Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — Calling any show “The World’s Best” is a bold move. Calling a reality competition show “The World’s Best” is a veritable gauntlet throw, challenging countless bombastic rivals.
But CBS’ new series, which debuted Sunday night after Super Bowl LIII, had some solid reasons to feel confident going into the first episode. It’s the brainchild of Mike Darnell, formerly Fox’s in-house reality chief behind such franchises as “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “The X Factor.” It premiered at a time when a reality show like Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” an aggressively bizarre competition show that almost immediately became a ratings hit, can thrive.
Also, it’s a feel-good program that premiered, as previously mentioned, after the Super Bowl, hosted by the perpetually enthusiastic James Cordon (who is, truth be told, more naturally suited to hosting a game show than a late-night show). It highlights talent from around the world, which is an admirable mission statement in and of itself. “World’s Best” would have to strike out hard not to serve its first and foremost function of being a bright and shiny distraction.
On that front, at least, it gets the job done. … — Caroline Framke/@Variety