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Friday, May 8, 2015

PILOT PICKUPS: Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Code Black, Rush Hour, Limitless, Life in Pieces, Angel in Hell

Always the last network, CBS picked up six shows today: dramas Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Code Black, Rush Hour, and Limitless, and single camera sitcoms Life in Pieces and Angel in Hell. These shows join the already picked up Supergirl.

After the failure of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior in 2011, CBS will try again with a new spin-off of the creepy drama. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders focuses on a team that helps American citizens who run into trouble while abroad. The backdoor pilot aired earlier this season on Criminal Minds. It will star Gary Sinise, Daniel Henney, and Tyler James. The backdoor pilot also featured Anna Gunn, but it's rumored that she will not be a part of the show.

Code Black is a new medical drama set at the busiest ER in the nation and its staff and patients. The show is headlined by Marcia Gay Harden and also stars Bonnie Somerville, Raza Jaffrey, Luis Guzman, Melanie Kannokada, Harry M. Ford, Ben Hollingsworth, and William Allen Young. It's been a big year for medical dramas with this show joining NBC's Chicago Med and Heartbreaker and FOX's Rosewood.

Rush Hour has been a hot pilot throughout the season but I thought it might end up being a big-name pass by CBS. But that was not the case as it got a series order. Based on the 1990s comedy action movie of the same name, Rush Hour is about a Hong Kong policeman working a case in LA and paired with a cocky black LAPD officer. In place of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are Jon Foo and Justin Hires while Wendie Malick and Aimee Garcia round out the cast.

Limitless is also based on a movie - a 2011 film starring Bradley Cooper. It is about a man who discovers an extremely powerful and mysterious new drug and he uses his drug enhanced abilities to help the FBI solve crimes. The show stars Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Either Rush Hour or Limitless could be companions to Scorpion on Monday nights.

Life in Pieces is a comedy about a family but their story is told through separate stories of different family members. The all-star cast includes Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Zoe Lister Jones, Colin Hanks, Angelique Cabral, Thomas Sadoski, Betsy Brandt, Dan Bakkedahl, Niall Cunningham, Holly J. Barrett, and Giselle Eisenberg.

Angel in Hell brings Jane Lynch quickly back to TV after the ending of Glee. It is about a woman who comes into another women's life claiming to be her guardian angel but she is possibly just a crazy woman. In addition to Lynch, the strong cast includes Maggie Lawson, Kyle Bornheimer, and Kevin Pollak. With these both being single-camera sitcoms, I wonder if they'll share an hour somewhere for CBS. It's interesting that no multi-cams have been picked up by a network that's been synonymous with the genre.

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