Pitch your own 'Mentalist'-style crime drama! (*Fox already has)

Mentalistrothfranz_lTonight marks the debut of The Mentalist, CBS’ latest Crimetime TVproduct, starring Simon Baker (left) as a detective who can tell what you’rethinking just by looking at you. And if you’re thinking criminalthoughts, watch out, because he’s gonna cuff you! Meanwhile, perhapssensing CBS is onto something–and/or inspired by its creepy-awkward reality hit Lie Detector–Fox just announced it has ordered up a midseason replacement called Lie To Me, which is destined to either be derided as a Mentalistknock-off or hailed as Mentalist done better. From the Fox-issued press release: "Tim Roth (TheIncredible Hulk) [pictured, center] and Kelli Williams (The Practice) star in thisfascinating character drama inspired by a real-life specialist who canread clues embedded in the human face, body, and voice to expose thetruth behind the lies in criminal investigations." 

Both The Mentalist and Lie To Me may prove to quality entertainment. (And yes, that was an obligatory ass-covering hedge/disclaimer.) Even so, methinks the current iteration of the super-sleuth crime genre–thenear-supernatural human-behavior code-cracker–is one show away from jumping the shark. But what will that show be? That’s the mental health-break/productivity-sapping sport I bring before you today.

Here’s my candidate: THE BLOODHOUND! Prospective press release copy:  "Emmy winner DennisFranz (NYPD Blue, pictured right) makes his long-awaited return to prime-timetelevision in this remarkably intriguing character drama about anextraordinarily brilliant and hilariously quirky police detective whosesense of smell is so powerful he can sniff out evildoers. You could sayhe really nose his way around a crime scene! (‘Nose’ = ‘knows’–get it?) His colleagues call himBloodhound, which is certain to make you chuckle, because he’s actually a cat lover… with a big heart for strays! Now that’s the kind of poignant irony only broadcast television can bring you. So beat THAT Damages, Monk, Mad Men and The Closer! Alsostarring Julie Bowen (Boston Legal, Ed) as his loyal and beautiful if oftenincredulous and irritated partner who actually might be his secretdaughter (we haven’t decided yet–it’ll really depend on if and when weneed a desperate ratings stunt) (wait, did we say that out loud?), The Bloodhound will premiere at midseason. Unless we can come up with something equally fantastic but more marketable. Preferably ‘more marketable.’"

That’s my guess–what’s yours? Post below!

addCredit(“Baker: Lance Staedler; Roth: Todd Williamson/WireImage; Franz: Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage”)


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  • Crosspatch

    During his childhood, Shawn Spencer developed a remarkable talent for noticing the tiniest of details under the guidance of his policeman father. Shawn finally settles on a career: he pretends to be a psychic. No one really believes him, but he continues to be so helpful to the police that they keep calling him in on cases they can’t solve. Shawn soon brings his childhood friend Gus into his scheme, and between their bantering they manage to solve every case they’re presented with.
    I’d call it “Psych” and… oh, wait.

  • saybo

    I’m with Crosspatch, ever since I first saw ads for this, I’ve been calling it “Un-Funny Psych”

  • Coyote

    Crosspatch and Saybo: It’s like you read my mind!
    Where’s the pineapple?

  • FreeAgent

    to the 3 before me…i agree wholeheartedly. I saw an ad over the weekend and was like “waiiit a second…”

  • shonuff

    i pitch “feel the truth”: a younger version of deniro’s jack byrnes in meet the parents being a human lie detector test, where each episode spends the last 20 minutes of his partner asking questions with jack holding the hands of the criminal in question.
    casting: young jack byrnes – jason dohring of veronica mars fame; girlfriend/wife to be – amber tamblyn; partner – michael williams of the wire
    now if this doesn’t jump the shark, nothing will…

  • Lindsay

    It’s like CBS thought they were the only people watching USA and went…hey, no one will notice. Especially, if we advertise our show in the middle of theirs (which actually happened!)

  • Meg

    I completely agree with saybo saying this show is an “unfunny Psych”… I didn’t see any previews for this show until last night, but I caught the similarities right away. They can’t think we’re that dumb, can they?

  • T-Rex

    Shame on Jeff Jensen for either being unaware of the awesomeness that is Psyche or for somehow failing to mention it in spite of it’s awesomeness.

  • Jame

    “Head in the Clouds.” Sensitive and artistic private detective Art Toutlemonde always came off as a little spacy. During his morning jog at the lake (insert landmark natural attraction in metro area)looked up and thought he saw a beach cottage in the clouds. Later that afternoon, in his cramped office loft (insert trendy warehouse district here) a beautiful women enters, his new client. She is concerned that her new husband is cheating, and hires him to tail the cheater. He parts outside the husband’s office right before lunch, and the next thing you know he ends up at the beach, in front of a cottage. He looks up, lost in a daydream and sees flames. A few minutes later a car with dark tinted windows parks in the driveway. A woman in a trench coat and sunglasses enters the cottage. Seconds later he hears and explosion and the cottage is engulfed in flames. Art will be able to get to the bottom of this cheating husband murder, if only he could keep his head out of the clouds…..

  • Sina

    I really like Simon Baker but he’s no Gus. Won’t be watching.

  • Queen

    He’s basically Monk without the OCD.

  • Ron Mwangaguhunga

    I pitch: “Syn,” starring The Wire’s Clarke Peters as Detective Rick Zikusoka, suffering from the neurological condition synesthete. Zikusoka is a part-time semi-successful painter. The Aesthete-synesthete expresses his synesthesia in bold colors in his off-hours, and uses his neurological condition to uncover clues in unsolved crimes. The show will be shot in a somewhat psychedelic tone to give the overall effect of what it is like to live in Detective Zikusoka’s inner world.

  • Jolie

    Aww, I was seriously hoping Dennis Franz was returning to TV, when I received a Google alert to this article.

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