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Fall Premiere Week is dead, the networks just won’t admit it

Michael Schneider wrote this great article for Variety explaining exactly why the broadcast networks’ model for Fall Premiere Week is long overdue for cancellation. I can’t state the case any better than Schneider, so I’ll simply add this:

Incredible Cable Shows that debuted on a non-traditional schedule

  • Damages
  • Rescue Me
  • Leverage
  • Mad Men
  • Royal Pains
  • Raising the Bar
  • True Blood
  • Breaking Bad
  • Nip/Tuck
  • Burn Notice
  • Monk
  • Psych
  • In Plain Sight
  • The Tudors
  • Weeds
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September 11, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, New Series, News, Premiere, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fall Premiere Week is dead, the networks just won’t admit it

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

Nurse Jackie Season 1 Episode 8: Pupil

Zoey from Nurse Jackie

I don’t have a lot to say about Nurse Jackie at this point. I really like some of the characters, especially MoMo and Zoey. This week, Zoey had her best episode so far with her little Nancy Drew routine. My real problem is that I don’t like Jackie. The key to any great show is that viewers can get behind the lead character, and I just can’t feel compassion for a woman who seems to think she deserves to lead dual lives while maintaining a serious drug habit and acting like she runs the whole hospital.

When Nurse Jackie premiered I had high hopes that Edie Falco would be a fresh female Greg House. Instead, she’s more like a bitchy Tommy Gavin.

July 30, 2009 Posted by | Drama, New Series, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Summer TV Preview Part 2: Tuesday

Here is part two of my five part summer preview. 

 

Tuesday

 

ABC – Not much for us on Tuesdays, but on June 23rd at 8/7c, The Superstars will premiere. It looks like ABC is trying to capitalize on the success (and low production costs) of Wipeout by giving us more regular people trying to be athletic. The twist here is that each person will be paired with a pro athlete. One team will be eliminated each week with a winner being crowned in late July.

 

CBS – All repeats here, but if you haven’t gotten on board The Mentalist yet, now is the time to catch up. I think this show is good enough to stick around for a few years so get on board now while it’s still fresh. Repeats air at 9/8c.

 

NBC – I have zero interest in watching C-list celebs trying to get out of the jungle, but I am planning to check out the second show that will be filling the 8/7c timeslot this summer. The Great American Road Trip is like a family edition of Road Rules, although I’m assuming it will have a lot less drinking and sex. Premieres July 7th.

 

FOX – More House repeats, paired with summer series Mental, which appears to be a watered down version of Dr. House working in a looney bin. Early reviews are terrible, but I recorded it tonight anyway. The premiere episode will re-air this Friday, May 29th if you want to check it out. Mental is filling the 9/8c slot through June 23rd. Then on July 21st at 8/7c we will be treated with the sixth season of Hell’s Kitchen. I can tell you for sure that I won’t be watching at 9/8c on July 28th when More to Love premieres–simply put, it’s The Bachelor for the hyper-obese set.

 

FXRescue Me started its fifth season in April, and it continues at 10/9c through September 8th. You can catch up on Hulu if you’ve been missing out. And believe me, it’s worth the catch up to see some great guest appearances by Michael J. Fox.

 

Science – New series Science of the Movies premiered tonight and will be filling the 9/8c position. It appears to be a fun behind-the-scenes look at how some of our favorite films are made. Don’t fret if you missed the premiere though–like everything else on the Discovery family of networks, it will be repeated a dozen or so times this week.

 

SyFy – As much as I loathe SciFi’s new marketing scheme, the have good chance at keeping me entertained on Tuesdays at 9/8c based on the trailer for Warehouse 13. Premiering July 7th, the show looks like a less depressing version of Sanctuary, this time set in a secret government warehouse full of supernatural goodies that reminds me of the final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

I’ll be back tomorrow with Part 3 of the preview–head’s up though, ABC is premiering Wipeout and new animated show The Goode Family tomorrow night, so set your DVRs.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Game Shows, Movies, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer TV Preview Part 2: Tuesday

Rescue Me Season 5 Premiere Announced

All I can say is that these 22 episodes better be worth the 573 day wait.

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20090212fx01

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Premiere, Television | , , | Comments Off on Rescue Me Season 5 Premiere Announced