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Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Shrykespeare » May 19th, 2011, 4:17 am

http://www.tvguide.com/special/fall-preview/fall-schedule.aspx

Now that the four major networks have released their preliminary fall schedules, it's time to begin our pre-game analyses of which shows will dominate, which will merely stack up and which are doomed to an early exit.

Like last fall, I will be breaking them down one night at a time. For me, "prime time" lasts from 7pm-10pm, so if it's different in your time zone, please adjust accordingly.

I don't know what the best place to check out how a returning show's ratings are compared to past seasons. Perhaps someone (Boosh?) could enlighten me, as I am going to be doing this with no information in that regard.


MONDAY

Monday is easily one of the toughest nights to pick something to watch, depending on what you're into. ABC will take up the first two hours of their prime-time monday schedule with the 13th season of Dancing With the Stars which, if the last two seasons are any indication, is still one of the most-watched programs on TV. I applaud NBC for having the balls to send up The Sing-Off to compete with it. I watched both of the two seasons of this a capella singing competition, and it's really awesome. I just don't think it will hold a candle to DWTS, in the long run. But the season for The Sing-Off is considerably shorter than that of DWTS, so the likelihood that it'll get cancelled mid-season are next to nil. Both shows are two hours long.

FOX is debuting a new show, Terra Nova, which, based on what I've seen so far, looks intriguing. In the year 2149, Earth is dying, and the last-ditch effort to save humanity involves sending a human colony back in time, to an era long before humans fucked the Earth up... 85 million years, to be exact. Why exactly this era was chosen, I don't know... because dinos are cool, I guess. (Let's hope mankind evolves in the 20 million years before the big asteroid arrives that wipes out the dinos and starts the Ice Age. But I digress.) The show stars Jason O'Mara (star of the dead-before-its-time cop show Life On Mars), Stephen Lang (the evil warmonger from Avatar) and a host of other actors that I've never heard of. The preview makes it look like Lost meets Jurassic Park, which is more than reason enough for me to give it a try. Terra Nova will be the lead-in to the eighth - and likely final - season of House, which, it was just announced, will have to proceed without Lisa Edelstein. House is still a great show, but if it's time has come, so be it.

CBS's first two hours are a quartet of sitcoms: How I Met Your Mother will return at 7:00, while Ashton Kutcher and Two and a Half Men will lead off the 8:00 hour, followed by the surprise hit Mike and Molly at 8:30. At 7:30 is a new comedy called Two Broke Girls, starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as Max and Caroline, "two girls who form an unlikely bond over having no money and no shame". This comes from veteran TV director James Burrows and exec prodcuer Michael Patrick King, creator of Sex and the City.

I'm not a fan of sitcoms, and Two Broke Girls could indeed thrive between two wily veterans. I'm not impressed with the pairing of the two main characters - one born filthy rich but now dirt poor and one street-smart, a theme that seems very cliched - but with a huge changing of the guard at Two and a Half Men, CBS may be in for a rough season. There's an awful lot of competition on this night.

The 9:00 hour is fairly evenly matched. I remember pegging CBS's Hawaii Five-O as being one of the first new dramas to get the ax, and boy, was I wrong. I tried getting into myself and couldn't, but I'm apparently in the minority. If it can avoid a sophomore slump, it could win its time slot. Going against it is ABC's Castle, which is entering its fourth season. Another show I never got into, but Nathan Fillion has apparently made it work. NBC counters with a new drama, The Playboy Club, which IMDb curiously has listed as a TV movie. Huh. Anyway, I've watched the preview of the show on NBC.com, and I still am unable to discern an actual plot. It takes place at the famous Playboy Club of Chicago in the early 1960's, and it stars Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch, CSI: Miami) as Nick Dalton, some kind of high society muckety-muck in the lead role. It also stars Amber Heard (Drive Angry), David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Naturi Naughton (Notorious, Fame) and Wes Ramsey (also CSI: Miami). This show is tough to gauge at this early stage, but until I get some kind of sense about what the show is really about beyond its time period and setting, I'm going to peg it as an early flop. Nostalgia is not enough to make a hit.


Up next: Tuesday.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby undeadmonkey » May 19th, 2011, 12:37 pm

Tvbythenumbers.com has all sorts of ratings info and such things.


As for the monday shows, i will definitely be checking out Terra Nova, it looks adventurous and something out of the ordinary for prime time television.
I love house, but i have never watched it constantly, i'll watch it on dvd once it's over. I might check out Two Broke Girls as well, i like Kat Dennings. All the other ones i don't like. Well, actually i haven't seen any of Mike and Molly. Is it any good? The actress that plays molly was hilarious in Samantha Who and Life as We Know It. So if the show is good, i might check it out.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby numbersix » May 19th, 2011, 1:11 pm

Mike and Molly is as funny as a train crash. A very unfunny train crash
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Shrykespeare » May 19th, 2011, 1:28 pm

Thanks for that info, UDM.

The only Monday shows that appear in the Top 20 for the aggregate 2010-11 season are Dancing with the Stars (#3) and Two and a Half Men (#14). Like I said, with Ashton replacing Charlie, who knows what will happen next season.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby W » May 19th, 2011, 1:55 pm

How I Met Your Mother is the only one that I watch regularly. I'm going to give Terra Nova, though it sounds awful and good at the same time, a try as well as Ashton Kutcher on 2 1/2 Men just in case he reverts back to his Michael Kelso days, but older. That's more than likely it for Monday.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Shrykespeare » May 19th, 2011, 4:22 pm

Well, Terra Nova looks like it's the biggest-budget show since Lost. Let's hope it doesn't crash and burn in one season like recent overhyped large-scale government-centric shows like Flash Forward and The Event. And I can't help but wonder if Stephen Lang will play EXACTLY the same character he did in Avatar. He just seems the type, ya know?
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby undeadmonkey » May 19th, 2011, 6:27 pm

Actually, the show i'm most looking forward to is JJ Abrams new show Alcatraz, but it's a midseason debut, so we'll probably have to wait till january.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby chandler154 » May 20th, 2011, 5:05 am

W wrote:How I Met Your Mother is the only one that I watch regularly. I'm going to give Terra Nova, though it sounds awful and good at the same time, a try as well as Ashton Kutcher on 2 1/2 Men just in case he reverts back to his Michael Kelso days, but older. That's more than likely it for Monday.


How I Met Your Mother is an interesting series. I also watched it's all episodes.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Shrykespeare » May 21st, 2011, 1:48 am

TUESDAY

Ah, Tuesday. Long one of my favorite nights of the week for TV.

NBC will, as usual, be running The Biggest Loser for the first two hours. Now entering its twelfth "season", the show has suffered from flagging ratings in the last couple of seasons, but I'm of the opinion that this show NEEDS to be on. I am fully aware that there has been a significant movement towards making America healthier (as well as many other countries around the world, which have adopted their own versions of the show) in the last few years, and this show has been a central part of that. It's easily the most identifiable symbol of the entire movement, and until the USA stops leading the world in obesity, it needs to be on the air (and not just because I write the recaps for it at Cinemablend.com). This show has inspired ME to lose weight this year, and I have, in fact, dropped over 30 pounds since January 1st based on a better diet and exercise. But I digress.

Countering The Biggest Loser are CBS's tag-team of NCIS and NCIS: LA. They will be entering their ninth and third seasons, respectively, and still seem to be doing fairly well. FOX will send up the third season of Glee, and I can't help but wonder how long this show can continue running hot. Raising Hope will return for a second season at 8:30, but preceding that will be a new comedy called New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel as an offbeat (yeah, a real stretch for her) young lady who moves in with three single guys (Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.) after a bad breakup. Jake Kasdan is one of the show's creators.

Finally, ABC will have the ever-popular Dancing With the Stars results show at 8:00. Leading into that are two new comedies: the first is Last Man Standing, created by Jack Burditt (30 Rock) and featuring the return to TV of Tim Allen, who plays Mike Baxter, a manly man living in a house with only women - a wife (Nancy Travis) and three daughters. After that is another manly comedy called Man Up, a story about three guys (Christopher Moynihan, Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler) trying desperately to regain their manhood, having no clue how they even lost it in the first place.

Tough one to call. Biggest Loser will probably retain most of its core audience, as will NCIS and Glee. I suppose if anyone can make a successful return to situation comedy, it's Tim Allen, but I'd bet more money on his new show's success than I would about the one following it. The DWTS results show always wins its time-slot, and I look for New Girl to be one of the first casualties of the season.

At 9:00, ABC is returning the surprise hit Body of Proof, which had the benefit of following DWTS as a mid-season addition. I found the show very so-so, but still preferable to NBC's Parenthood, which will also be returning for a second season. CBS will counter with a brand new drama entitled Unforgettable (listed on IMDb as the lamely-titled The Rememberer). It stars Without a Trace's Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a former detective with a condition that gives her a perfect memory... like, literally perfect; she can remember every moment of her life with perfect clarity. That is, with one exception: the details that would help her solve her sister's long-ago murder. She ends up rejoining the force after working as a consultant, solving other murder mysteries while searching for her sister's killer.

Does anyone remember the FOX show John Doe from seven or eight years ago? That that show was cancelled after one season is a tragedy that still hurts me to this day. Unforgettable reminds me a little of that as far as premise goes, so I'm willing to give it a shot, as long as the "dead sister" thing isn't used as a crutch. I may give up on Body of Proof altogether if Unforgettable is any good, provided that Poppy's character isn't as abrasive as Dana Delany's. (Though, to be fair, I do love the actor from the Miller HIgh Life commercials, who is a regular on BoP.)

Up next: Wednesday.


P.S. I was ecstatic to find that every episode of John Doe can be watched on YouTube for free. Check it out. Dominic Purcell is terrific as the main character, who knows everything about everything but nothing about himself.

Here's a link to the first part of the first episode (nudge, nudge):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wwYtgQHFV8
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Buscemi » May 21st, 2011, 2:10 am

Reportedly, Damon Wayans Jr. is being recast on New Girl after he didn't test well in the pilot. So a different version of the pilot may be out by September. Also, I see Fox sticking with it since Zooey's sister has a hit on the network in Bones.

Parenthood is actually in its third season. The first season was a short run as it was one of the shows that replaced Leno in February 2010.

And last, it's interesting that the name Total Recall wasn't considered for Unforgettable since the ability that the main character has is scientifically called total recall.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Geezer » May 21st, 2011, 7:38 am

I watched John Doe. I was also pissed when they cancelled it. It was like "well that was a complete waste of time." Since nothing got answered.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby undeadmonkey » May 21st, 2011, 12:26 pm

i watched John Doe as well. it was really interesting. It's a shame, i loved a lot of the fox shows that came out at that time, but were ultimately cancelled short.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby W » May 21st, 2011, 1:49 pm

Tuesday=Nothing
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby undeadmonkey » May 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm

i have to agree with that sentiment W. I don't watch any of the tuesday shows and i don't think i will catch any of the new shows.
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Re: Fall Schedule 2011

Postby Shrykespeare » May 22nd, 2011, 9:01 pm

Which other cancelled shows are you referring to, UDM? (just curious)
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