TV Review: Houdini & Doyle


Airs: Mondays @ 9/8c on FOX

Review: Pilot

This is the time of year when networks traditionally wrap up their regular shows’ seasons.  In a desperate attempt to retain viewers through the summer, the networks also start airing new shows now.  These shows are rarely good – they are third-tier — not good enough to even rate as a midseason replacement (and those have rather sketchy survival ratings).  Houdini & Doyle is a FOX installment of such tier-three summer shows.

Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are thrown together on a case in London with supernatural elements, with opposite beliefs on the subject.  The police chief assigns a female constable to babysit them to get all three out of his hair.  The constable is capable, smart and has to deal with sexism, but her character has the feel of “we-need-to-add-a-female to this show to get people to watch it.”  I am not sure what purpose she has, the entire show could have been done without her, and the show is called Houdini & Doyle after all not Houdini, Doyle, & Random Female Constable. 

About 15 minutes in, I began to wonder what Doyle was doing on the show, too.  Houdini was smart, funny, and made all the observations that I thought should have belonged to Doyle (Houdini was the one who observed that the laundry facilities generated money and that there was missing money.  Houdini was the one who figured out that the underground trains ran every 17 minutes – both of these should have been discovered by Doyle).

Houdini & Doyle is a standard cop procedural.  The characters don’t work together as a team, in fact it was three individuals who happened to be working on the same case.  The only thing that saved the show from being completely terrible was Michael Weston as Houdini.  He was hilarious, and if it was his show alone I might consider watching it, but the dreadful acting from some of the guest stars (e.g. the world’s worst medium) and lack of cast cohesiveness isn’t worth my time or yours.

WWYT Rating 5.0

Nielsen Rating: 0.7 Summer shows get a bit more leeway, but this is a premier in the midst of finales.  Gotham doesn’t have record breaking ratings, but IMO this season might be the best show on network television.  All that, and they still only pull a 0.7 for the premier.  This will drop from even a paltry 0.7 to a rating that will probab


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