Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pilot Review: Wisdom of the Crowd

Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS)
Premiered October 1 at 8:30pm

The website I used to reference cast info and episode titles is, and when I went to pull up this show’s page there, I was greeted by a picture of Jeremy Piven that’s very obviously him playing Ari Gold on “Entourage.” The reason I lead with that is that the character Piven is playing here, and the nature of this show, is completely different. His Jeffrey Tanner still has an ego and a way of getting overly excited in certain moments, but it’s much more for the greater good than any of the self-serving cutthroat Hollywood agent’s actions. I had a feeling that this show, which I knew ahead of time had received mostly poor reviews, was going to be of the more lighthearted, uplifting nature, and I’d say that’s true, even though it does open with a murder. The idea here is to be innovative with technology and use statistics to help solve crimes, with the notion that someone is watching an inescapable and eternal truth. What struck me most was that this premise is actually somewhat similar to “APB,” a FOX show from this past February that I thought was much better than most did. That show’s reviews were only moderately more positive than this one’s, and it bit the bullet pretty quickly. Piven would be more effectively used in a flashier role, and Monica Potter shouldn’t compare this lackluster part to her Golden Globe-nominated “Parenthood” performance. I get the appeal of this show, but a twenty-first-century procedural isn’t something that I feel like I need to watch.

How will it work as a series? It definitely could become repetitive quickly, since having the crowd latch on to social media to help with communal crime solving can only be exciting and fresh so long. But we do live in an age dominated by phones and mobile interactions, so maybe this show does have a place in the television landscape of today.
How long will it last? The reviews are pretty dismal, with a 36 posted over at Metacritic. The ratings were better, though there wasn’t all that much competition on Sunday nights. I think that viewership will fall off strongly after a start probably augmented by Piven’s popularity, and I expect this show to be cancelled rather than having its order topped up.

Pilot grade: B-

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