This morning, CBS reported that its new summer show, Zoo, premiered with 8.07 million viewers making it the most-watched new scripted show of the summer. This isn’t surprising as the the story’s premise is intriguing and unlike anything else on TV this season. However, what was surprising is that a show about wild animals on the attack was actually sort of dull.
Based on James Patterson’s bestselling novel, Zoo does show promise as a show to get hooked on, but the pilot was a lot more talk than action. The premise of the show about a wave of animal attacks across the globe. The show begins with news of lions escaping from a Los Angeles zoo and attacking people in downtown. News reporter Jamie Campbell (Kristen Connolly) is bent on finding the true cause of the attack while discovering a large disappearance of neighborhood cats. Meanwhile in Africa, Jackson Oz (James Wolk), an American zoologist leading safaris is experiencing lion attacks as well. After catching a glimpse of a lion’s eye, Oz is reminded of his late father’s theories about threats to the human race.
As is to be expected, both Oz and Campbell have rubbed people the wrong way, so when they stumble along the truth, they have a hard time convincing others to listen to them.
As viewers, we already know that animals are starting to turn on the humans but what we don’t know is why. This might have something to do with the dullness of the first episode. We are ready to go with the action while the show is still setting up the storyline. That’s not to say that the show didn’t have it’s moment’s of tension or creepiness (like the scene with a tree full of house cats), but I was expecting more.
Patterson is a good author and has been very involved with this series, so I’m not ready to write off the show just yet. The show also promises that there is a lot more to the story to share in the coming weeks. The casting is great and the shots in Africa are beautiful to look at as well. One has to wonder if the show will have the same effect on zoos as Jaws did for beaches 40 years ago.
Zoo airs on 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays on CBS.