The younger-skewing broadcast network CW paraded its new fall shows to TV critics in Beverly Hills on Monday.
On tap: a new take on the 80s show, "Beauty and the Beast," where the beast is a really good looking guy (Kiwi actor Jay Ryan) with a small scar on his face; "Arrow," starring another really good looking guy (Stephen Amell) with scar tissue allegedly covering 20 percent of his body; and "Emily Owens MD," starring Meryl Streep's daughter Mamie Gummer, who gives people scars in the OR.
The most vulnerable antelope in the herd is "Beauty and the Beast." I'll need to give the pilot another shot, but it didn't do a ton to draw me in. Feels like it might be predictable to the point of being boring, and I don't know how long I can hang in there while "Beauty" and "The Beast" do the will they/won't they dance.
"Emily Owens MD" has some charm, largely thanks to Gummer's awkward, endearing -- some might say adorkable -- performance as a former high school nerd hoping her doctor scrubs will finally make her cool. (Where does Gummer, who studied drama at Northwestern University, get her acting chops?) Most of the show takes place in the hospital, which allegedly is a lot like high school. The mean girls go into plastic surgery, the stoners head to anesthesia, etc. Gummer's love interest is the uber-charming Justin Hartley, a Naperville/Orland Park native who didn't get the role when he first auditioned. His agent told him to get a pair of glasses and try again. He went to Rite-Aid and picked up a pair of specs, gave it another whirl and got the part.
Hartley, you may remember, played Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on "Smallville." That character is now the star of another new CW offering, "Arrow," which is probably the alpha male of the CW herd. The gist: billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being found on a remote island. When he returns to civilization, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow, a vigilante with a list of folks he needs to take revenge on, a la Emily Thorne. Stephen Amell is bound to be a hit in this role. Three words: salmon ladder scene.
Once the network that rolled out its fall shows the fastest, the CW is taking a different approach this year. It's starting the season late, on Oct. 1. "Arrow" bows Oct. 10, followed by "Beauty & the Beast" the next night. "Emily Owens, MD" premieres Oct. 16.
A couple of other new CW shows, the "Sex and the City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries" and creepy thriller "Cult" will debut in January, after "Gossip Girl" bids adieu for good in December.