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Intelligence - Pilot - Screener Preview

It's the last day of the year 2013 (or for some readers it might already be 2014)! I hope this year has given you much hapiness and I sure wish 2014 will bring you a lot of goodness. I hope you have enjoyed a lot of television shows in 2013, and will continue to enjoy them in 2014. But with the new year also comes new shows. Various shows will premiere this midseason, shows that some of you are very much looking forward to.

One of these shows is Intelligence. Ever since pilot season, this show has garnered a lot of buzz. I have been lucky enough to receive a screener of the pilot episode, and I also will be doing the weekly reviews after each episode. Before you read this preview, please note two things: 1. I have only seen a screener and not the actual pilot, which means that there could be some small changes (for example music) to the eventual pilot episode and 2. this is not a review of the episode, but a preview, and as such, won't contain any spoilers (besides the info that has already been released).

So what is this show about?
As you've probably seen from all the promos or read from all the info, this show is about Gabriel (Josh Holloway), an operative who is implanted with a microchip in his brain. With this microchip, he can basically access every piece of intelligence in the world. The chip has been created by Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy (John Billingsley), who recently retired from the agency. Because Gabriel and the microchip are very valuable, his boss, CyberCom director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger), assigns Secret Service agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory) to protect him against foreign enemies and against his own reckless behavior. Also working for CyberCom are Chris Jameson (Michael Rady), Gonzalo 'Gonzo' Rodriguez (James Martinez) and Nelson Cassidy (PJ Byrne).

What is the main story of the pilot?
A pilot is always meant to set up the premise of the show, and this pilot is no exception. Already in the opening scene, you get a glimpse of what Gabriel can do with the technology in his head. But the pilot's main storyline is the kidnap of the aforementioned Dr. Cassidy. As you can imagine, the hunt is full on for him and his kidnappers as Cassidy is the one who created the top-secret microchip. Besides that, Gabriel is looking for his missing wife with the help of the microchip. Both these stoyrlines together make for an interesting pilot.

What will happen after the pilot?
I have only seen the first episode, but as with most pilots, the pilot of Intelligence ends with a twist. The twist sets up various possible storylines for the rest of the season, but I am honestly not really sure where the series goes. The pilot hints at a case-of-the-week procedural, but also at a bigger season-long (or series-long) enemy. Furthermore, the pilot sets up the search for Gabriel's wife, which could also be a main focus for the season (or series). Personally, I hope it will be a mix between the three stories, with a case of the week and a more serialized background story.

Why should I watch this?
Because it is realy cool! No seriously, who wouldn't dream of having a microchip implanted in his head with access to all intelligence over the world? Besides the interesting premise and the interesting side stories, the cast is also very good. Josh Holloway and Marg Helgenberger have been on Lost and CSI respectively for years, meaning they certainly have enough experience. Meghan Ory has been on Once Upon A Time for the first two seasons, but she also does good. The supporting cast isn't bad either.

Is there anything that wasn't good?
I think the pilot was really good and there wasn't a lot that I didn't like. I did think that the supporting characters didn't get a whole lot of screentime, but this might improve later.
One thing that various fans have critized on are the promotional posters for the show. After having seen the pilot, I can say I tend to agree to that. I don't think the posters give a really clear image of what the show is about. Also, they only feature Gabriel and although he is the main character, there are more characters who could be featured on the posters.

What are the surviving chances for this show?
Some people are reluctant to start to watch a show that is doomed to be canceled, which is why I include this section. Let's start with the bad news: for the past few years, all of CBS' midseason shows have failed to get a second season. Also, the time slot was previously occupied by Hostages, whose ratings weren't kind of great. The competition, which includes ABC's Castle and NBC's The Blacklist, are two succesful shows which weekly attrack more than 10 million viewers each. On the bright side, The Blacklist won't have The Voice as its lead-in in January and early February. However, in February we have the winter Olympics, which could mean that there will be more repeats than original programming. According to some listings, Intelligence will broadcast its first five episodes in a row after which it takes a two-week break. It will then return with original episodes on February 24 (together with the aforementioned The Voice).
But there's also good news! Intelligence will premiere in a special time slot on Tuesday, January 7 at 9 PM, following ratings monster NCIS. After that, it will move to its regular time slot on Monday, January 13 at 10 PM. I believe the pilot is sure to attrack a lot of viewers, and we'll have to see how it does in its regular slot the week after. There is a always possiblity that Intelligence remains in the time slot and that CBS will move NCIS Los Angeles to Mondays 10 PM a la the Vegas-Golden Boy situation of last year. This is something that surely will be embraced by fans of Person of Interest, who hope it will boost the ratings for their show, but we really have to see how it does next week. The Voice won't be on NBC next week, so that might be an advantage, but I really can't say anything about Intelligence's survival chances until I have seen the ratings. The show does have a well-known cast and I am hoping Intelligence will see a second season!

Okay, your turn! Will you tune in for Intelligence when it premieres next week? Are you excited for this show? Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments!

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