‘Golden Boy,’ CBS playing it safe
The latest in a long line of procedurals on the network
February 26, 2013
One in a series of Media Life previews of new midseason shows.
CBS’s “Golden Boy”
Fridays at 9 p.m.; premieres Feb. 26
Walter William Clark Jr. (Theo James) is a smart, hard-working cop who will one day go on to become New York City’s youngest police commissioner, as an early flash-forward shows. Right now, though, he’s just been promoted to homicide detective, becoming the youngest guy in the department.
He’s been paired with Don Owen (Chi McBride), a veteran who’s two years shy of retirement and proves a valuable mentor to Clark.
Clark clashes with other co-workers, like the morally questionable Christian Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro), while trying to maintain a sane home life that includes caring for his younger sister, Agnes.
Greg Berlanti (“Everwood”) and Nicholas Wootton (“NYPD Blue”) are the show’s executive producers.
Friday has been a brutal night for new CBS shows this season, with two new programs being canceled after just two episodes.
“Golden Boy” seems like a better quality program than “Made in Jersey” or “The Job,” the two previously axed shows. But “Boy” will have to show ratings potential to earn a spot on the schedule next fall, where it would presumably replace the fading “CSI: NY.”
“Boy” is getting a tryout in the “CSI: NY” timeslot after the latter aired an early season finale last week.
The show fits the traditional CBS mold. It’s a procedural with a male protagonist, and like “Blue Bloods,” the show it will air before on Fridays, it’s got a family aspect lacking from many cop dramas.
The problem is that “Boy” could be too generic to draw a following on Fridays, when TV viewing is minimal to begin with.
CBS is attempting to drum up interest in the show by airing two sneak preview episodes on Tuesday at 10 p.m. this week and next. It will get a sizeable lead-in from “NCIS: Los Angeles” that should lead to good sampling.
But keeping up that momentum on Friday will be the real test of whether “Boy” returns next spring or if “CSI: NY” comes back for a 10th and likely final season.
“CSI: NY” has averaged a 1.4 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating this season. If “Boy” can do better, it should get renewed.
What media people are saying
Buyers are most concerned about “Boy’s” tough timeslot. Friday night scripted series are always a dicey idea, and already this fall CBS has had a legal drama fail on the night, “Made in Jersey,” which lasted only two outings.
Plus the network was forced to bring back “Undercover Boss” from hiatus earlier than expected after its midseason replacement, “The Job,” flopped.
“Boss” is “Boy’s” lead-in, and its early return means that CBS may not have enough original episodes of the reality show to avoid airing repeats, which would result in a weaker lead-in for the new drama.
Still, media people applaud CBS for continuing to schedule scripted dramas on Friday.
“I think it’s an interesting concept and sounds like it would fit in as a lead-in to ‘Blue Bloods.’ The night and time period, however, are just generically tough, so I think a lot could depend on whether or not the network will be running original or repeats of lead-in ‘Undercover Boss,’ particularly as they had to bring it back sooner than expected,” says David Scardino, entertainment specialist at the Santa Monica, Calif., agency RPA.
Our TV critic’s take
“Fans of CBS’s usual procedure-heavy procedurals will likely tire of all the personal drama, while fans of the psychologically complex series that this show is trying to imitate will probably find it too straightforward.”
— Tom Conroy, Media Life
Tags: berlanti, blue bloods, cbs, clashes, dramas, episodes, male protagonist, media life, midseason, midseason shows, new midseason shows, people, ratings, repeats, season finale, timeslot, undercover boss
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