PODCAST! – Pilots, Premieres, and First Looks & Looking Back at “Battle Creek” (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Image result for battle creek cbs title card

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie


Who: “Battle Creek,” a comedy-drama that aired on CBS in 2015.

What: Created by Vince Gilligan and David Shore and starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters, the show followed the mismatched partnership of a police detective and a FBI agent in Battle Creek, Michigan.

When: The show aired for one season in 2015 on CBS.

Where: The show is set in Battle Creek, Michigan – present day.

Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Battle Creek.

During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for CPU!’s review.  When I picked it up, I said:

Though I’m not much for procedural cop shows, this is about a town in Michigan, and that’s where I’m from.  The town itself is about 45 miles from me in Grand Rapids, and it’s the home of cereal brands like Kellogg’s and Post.  So, I’m curious enough to watch it.

How – as in How Was It?

The pilot/premiere rating scale:


**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing.  I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.

*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens.  There are things I like, and things I don’t.  We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.

** – I will give it three episodes.  Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together.  No matter how unlikely.

* – Pass on this one, guys.  It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.

Battle Creek = 3.9, by average of the podcast panel.


FBI Agent Milt Chamberlain (Duhamel) is transferred to Battle Creek from Detroit under mysterious circumstances, where he must work closely with the local police department, particularly hot-headed Detective Russ Agnew (Winters) and his motley band of fellow cops and co-workers, to solve local crimes.  The trouble is, Battle Creek, city of, is strapped for resources; Russ is threatened by the federal money backing Milt’s position, and perhaps by the agent’s easy good looks, while Russ and the rest of the Battle Creek PD must rely on ingenuity, intuition, and nerve to address the varied crimes committed in the “sleepy,” cereal-producing town of Battle Creek.


Your Chief CP originally nominated Battle Creek to inaugurate our yet-to-be-inaugurated “Canceled Corner” feature.  Imagine my surprise when not only a frequent CPU! panelist but two brand new panelists eagerly jumped up to chronicle the goings-on of one, low-rated, lowly little season of a show that has some pedigree behind it, even if it had little else, including network backing and support.  Specifically, regular CPU! panelist Spencer, who hangs out most on our comic book adaptation panels as well as the panels covering UK imports (can’t imagine why), and two brand new – and married – panelists, Laurie and Chad, gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” while “Looking Back” (we’re complicated around here!) at this unceremoniously canceled buddy cop dramedy from 2015.  Though this program came and went somewhat quickly, it clearly made an impression, which the panel wistfully dissects in the episode below.

This podcast was (re)recorded in May 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points in Battle Creek. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, we launch a new panel “Around the Water Cooler” as some of our most frequent panelists and CW devotees put their brains together, though not as food, to catch up on iZombie, in the first part of a two-part miniseries for just that purpose.  Stay tuned!

The panel recommends Battle Creek particularly to fans of Dean Winters, who the panel unanimously agreed altogether makes the show; to fans of smaller towns, like the Cereal Capital of the World; and to fans of procedural TV but with a twist.  The panel lauded the effortless chemistry of the two leads, both with each other and with the rest of the ensemble, as well as the show’s somewhat hesitant but mostly successful attempts to tackle large, important social topics and the effects such issues pose to so-called small towns. Several of the panelists also see this program as easily reviewed and watched again.  Some have already done so but, in any event, the show’s aesthetic and winks and nods to the real life Battle Creek give it a potentially timeless charm.  Also, it’s got a great theme song that sounds like “Michigan.”  If you’re from the Mitten, you’ll get it.  Though the show’s only season is self-contained, the ending is rushed, no doubt influenced by the show’s early cancellation, despite its full season order.  The panel, therefore, qualifies its recommendation with caution, as what passes for a conclusion left the panel with a lack of easy satisfaction, which we expect would be a common reaction.
Canceled!  Battle Creek was canceled after one season, and after only nine episodes had aired, by CBS. Fortunately, and at last check, the one season in question is available to stream on Netflix.  As always, be wary that the ending on this series is messy and somewhat rushed (“half-assed,” as one panelist called it), so while the panel generally recommends the show as above, the panelists do so with caution, given the less than satisfactory ending attached to the final moments of the series.

One comment

  1. kyliekeelee · June 6, 2018

    Reblogged this on Reel Musings.

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