Fub and Fab the Upfronts: CBS

I’ve always wondered why Lucy Liu isn’t a bigger deal. She’s SO PRETTY, and she doesn’t age, ever, and she’s usually adds a welcome spark to any show she joins (like Dirty Sexy Money, or Southland, or Ally McBeal, which I actually forgot ever existed until right now; remember that damn dancing baby? Ugh). But she’s not on a bona fide hit — even Southland, though apparently excellent and holding steady, got relegated to cable because it wasn’t doing well enough for the networks. Maybe CBS will change that, since they’re bringing back a boatload of their shows and only have a couple new ones, meaning they’re pretty good at launching stuff right now. In related nostalgia, though, I ALSO remember a time when CBS was the most pathetic network and NBC was the juggernaut. How times change. Excuse me while I dust off my rocking chair.

[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (49):

  1. Nancy

    I have always been in love with Aidan Quinn.

  2. val.

    I’ve always loved Aidan Quinn, too, but he’s gotten old. Which means that I’ve also gotten that much older, and now I’m depressed.

  3. Ms.A

    I love Michael’s pose. Thats all.

  4. Libby

    Elizabeth Shue looks great – so glad to see her acting again.
    Johnny Lee Miller looks good in just about anything, even if that particular suit/shirt/tie combo is a bit of a snooze. I just re-watched “Hackers” with Miller and Angelina Jolie – seriously scary ensembles!

    • Katie Lynn

      I LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH. I also love that they got married for some ridiculous amount of time afterwards (Like 6 months? don’t quote me on that.)
      Completely unrelated, I think that Cobie Smulder’s head suit looks amazing. If she does nothing else right, she always hits the mark there.

      • DanerKebab

        So true. From the neck up and the hemline down, she looks incredible.

  5. Miche

    I heart you forever and ever, Michael Weatherly.

    • DanerKebab

      I came to the comments to say basically the same thing. He makes me swoon.

  6. ccm800

    Time for a damn vacation when you typo FUG (Fub?) *giggles*

    • Sandra

      Short-program WHAT?!? I last saw Cobie Smulders’ dress on Nancy Kerrigan in January of ’94. Love her shoes though.

  7. Annie E

    We’ve seen Cobie’s dress on someone else in a different color, haven’t we? Or maybe I am thinking of one of Rooney Mara’s many cutouts. Anyway, I could have lived with the cutouts or that horribly short hemline, but not both.

  8. Naomi

    “there is nothing sadder than a deflated surprise pocket”… I burst out laughing.

  9. CJ

    Thank you, Heather, for sharing Aidan Quinn. What a lovely start to my weekend. Who said he looks old? Well, I guess I’m getting old too, because I think he looks GORGEOUS. The gray hair makes his blue eyes pop even more. Yum.

  10. cycler

    Why on earth would anyone else try to make an “modernized” Sherlock Holmes while “Sherlock” is running? The acting and writing on that show is so fantastic, anything else is going to look shoddy and stupid in comparison. But there’s American TV in a nutshell.

  11. Jasmine

    Oh man I can’t even handle Cobie Smulders. She has been killing it (for me, anyways) and this is just the cherry on top. I love the whole damn thing– including that coy little smirk. I can never nail that one.
    Lucy Liu needs to bottle her genes and sell that shit, because she would make a FORTUNE.

  12. Aria

    Love Aidan Quinn, though I wish he would shave. And I doubt I will watch that show even for him.

    Cobie’s dress is just awful. I should know, I think I had something similar back in 1993 when I was in college. And that white thing on the looks like those pain pads you stick on when you have PMS and a backache.

  13. Amber

    First of all, totally didn’t recognize Aidan Quinn. Wow. He looks good, just older. I like to pretend that I’m not getting older, and therefore, no one else can get older, either!
    Speaking of which, Heather, I also remember when CBS was basically for old people (60 Minutes) and NBC was king. How the tides have changed.
    Whatever Lucy Liu is selling, I’m buying! (Unless it involves eating really healthfully and working out for hours at a time) She always looks gorgeous and she is not aging.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–enough with nude/beige/blah colored shoes! And why wear light colored, boring shoes with a black dress, Kat Dennings? I don’t get it.

    • LibraryChick

      I guess I am strange for enjoying CBS when it had the “old people” market sewn up with 60 Minutes, Murder She Wrote, and Matlock. I really can’t remember what NBC had during that period. When NBC was “king,” I guess I was just thinking of the Friends or Seinfeld era rather than Cheers/i>.

      Why isn’t Lucy Liu a bigger deal? I am a freckled American of partial Asian descent living in the midwest. People here may notice Lucy Liu is pretty, but the girls who get the most attention look like the corn: tall, stacked, and golden. Lucy Liu is beautiful, but she just doesn’t fit the “sorority girl” look so popular in my college town. Remember how quickly Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl got the ax? Shows featuring Anglo, Latino, African-Americans, etc. also get the ax on a regular basis, but Cho’s was the first non-animated one I know about featuring a lead character of Asian descent. The industry took note of its failure for future reference, though executives would never say it that bluntly. More likely, they would say she is a great team player but in the same breath note she could not carry a show because she doesn’t have that “girl next door” look so appealing to advertisers. Give the industry a decade or two to catch up, and we might see her with a TV show of her own. In the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for enjoying her fashion skills in supporting roles.

  14. Amy

    I assume Mayim’s mesh is her way of staying in bounds for her goal of dressing modestly for religious reasons.

    • Leens

      Yes, Mayim has written about how she tries to observe the laws of tznius in her clothing choices which, in part, means that she tries to find things that cover her knees, shoulders, and collar bones. Generally, I think she does a really good job of keeping it up while still looking modern and youthful. Although, this dress is less than stellar.

  15. TonyG

    I believe Cobie Smulders’ dress may be, literally, a tennis outfit — with the gathers in the small of her back being a miniature backpack where she can retrieve her tennis balls in order to serve.

  16. Lindy

    Colbie Smulders’ dress, apart from being fug, is for a much younger person. That’s a teen’s dress.

  17. themis

    Wasn’t Michael Weatherly the massive douche that douched up Jessica Alba’s first big show Dark Angel, even when compared to the extremely douchey James Cameron who developed the show, fresh from breaking Linda Hamilton’s and Kate Winslet’s spirit? They’re giving him jobs again? And he celebrates by breakdancing? Wow.

    • Maggie

      It’s not so much “again” as “still”. He’s been on NCIS since it was just a backdoor pilot episode of JAG 10 years ago.

      (I sometimes think those things just keep going to remind NBC they cancelled JAG after one season back in like 1995 and it or its spinoffs have been running on CBS nonstop ever since. It’s like vindictive ratings karma or something. Which I’m pretty sure means the stars can do whatever the hell they want.)

      • Berry

        The dude from NCIS is the dude from Dark Angel? They’re the same dude?? Really? Goodness. Mind you, I’ve only seen maybe one and half episode of that stupid show.

        But at least I learned something new today! And since I also learned a new word just up-thread (tznius), it’s been a very good day for me, learning-wise.

        GFY: More educational than you might think.

  18. Wendy

    Aidan Quinn!?! He’ll always be gorgeous, even if he is a little rough around the edges these days. Back when Legends of the Fall came out, I always wanted to shake Julia Ormond’s character because Brad schmad, I would have put down the damn gun and carried on happily with Aidan (who was obviously the hot one, despite what the movie wanted us to think).

    • steph527

      He WAS the hot one IMHO. Brad looked like he needed a shower.

    • Leah

      Thank you! That was what I always thought about Legends Of The Fall, but I’ve never met anyone in real life who agreed with me.

  19. Suzie

    Ah, I like Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo and his break dancing.

  20. Veronica

    I don’t hate Colbie’s dress, though I do think the cut-outs are a little much. She nailed it on the makeup, through – just beautiful. I though Lucy Liu’s collar was actually a necklace at first. Now I’m sort of hemming and hawing about whether I like it’s effect on the dress.

  21. schroob

    Southland moved to cable because of the whole Jay Leno @ 10pm debacle; otherwise NBC would’ve kept it. And Lucy Liu is tearing it up on that show!

  22. Carl

    I don’t see the appeal of Kat Danning’s dress or pose. She looks like she belongs on Goth Talk, and the dress is shapeless.

    “Why on earth would anyone else try to make an “modernized” Sherlock Holmes while “Sherlock” is running? The acting and writing on that show is so fantastic, anything else is going to look shoddy and stupid in comparison. But there’s American TV in a nutshell.”

    To many Americans, Sherlock is a niche show running on PBS, so I don’t think it’s a big surprise if a major network wants to try. The BBC didn’t have a problem making the show even though Guy Ritchie was making a movie. I just think that this show isn’t suitable for a network like CBS, which is very rigidly formulaic.

    I’m also not sure about the casting, although I always enjoy seeing Aidan Quinn and those eyes.

    “They’re giving him jobs again”

    Michael Weatherly has been on NCIS since about 2004.

    • Maggie

      “I just think that this show isn’t suitable for a network like CBS, which is very rigidly formulaic.”

      I’ve heard other people say this and I still don’t get it. The original Holmes stories are ridiculously formulaic. That isn’t a criticism (I used to be able to quote large portions of the stories from memory) but if you do a show around a supergenius who takes on cases from random strangers it’s going to be formulaic by nature — the draw is always going to be the interplay between the regular characters and obscure Rube Goldbergesque crimes, with maybe a Moriarty-like running story connection way in the background, not genre breaking innovation.

      My worries about it being on CBS are that they already have that show. It’s the called The Mentalist and they’re even putting Elementary in The Mentalist‘s old timeslot. It’s a shame because I really like the cast for this one and since I can’t watch Sherlock I had higher hopes for it than this.

  23. Carl

    “I’ve heard other people say this and I still don’t get it. The original Holmes stories are ridiculously formulaic.”

    True, but I don’t think it’s the CBS procedural formula. They just churn shows out like an assembly line. The main reason I think The Mentalist worked was Simon Baker and his charisma (although I do like the supporting cast). I’m not sure Jonny Lee Miller is in the same league. I think Watson will overshadow him.

    • Eli

      I don’t know…I was intrigued by him in the trailer they just released, particularly since he gets to speak in his regular accent. And he’s adorable.

    • Maggie

      I would never in a million years have thought that Simon Baker could carry anything on charisma, but the only thing I’d seen him in before The Mentalist was The Affair of the Necklace (which is, dear god, SO BAD and yet so hilarious).

      Jonny Lee Miller was fabulous in Eli Stone (managing to hold focus amongst things like George Michael appearing out of nowhere, Victor Garber and Loretta Divine singing, and Sigourney Weaver playing God) and is on the list of people who’ve repeatedly worked with Danny Boyle, so I don’t think he’s the weak link here. CBS trying to make it too much like The Mentalist with an English guy is my worry.

      • JM

        Agree on the Jonny Lee Miller “holding focus” comments. He is fantastic and I look forward to watching him as a lead in a show again.

  24. AM

    I think we’re missing the cuteness that is Johnny Lee Miller, so I will definitely watch. I LOVED “Eli Stone.”

  25. Laura

    Ally McBeal is a REALLY great show, as long as you skip the last season, which totally sucked. The dancing baby is annoying but not as prevalent as I remembered. (Guess who recently watched it all post knee surgery? Thanks Netflix!)

  26. Adrienne

    To be fair, Mayim Bialik is an orthodox jew who is trying to remain observant of modesty laws. Still, this dress isn’t her best.

  27. Charlotte

    2 things:
    I LOVE Mayim Bialik (even if she doesn’t know how to dress herself)
    I NEED Cobie Smulder’s lipstick

  28. Ailatan

    1. I would have liked Cobie Smulders’ ensemble without the Kabuki makeup. Her face is one shade lighter than the rest of her body.

    2. Co-sign on 2 Broke Girls

    3. Sherlock… Just watch it, ok? Sherlock is perfection. Though, I have to admit I’m a wee bit excited to see Elementary.

    • Maggie

      I’d like to watch Sherlock but I can’t. It’s too dangerous for my tv. Steven Moffat running a show inevitably makes me want to throw things.

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