Starring: Elyes Gabel (“Body of Proof”), Katharine McPhee (“Smash”), Robert Patrick (“True Blood”), Eddie Kaye Thomas (“Til’ Death”), Jadyn Wong (“Being Erica”) and Ari Stidham (“Huge”)
Genre: One-hour drama
Premiere Date: Monday, September 22, 9 p.m., CBS
Direct Competition: “The Voice” (NBC), “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox), “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC), “Jane the Virgin” (CW)
Premise (in 140 characters or less): A team of beautiful minds (and Katherine McPhee) partner with Homeland Security to help stop high-tech threats.
Initial Reaction: It’s standard CBS fare disguised as a show for tech nerds. “Scorpion” is not a show for tech nerds.
Conclusion: Despite its intriguing title, and that commercial you keep seeing with a plane about to crash near ground level, “Scorpion” is as bland and tired as any other CBS procedural. It’s an hour-long version of “The Big Bang Theory,” only it’s unintentionally funny. McPhee plays the role of Kaley Cuoco to Gabel’s Johnny Galecki. At one point in the pilot, as the plane you’ve seen in that commercial reaches ground level, McPhee comes close to flying off like a kite with it from the seat of a convertible when it takes back off. It’s all but surely one of the greatest moments in television history.
There are plenty of bad shows on this fall. “The Mysteries of Laura,” for example, is so bad it’s almost good if you watch it as a parody on cop shows. “Forever” is cheesy, but has a charming lead. “Scorpion,” on the other hand, is bad, just not bad enough to make it a fun viewing experience. I’ve seen all I need to see in these first 43 minutes.
Watch Live, DVR or Skip?: Watch to see Katherine McPhee almost fly away like a kite, then turn the channel. Both “Sleepy Hollow” and “Jane the Virgin” are better options.