CBS' Intelligence: Boot It Up or Give It the Boot?

Intelligence Series Premiere RecapIn CBS’ new action drama Intelligence, which bowed Tuesday night (9/8c), Lost alum Josh Holloway plays the world’s most attractive tablet device. But did the tech-inspired series send a strong signal to you?

Before you vote in the poll below, a brief recap. Holloway plays Gabriel, a hard-core former military man who’s logged five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now a high level intelligence operative.

The U.S. government has seen fit to plant a chip in his brain, essentially turning him into a human supercomputer that is always connected to the “information grid.” Basically, if you’ve ever tweeted, texted, emailed or watched or read anything online, Gabriel can access it at any time with his mind. (Just try clearing that browser history.)

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But any computer is only good as the IT guys behind it, so Gabriel is backed by an unit designed to keep him safe while he’s listening to satellites and intercepting Bluetooth transmissions. Marg Helgenberger (CSI) plays team director Lillian Strand, who assigns Meghan Ory’s (Once Upon a Time) Secret Service agent Riley Neal to “protect the tech” and be Gabriel’s shadow; despite being a literal national treasure, Lillian informs Riley, Gabriel is also “reckless, unpredictable and insubordinate.”

In the drama’s first hour, the mission is to rescue the man who invented the technology imbedded in Gabriel’s head before the whiz’s know-how falls into enemy hands. Along the way, a few secrets are teased, including: What happened to Gabriel’s missing spy wife? and What’s Riley hiding about her past? (Note: Intelligence moves to its regular time slot, Mondays at 10/9c, on Jan. 13.)

Now, for the truly important part: What did you think of Intelligence? Grade the new series via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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109 Comments
  1. It wasn’t anything special the show. Just picture Jack Bauer but less crazy and have a chip in his head.

  2. Lysh says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m interested to read what people think.
    Also, Mondays at 10? I already watch two shows in that timeslot.

  3. Cat says:

    Nothing special. Same old stuff I’ve seen before..

    • Sam says:

      Very true. An average/solid hour of TV to be DVRd and watched on Saturdays when nothing else is on. Leaning more towards Chuck than POI with the few funny lines they’ve written for Josh. It really is a rip-off of beloved CHUCK! A decent rip-off. Great to see Josh Holloway again.

      Then again, this is CBS and i think it’s viewers will embrace it.

      • Eli says:

        It really did feel like a more serious Chuck didn’t it?

        • Sam says:

          Yes it did. I can imagine future episodes will have more light-situations/jokes. Oh and it had a strong debut with household ratings of 10.2/15 which should translate to about 14-15mil and maybe a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo.
          The real test comes ofcourse when it’s up against The Blacklist & Castle.

  4. Tony says:

    Liked it better when it was called Chuck

    • Lisa says:

      Yeah, definitely reminds me of a highly trained version of Chuck. But of course, that’s why I want to see it. I loved Chuck. I’m hoping to get into this one also. Shows like this are a nerd’s dream. I haven’t seen it yet, because I’m not at home, but I can’t wait to see it.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      LOL, you guys really need a new line. This one’s worn out :-)

    • Ali says:

      I miss Chuck!

    • RBA says:

      Actually it has more of a POI feel than Chuck. This has more edge than nerd guy implanted with a chip. Meghan and Josh do have something, but then again Josh can have that with any girl. Got to admit this was a good start…

    • Roger Canada says:

      Chuck2 or Almost Robot

  5. Jason says:

    If I could have watched it I would have. It was preempted for NC State Basketball in the Raleigh Durham area. The local affiliate (WRAL) wants people to watch local stuff instead of CBS shows.

  6. Rachael says:

    They stole the idea from chuck. Except this show isn’t nearly as great.

  7. Nat. says:

    I got lost through the story line about 15 minutes in and I got bored.
    This comes from someone who understands once upon a time in and out 100% and that storyline is more complex and more confusing.

    • David4 says:

      Are watching the same Once? That show isn’t really confusing at all, the plot lines move so slowly.

      • liz says:

        I was thinking the same thing OUAT isn’t difficult to understand. Despite its non-linear structure…its all very linear. And Intelligence was easy enough to understand too.

  8. CC says:

    Can Gabriel’s missing spy wife be Evangeline Lilly? Then I’ll keep watching. I like the premise and everything, but I could not buy Megan Ory as a Secret Service agent. Which is funny because I could buy the technology and whole “chip in the head” thing more than her.

    • RBA says:

      She is not, but she is a former Lost Alum… Did you catch the similarity in the stories between Riley’s background and Kate Austen….

    • NC says:

      When I first heard he was going to have a mysterious wife, my first thought was “Please let her be Evangeline Lilly.” I was very disappointed when the show started and the wife is a different actress.

      However, I did like the show. I really like all three of the main actor/actresses. It was ok for the first episode. It told a lot of the back story. I hope the next few episodes pick up the pace of the show. I would really like Josh Holloway to continue being on TV every week.

  9. LeilaY says:

    Jack Bauer wannabe.

  10. Rose says:

    I passed to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The premise of Intelligence seemed close to Almost Human, which is a great show.

  11. JAB says:

    The show is OK at best. As series pilots go, this one was ho-hum.

    The Gabriel and Riley character should be fine, but the Lillian Strand character, as well as the missing wife storyline are weak links that need to change for this show to have a chance.

  12. Jimmy says:

    I thought it was pretty good. Holloway and Meghan Ory had good chemistry, but if they end up going with a weekly procedural format it will get boring quickly.

  13. STR1958 says:

    Only the young could think that Chuck was an original idea that has been or could ever be “ripped off.” The premise is simply, like Chuck’s, a variation on an old theme of Machine/Computer melded with man. Can’t fault it for that, unless you are willing to fault Chuck, Jake 2.0, and others for the same transgression. However, it was just “okay” and a bit cheesy in its rush to explain the entire premise in the context of a plot of the week. It has promise, though. I will give it a few episodes to see where it goes.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Yep, if Intelligence is a rip off then definitely so was Chuck. Yes, I’ve been down this road before :-)

    • RBA says:

      I think the rush to explain the technology was done because they want to get pass that and focus more on the action and other stories…. I think it could work to the benefit of the show if they slowly introduced elements of the technology as the go forwards..

  14. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give Intelligence a C. It’s going to be tough when the series is now moving to its regular night on Mondays going up against Castle (ABC) and The Blacklist (NBC) at 10 p.m.

  15. wrstlgirl says:

    I liked it okay, seen better, definitely have seen a lot worse. I’ll continue to watch. It certainly has potential.

  16. jenferner8 says:

    It’s one episode and people are ALREADY complaining about weak links and storylines, comparing to other shows and day/time changes? Seriously, it’s been ONE EPISODE, I would hope attention spans are longer then that, give it a chance. It did make me think of Almost Human a bit but I liked it. I’m a little disappointed it will be on Mondays but I’m not losing sleep over it.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      Great comment!

    • RBA says:

      Most of the complaints are from the Chuck fans…. They still can not accept that the show is gone…

      Frankly as has been stated by others there was nothing original about Chuck… This type of show has been done since the 70s. You know human strap with the tech of the day to help us solve the tough crimes (Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman come to mind)

    • kirads09 says:

      I feel the same way. Give it a chance!!! Everyone loves to critique immediately. I even read people panning this before it even aired. We were just introduced to the characters and situation. It has a solid, talented cast. With good writing and storylines, it will make it. I enjoyed the pilot and think it will be a very entertaining show. I have to admit, if it is opposite Blacklist in my time zone (which I think it will be) this will be caught up with. But I will continue to watch!

    • betty says:

      completely agree.

  17. Gwen says:

    I really like Megan Ohry and I wish there was some “Sawyer” humor, but I really don’t care for Marg Helgenberger. We’re big fans of “Castle” and “Blacklist” so our choice at 10 p.m. Mondays is easy.

  18. Aleana says:

    It was good I’m going to continue watching because it has two of my favorite actresses but I’m going to dvr the show because I watch The Blacklist and Castle now their another show I want to check out on Syfy called Bitten I watch a lot of shows on Monday so going very hard to all my shows that come on at ten

  19. Ali says:

    This one will get the DVR and I’ll watch “The Blacklist.”

  20. Jenna says:

    I liked it better than I thought I would, so I gave it a B. I like Josh and Meghan, but I thought Marg Helgenberger was a weak link. I couldn’t help but wish that Jeri Ryan had been cast for that part; I think she could do more with it.
    I’ll probably watch it again, but I like Blacklist and Castle better, so it’s third place. It definitely beats Hostages. lol

  21. Mathew says:

    I live in the UK, so who knows when it will be made available over here, but I really enjoyed the pilot. The premise is good and while it is similar in some respects to other shows, this certainly has potential. Am glad its not staying on Tuesday nights lol, I watch Agents of Shield, Supernatural, and The Originals online on Tuesday nights, and this would make things cluttered. With it changing to Monday nights that will be much easier, we get The Blacklist on tv a few days after its broadcast in the US, and I watch Castle online when it airs Sunday in Canada, which will leave me with Teen Wolf and now Intelligence for Monday :)

  22. Kelly says:

    Marg helgenberger needs to be back at CSI. She will always be Catherine Willows.

    • DenverDean says:

      Was it just me or was MH’s Lillian channeling Melinda Clark’s Amanda from Nikita? Did Willows end up picking tricks from Lady Heather?

  23. Steven says:

    I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. It has an interesting premise so I’ll give it another episode or two. Of course if the ratings aren’t great I may not want to invest in it.

  24. “CHUCK” without the sense of humor or style.

  25. Shemica says:

    My only problem with this show is its title. It’s called “Intelligence” but doesn’t use it. The guy has a computer in his head, but they didn’t put a GPS in his head to track if the guy gets kidnaped. Also the smart doctor implants another chip into an enemie spy and nobody remembers to grab her from the warehouse. SMH

  26. PJL says:

    I liked it. However, seemed to be an updated, high tech version of Six Million Dollar Man,

  27. meresger says:

    It was nothing special. No Jack Bauer or Jason Bourne (or even that latest reboot). Actually, I wasn’t fond of any of the casting choices for the lead rolls; even though I like all of the actors, it just didn’t work for me. I think I was kind of put off from the start with the overly-long “rendering” bit. Maybe the second episode will be better, but as far as the sci-fi buddy cop genre goes, I think I will stick with Almost Human on Mondays.

  28. Zach says:

    I watched Chuck because it was funny. This, not so much. Maybe if you’re into serious drama. But I’m not.

  29. Diz says:

    I don’t like most first episodes of any show because it takes time to figure out who’s who and what’s supposed to be going on. The first half was a bore, but the last half really picked up. I’ll keep watching, but Almost Human is one of my favorite new shows & this is similar to that I think.

  30. Terri says:

    Love Josh Holloway, and if it was permenantly on Tues, I’d continue to watch! But I’m afraid it’s got too much competition on Monday nights with the Blacklist and Castle.

  31. cjeffery7 says:

    was i watching a completely different show from everyone else in these comments? this pilot was better than The Blacklist’s, and i really liked the Blacklist pilot. Josh Holloway was non-nonchalantly humorous and likeable even as a serious super-agent type. Meghan Ory, whom I’d only seen as Red Riding Hood in OUAT was just as if not more bad ass and convincing than most other female spy archetypes I’ve seen lately on television. Marg Helgenberger toed the line very well between likeable-knows-what-she’s-doing-boss and what-are-her-real-intentions-lady. the plot of the pilot was believable and consistent with the rules that they set up for the “world.” it was FAR more entertaining than the Almost Human pilot which i thought was bogged down by an overwhelming sense of grimness, one that overshadowed the bromance vibe. i’m not saying yet that Intelligence is the best new show on television, but i’ve got the same visceral reaction to it as i did Fringe, which is that it’s not necessarily the obvious choice, but its clearly got something going for it that a lot of other shows just don’t grasp. *stepping down from my soap box*

    • prish says:

      I like your assessment. I found Intelligence fun, if not brilliant. The husband was happy watching the action. He let me set it up for a series recording, and no bigger compliment is possible in our household.

  32. Cresta says:

    Like it better than Person of Interest and couldnt stand Chuck

    So I think I will watch this, Meghan and Josh really got good chemistry.

    • TV Scout says:

      ^This [although I liked Yvonne S & Sarah L in Chuck, they were the only reasons I watched that show. ] Intelligence has a ‘POI’ vibe to it, but 10pm Monday nights will be a tough spot to succeed; but you never know – the chemistry between M O and J H looks good, they might be able to peel some numbers off Castle. Blacklist is almost untouchable at this point.

  33. Ross says:

    Stupid CBS, just leave Intelligent were it is now after NCIS, there is ridiculous so many good shows to watch on Monday, stiff competition. I just dont get why they wont leave the show were it is now. First of all they should have made it a mid season show now they are going to give it a death slot.

    • enuff said says:

      I think not! NCIS: LA will always follow the original. It is the best one two ratings punch CBS will ever have.

  34. Ross says:

    *where*
    *shouldnt have made it a midseason show*

  35. Patrick Maloney says:

    Definitely enjoyed it, even though I came on for Josh Holloway, I was just as enthralled by Meghan Ory

  36. Babygate says:

    I wanted to love it because I’ve been waiting to see Josh Holloway on my screen again, sadly, it left me underwhelmed. It gives off a Person of Interest vibe without the heart and the excellent acting. Worst of all, it was predictable and even pedestrian. The high tech stuff felt obligatory but inconsequential in that it wasn’t compelling enough to make it the focal or selling point of the show. I already Dvr Castle and Blacklist which I was willing to watch OnDemand or online but I won’t need to now. Won’t be watching Intelligence again but I do hope it succeeds since I really like the cast.

  37. Was hoping for great story telling. Instead, got about 5 seasons-worth of plot in the first 15 minutes. Perhaps the rest of the series will be back stories to this pilot episode. Flash, action, technology, and graphics are icing on a great story… I feel like I just binged on a gallon of frosting covered in sprinkles. The problem with a fast surgar rush is that it doesn’t last long.

  38. wordsmith says:

    My main concern is that they’ll keep coming up with lame plot contrivances to make his fancy abilities useful – for example, the fact that the Doc’s voice recorder and the sniper rifle scopes just happened to have wireless hookups he could exploit.

    • Ed says:

      LOL! I know. It’s like that episode of The Simpsons when they are watching “knight Boat” (a take off of Knightrider) and the boat manages to find a canal so he can keep following the bad guy. Homer says “why is there always a canal everywhere they go?!” So my question for Intelligence is “why is every single thing suddenly wifi enabled?”

      • Katherine215 says:

        I thought it was a bit convenient, too, but when you think about it, almost everything really is wifi enabled these days…

  39. Nancy says:

    LOVED seeing Josh Holloway again! LOVED his character. CBS has given this show the death time slot with The Blacklist and Castle. That is a VERY, VERY , VERY STUPID move. :(

  40. Does the show – John Doe – ring any bells?, anyone?, Dominic Purcell was on that one… now, combine that one with CHUCK and voilá!, you got INTELLIGENCE…
    I can’t say I loved this first episode, not like the love-at-first-sight kinda love I felt for The Black List, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

  41. betty says:

    Loved it. Its was a cross between 24 and Chuck with Josh what more can I ask for. Very happy it was not a dud. By twitter responses people seemed to like it too. Good for CBS

  42. Barb says:

    It was okay (prefer Almost Human) but was kinda bored at times with the pilot. Pitting it against Castle/Blacklist, I’d say it won’t last unless put in another timeslot for it to gain any real audience.

  43. Kathy says:

    It was like Chuck and Jake 2.0, and yes, this show makes me miss Chuck. :(

  44. TarheelLostie says:

    Loved the pilot episode, love Josh Holloway and look forward to seeing him on a weekly basis, again!

  45. Kim R says:

    It did not grab my interest at all and I was expecting to like it from the promos. Completely lost interest part way through and switched. I did enjoy Killer Women though. :)

  46. Dav says:

    It was nothing we haven’t already seen before except the stuff we saw before was done better

  47. Henry P. says:

    I liked it! I just hope they put more emphasis on the actual selling point/difference in this show and any other investigation-show out there. Put more Gabriel-chip-in-brain stuff in.

  48. Lisa says:

    Chuck anyone?!

  49. Tina B. says:

    Loved it! As for the comparison by some that it is like Chuck, I have wanted to check that show out to see what everyone is talking about, but wary of watching cancelled shows. If I love it, it will be torture, that is Emily Owens MD for me.

    • cjeffery7 says:

      you should definitely watch Chuck! it was given time for a proper ending so don’t worry about feeling left hanging. the only similarity you’ll find between these two shows is that the main character can access extensive amounts of useful information with his brain (i chose those words carefully because the way in which they do so, and the information they can access, is very different). and they’re both hour-longs. besides that they could not be more different, at the very least in their tone. Chuck is borderline comedy at times. lol.

    • betty says:

      Both good shows give Chuck a try it was very funny and left me completely depressed when it was canceled. Intelligence is not like Chuck its more like a Chuck meets Jack Bauer now for me that’s not a bad thing I loved it……..

  50. Ruth says:

    thought the show was pretty good. will probably watch it since it will be on Monday night, when I don’t currently have anything else to watch that night (unless TNT puts Dallas new season in that time slot).

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