In the early era of the Super Bowl, networks didn’t plan special programs to follow the game, sticking to regular shows like “Lassie” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” However, as time progressed, programming became more tailored, from special episodes like “Super Bowl Sunday” on “All in the Family” to premieres of new series such as “Airwolf” and “The Wonder Years,” and extended chapters of hit shows like “The One After the Super Bowl” on “Friends” and “Stress Relief” on “The Office.”
With a massive audience tuning in after last year’s Super Bowl drew over 115 million viewers to Fox, networks have the opportunity to either boost existing hits or introduce new shows in the coveted post-game slot.
This year, CBS is opting for the latter, showcasing the series premiere of “Tracker,” a show that embodies comfort-viewing television. Based on the novel “The Never Game” by Jeffery Deaver, “Tracker” follows Colter Shaw, played by Justin Hartley, a rugged anti-hero with a heart of gold. The show boasts a classic “case of the week” formula reminiscent of timeless hits like “The Fugitive” and modern favorites like “Poker Face.”
Living out of his Airstream trailer towed by a sleek GMC pickup truck, Colter roams the country as a tracker, assisting in finding missing persons for cash rewards. In the series premiere, he tackles the disappearance of a 14-year-old, delving into his own backstory while facing a mysterious pursuer.
Despite his solitary travels, Colter relies on a remote support team, including Velma and her wife Teddi, played by Abby McEnany and Robin Weigert, respectively, along with tech whiz Bobby (Eric Graise) and attorney Reenie (Fiona Rene). Together, they aid Colter in his missions, adding depth to the narrative.
With each episode presenting a new assignment for Colter, “Tracker” promises a blend of episodic satisfaction and overarching intrigue, making it suitable for both loyal viewers and casual drop-ins. Positioned after the Super Bowl, the show stands poised to capture a massive audience and potentially become CBS’s next breakout hit.