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2009 Fall Preview – Thursday

courtesy FX Network

courtesy FX Network

Thursday

Much like Wednesdays, my Thursday schedule is packed full, with 12.5 hours of programming. Unlike Wednesday, I don’t expect many of Thursday’s shows to wither on the vine.

ABCGrey’s Anatomy and Private Practice stay in the same slots as last year, with Grey’s premiering tonight and Practice joining on October 1st. The new entry from the alphabet network is an apparent attempt to give us Lost fans something to care about until the final season premieres in January. Based on Robert J. Sawyer’s novel, FlashForward’s premise is certainly interesting–a shared vision of the future causes people to question the concept of destiny and whether or not they can change their paths. I’m mostly intrigued by the talented cast, which includes Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order), Dominic Monaghan (Lost), Sonya Walger (Lost), and John Cho (Harold & Kumar), to name a few. I’ve heard the show doesn’t delve quite deep enough for some early critics, but I think that means the show has a much better chance at winning a large audience than Lost ever did, with its complex mythology. Look for an in-depth review of the premiere episode that aired tonight once I get a chance to watch it this weekend.

CBS – A seriously awesome trio of returning series cover the CBS Thursday lineup including the 19th edition of Survivor, this time in Samoa. CSI keeps its standard spot on the schedule, and now The Mentalist joins in for its sophomore season. At first, I was pissed that they moved Jane and the gang to such a crowded night, but now I see the genius. Private Practice is no match for The Mentalist, FOX doesn’t play in the 10/9 time slot, and Leno doesn’t stand a chance. I can see the CBS press releases now, celebrating their huge ratings victory.

Comedy Central – My love of Tosh.0 is no secret. I’m thrilled Comedy Central ordered more episodes, and I’m confident that Daniel Tosh will continue to bring the funny. There certainly is no shortage of moronic web video to fill his show. New episodes begin on October 8th.

CWI hated Twilight. The only reason I watched the entire movie is so no one could accuse me of giving up before “the best part”. As far as I’m concerned, the best part would have been if vampire guy had let the girl get crushed in the school parking lot 20 minutes in. When I first read the synopsis for The Vampire Diaries, I thought it would probably just be Twilight: The Series, but I’m thrilled to see these vamps don’t sparkle or play baseball in the rain. The series premiered on September 10th, but it’s not too complicated to join midstream.

FX – What’s the funniest current show on television? That’s a tough question to answer, but for me I think the answer is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has now entered its fifth season. Based on the premiere last week, it’s lost none of its edge.  FX attempts to round out the rest of the hour starting October 29th, when The League premieres. I’m not sure what the title implies for you, but I was surprised to find out this show focuses not on superheroes or villains, but a group of guys and their fantasy football league. It certainly sounds more believable than last year’s Testees, and I have faith that FX wouldn’t buy into just any old sitcom.

FOXFringe baby! The first season left us wanting so much more, so I was thrilled when FOX had the brains to renew this kickass trip through the multiverse. If you’re interested in all kinds of details on the show, I recommend a trip to fringetelevision.com, While you’re there, be sure to keep an eye out for Adam Morgan’s weekly episode recaps, which are great for catching up if your DVR screwed you and you missed one.

LifetimeProject Runway premiered back in August, and continues airing its nearly-lost season on its new network. There are some seriously talented designers this year, and I would definitely recommend tuning in, especially now that some of the really shitty folks are gone. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next season, which will be able to air on time now that Lifetime is through with all the legal battles it took to win the show.

NBC – Joel McHale stars in Community, the only new show being added to NBC’s Thursday lineup–filling the hole left by last year’s dreadful Kath & Kim. The show premiered last week and my full review can be found here. Returning series include SNL Weekend Update Thursday, Parks & Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock. Everything premiered last week, with the exception of 30 Rock, which joins the schedule on October 15th after SNL transitions off the schedule.

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Banished, Comedy, Drama, Internet, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Thursday

2009 Fall Preview – Wednesday

Wednesday

The 9/8c time slot is the busiest on my grid this year. In fact, I’m glad I upgraded to a third HDDVR at the beginning of this month since it’s the one time of the week when I’m recording six shows simultaneously. I’m sure the full slate won’t survive through October, but at least I’m prepared.

ABC – It appears ABC is making an attempt at assembling a sort of “Super New Wednesday” with a full slate of new shows. I certainly hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as the schedule from a couple years ago when we got hooked on Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money, only to have the writer’s strike kill their freshman seasons, a fate they never recovered from.

Kelsey Grammer makes another attempt at his triumphant return to network television in a sitcom with a premise that sounds almost exactly like his FOX failure from two years ago, Back to You. Successful guy loses success and has to learn to live with a family he has ignored. My love of Frasier means I’ll check out at least a couple episodes, but I doubt this one will last. In an odd coincidence, Grammer’s Back to You co-star Patricia Heaton stars in The Middle, another traditional sitcom that also marks an attempt to show us that network television understands what it’s like to be affected by our current recession. Both shows premiere September 30th.

A less traditional hour of programming follows, starting with Modern Family, a show that follows three families in a documentary style (think The Office) and features an exceptional cast including Ed O’Neill (Married with Children) and Julie Bowen (Boston Legal). As many of you know, I’m a big fan of comedies sans laughtrack, so I have high hopes for this one. Following Modern Family, Courtney Cox returns to network television with Cougar Town. I haven’t learned much about the show, but it was created by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) so I think it has a much better shot at success than say….Joey. These two shows premiere September 23rd.

Rounding out the night, we have Eastwick, a re-imagining of the 1987 movie The Witches of Eastwick and the John Updike novel of the same name. Be careful when setting this one on the DVR, I would hate for you to end up with a late night showing of 2005’s The Witches of Breastwick.

CBSCriminal Minds returns in its normal slot for a fifth season on September 23rd. Minds has quietly become a very consistent performer for CBS, which surprises me considering how little support it got when it started. If you haven’t watched this at all before, I would recommend checking out an episode–each week is pretty self-contained so it isn’t hard to jump on.

Comedy Central – The boys are back October 7th for the second half of South Park Season 13, and plenty of ultra-topical shenanigans will be there. Following South Park is a new live-action show called Secret Girlfriend. The show is basically about a group of guys partying and attempting to get laid. I have no idea if it will be good, but the network only ordered six episodes so I’ll check it out.

DirecTV 101 – Continuing their partnership with NBC from last season, DirecTV gets the exclusive premiere of Friday Night Lights season four, starting October 28th. Dillon is in for some big changes with Coach Taylor headed to the newly re-opened East Dillon High School to lead the Lions. Taylor “Gambit” Kitsch and Zach Gilford return, although Gilford will likely make a mid-season exit a la Smash and Street before him. For those who haven’t figured it out yet, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as Eric and Tami Taylor are the best couple on television. Also, have no fear FNL fans, DirecTV and NBC have already inked a deal that ensures 13 episodes for this season and another 13 next year. Game on.

DiscoveryMythbusters picks up for the second half of season seven on October 7th. From the look of this story, they busted a few windows making the episode in March of this year.

FOX – Are you watching Glee yet? If you aren’t, I’m not sure you’ll need me to tell you to. FOX has declared a media war on anyone who thinks this is just another lame attempt at a tv musical. If creator Ryan Murphy’s name isn’t enough to get you on board, I don’t know what will work. Murphy’s nip/tuck helped start the cable drama revolution a few years ago and now that he’s done with it, he’s decided to do something kids can watch too. In addition to normal promotion, The songs will be taking over iTunes each week, and two albums are already scheduled, with the first one dropping in November. Glee premiered September 9th.

FX – As I posted last week, nip/tuck returns October 14th for its second-to-last season. I would have said penultimate season, but I’m tired of people saying penultimate.

MTVReal World Road Rules Challenge is back again to meet our need for some sweet guilty pleasure tv. My advice is to DVR it, fast forward through the manufactured drama bullshit, and just watch the challenges. The show premieres September 30th.

NBCMercy is yet another new medical show, and normally I wouldn’t give it the time of day. However, it has James Tupper from the ill-fated Men in Trees, so I can’t help but tune in. Apparently, nurse shows are the new surgeon shows–what a super original idea!

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Game Shows, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

2009 Fall Preview – Tuesdays

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed

Tuesday

ABC – What’s the executive producer of CSI to do when he can’t think of another city to base a spinoff in? No worries, Jerry Bruckheimer has decided to call his new show The Forgotten instead of CSI:John Doe, although the latter is probably more appropriate. The new show centers around cases with unidentified victims, so I’m sure we’ll get lots of fun computer modeling and clay molds of skulls to keep us entertained. Oh I almost forgot, we’ll also get Christian Slater in the lead role. I’ll be watching the first couple episodes at least, but I have zero expectations for this show, likely due to the egg Slater laid with last year’s My Own Worst Enemy. The Forgotten premieres on September 22nd. Later this fall, we’ll be treated to a reimagining of the sci-fi classic V, where rodent-devouring aliens come to Earth with less than peaceful intentions. V premieres November 3rd.

CBS – Tuesday nights have proved to be so thin, I’m actually going to check out NCIS: Los Angeles, the spinoff starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. I’ve never watched the original, mainly because my in-laws talk about how fantastic it is, and I think Mark Harmon belongs on tv in the 80’s, not today. I’m interested to see how this one shakes out, hopefully better than O’Donnell’s last few efforts. The show premieres September 22nd.

CW – This is the spot where I was planning to tell you about Melrose Place. I didn’t watch the original, but I thought the revival had a shot at being entertaining. After seeing the premiere, I’m willing to admit I was wrong.

Discovery – Mike Rowe brings us another insightful season of Dirty Jobs, premiering October 6th. I have no idea what kind of nasty shit Mike and the crew will be up to their elbows in this season, but I know it will be entertaining.

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Tuesdays

Thursday Premieregasm Tonight!

Just a quick reminder of tonight’s big premieres:

Survivor: Samoa
Fringe
SNL Weekend Update Thursday
Community
Parks and Recreation
The Office
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I’ll be recording them all, but I’ll probably only watch Fringe, The Office, Sunny, and Survivor tonight. The rest (plus a new Project Runway) will have to wait for this weekend.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Thursday Premieregasm Tonight!

2009 Fall Preview – Mondays

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Monday

ABCCastle is the only show on my grid from the alphabet network on Monday nights. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have dynamite chemistry and it makes for a great hour of television. In a world of stale procedurals, pairing a Patterson-esque author with a high-powered detective was an inspired choice. The show is far better than the now-cancelled direct adaptation from 2007-08, Women’s Murder Club. I realize some might note the similarity in formula with The Mentalist (Detectives + Quirky Outsider = Mystery Solving Goodness), but I have room for both shows on my DVR. Castle returns for a second season on September 21st.

CBS – Over the last few years, CBS has built a seriously hilarious two-hour block of comedy on Monday night. How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men all return for more laughs, with freshman Accidentally On Purpose filling in the extra slot. The new entry stars Jenna Elfman, Grant Show, and several fresh faces, with a plot that sounds like a kind of tamed version of Knocked Up. I’m going to give the show a chance, but it will be on a short leash. My main concern is that it appears to be shot in a very traditional way, which means it could be too much like an old-school sitcom for my taste. We’ll see how Accidentally stacks up with the Monday night all-stars when the CBS comedy block premieres on September 21st.

ESPN – Just like Sundays, I always leave room on my grid for Monday Night Football. I’m not a fan of the way they add 30-45 minutes of bullshit to a game to milk the advertising dollars, but I can’t argue with some of the great matchups that are scheduled this season. September 28th we get to see Carolina at Dallas, marking the Monday night debut of the new Texas Stadium (and it’s low-hanging scoreboard). October 5th gives us Brett Favre’s first team visiting his current team, and for me there is the November 16th game with Baltimore at Cleveland. Here’s hoping my Browns don’t get humiliated again like they have in their last few MNF appearances. Check out the full season schedule for all of the matchups.

FOXHouse returns on September 21st with a two-hour season premiere that takes us inside the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital where Wilson dropped the good doctor off at the end of the season finale. If you can’t wait until then, there’s a great behind the scenes video available here that will take you inside the process of building the Mayfield set. In the post-House timeslot, we get a second season of Lie to Me starting September 28th. As of right now, I’ve only watched one episode of the first season, but that’s enough for me to know I’ll be watching season two as well. I didn’t watch the episodes the first time around in the spring because I thought the show sounded like a ripoff of The Mentalist, but Tim Roth and company take this one in a totally different direction.

NBC – Peter Berg has proven he knows how to make great television with Friday Night Lights, so I’m willing to come along for the ride when his new show Trauma premieres on September 28th. Trauma takes place in San Francisco and is being billed as taking place “exclusively in the field, where the real action is.” I just hope this isn’t an attempt at a Rescue Me clone, because I think we all know that won’t work on network television. Also on Mondays, we have an entry in the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ category. Heroes is back for a fourth season, but I would very seriously discourage anyone from watching it at this point. Seasons two and three were both disappointing, and I have no legitimate reason to think season four will be any different. The only reason I’m still going to watch is because I want networks to continue to make shows that are different, and admittedly, I want to see what kind of goofy shit they’re going to try to salvage the show this year. I recommend finding something else to watch when Heroes premieres on September 21st.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Football, New Series, Premiere, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Mondays