Last week the television networks had their upfronts previewing their fall lineups. So will your favorites be back and is there anything new that at least sounds good on paper?
Gone from the CBS fall line up are The Class, Close to Home, Jericho, and The King of Queens, but returning at mid-season are The Amazing Race and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
The first new thing we will be seeing from CBS is a summer series Power of 10. This is going to be a Drew Carey hosted game show where people can win $10 million guessing the results of a survey. The fact that Carey is on board makes it about ten times better than NBC’s Deal or No Deal with washed up comic Howie Mandel.
The fall brings three new dramas, one new reality show and one new comedy to the tiffany network:
Cane a drama about a Cuban-American family that runs a Florida sugar farm starring Jimmy Smits.
Moonlight a vampire centered show that looks like it is going to be something like Buffy spin-off Angel.
Viva Laughlin is an Americanization of the BBC’s music infused drama Viva Blackpool.
Kid Nation a reality series where kids try to govern themselves on a New Mexico ghost town.
The Big Bang Theory which claims to be a comedy, but which looks like a cornucopia of bad ideas recycled from other shows like Three's Company with a pinch of Revenge of the Nerds.
Finally the mid-season series:
Swingtown, a 1970s set drama looking at suburban couples who may or may not wind up as swingers, looks to be the most promising. However, we have a feeling that the ridiculous for a modern western industrialized democracy FCC restrictions won’t let this show reach its full potential.
Aside from the shows that got canned during the season like Andy Barker, PI, The Black Donnellys, and Kidnapped; gone from the NBC fall line up are Crossing Jordan, Identity, Raines, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and Thank God You're Here. Related: Studio 60's set has been stripped.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is moving to NBC’s sister cable network USA with reruns airing on NBC, although we have a feeling that it may wind up being a schedule hole plugger if one of the new dramas fails.
As you already know, Law & Order moves to Sunday nights, but only after the close of the NFL season and NBC’s Sunday Night Football where it will be followed by Medium and new show Lipstick Jungle.
The peacock network serves up for fall four new dramas and one new reality show with no new comedies:
Bionic Woman, a retread of the 1970s series starring Lindsay Wagner, but now with former EastEnders star Michelle Ryan.
Chuck is yet another attempt to make the over used premise about an ordinary guy becoming mixed up with spies work.
Journeyman about a time traveling reporter who travels through time effecting people’s lives. It sounds like a new take on Quantum Leap.
Life follows the return to duty of a police detective freed from prison after being exonerated from a crime he did not commit.
The Singing Bee, which appears to be sharing a timeslot with 1 vs. 100, is a reality show that inflicts karaoke on the viewers, but with spelling bee rules.
Mid-season brings us one new drama, two new reality shows, and one new comedy:
Lipstick Jungle is based on the Candace Bushnell book, stars Brooke Shields, and we sort of expect it to be like Sex in the City, but toned down for network television. The upside of the show is that it films in the city.
Baby Borrowers is a reality show where five groups of teenagers take on parental responsibilities, but without teenage pregnancy.
World Moves is yet another reality show with an American Idol connection. Randy Jackson brings us a dancing pop music competition. Wasn’t this done already?
The IT Crowd is yet another nerd based comedy, this time in an I.T. department.
Other than what was already canceled like Drive and The OC, gone from the Fox lineup are Nanny 911, Trading Spouses, The War at Home, and The Winner.
Fox is saving its big shows for mid-season to allow Tim McCarver to blather on like an idiot during prime time, um, we mean allow for the coverage of the baseball playoffs - which is likely to be so bad it drives us to "watch" the games on the radio. However, that doesn’t mean that the network is not giving us anything new for fall as they will be debuting two new dramas, three new reality series, and a comedy:
K-Ville is a police drama set and shot on location in post Katrina New Orleans. It looks like it may turn out to be a good gritty cop show.
New Amsterdam is the story of a Dutch soldier given immortality by a Native American girl he saves and is now a NYPD homicide detective. We can only hope they filmed it here.
Kitchen Nightmares is a bit of reality programming featuring Gordon Ramsey working his culinary magic through his intense personality at restaurants in crisis.
The Search for the Next Great American Band can be best described as American Idol for bands.
Nashville is from the same people who brought you the soapy reality kinda-sorta documentary Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. So expect the same sort of suds, but this time trying to attract the red state viewers.
Back to You stars sitcom vets Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton as news anchors at a Pittsburgh television station.
January has Fox rolling out two new dramas and one new comedy: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a spin-off of the Terminator movies and have heroine Sarah Connor fighting off time traveling machines that want to kill her son who is supposed to save mankind from the machines in the future.
Canterbury's Law is a show about crusading lawyers in a New England city. Sort of sounds like The Practice, but Denis Leary’s production company is behind it may be good.
The Return of Jezebel James has the creative team who brought us the Gilmore Girls Amy Sherman-Palladino and. Dan Palladino bringing us the story of an older sister trying to get her younger sister to be a surrogate mother for the child she wants to have.
The Disney owned network put a lot of shows out of its misery during last season, some a bit too late, like Extreme Makeover and some a bit too soon like Six Degrees.
This fall ABC has five new dramas and three new comedies on offer:
Big Shots is the story of four dysfunctional CEOs who are seeking success in both business and love. Our guess is that they probably pitched this as Desperate CEOs.
Dirty Sexy Money is the tale of an idealistic lawyer who becomes the personal lawyer to an über Manhattan rich family.
Private Practice is the Grey's Anatomy spin-off series that had its de facto pilot air as an episode of the mother show.
Pushing Daisies is the story of a baker who can bring people back to life and the private investigator he teams up with. The show’s twist is that the baker uses the power to revive his childhood sweetheart, but if he touches her she dies.
Women's Murder Club is set in San Francisco and based on a series of James Patterson novels about women – a medical examiner, district attorney, detective, and reporter - who solve crimes. The show stars former Law & Order ADA Angie Harmon.
Carpoolers is a sitcom filled with stock characters that carpool together.
Cavemen is a sitcom adaptation of the annoying GEICO cavemen commercials that ABC bills as “a hilarious and thought-provoking social commentary on race relations in today's America.” We give it three episodes before it gets canceled.
Sam I Am stars Christina Applegate stars as amnesiac who learns she was a horrible person and wants to try to do things differently.
On deck for mid-season are two drama series and one comedy:
Cashmere Mafia, which sounds a lot like NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, and has Darren Star, the creator and executive producer of Sex and the City, behind it.
Eli Stone is yet another show about a lawyer who sees the light and starts working for good.
Miss Guided is a comedy about a woman who becomes a guidance counselor at the high school she attended as an unpopular ugly ducking student. We’re guessing this it what they’ll stick into the slot after Cavemen tanks.
The CW made the big mistake of not picking up for the fall Veronica Mars. The series was supposed to move ahead a few years having her as a young FBI agent next season. We hope that the one of the online save a show campaigns works its magic.
That said, one of the shows not canceled by the network is actually doing the time shift next season. One Tree Hill, returning mid-season, is picking up after the characters graduate college. We guess that is one way of making it easier on the twenty something actors playing teenagers.
As for the network’s new fall shows they will be rolling out three new dramas, two magazine shows, and one new comedy:
Gossip Girl is based on the teenage girl focused books of the same name which focus on an anonymous blogger revealing the secrets of Manhattan prep school students.
Life is Wild is the family friendly replacement for 7th Heaven. A New York veterinarian moves his family to a game preserve in South Africa so that fish out of water situations can occur.
Reaper is sort of a science fiction series where a guy who turns 21 finds that his parents sold his soul to the devil and he has to be the devil’s bounty hunter collecting evil souls that have escaped from hell.
CW Now is a weekly half hour news magazine show targeted at young adults with the network saying that it will focus “on the topics and trends that appeal specifically to The CW generation.”
Online Nation is a magazine show that claims to search the internets for user-generated content (i.e. YouTube) and puts it on television for a half hour.
Aliens in America is a comedy where a Pakistani Muslim exchange student and an awkward American teen try to survive high school together. No doubt we can expect a lot of xenophobia as humor from this one.
For mid-season The CW rolls out two reality series:
Crowned: The Mother Of All Pageants which is a no-holds-barred beauty pageant pitting mother/daughter teams against each other with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Carson Kressley serving as one of the judges.
Farmer Wants A Wife is another Americanized British import where city gals try to woo a country guy.