Crime drama Wis­dom of the Crowd has solid cast

First episode of this CBS show in­di­cates it has prom­ise, high-tech is com­pelling

Waterloo Region Record - - ARTS & LIFE - Verne Gay News­day

THE SE­RIES: “Wis­dom of the Crowd”

WHEN, WHERE: Pre­mieres Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on CBS; moves to 8 p.m. on Oct. 8.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Jef­frey Tan­ner (Jeremy Piven) is a high­tech pi­o­neer who sells his Sil­i­con Val­ley startup to launch a crowd­sourced app named Sophe that will help find killers. Or one killer in par­tic­u­lar: that of his daugh­ter, Mia (Abi­gail F. Cowen).

He as­sem­bles a crack team, led by Sara Mor­ton (Natalia Tena), and which in­cludes a hacker, Tariq Bakari (Jake Matthews) and head pro­gram­mer Josh No­vak (Blake Lee).

Mean­while, Det. Ca­vanaugh (Richard T. Jones) from the Oak­land P.D. moon­lights to see what Sophe can do.

MY SAY: How well you like “Wis­dom” may de­pend on how well you like Piven, and be­cause he so fully in­hab­ited Ari Gold over seven sea­sons of “En­tourage,” con­flicted emo­tions are un­der­stand­able. A lit­tle bit of Ari has fol­lowed Piven wher­ever he’s gone ever since — even over to Eng­land, where he be­came Mr. Sel­fridge in the PBS se­ries of the same name. A lit­tle bit fol­lows him here. Like Ari, Tan­ner is ar­ro­gant, full of him­self, smarter than ev­ery­one else in the room and abra­sive. He also loves his daugh­ter, and has al­tru­is­tic im­pulses (def­i­nitely not like Ari).

But Piven is a gifted ac­tor who brings some­thing orig­i­nal and fresh to most of his roles, and that’s the fun­da­men­tal prom­ise of “Wis­dom” — oth­er­wise a boil­er­plate pro­ce­dural in high-tech drag. His sup­port­ing cast is good and that high-tech drag is com­pelling. “Wis­dom’s” not-bad pi­lot would have been bet­ter served by a de­scrip­tion of what makes Sophe’s al­go­rithms unique. In prac­tice, it al­most seems like a re­boot of Face­book or a tur­bocharged ver­sion of Web­sleuths, the true-crime fo­rum.

To “Wis­dom’s” credit — so far any­way — this doesn’t look like the typ­i­cal grue­some net­work cop drama ar­rayed with fe­male vic­tims and their preda­tory killers (even though there are two such vic­tims in the pi­lot). It does look like a good idea in search of gen­uine high-tech bona fides.

BOT­TOM LINE: Good cast, good pi­lot, good Piven. What’s miss­ing is tech plau­si­bil­ity.

2.5 out of 4 stars


Jeremy Piven, from right, Natalia Tena, Blake Lee and Jake Matthews star in "Wis­dom of the Crowd," pre­mier­ing Sunday.

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