The 2018 network upfronts are racing toward the final stretch this week with CBS delivering its presentation and offering a first look at a handful of new series. This time around, the network has a mix of new comedies as well as some very CBS-like procedurals, including one from NBC mainstay Dick Wolf. Then there’s the sort-of trailer for the Murphy Brown revival that works to get the audience caught up on what the characters have been up to since the original series ended in 1998.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the trailers the network offered up to advertisers was their runtimes. While it’s not uncommon for upfront trailers to clock in at three minutes or slightly more, CBS practically delivered abridged versions of all its major pilots, with the first look at Wolf’s F.B.I. revealing every major beat in what is presumably the pilot episode, with Missy Peregrym and Zeeko Zaki on the trail of a serial-bombing Nazi played by Dallas Roberts. Still, the show looks like it will fit into the CBS lineup fairly easily, and it will be interesting to see Wolf doing something outside of NBC and the Chicago or Law & Order shows he’s set up there.
Then there’s the trailer for The Neighborhood (formerly Welcome to The Neighborhood), which features Josh Lawson as David, the nice Midwestern guy who moves into a predominantly African American neighborhood, much to the chagrin of Cedric the Entertainer. All in all, it’s a fairly typical trailer except Lawson’s role was recently recast with New Girl’s Max Greenfield stepping in as David. Obviously CBS didn’t have time to reshoot the pilot before the upfronts, but, it's still kind of a weird look.
Check out the trailers below:
God Friended Me
The trailer for Magnum P.I. looks very pilot-y, spending much of its time explaining who everybody is and why they’re doing whatever it is they’re doing, presumably for those who have never seen the original series. It also goes all-in on the action-adventure angle (which would be a whole lot cooler if Jay Hernandez was sporting a mustache like original Magnum, Tom Selleck), that's not too much of a surprise considering the series opener was directed by Justin Lin. Still, considering the success CBS has had with action-heavy reboots, like Hawaii Five-0, S.W.A.T. (the pilot of which was also directed by Lin), and MacGyver, this one looks like another likely winner for the Eye Network.
Other trailers included Damon Wayans Jr.'s Happy Together and God Friended Me — which looks like a reboot of ABC’s recently canceled Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. Both were serviceable and straightforward enough. Wayans finally gets a chance to be the lead a own sitcom, but with Amber Stevens West playing his wife Claire, it seems as though FOX's Ghosted might be ghosting audiences after all. And while faith-adjacent series have done well on CBS before, it’ll be interesting to see how God's On Facebook actually performs. The trailer looks painfully earnest, though it’s nice to see The Mayor’s Brandon Micheal Hall leading another show so quickly.