Fall TV Preview: Sneak Peek & Shows That Reek!

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For those of you who have read my answers for the Homorazzi questionnaire, you’ll remember that my dream job is to be a Network Television Executive. The power to green light shows and cancel others would be insane. Of course, I would use my powers good and not for evil…..

Last week, the 5 major networks unveiled their fall schedules to the press and advertisers. This whole process is referred to as “upfronts” since the major purpose of the unveiling is to allow marketers to purchase commercial slots “up front” several months before the fall season airs.

I’ve gone over the schedules and picked out a few shows I’m excited about and also predicted which shows look like stink bombs.

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THE CW

fall-melrose-place-2Pre-season Pick: Melrose Place 2.0
This probably will be a stinker like the recent reboot of 90210, still, I am uber excited about seeing the first episode. I was obsessed with the original back in the 90s and if the reboot is half as good I’m sure i’ll be a loyal follower once again. The producers have wisely asked back two of the most popular original cast members to the new cast: Laura Leighton (Sydney) and Thomas Calabro (Michael). It’ll be interesting to see how they explain Sydney’s death: she died in a car crash in the season five finale of the original series. The only thing that doesn’t excite me is the addition of Ashlee Simpson-Wentz to the cast. Sure, I loved her song “Pieces of Me”, but the whole Simpson family gives me gas. That includes you Jessica, and especially their creepy dad, Joe.

fall-the-beautiful-lifeStinker: The Beautiful Life
I love models, and for some unknown reason I like Mischa Barton, unfortunately this show looks like a clunker. First off, dramas about the modeling world never seem to fly because they don’t appeal to the masses. Secoundly, the premise of the show sounds extremely cheesy. Check it out: “The day-to-day lives and various career highs and lows of models who share a ‘co-ed residence’ in New York (where it’s likely that there won’t be many huge, family-style banquets going on).” Sounds riveting, don’t you think? Who knows. I’ll probably watch the first episode, love it, secretly deny watching it and then be upset when they cancel it. That’s just how I roll.

fall-cw-gossip-girl-spinoffAfterthought: Personally, I was a little miffed that the Gossip Girl spin-off wasn’t picked up. It was soooo heavily promoted during the 80s flashback penultimate episode of Gossip Girl this season. I hear it has a good chance of getting picked up mid-season should any of the new shows fail miserably. Come on, “The Beautiful Life”, don’t let me down!

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FOX

fall-gleePre-Season Pick: Glee
Uh, DUH… Obviously. I have to admit “Don’t Stop Believing” has been on extremely heavy rotation on my iPhone since I first heard the Glee cast’s version. Sure it’s a bit American Pie SLASH Mean Girls SLASH High School Musical SLASH Popular but that’s what makes it so great. Hopefully they can sustain the amazing musical numbers in future episodes. Producers, if you’re listening: I’d suggest getting rid of a couple of the minor characters initially (i.e. football teammates). It’s all a bit overwhelming to keep track of the characters at first.

fall-past-lifeStinker: Past Life
Premise: A psychologist joins a team to help solve mysteries involving their clients’ past lives. Doesn’t this show sound like it belongs on the CBS schedule along with their 30 other crime procedurals? Yeah, totally no interest in watching this show. This show might even get canceled before it airs. It’s happened a few times on Fox before, so you never know.

fall-dollhouseAfterthought: Kudos for the Fox execs for not canceling Dollhouse. Though I don’t follow it religiously, the few episodes I have managed to PVR (cuz it’s on Friday night) and watch have been pretty good. To boot, who doesn’t love Eliza Dushku? Admittedly, my love for her has increased after our red carpet run-in with her.

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CBS

fall-accidently-fallenPre-Season Pick: Accidentally on Purpose
Besides Survivor, I don’t really follow a lot of CBS shows since I don’t fall into their main demographic of 55+. They’ve tried to skew younger viewers many times, but always seem to be network with the oldest viewers. The show I decided to highlight is “Accidentally on Purpose”. Think “Knocked Up” without Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen, but with Jenna Elfman and on TV. I can’t believe Jenna Elfman is now playing a cougar. How old am I getting? I’m all for shows like “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation”, but I’m glad that the multi-camera format is making a comeback this season. With the recession still on people’s mind, the multi-camera format is much easier to produce than the single-camera ones made popular with “The Office”, “Arrested Development” etc…

fall-undercover-bossStinker: Undercover Boss
I really like reality shows and you could say I’m sort of obsessed with them but this show sounds like a three-episode wonder. Premise: a boss joins the ranks of one of his employees and gets a clearer understanding of what goes on in his/her workplace. Sure the premise sounds interesting enough and admittedly we’ve all had moments where we wished our bosses would walk in our shoes so they could fully appreciate us but really how compelling can this show be after 3 episodes max? There’s only so many different “life lessons” that can be learned from this type of experiment.

fall-ncis-laAfterthought: Seriously CBS, you need to SEX it up more and not so heavily rely on crime shows and their spinoffs. CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, NCIS, and NCIS: Los Angeles (pictured left). Why not just fill up your entire schedule with CSI spinoffs and appropriately name them after other major cities and be done with it. Let’s face it, you’re half way there.

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NBC

fall-day-onePre-Season Pick: Day One
The concept of the show is very intriguing. Premise: In the aftermath of a global catastrophe that has devastated the world’s infrastructures, an eclectic band of survivors- all residents of one apartment building in suburban Van Nuys, Calif.- strives to rebuild society as they unravel the mysteries of what happened and face their uncertain future. If it sounds like “Lost” set in an apartment building to you- you’re on the right track. One of the producers, Jesse Alexander, has also worked on Lost, Alias and Heroes in the past. The problem with a high-concept shows like this is, if it’s not done right during the pilot the show can go horribly wrong and downhill fast.

fall-parenthoodStinker: Parenthood
NBC has decided to do a TV-version based on the hit 1989 movie that starred Steve Martin & Keanu Reeves. This isn’t the first time the movie has tried to make the foray into TV. In 1990, the failed remake lasted only one season. Will attempt number two be anymore successful? I think not. I haven’t seen a single scene but my money is on it being canceled within a few weeks after airing. The only chance this show has of being a success is the strong cast which includes: Peter Krause (Six Feet Under); Maura Tierney (ER & Newsradio); Erika Christensen (Traffic & Swimfan); and Craig T. Nelson (Coach & Poltergeist).

fall-jay-lenoAfterthought: In a bold move, NBC has decided to remove the 10:00pm drama from it’s weeknight schedule. To cut costs and try something new, they’ve enlisted Jay Leno to headline his own show from 10-11 on each weeknight. I’m not sure how this move will work in the long run. Do we really need 3 hours of late-night talk on one network. With Conan moving into The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon moving to Conan’s old position, I think NBC is really shooting itself in the foot with too much talk. In the morning they’ve already extended the Today Show to four hours daily. The network that used to be a powerhouse with it’s Must-See line-up has definitely fallen from grace.

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ABC

Pre-Season Pick(s): I literally couldn’t decide between the following three shows.

fall-vV – Based on the hit mini-series back in the 80s. This re-imagining is by far the show I’m most looking forward to (besides Melrose Place 2.0). I remember this series when I was a kid. It was my favourite and I watched it with my friends over and over again. The protagonist of the show even had my name- Donovan- as his last. The hit mini-series spawned a weekly serial but the weekly show lost a lot of what made the mini-series a classic. I’m hoping this second-go-round is far more successful. The reboot of Battlestar Galactica was a huge success, let’s hope the same magic applies to this attempt. The new ABC drama stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five).

fall-eastwickEastwick – Based on the John Updike novel revolving around a mysterious man moving into a small town. When he moves in, he awakes strange powers in three very different women. Sound familiar? It should. It’s the TV version of “The Witches of Eastwick” sans Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’ll probably be really bad and cheesy but I’m still excited nonetheless.

fall-cougar-townCougar Town – Making her return to the land of sitcoms, Courteney Cox graces our homes once again in this comedy about a middle-aged woman beginning to date after her divorce. The show also stars two of my favorite funny character actors, Ian Gomez (Javier from Felicity) and Busy Phillips (Dawson’s Creek and White Chicks). If the show is bad, at least you know we’ll be entertained by all the hot shirtless younger men the former Monica Gellar-Bing sleeps with. What more can you ask for in a 30 minute comedy. Go Courtney Go!

fall-hankStinker: Hank
Memo to Kelsey Grammar. You played Frasier Crane brilliantly for 22 years. You will never ever achieve that kind of success in TV again so I suggest you give up your dream of starring in another hit sitcom. Your first post-Frasier foray into situational comedy bombed. Stick with movies (X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming Fame) and just enjoy retirement and your much younger trophy wife.

fall-cupidAfterthought: Arguably ABC is probably my favorite network with shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Desperate Housewives and The Mole and classic faves like Dynasty, Who’s The Boss, Growing Pains and Charlie’s Angel BUT BOO ON YOU for canceling two of my favorite shows this year CUPID and DIRTY, SEXY, MONEY. Shame on you!

fall-modern-familySecond Afterthought: Kudos for ABC for airing a show like “Modern Family” this fall. This sitcom, shot in a documentary style takes a comedic look on what defines the American family in this day and age. The show even showcases a gay couple with a baby. It’ll be very interesting to see how they tackle timely issues in a light-hearted way.

  • Justen

    Boo also to ABC for cancelling Pushing Daisies. And further boos to NBS for cancelling Kings. Instead of wonderful, high-concept shows we continue to get fed crap like According to Jim.

  • Even the good networks have to cancel some good shows. Both Carnivale and Deadwood were canceled well before their prime.

    There’s a silver lining though, According to Jim was recently canceled (phew!)

  • Adam

    I must say that I am intrigued with the new Melrose Place, upset yet excited about V (that means elizabeth mitchell will not be on the last season of LOST), glad there is no Gossip Girl spin-off (again the actress playing the mom was on LOST and she has refused to finish her story on lost due to other projects, well no more project…go back to lost). And I loved Dollhouse….I feel it will build popularity as Buffy did when it first aired. And the only way I would watch Mischa Barton is if she ate a burger or a pizza, girl needs some meat on her bones!

  • Adam

    Oh and Kings will be back on the air this June…..12 episodes have already been filmed…..I’m just not sure it will be picked up for a new season

  • Adam

    Oh and Kings will be back on the air this June…..12 episodes have already been filmed…..I’m just not sure it will be picked up for a new season
    BTW I love your blog!

  • Brett

    How can you list ABC as your favourite network and not include Brothers & Sisters?! Apparently Kevin & Scotty (the resident married gay couple) will be attempting to have a baby this season (possibly using a surrogate.) I am so excited!