's victim."
This storyline is touched on in Neal's new novel, Kill Switch (out December 13), a medical thriller he describes as "the best of SVU meets medicine." Neal jumped on the phone to give us a preview of what's inside the pages...
Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison
Once is not enough. Sometimes a second look, or a second episode, is necessary to convince a skeptic that a show is worth taking a risk on. So it is with ABC's dazzling but dauntingly precious Once Upon a Time (Sunday, 8/7c), which back when I was considering it for Fall Preview left me wondering: "Is this ambitiously whimsical fantasia the next Pushing Daisies cult fave or the next Eastwick insta-flop? (Either way, it will likely be an uphill climb to happily ever after.) It would be easier to love if it weren't so convoluted and campy."
But then ABC made another episode (the third, airing Nov. 6) available for review, and I started to find myself enchanted and beguiled, ready to curl up with more chapters of this fractured fairy tale. First, though, you have to digest the premise, and the overstuffed and often overripe pilot is a lot to swallow. We begin in a lavishly rendered fairy-tale land ...
Joel Mchale, Dana Delany and Kathy Bates
We're mere weeks into the new TV season, and already the freshman class has provided some bona fide hits (hello, girls both New and 2 Broke!) But while some shows started strong, several others faltered out of the gate (RIP, The Playboy Club, Free Agents, How to Be a Gentleman and Charlie's Angels!) Which shows will be next? These 11 are in the most danger, due to low ratings, poor performances among younger viewers and other typical bad signs. Is your favorite show on the list?
Fall Preview: Get scoop on all your favorite new and returning shows
1. Body of Proof (ABC)
Tuesdays at 10/9c
The Good News: Dana Delany is just lovely. We'd watch her read the phone book.
The Bad News: It often falls behind both Unforgettable and Parenthood in the demo, and the only show pulling lower ratings for ABC...
While A Gifted Man is rooted in medicine, it's also about twists of fate, executive producer Neal Baer says.
"We all think about those moments in our lives that stand out where serendipity, synchronicity, fate — whatever you want to call it — intervened," he says. "The show really explores those moments in our lives that can change everything."
Most people would be wary to begin a series in its 13th season. Most people would be nervous to join a cast after the exit of a high-profile star. Kelli Giddish is not most people.
"I couldn't feel better about it. ... There's no intimidation," Giddish tells TVGuide.com of jumping onboard Law & Order: SVU. "What attracted me was the prospect of re-invigorating a franchise that's been so well-known and so well-liked, and then to be the shaker and mover."
Giddish is one of two fresh faces in the 16th District's SVU team this season, which also sees the departure of longtime showrunner Neal Baer and the exit of star Christopher Meloni. "They've lost a close family member and that's very, very obvious. The writers are not...