Does Charlie's Angels Earn Its Wings? Our Fall TV First Impression

The broadcast networks have more than 30 shows debuting this fall, including 2 Broke Girls and one New Girl, splashy returns for Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rachel Bilson, and a pair of series set in the ’60s. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions based on the not-for-review pilots. Next on our list is…

THE SHOW | ABC’s Charlie’s Angels (Thursdays at 8/7c, premiering Sept. 22)

THE COMPETITION | CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Fox’s The X Factor results show (new), NBC’s Community, and The CW’s The Vampire Diaries

THE CAST | Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy), Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital) and Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers 2)

THE SET-UP | Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy… except in this instance, two of the them didn’t. Eve (played by Kelly) is a street racer, Abby (Taylor) is a former cat burglar, and Kate was, yes, a cop, but a dirty-ish one. But Charlie Townsend took them away from all that, and now they work for him, as detectives — with a young, swarthy Bosley acting as his proxy.

More of TVLine’s First Impressions: NBC’s Up All Night and The Playboy Club, Fox’s Terra Nova and New Girl, ABC’s Once Upon a Time, The CW’s The Secret Circle and Ringer, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and Person of Interest

THE GOOD | Look to your right — that’s my Charlie’s Angels T-shirt circa 1976. I was, to put it lightly, a fan. No, the iconic original series wasn’t great TV — nor were the movies fronted by Drew Barrymore (an EP on this new take) fine cinema. Still, if you’re going to adopt the title, do right by it, especially in this age of honorable Becketts, butt-kicking Sarah Walkers and Nikitas, and deductive Kalindas. Now if you were to say that, at the very least, the original Angels was crazy telegenic, ABC’s reboot has done well with the casting of its titular trio. Among them, Taylor easily “pops” the most, if only because she seems to be having fun, perhaps entertaining an inner monologue that’s saying, “Dude, I’m one of Charlie’s Angels!” The relocation to Miami offers the show a brighter, fresher, Burn Notice-ier feel than your typical L.A.-based procedural. Fun to see 24‘s Carlos Bernard as a villain here. There’s an updated riff on the memorable theme music.

THE… COULD-BE-BETTER | Kelly tries hard but is perhaps not the most natural fit as the grittiest Angel; it could’ve been interesting to see what, for example, fellow FNL alum Adrienne Palicki did with the role (had she not instead been lassoed by, shudder, Wonder Woman). Ilonzeh barely registers, if only because the pilot doesn’t assign Kate a single personality trait. I get what they tried to do with Bosley by going hunky and making him the team’s hacker, but Rodriguez reads a bit too youthful, and I didn’t feel a single spark ‘tween him and any of the gals — and you know that’s a card they’ll one day want to play. The first pick to voice Charlie, Robert Wagner (Hart to Hart), isn’t heard in the pilot nor will he continue with the series; recasting’s underway.

Fall 2011 TV Grid: Where Did Your Favorite Shows Land?

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Angels will undoubtedly fly high with its premiere, if only because of nostalgic lookiloos like myself. But up against TV’s most watched comedy and X Factor‘s results night, it’ll need to be more than a pretty face. It’s going to also need clever scripts and convincing, visceral action sequences.

ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates, Including Supersized Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family

Watch a video preview for Charlie’s Angels, then vote in our poll below.

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53 Comments
  1. Sourabh says:

    I’ll give it a go, but I already don’t care about it much for some reason.

    • Jenna says:

      Some people hate a show without even trying it. What’s the problem? In my opinion, there are plenty of sucky new shows and people like it, just like like “Once Upon”, awful BTW.

      • grouchy mcgroucherson says:

        Dude calm down, he said he’d give a go. There’s plenty of wore “i hate this show, why are they even bothering” whiners around for you to pick on. Like yourself BTW. Awful.

  2. Templar says:

    Pass. BBT gets all my real time , and doesn’t even look good enough to record for later viewing.

  3. Wendy H says:

    As a fan of the original, I love the mysterious concept of never knowing or seeing the boss. I heard that one of the new angels is his daughter. Bosley needs to be a grizzled experienced type who has been a loyal employee of Charlie for a long time. Being able to tease a love story btwn Bos and the angels does not sit well with me. If these tweeks are fixed or the new edge is accepted then it would be fun for a cameo or a client to be portrayed by one of the original Angels. Should be an updated homage.

  4. boyd crowder says:

    TONY ALMEDIA FTW!!!!!!

    • Saracen Riggins says:

      YES! I wasn’t planning to give this pilot the time of day, but if it features an appearnce by Carlos Bernard, I will have to watch that one episode at least.

  5. timotey says:

    The only way they could get me to watch would be if they went bold and made Bosley gay and Charlie’s lover. Unfortunately, as Matt said, sooner rather than later they’ll be pushing the Bosley/an Angel angle, infusing the show with UST, possibly even a love triangle or two. Meh. Predictable. I think this show will flop spectacularly.

  6. Jakey says:

    I have a crush on Minka Kelly, she gorgeous and an incredible actress… Altought it’s against TVD, I may watch both shows. I really want it to succeed…

    • Captain says:

      Agreed. I adore Minka and don’t get the hate she gets from FNL fans. BTW anyone who’s seen Adrienne’s constipated Wonder Woman look knows that she wouldn’t have been able to handle this role (and I like Adrienne).

      • Kiki says:

        Here’s why FNL fans dislike Minka Kelly: she was awful in it! Her character only had good scenes/plots whenever Taylor Kitsch was around – he was the one that actually showed growth and acting skills.

  7. Bella says:

    Has there been a remake yet, either movie or t.v. version, that was better than the original? I wouldn’t give up The Big Bang Theory or even DVR it to watch another lame remake of an original show that I loved.

  8. Talk about trying to capitalize on name recognition. While I wish the best for the cast of the new “Charlie’s Angels” (especially Ms. Kelly), I’ll be watching “Community” until NBC kills it. I guess I don’t see a need for another light action (procedural?) show in my life anytime soon.

  9. Charlie says:

    I’m sick of the remakes, they’re making the orginal suck.

    Minka Kelly isnt the greatest or most decent actress, she’s just hot.
    The rest of the cast are unknowns, so no reason to tune in.
    This show seems like a flop especially up against its competition.
    Its ridiculous, are writers so uncreative nowadays they have to resort to remaking remakes. Ugh. Pass. I’m positive it won’t be picked up for a second season.

    • sadtroll says:

      The original did kind of suck. And yeah, Minka Kelly is not the most charismatic of pretty young gals.

      The blond girl, Rachael Taylor does have a tough spark and screen presence.

  10. MW says:

    So is Carlos Bernard just in the pilot? That alone is worth tuning in for, even if only for one episode.

  11. Katie says:

    For some reason this looks like it has cancelled written all over it to me

    • Kevin says:

      Total disagreement KATIE. Don’t you see the way WONDER WOMAN failed to pick up by NBC not too long ago? Guess you tvline.com readers didn’t get the message. Can you imagine whether CHARLIE’s ANGELS can beat the living daylights out of “WONDER WOMAN” ?

      • Katie says:

        Jeez- are you personally attached to this show KEVIN? (Nice all caps by the way) I don’t think you can read. It is my opinion that it will be cancelled, because I think it looks like a piece of crap. Get a grip.

        • parsimonius says:

          But Katie, don’t you see – this show is better than something NBC didn’t even pick up so obviously it won’t get cancelled! It’s so obvious!

          Now, something like 95% of new shows get cancelled within the first year or two so predicting cancellation doesn’t exactly make one Nostradamus but – whatever.

          • lacey says:

            So just b/c you’re convinced this show sucks less than Wonder Woman it’s automatically going to succeed? ABC picking it up doesn’t mean it’s good or has more to offer than pretty faces. Also, considering the time-slot you need a great show not an ok one to survive.

    • Captain says:

      I sadly agree. I was looking forward to this and adore Minka but I can’t see this being the next Hawaii 5-0. It may last the season but it wont last longer than that.

  12. XK says:

    I’ll DVR it for Minka. I’ll be watching Community live though… the real “best comedy on television.”

  13. Kevin says:

    Why all the hate? People have mixed criticism about the ANGELS reboot and some of them don’t care by all means that the series to take place in of course MIAMI. The way HAWAII FIVE-O did last year which really was a successful reboot, CHARLIE’S ANGELS truly deserve to be in the same spot FIVE-O did so. Don’t mind the haters at all ’cause ABC may have high hopes for the ANGELS the same thing it will happen with ONCE UPON A TIME and PAN AM. So don’t make it hard on yourselves, this ANGELS reboot need to succeed in more ways than one if it gets good ratings or gets picked up for a full season or it will in the future for a “Season Two”.

  14. Barb says:

    Won’t bother with it. It is rarity that a remake would hold up against the original. I don’t count Hawaii 5-O which I gave up after two shows. The networks need to get original instead of re-inventing a past hit show (and throwing reality shows out there). That’s why stations like TNT and USA are earning their stripes these last couple of years.

    • Templar says:

      Reboots work best when only the bare bones idea is reconfigured. White Collar is a reboot of “It Takes A Thief” TV show starring Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert which was itself a reboot of Hitchcock’s film “To Catch A Thief”. Each incarnation deviated sufficiently to make a successful evolution.

      • Doug-H says:

        It Takes a Thief was sort of like White Collar but it not have Eddie Albert… He was with Wagner in “Switch” later on.. Malachi Throne was Wagner’s “Peter” in ITAT for most of its run which you can still see on weekends on Retro TV…

        • Templar says:

          Well spotted. Thank you for setting it straight. Point is, Charlie’s Angels seems like a rehash rather than an inspired homage.

  15. Danielle H. says:

    Wow. The poll results are much more skewed on this then they have been on the other shows you’ve reviewed. Usually very few people say they aren’t even going to check the show out; for this show, almost half say they aren’t even going to tune in.

    They are in a death time spot on ABC. Nothing has made it there. I will be watching the pilot, but if it doesn’t impress I’m out.

  16. Kevin says:

    I know there’s been mixed reaction or feelings about “Charlie’s Angels”. Could they at least watch this show if the ratings get big or would you watch rebooted series like “Hawaii Five-O” or “90210” or are they still bummed out on the now defunct “Wonder Woman” reboot with Adrienne Palicki ’cause you look at the way NBC did with two failed remakes: “Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider” and The CW did with “Melrose Place”.

  17. Sarah says:

    As a devoted FNL fan (and Parenthood, for that matter), I love Minka Kelly and want her to succeed on her own show. I’m just not sure this is it. It has the potential to be light and fun, though, so I’ll at least check it out. Unfortunately, anyone who watches “General Hospital” can tell you that Annie Ilonzeh, while gorgeous, is not a good actress. However, I’d love for her to prove me wrong. Maybe she’ll do better in prime time? Also I know Bosley should probably be older, but Ramon Rodriguez is adorable so I have a hard time complaining about that.

  18. I'll give it a shot says:

    I’ll give it a shot. Like the original I think it could be a show that both males and females could like. The original TV show was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. The movies IMO were terrible so I’m bummed that DB is Executive Producer on this but we’ll see. There is a reason why Robert Wagner didn’t sign on. I was looking forward to his voice overs.

  19. Jonathan says:

    This will flop just like Melrose Place and Bionic Woman before it because the writers clearly don’t get the original show, and instead of modernizing it for a new audience they’re making it unrecognizable. I wish networks would stop messing with Aaron Spelling shows.

  20. Amy says:

    Would never give up my DVR space that is reserved for Community and Big Bang. Sorry, Angels!

  21. tahina says:

    It can go either way,if well written. It’s not the 70’s anymore.

  22. Pam says:

    I will give it a go. However, I see it quickly going by the wayside on my DVR. Actually, I imagine checking out what is on my DVR, seeing 10 Charlie’s Angels episodes and doing a mass delete.

  23. Media Ho says:

    While I agree that the gal from GH is the weakest link, both Minka and Rachel (loved her on Grey’s) are pretty good. I wish they’d kept the original characters’ names, and not made Bosley so young, but whatever. The change to Miami is a good one.

    Why don’t they just get someone who does voices (whomever the current “Rich Little” is) to replicate John Forsythe’s voice? He phoned in his role, literally, and that was more than 30 years ago.

    If production values are high and there’s the occasional Angel cameo (or someone from the movie versions), this can work.

  24. Lily says:

    As much as I’d like to support Minka, because I loved her on Friday Night Lights…. I love Community and The Vampire Diaries too much to trade in for this show.

  25. Emma says:

    This reporter got it right- Taylor stands out but I’m really surprised by the Minka Kelly comments on here. Yes she is very attractive but she is a horrible actress. She sounds like a 12 year old girl & they picked her to be the roughest of the Angels?? Come on! FNL was great but even as a fan I can admit she was the weakest link.

  26. Kevin says:

    In my opinion, I’m going to be mad if Charlie’s Angels gets cancelled after the first season if by getting picked up or I’m going to be very happy if this reboot probably gets renewed for a second season ’cause ABC needs this Angels reboot to be saved not only the series but for the network the same thing goes with Once Upon a Time and Pan Am. :)

  27. Mary says:

    Thursdays are a busy tv night for my family and this show just can not compete.

  28. George says:

    The creators of smallville are executive producers on the show. So that is a warning sign about the show consistency. Which given the history of smallville inconsistency. I expect they’ll bring just that to the new Charlie Angel’s. Light procedural with slightly high concepts don’t last because they are willing to embrace substance fully and are always still spoon feeding the procedural audience. Thankfully there “Burn Notice on USA network.

  29. Babygate says:

    Agreed with Matt’s assessment. I saw the previews and the show is not convincing at all. The actresses look too fragile to be tough detectives. The action scenes are kind of laughable and I can’t buy the new Bosley. I do like Rachael the best and I love the idea of seeing Carlos Bernard. I loved him in 24. Unfortunately for ABC, I don’t think this show will stick. ABC should have taken a cue from other of television’s tough ladies, especially Kalinda. She’s feminine and attractive yet tough and mysterious.

  30. sara says:

    i don’t no

  31. kate says:

    It looks like the Charlie’s Angels reboot is like Burn Notice, only it’s more like Fiona Glennane times three. It might be good, but I’d rather stick to Burn Notice.

  32. dan says:

    Charlie’s Angels? Hell yes, I will be watching. The only problem is, I really love Vampire Diaries, so that will come first. I’ll definitely watch this on Hulu, iTunes or whatever they make it available on.

  33. Ashley says:

    I’m curious enough that I check it out to see if it’s worth a DVR recording (hey, I like an hour of mindless fun as much as the next person!), but “Community” gets the top priority from me.

  34. Mandy says:

    Minka Kelly as the bad a**? That was terrible miscasting. She is a sweet girl and a good actress, but this is a stretch.

  35. Lynnette says:

    It’s got a tough time slot – my DVR is already busy with Vampire Diaries and Community!

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