Can Fox’s All-To-Familiar Police Procedural Break Out?

When Does It Start: Wednesday May 19th at 8pm (leading into the penultimate Idol results show). Wouldn’t the slot after Idol have been a stronger show of confidence from the network?

In a nutshell: Another mismatched cop combo hits the small screen – could it become as big as Bones?

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What’s It About: Bradley Whitford plays Dan Stark, an old school police detective, who’s paired with a by-the-book young recruit, Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks). Jack has a snarky attitude that gets him into trouble. Dan is stuck in a time warp and believes in gut instinct over modern crime fighting technology. Together they get into endless trouble, much to the frustration of their boss, who assigns them routine cases to keep them occupied…

Plus Points: Bradley Whitford earned himself a lot of leeway after 7 sensational seasons on The West Wing. He spent some of his cache on the short lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – an interesting show that suffered from great expectations – so for Bradley The Good Guys definitely needs to deliver. Hanks has been solid in a multitude of supporting roles – everything from Mad Men to The House Bunny! This is his chance to step into the spotlight.

On The Downside: Could The Good Guys be any more generic? Everything about the show feels over familiar – there isn’t a single fresh idea on show – and it’s yet another cop procedural – one of my pet TV hates! (see my Career Crisis piece)

That said, audiences like the familiar – so if the chemistry is right – who knows? But shows held over until late in the season always face an uphill battle and the track record of late hasn’t been great (I correctly predicted Happy Town would be yanked after 2 weeks on air, and Romantically Challenged is already sliding). Fox isn’t spending a lot of promo money on the show, and Bradley and Colin are solid but far from sure things.

Also ‘stuck in a time warp’ style cop humor hasn’t played well in recent years. The big screen Starsky and Hutch reboot barely made a blip while the well liked Life On Mars didn’t even see out a full season. Personally I rather hope The Good Guys doesn’t do well – if only so we can see more fresh, surprising shows in its wake.

Prediction: My instinct is the signs aren’t great for The Good Guys. Fox seems to score best with more out of the box shows – Glee and House for example – would the show have been a better fit on CBS I wonder? But police procedurals are notoriously tricky to predict – so it really could go either way…