Happens all the time in the Bat-verse: The bad guys get all the best material. And so it was in the beginning, or at least in the origin story as presented by Fox's stylish, vividly hardboiled Gotham (8/7c), an exercise in pulp-noir chic that, to be enjoyed properly, should be considered more Dick Tracy than Batman in approach.
As Robin might proclaim, if he were around (which he isn't): Holy corruption! The sordid Gotham City on display here reflects executive producer Bruno Heller's time spent on HBO's Rome rather than his sunnier stint with The Mentalist. This city of menace boasts a retro sheen cluttered with jarring contemporary details, projecting what's intended as an out-of-time (or timeless) quality to frame this iconic story. You know how it goes: Young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz of Touch) is orphaned when his wealthy parents are murdered in a back-alley robbery, inspiring a lifetime devoted to vanquishing Gotham's most-wanted goons.
But that's another tale for another time, because the focus of Gotham is on clench-jawed, strait-arrow Detective (future Commissioner) James Gordon, played with a pugnacious dour solemnity by Ben McKenzie. read more
Scorpion is not The Big Bang Theory, but it doesn't mind comparisons to CBS' wildly popular hit comedy.
After all, both series seem to share the same DNA: Socially awkward nerds get help relating to the world from a beautiful waitress who joins their group. "The truth is while breaking the show and the characters and coming up with ideas that kind of all came together, it was brought up at some point by someone at CBS who said, 'Oh, wow, this is like Big Bang Theory in the field," executive producer Nick Santora said during the Television Critics Association fall previews. "And so I went, 'Yeah, it is.' [I was] smart enough to fake it and lie."
When at first you do succeed: do it again. Imitation, not innovation, was the prevailing takeaway when CBS presented its fall prospects (and one notable midseason contender) at the TCA press tour on Thursday.
Not that the network's entertainment chairman Nina Tassler had any apologies for doubling down on what works — not when a franchise like NCIS (launching its second spinoff in September) can achieve what she called the "creative holy grail" with its global dominance, or when syndication and/or streaming deals with outlets like Hulu, Amazon and WGN add to the bottom line for shows including the acclaimed The Good Wife and Elementary and the sci-fi hits of the last two summers. "These [new] platforms aren't replacing each other. They're complementing one another and enhancing the value of the content as it moves from window to window."read more