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)
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.
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.