Fall TV Preview
SEAL Team Pilot Review

Fall TV First Impression: SEAL Team

The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including The CW’s soapy new Dynasty, NBC’s look at Brave military heroes and the adventures of Fox’s Gifted mutants. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | CBS’ SEAL Team (Wednesdays at 9/8c, premiering Sept. 27)

THE COMPETITION | ABC’s Modern Family/American Housewife, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, Fox’s Star and The CW’s Dynasty (new)

RELATED Read First Impressions of ABC’s The Good Doctor, CBS’ Young Sheldon and The CW’s Dynasty

THE CAST | David Boreanaz (Bones), Max Thieriot (Bates Motel), Neil Brown Jr. (Insecure), AJ Buckley (CSI: NY), Toni Trucks (Franklin & Bash) and Jessica Paré (Mad Men).

THE SET-UP | Boreanaz plays Jason Hayes, the leader of an extra-elite Navy SEAL team populated by Buckley, Brown Jr., Trucks and Thieriot’s baggage-carrying newbie. Pare plays the CIA analyst who helps coordinate missions.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | If you’re among the 1.7 million who watched History’s SIX pilot, any déja vu you felt watching the SEAL Team trailer (embedded below) is both understandable as well as shared by me, even more so as the full pilot played out. The similarities are multiple, including strained marriages back home and even a top-secret op conflicting with a rugrat’s recital. And did I mention the new team member gets a chilly reception due to his unproven skills?

But CBS needn’t lose any sleep over those in the SIX/SEAL Team Venn diagram overlap; after all, America’s Most Watched Network has a million-plus people for breakfast. They’ve got their own take on these heroes, and minus an over-arching mission to rescue a former team leader, SEAL Team stands to be one that is more procedural and a bit less serialized (though it appears Jason will stay haunted by a tragic loss; cue therapist Reiko Aylesworth, thank you). The question, though, is: What does a weekly SEAL series look like in post-bin Laden times? You can’t always be storming an HVT’s hidden bunker, the sort of headline-grabbing baddie-grab that in recent years caught the eye of film and TV execs looking to cash in on special-ops forces.

Coming off his run as onetime Army Ranger Seeley Booth, Boreanaz is comfortably in his element here, making the tough calls abroad while earning (just a little) sympathy back home from his ex (Aquarius‘ Michaela McManus). The pilot affords little time to flesh out the other team members, though Trucks is given a memorable moment.

RELATED Fall TV Schedule: What’s on When? And Versus What?

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | CBS was probably looking to throw something shiny and new at this Wednesday time slot’s creaky fare from ABC and NBC, while Fox’s Star and The CW’s Dynasty fight over any scraps. Might a less-grim drama hold onto a few more eyeballs than predecessor Criminal Minds, which will now air an hour later? I’m curious to see how this scheduling decision plays out.

Watch a trailer for SEAL Team, then vote in our poll below.

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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43 Comments
  1. fernando933 says:

    This will be a hit or miss. Think people will tune in for David but then start dropping out when the story isn’t as compelling

  2. This looks good to me. Yes, it’s David B’s sweet-spot. And it’s over-inflated a bit. But I’ll probably watch anyway. Whether or not I stay is a dependent on whether or not I like the characters. As with most series.

  3. Zayne says:

    This looked like The Unit 2.0 to me. I loved every minute of The Unit so I’ll be tuning into this, especially since this looks like if Seeley Booth was in The Unit.

    • Faber says:

      I disagree completely. It actually looks more like if Angel was in the Unit. Either way, I will be watching.

    • Michael says:

      You must be joking? It’s looks nothing like The Unit. The Unit was amazing and should have lasted a lot longer. This looks like a lame copy of SIX. Maybe I would have watched this if Jim Caviezel was still the lead, but I lost all interest in this show when he left.

      • Emma says:

        Lost all interest but still commenting on the show interesting….

        I was wondering how long it would take Jim C fan(s) to try to spread their special kind of joy, what took ya so long?

        Lol jk

    • Yapdem says:

      Thought the same exact thing . CBS should just being back the unit, loved that show.

  4. Kim says:

    This is my kind of show and with David Boreanaz starring in it makes it even better. I’m definitely watching.

  5. Emma says:

    I am here for an action drama with heart. That’s the buttons I think SEAL Team will press. For me anyway.

    Character driven aspect will help it find it’s feet. IMO.

    Looking forward to the premier 👌

  6. drb999 says:

    Hopefully it’ll be as good as The Unit was. They’re very similar shows.

  7. Emma says:

    *slaps head* how could I over look Reiko Aylesworth in the promo. My bad!! David & Reiko therapy sessions each episode? Here for that too. Yes. Yes. 👍

    Also meant to say I hope we get David & Max’s characters to get some meaty narratives together, I think these two could really play off each other really well.

  8. TV Is My Pacifier says:

    I’ve seen the pilot already and really enjoyed it. Then again, it’s right up my alley in terms of shows I like, so… *shrug*

  9. 1mars says:

    I have liked what I have seen so far and it has David Boreanaz in it. A military drama with a bit of family drama, it has heart, cant wait.

  10. Wiz says:

    I don’t see this show lasting. Or if CBS will even bother to keep it. I was gonna tune in for Boreanaz and Theriot. But I just don’t see the appeal anymore. Boreanaz is playing another Booth, plus not to sound shallow but the man is losing his attractive quality. I’ve definitely lost my crush for him. And I’ve been a fan since Buffy and Angel. Maybe I’ll tune in if I see the show is a hit and gets a second season.

  11. Kevin Tran says:

    Even though I have high hopes for SEAL Team, I should give it a try for at least the first four episodes.

  12. Katrinka says:

    Generally this isn’t the type of show I’d watch. After Bates Motel, I’ve become a big Max Thieriot fan, so I’ll definitely be tuning in for at least a few episodes & then decide.

  13. Tina says:

    Did I see Daniel gillies in this?! Isn’t he on the originals still?

  14. westwingwolf says:

    This previous season gave us a lot of time travel shows. And now this upcoming season seems to be a lot of military type shows with SEAL Team, Brave, and Valor. Interesting to see which ones will work out. I don’t think Valor fits with CW, and I’d be more willing to bet SEAL Team is a better fit with CBS’s roster of shows than Brave is with NBC’s shows. So if only one survives, I’d put money on SEAL Team. Never been a huge David Boreanaz fan, but I always like to check out as many new shows as possible because I never know what I just might end up liking.

  15. Michael Summerset says:

    I am going to check out the pilot but I can’t say whether I’ll get into the series until then. Given that CBS was able to make JAG work when NBC couldn’t, it’s definitely on the right network to succeed.

  16. “The question, though, is: What does a weekly SEAL series look like? You can’t always be storming an HVT’s hidden bunker, and bin Laden-type grabs are precisely what caught the eye of film and TV execs looking to cash in on special-ops forces.”

    i guess you never watched or heard of “the unit”?

  17. kmw says:

    I will give a try for DB but it doesn’t really give me the impression that it has anything more than Booth- harder on it. I also wont be a bit surprised down the line( and you know the show will do at least decent enough to get a full season order and most likely get renewed ) if they water DB’S character down to even more like Booth. It also doesn’t sound like enough of the others is fleshed out well but then again they will need time for that. And yes DB’S character is haunted and will like Booth get help from a psychiatrist but his character will need more than that and so will the others. And if the chemistry with everyone gels it may be better than I think it will be but you have to wonder if DB’S luck with shows will hold out. It will get CBS’S audience but that doesn’t mean it deserves it

    • Anon says:

      Maybe go into the pilot not thinking about Booth? I know it is hard to let go of characters but watch the show with an open mind instead of through Booth filters. Like Angel fans did when they tuned into Bones and give Booth a chance and give Bones the series a much needed support system though a rocky first season.

      Military people do have ghosts. And some do go to shrinks to help them. It isn’t special to Booth or Jason but reflective of real life

      And what shows truly get the ratings they deserve? Some do of course but for some Its basically down to a good & steady time slot. Or a good lead in. Or hitting a sweet spot of what people are yearning to watch. Sometimes its all three.

      I don’t get the half full glass mentality to be honest. I like to be optimistic until I watch & have reason not to

      • kmw says:

        It is hard not to when both characters are so similar and I believe I said I will give it a chance. And again I have said this before it doesn’t matter what I think because with the time slot it has it will be a success. I know some people believe I dislike DB which couldn’t be further from the truth, I love what he did with Booth. I just feel he went into this wanting a harder edged character and I think eventually it wont be. I am hoping he can get the same kind of success that Bones and Angel and Buffy did. However just a couple of differences between his first two shows and Bones. He was on Bones A LOT longer and was paired with a leading lady A LOT longer than Angel and Buffy( I know Buffy and Angel will always be more popular but that doesn’t mean that relationship lasted longer) And I also know that there will be more to the show than just the snippet I have seen and maybe he will look more comfortable because in that snippet he didn’t at all. But again I will give it a chance and by that I mean more than the pilot a lot of shows have terrible pilots but then get better. I want to be optimistic really I do

        • Anon says:

          Bones was on so long that David pretty much acted all types of scenarios on that show & people are always going to say Booth did that or had a storyline like that.

          Yes they are both military men, but to me Booth is always more FBI for me to see the differences between him & Jason. I am already interested in his PTSD and his face time with shrink and how he balances his army life with his family & a wife that’s really not there for him emotionally,

          Maybe you can’t see past Booth ever. That’s OK. Truly. But let’s watch the pilot first .

          I am sure many CBS viewers have never watched Bones or just dipped a toe now and again. And they can appreciate David for Jason and not watch with a Booth filtered perception.. And maybe this show is for them. And a new fandom? Idk. Let’s watch & see ☺

  18. btm says:

    Some of the hedging here is perplexing. This is going to be a massive hit. The subject matter is topical and popular right now, DB is a major established TV star, and the production values appear to be high. It’s Red State red meat, which is admittedly not in this site’s wheelhouse, but it will scratch the same itch that NCIS and Co. do each week. It might not get a lot of TVL love, but this show is going to be huge, right out of the gate. It figures to be one of the safest entries of the coming season. It can’t miss. The only question will be how old it skews, and if the demo take is high enough.

    • Agreed. And kudos on pointing out this site’s lack of Red State appeal.

    • Andrea says:

      I think so, too, and not only because of David. As many of us have said, this reminds us of The Unit, so it scratches that itch. My only worry about SEAL TEAM is that it will be too dark. The Unit managed to balance the military stuff with family stuff. I hope SEAL TEAM has something that balances it out…and I wish Max Martini was in it,

  19. Jared says:

    No thanks

  20. Idk says:

    I have no interest in shows like this but I, like many, have a huge soft spot for DB so I’ll check it out.

  21. Kristina says:

    Yet another procedural…sigh.

  22. awnb95 says:

    Looks to expensive for its own good. Won’t get the viewers to keep up with the cost.

  23. Another Poster says:

    I will watch if, however, I wonder if we will ever find out what exactly were the “creative differences” that led to Jim Caviezel being replaced by David Boreanaz? Amy Acker (Fox) and Sarah Shahi (NBC) are returning to weekly TV this season and it would have been wonderful if Mr. Caviezel was also returning to TV as well.

    • Anon says:

      Jim got a pilot that he bailed on before he even shot one frame. It was David that got the show to series order.

      Huge difference from pilot order to series order.

      Apples & oranges

      Plus nice to see Angel & Fred back in the Fall 😉

      • Another Poster says:

        The question I have, and I sure other have is why did Jim Caviezel quit so suddenly? What were the “creative differences” that led to his rapid departure from the pilot?

      • Enron says:

        What the hell did you even just say?

  24. Ally Oop says:

    Not my type of show.