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Fall TV Press Tour: CBS' New Shows

CBS was the only network this year to provide screeners for all its new shows, which they presented on Friday. Here's my quick take on them. — Mickey O'ConnorWorst WeekThe premise: Sam (Kyle Bornheimer) tries to impress his future in-laws — with disastrous results.It's like: Meet the Parents — almost exactly like that, in fact, although it's actually based on a British series.My take: I found the pilot to be very funny, and Bornheimer's comic timing to be excellent, but I wonder how enjoyable it will be to watch Sam demoralize himself on a weekly basis.Eleventh HourThe premise: Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) is a special scientific advisor to the FBI who lends his particular skills to criminal investigations.It's like: Well, we know what it's not like. "This is a science fact show, not a science fiction show," says executive producer Ethan Reiff (who also wrote Showtime's Sleeper Cell).My take: Well, Jerry Bruckheimer is involved, which is a good sign, but after watching a...

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CBS was the only network this year to provide screeners for all its new shows, which they presented on Friday. Here's my quick take on them. - Mickey O'Connor
Worst Week
The premise: Sam (Kyle Bornheimer) tries to impress his future in-laws - with disastrous results.
It's like: Meet the Parents - almost exactly like that, in fact, although it's actually based on a British series.
My take: I found the pilot to be very funny, and Bornheimer's comic timing to be excellent, but I wonder how enjoyable it will be to watch Sam demoralize himself on a weekly basis.
Eleventh Hour
The premise: Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) is a special scientific advisor to the FBI who lends his particular skills to criminal investigations.
It's like: Well, we know what it's not like. "This is a science fact show, not a science fiction show," says executive producer Ethan Reiff (who also wrote Showtime's Sleeper Cell).
My take: Well, Jerry Bruckheimer is involved, which is a good sign, but after watching a short preview, all I came away with is that the villain in the pilot is Noonan from Caddyshack! Noonan!
The Mentalist
The premise: Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is a former fake TV psychic who now uses his heightened observation skills to work as a private investigator.
It's like: If you threw Baker's performances in The Devil Wears Prada and on The Guardian and Smith and USA Networks' Psych into a blender, you'd end up with this smoothie Patrick Jane. (Get it - smoothie?)
My take: As cop shows go, it seems sharper than most. Baker is charming, and the show has a tart sense of humor.
The Ex List
The premise: A psychic tells Bella Bloom (Elizabeth Reaser, who played Ava/Rebecca on Grey's Anatomy) she has one year to get married, or else she never will. The catch: Her true love is someone she has already dated.
It's like: Your worst nightmare. Imagine having to get back in touch with all your exes?
My take: Despite the insane, high-concept, age-of-Google premise, it's cute. Reaser does a great job handling the show's breezy dialogue, and she plays Bella with such approachable exuberance that you will forget her sad turn on Grey's.