TV Review: ABC’s ‘Blood & Oil’

Don Johnson-starrer premieres Sunday

Starring Don Johnson, Chace Crawford, Rebecca Rittenhouse and Amber Valletta, drama ‘Blood & Oil’ premieres Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET. The series follows Billy and Cody Lefever as they move to North Dakota during the biggest oil discovery in American history. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

"Still, if Oil isn't explosive, it also isn't repulsive,  which this season is a bigger achievement than you might hope. Mix two appealing young stars with two old pros like Johnson and Delroy Lindo (who has too little to do in Sunday's premiere) and you have the bare bones, at least, of a show that has a shot at finding an audience."
—Robert Bianco, USA Today

"Were this a different television era—say, the one in which Nash Bridges made it to six seasons—Blood would have made a strong addition to any network’s roster. In its current form, Blood is a throwback to a quainter time in primetime soap history, when a simple, well-told story of family intrigue was enough. That isn’t enough to tread water in the same world where Empire and Scandal attract unprecedented audiences."
—Joshua Alston, A.V. Club

"For fans of old-school prime-time soaps, there was reason to hope that the Dallas and Dynasty-like family drama Blood & Oil (9 p.m. Sunday, WTAE) might reinvent those 1980s classics the way Fox’s Empire has. But Sunday’s Blood & Oil pilot, the only episode ABC made available for review, offers only musty melodrama befitting its already dated premise."
—Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Alas, pretty much everything in Blood & Oil, created by Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne, has that kind of on-the-nose quality, with nary a surprise in the first hour. That includes a rather lousy cliffhanger, clearly designed to draw viewers further into the run, but which augers a warning of hackneyed plotting."
—Brian Lowry, Variety

"That turns out to be a miscalculation because verisimilitude is what's already missing in most every scene anyway. Billy and his get-rich schemes? Cody's complicity in them? These tales from Sunday's pilot are taller than those mountains."
—Verne Gay, Newsday