Battle Creek: Does This Procedural Boast CBS' Better Odd Couple?

Battle Creek Cancelled

If you haven’t been able to catch an episode of CBS’ The Odd Couple reboot yet, fret not: The network uses many of the same elements in its newest procedural crime drama, Battle Creek, which debuted Sunday.

There’s the disheveled curmudgeon — in this case, Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters, Law & Order: SVU). There’s the well-dressed know-it-all: Special Agent Milton Chamberlain (Josh Duhamel, Las Vegas). And there’s a series of unfortunate circumstances that bring the unlikely duo together, forcing them to be a team in spite of their differences.

Battle Creek takes place in a sleepy Michigan city whose police force is quickly running out of resources. Case in point: Agnew and his team must, embarrassingly, use a baby monitor instead of a legitimate wire system to catch a baddie in the opening act of the premiere.

Enter Chamberlain, a clean-cut agent from Detroit’s precinct, who transfers to Battle Creek and instantly shows everyone up. He even brings in more exciting cases, including a double homicide, which he and Agnew investigate together, much to the latter officer’s chagrin.

Right away, it’s obvious that the two officers don’t have the same methods — actually, it’s a little baffling that any of Agnew’s old-school techniques have ever worked — but nevertheless, they’re able to set aside their differences just long enough to track down the culprit.

That said, the duo still has a long way to go before they can be considered buddies. Will you stick around long enough to see a potential friendship form? Grade the Battle Creek series premiere in our 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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49 Comments
  1. mwk89 says:

    Nothing unique here. Maybe it will pick up, but just the same old/same old

  2. Matthew Weber says:

    I liked it, but not confident that it’ll make it through the first few episodes before they can it. Especially given that they air it at 10PM ET on a Sunday night when no one watches network TV.

    The show itself was okay. I laughed quite a bit, but the story was mediocre, and as I live near Battle Creek, it was a little unlikely.

    Will possibly watch it again next week, but if it doesn’t catch my interest after that I’ll probably be done.

    • Bartimeus says:

      Sunday nights are when the highest number of Americans are watching television at once so I’m not sure where you reached your conclusion. :)

      • Mary says:

        To be fair, he said “network” TV, so I suppose he means people watch more cable shows on sundays?:)

        • Ellinas1978 says:

          Have you seen the ratings for Walking Dead? And to be fair Talking Dead if we are talking about 10pm? Walking Dead outperforms everything on Sunday, Talking Dead everything at 10pm.

      • Ellinas1978 says:

        He did say network TV. Only for those that don’t have cable (small minority in today’s world) or HBO/Showtime.

        At least they waited post football so viewers don’t have to guess what time it will actually be on CBS.

        Might catch it on InDemand at some point, not having the ability to skip commercials though is not an incentive.

      • mary says:

        CBS tends to have the “oldest” viewership, which leads to 10pm being the lowest watched. However, DVR viewership tends to be higher. And yes, for basic network channels 10pm shows are having a difficult time in general.

  3. amysue4772 says:

    the first 20 minutes of this show were so bad, I spent the rest of it cleaning my kitchen.

  4. Tran says:

    I give Battle Creek a C. I have a feeling it won’t last that long despite CBS’ ongoing and grueling prime time schedule but the 10 p.m. Sunday night time slot is not looking good for both the series and CBS. Great to see Josh Duhamel back on prime time TV as does Dean Winters.

  5. Viv says:

    I was intrigued, but I watched it with the intention of liking it. But I´m not convinced that it gets the ratings… we´ll see…

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  8. D. says:

    feels like a fox show

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Like a lot, it was good & had some funny moments in pilot episode. I’ll keep watching.

  10. Tahina says:

    2 guys cops. boring! One should’ve been a girl. Yes, I miss The Mentalist, and better yet, very much The X-Files!

  11. It’s a pilot. It’s ok. I’ll give it a few more.

  12. Harry_Wild says:

    I saw it in the middle and had to go! It was a scene where the two detectives were out on the street after being in the courthouse and the black SUV came and took a couple of shots at the detectives and one got hit in the arm. But in real life; I think the SUV would have been chase and caught since it outside of the courthouse and it where the police headquarters are located. They just get every squad rolling including highway and sheriff departments on it!

    • mary says:

      Sort of missed a chunk then. The whole point is that they don’t have the resources. So every squad car would have meant nothing.

  13. big cheddar says:

    I enjoyed it and thought it was pretty funny, so it’ll be cancelled soon.

  14. I could not for the life of me figure out what this show is trying to be.
    It seemed less buddy-cop procedural and more “good-looking guy shows up all the country bumpkins”, which is a sad, tired trope that I would have no interest in.

    Reviewer is correct: the entire hour shows us nothing to give us an idea of why Detective Agnew would be Employee of the Year, Month, or anything else; he was wrong every single time something came up.

    I started doing chores for tomorrow right after the firing of bullets at the cops and the faux witness.

  15. prish says:

    My husband loved it. I thought it was good, but with sloppy editing or the film editor and director were out of sync. Since the pilots are always slow and off, I expect the series to pick up. My husband grew up in Michigan, and I spent my summers in Detroit in the 50’s and early 60’s. We agree the show captured the mix of personalities and cultures in Michigan. A little broadness is always allowed in the arts, so I gave the show a B+.

  16. Lea says:

    It was boring. Wtf, Vince Gilligan?!? I expected more

  17. Dr. Phage says:

    I think it felt like a cheap imitation of Hawaii Five-O. The bromance was trying to be like Danny and Steve, and it may get there, but it has a long way to go. I will give it a chance, as it can take a bit to develop characters we are interested in, but the cases and bad guys have to become way less predictable than last night.

  18. Leah says:

    I can’t wait to see how this relationship is going to grow. I really hope the show lasts long enough to do that.

  19. nhogan47 says:

    I watched the whole thing with no expectations and it was quite fun. I don’t watch a lot of cop shows, but the pilot episode was very fun. I’m sticking around.

  20. Dan Esman says:

    I was lucky enough to be able to attend a red carpet, black tie world premier in Battle Creek, MI. 5 days before it aired on CBS. Everyone that I’ve spoken with thought it was amazing. Do I live in Battle Creek? Yes. Does this accurately portray the “real” Battle Creek Police Dept? No. But, it’s not supposed to, this is entertainment. I thought it was cleverly written & leaves a lot of room for character development. This is NOT your average cop show. I think it brings “big screen” characteristics to the small screen. Pilots are always the worst show of a series & this was awesome. Give Battle Creek a chance.

  21. Gerri says:

    Josh Duhamel Is so charming and good looking, and this show is banking on that, but the premise is not that great. It is not that original or exciting. I would love to see Josh on TV, but this show is not the best vehicle. I hope he finds something better when this one gets canned.

  22. Carol Quisenberry says:

    The show was terrible…couldn’t get into it….

  23. Julia says:

    So disappointing considering that Vince Gilligan and David Shore led the show! I think if it didn’t have this pedigree, my expectations would have been a lot lower…it just seemed so stale and forgettable.

  24. Ro says:

    It was entertaining… “RECALCULATING…”

  25. John NYC says:

    Nothing special, might watch a few more as I don’t completely trust pilots.

  26. Jackie O says:

    I liked the chemistry of the 2 stars. The show has promise if they can tighten up the writing and storylines. I tuned in because I live near BC, but I will check the show again.

  27. Robert M. says:

    Not Vince Gilligan’s best work, and the time slot is a death sentence right out of the gate.

  28. Arlene says:

    Watched the first 25 min. and had to shut it off. What is CBS thinking putting this show after The Good Wife? I went from watching and adult, well written show to one that looks like it will appeal to 15 year old boys.

  29. Tracie says:

    I am from Battle Creek lived there all my life. I tried to watch this show but I thought it was boring. I felt the acting was poor. As was the quality of the the program. I more than likely won’t watch this program.

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  32. Oh wow it must have been a great pilot, since there are so much personal reviews. The show will change time slots before you know it, anywayyy…..

  33. Deeds says:

    The pilot made me say “ugh” more times than I care to count. Not the hugest Josh Duhamel fan to begin with, and this didn’t help. His “I’m the handsome, smart FBI agent who does everything better than you small town cops” shtick got real old, real fast. Dean Winters’ character was a grump, but in the end, he was right: Chamberlain is the devil.
    I really hope the show gets better.

  34. Maria Baricevic says:

    Finally a show that takes the lighthearted cleverness of house with an excellent and hilarious cast! Thank you team for airing a winner. Not cookie cutter. Not everyone reading lines, but actually acting. It takes you away from heavy. Perfectly cast, and Jish Duhamel is perfect along with everyone. :-)

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  36. Jayq says:

    The show is decent but overall its not the best work thus far from Mr. Gilligan. Maybe it’s not so much of his work but the actors are really not fitting the part. Mr. Gillian please don’t let your actors have negative reflection on your great talent.

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  38. Mary says:

    So many horror shows, blood, ,killing etc… it was so nice to have a show that had humor and real situations that seemed more human and yet humorous……….. seems everything is blood and guts…… what a shame. Makes you want to turn it off .

  39. Sadiebooboo315 says:

    Loved the show .watch it every week…

  40. Patricia Downs says:

    Now that the season is over with and the show has been cancelled, I wanted someone to know how disappointed my friends and I are, we loved the whole crew. The show was terrific and the numbers had been huge. CBS is wrong not to renew the show for the fall and the reason the numbers dropped for the last show is people knew the show was cancelled. . .so why watch it didn’t keep the show on!

  41. stella says:

    The cast worked great together, which is the most important thing. Watched the entire episode on net flix. I loved the story lines. Maybe netflix could pick it up?