Low and behold, fall TV is nearly upon us! Thus far, the anticipated lineups lack any real surprises. And while there seem to be a bunch of new shows in the mix, after watching the teaser trailers for the shows’ pilots, I have to admit that I’m disappointingly unenthused (though how good can a trailer of a pilot be, any way?).
Here’s a look at what the networks have planned this season:
With Desperate Housewives finally off the map, ABC has given the 10pm slot to Revenge. They’ve also cancelled Charlie’s Angles, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, GCB, Man Up!, Missing, Pan Am (I’m actually upset about this one. Don’t judge.), The River and Work It.
With all that freed up space, the network has added a bunch of new shows to their lineup.
Here’s what’s cooking:
I’m a complete sucker for Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story), who will be starring alongside Hayden Panettiere in the new drama Nashville about two country divas. I’m holding out for big hair, cowboy boots, and a whole bunch of “y’alls.”
A new drama based on the book series by Gabrielle Pierce, 666 Park Avenue follows a couple who agree to manage a historic New York City apartment building, The Drake, only to find that the building is inhabited by supernatural forces. The buildings’ owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn, Lost) and his wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams) have something to do with it. According to ABC’s own description, “Sexy, seductive and inviting, The Drake maintains a dark hold over all of its residents, tempting them through their ambitions and desires, in this chilling new drama that’s home to an epic struggle of good versus evil.” Two words: No thanks.
Last Resort takes place in the near future and follows the crew of a U.S. ballistic missile submarine whose commander fails to follow orders to fire nukes at Pakistan. Eventually, the submarine is attacked and the crew finds shelter on an exotic island where they take refuge and try to figure out what happened and what’s to come. Intriguing, though I won’t hold my breath.
Based on the Dutch series Penoza, Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter and screenwriter of the Twilight franchise) brings us the crime thriller Red Widow. The widow of an assassinated criminal (Radha Mitchell) finds that she needs to take on the same profession as her late husband to keep her family safe and stay alive. Eh.
Zero Hour is a drama about a paranormal junkie, played by Anthony Edwards (ER), who gets involved in a conspiracy when his wife is abducted. Armed with a treasure map and a “sexy FBI agent”, Anthony sets off to find his wife and, I quote, “save humanity”. Really?!
The Neighbors is a comedy about a family who moves to an upscale New Jersey community only to realize that their neighbors are all aliens from the planet Zabvron, where they cry green goo from their ears and the men have children. The series attempts to universalize the trials and tribulations of parenthood and show that we’re not that different from … well, aliens. ‘Nough said.
Malibu Country. Thank God Reba McEntire is back. I thought for a minute television was improving. And yes, you guessed it. She plays a country music singer! The hook? She’s trying to make it in Malibu, not Nashville this time. Ha! How brilliant! Seriously? No.
Simply because it’s from the creators of Arrested Development, I’m going to cut How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) some slack. Starring Sarah Chalke (Mad Love, Scrubs) as Polly, the show chronicles a single mom slash divorcee who moves back home with her parents. The catch? Her parents try to teach her to lighten up and act like a kid while she tries to force them to grow up. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
After his father has a heart attack, Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer) is forced to take over the family handyman business in the new comedy Family Tools (Get it? Family tools?). With a failed past behind him, this is Jack’s opportunity to prove himself to his family and start over. I guess.
Being number one certainly has its perks. This season, CBS is hardly making any real changes and why should they? With the ratings where they’ve been, the network is smart to stick with what’s working.
In addition to adding four new shows, CBS is ending A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman, NYC 22, Rob, Unforgettable and, applause please, CSI: Miami. Though I’m a sucker for the entire CSI franchise—I often spend Saturdays watching crime marathons—I can’t actually believe that Lieutenant Horatio Caine, with that wannabe-a-seductive-child-molester drawl was allowed to go on for ten full seasons! How can one seriously believe in David Caruso’s ability to solve murder mysteries when he sounds like a creepy phone sex operator? I digress.
The one surprise move that CBS did make was to switch their new show Two Broke Girls from 8:30p.m. on Monday to the 9p.m. time slot previously occupied by Two and Half Men. Not only does this move demonstrate immense confidence in TBG, it, more importantly, shows that the network isn’t banking on Men’s ability to keep them afloat. Though the show sustained momentum after Ashton Kutcher took over for the deranged Charlie Sheen, the show has seen recent ratings drops and may, ultimately, be losing its audience.
As far as new blood, CBS is adding a few potentially interesting shows to their roster. Dennis Quaid makes his TV debut in Vegas, a show about the clashes between legendary Sheriff Ralph Lamb and the mafia during the 1960s. Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu star in Elementary, a new drama about Sherlock Holmes, and Made in Jersey chronicles the life of a new lawyer trying to show his worth in a prestigious Manhattan firm. Finally, Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick have a new show called Partners about two best friends and business partners whose relationship gets sticky when one of them decides to get engaged.
Diehard Community fans are up in arms over NBC’s decision to move the show to Friday nights with a lead in by the new hit Whitney. The Friday slot is often viewed as a kiss of death because viewers don’t tend to sit home and watch sitcoms when they could be out drinking White Russians, or taking photos of themselves to later upload on Facebook.
The new hit The Voice is set to air twice next season, during the fall and the spring, as ratings proved Christina Aguleira was actually a good investment (who knew?). Smash has also been renewed and the network has been quoted as saying they are very proud of the series. I’m not going to lie, as much as I wanted to hate it, I’m actually a fan of this one.
Though I was completely unimpressed by the previews, there’s no telling if NBC’s new shows will sink or swim. The Revolution is a drama about what happens when the whole world loses electricity. The concept seems alright to me (I was a fan of Lost at some point), but taking from what I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure the acting can withstand a power outage of this magnitude.
Go On is a comedy starring Matthew Perry as a sportscaster who joins a support group. Why, why is Matthew Perry in ANOTHER sitcom? Haven’t we learned by now that without Friends, he’s got nothing?
NBC has also added The New Normal, a series about a gay couple who hire a surrogate to help them have a baby. Justin Bartha is one of the stars so I’m holding out hope.
Guys with Kids is a comedy about, yeah, guys with kids and Animal Practice is about, yeah, a veterinarian (though the preview has a monkey driving a toy ambulance which I oddly found hysterical). Last and certainly least, Dick Wolf of Law & Order fame created a new drama about firefighters and paramedics in Chicago called, (surprise!) Chicago Fire.
It’s been confirmed that this fall will be the last season of 30 Rock (tear). NBC has decided to cancel Are You There Chelsea?, Who Do You Think You Are?, Harry’s Law, The Marriage Ref, Minute to Win It, The Playboy Club, Best Friends Forever, Chuck, Fear Factor, The Firm, Free Agents, Awake, Bent, Prime Suspect, and The Sing-Off. Luckily, they’ve renewed Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, which is, in my opinion, phenomenal.
FOX cancels House after eight seasons. While I’m certainly sad to see Hugh Laurie limp himself off the set, I must admit that it was getting a bit tiring watching a pessimist spew pessimism for an hour a week.
New Girl has been renewed for a second season, as has Raising Hope. Unsurprisingly, the following shows have been cancelled: Alcatraz, Napoleon Dynamite, Terra Nova, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, The Finder, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.
I’m extremely excited for Mindy Kaling’s (The Office) new show The Mindy Project, about an unlucky obstetrician/gynecologist who finds herself in love. I can’t say the same about Ben & Kate, a comedy by Dana Fox (Couples Retreat) about a single mother who gets advice from her unfit-to-give-advice older brother. Eh.
The CW has announced that this will be the last season of Gossip Girl, and FX is making a risky move by green-lighting Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom Anger Management, about a shrink helping patients to deal with their temper issues. If the first 10 episodes are successful, the show will be renewed for 90 more. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Or not.