New Show Reviews: Go On, The New Normal, Revolution, Last Resort, The Mob Doctor

I guess that the official start of the Fall TV season has come and gone since both NBC and Fox have premiered both new and returning shows over the past couple of weeks.  Although, I think it would be epic if no premieres occurred until after the Emmys (which are this Sunday 9/23 – mark your calendars).  I mean, what a great kick off to the season that would be!  Anyway, that’s not the case.  On top of the fact that NBC used the summer Olympics to give a sneak peak at Go On and Animal Practice, multiple premieres have been available online for a few weeks and I have watched them all.

Last Resort: Technically, Last Resort doesn’t premiere until next Thursday, but I caught it online earlier this week (on Hulu – love that site!) and I loved every second.  That doesn’t mean it’s perfect – far from it – but I am totally hooked.  I am so glad to see Scott Speedman back on TV and in a character who is far different from those I’ve seen him play before.  While, like Revolution, there are a lot of characters and different threads being set up in the pilot, I am interested in where these stories are going and intrigued about who these characters will turn out to be.  I think one thing that really separates the handling of such large casts of characters is that on Last Resort they are compartmentalized very definitively and separately – there is the submarine crew (headed by Andre Braugher), the island inhabitants, the NATO workers, and the people in DC.  I’m excited to see all of these threads weave together and split apart.  But, I’ll be honest, like with the beginning of Fringe which I basically stuck with simply because I am a big fan of Joshua Jackson, I watched Last Resort mostly for the Scott Speedman factor and that will probably keep me coming back until the show itself finds its legs and grabs me. Continue reading

The CW 2012-13 Schedule

Ah, the CW.  It’s sort of the also-ran network, isn’t it?  Of course it is also home to my favorite show on TV (The Vampire Diaries) and the former home of my guiltiest pleasure (One Tree Hill).  The CW fits a niche and it usually does it pretty well.  It also ends up making loads of scheduling changes every year because the shows that it goes with tend to be a bit flash in the pan-y.  However, I think they’re making some positive moves for next season.

#1 Killing off Gossip Girl is a total blessing.  The show hasn’t really been good since the kids graduated from high school 2 years ago and lately, it feels like all of the actors are just barely going through the motions of pretending to be other characters.  Plus, Penn Badgley is clearly rebelling against the confines of being on network television by growing his hair into an unruly, ugly mop.

#2 The Wednesday block of Arrow and Supernatural could earn The CW some male eyeballs and that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  I think the network’s bread and butter is definitely females between 18-34, but I think it’s good of them to branch out a bit.  I have sort of given up on Supernatural this season (the whole Leviathan thing was just confusing and annoying) but the Arrow trailer looks promising so I’ll give it a shot.

#3 Ummm, I don’t really have a third thing.  I’m glad the net kept Hart of Dixie because I think it’s adorable and harmless and might eventually settle into being this generation’s Gilmore Girls.  But really, as long as the CW doesn’t get rid of The Vampire Diaries before it’s time, the net and I are all good.

Check out all of the CW’s new shows here.

CBS 2012-13 Schedule

At the end of Vulture’s analysis of CBS’ 2012-13 schedule, there was a really interesting summary of all of the changes/lack of changes of each network’s schedule that basically comes down to the fact that the nets with the fewest changes (CBS, FOX) are the most stable and therefore most desirable for advertisers.  It’s a really interesting analysis so I’m just gonna go ahead and quote the full paragraph:

Veteran network programmers say one of the best predictors of how a net will do in the year ahead is to take a look at how stable its lineup is: Usually, more changes to scripted programming hours means more chaos, more failure, and lower ratings. According to the calculations of one network exec who goes by the Twitter handle of @maskedscheduler, NBC is taking a lot of chances next season: 40 percent of the hours in its scripted lineup consists of all-new shows, and when you count old shows in new time slots, the disruption rate leaps to a whopping 70 percent. ABC, with exactly half of its scripted hours in flux, is also making a high number of programming plays; Fox, with 40 percent new or changed, is much more stable. It should come as no surprise that CBS is the network maintaining the most stability: 22 percent of its scripted hours (three dramas, one comedy) are brand-new, while a mere 16 percent of its veteran shows are moving time slots, resulting in just 38 percent of the lineup in transition. For those of us who analyze TV schedules, the CBS and Fox lineups might seem a little bit sleepy. For those execs who live or die based on how well these adjustments perform in the ratings, another word is probably more appropriate: smart. [Vulture]

 

My general thoughts about CBS (besides boring, boring and a little more boring):

#1 All of their new shows actually look like things I will watch and enjoy.  Partners might grate after a while, but I’m definitely going to give it a shot.  And while Elementary is a blatant rip off of the BBC’s Sherlock (modernizing the Sherlock Holmes tales), I like the twist of a female Watson and I’ve always found Jonny Lee Miller extremely watchable.

#2 Their attempt at creating a Thursday comedy block feels a little weak.  I know that they’ve had trouble using The Big Bang Theory as a launching pad for new series, but 2 and a Half Men just feels so old and used up.  It feels the opposite of fresh.  I know it has a big audience though and that the hope is to bring more eyeballs to Person of Interest (which I didn’t watch because of Thursday conflicts and the fact that it’s not available On Demand – what’s up with that?) but part of CBS’ curse is that is seen as an extremely old, un-hip network and this move doesn’t feel edgy or rebellious or young at all.  It definitely detracts from the network’s image in my opinion.

#3 I think it’s possible that CBS will actually have a successful Friday night.  I watch both CSI: NY and Blue Bloods (well, I DVR them) and while I’m not sure how good a match the more lighthearted looking Made in Jersey will be, the night as a whole seems to have potential to take off.  Maybe that will encourage other nets to get back into programming Fridays with scripted fare.

ABC 2012-13 Schedule

ABC seems to have a lot of work to do ratings-wise but I’m much less interested in their ratings than their programming so lets take a look at that.  Overall, the schedule isn’t really reinventing the wheel, but they have a few new shows that seem intriguing and the Tuesday night comedy block is either going to do gangbusters or fall like a giant rock.

#1 Moving Revenge to Sundays at 9pm in the old Desperate Housewives slot seems like a total no brainer.  I love it even more paired with the new show 666 Park Avenue which looks like the perfect soapy-horror combo (plus, evil, married Vanessa Williams and Terry O’Quinn?  Yes please).

#2 I am both excited and worried by the Tuesday night pairing of Happy Endings and Apartment 23 (let’s just cut the crap about the title, okay?).  I’m excited because both shows have a weird twisted sense of humor and while Happy Endings has built great buzz, Apt 23 is still looking for it and could maybe get some of the run-off.  However, despite the Dancing with the Stars result show lead-in, pairing these two niche shows leaves them pretty vulnerable in my opinion.  There isn’t a whole lot of support there.  But I’ll be watching anyway.

#3 Can I give some props to ABC for bringing back Connie Britton and Scott Speedman?  Because Nashville looks like a soapy fun show and Last Resort has potential to be an intriguing action drama so I have high hopes that both will stick around for a while.

Fox 2012-13 Schedule

Fox made more scheduling changes than anything else.  Of course, they do only have 2 hours of primetime to schedule so there’s not a lot of room for new shows, but the new shows they have don’t look completely awful.  In fact, a couple of their mid-season shows look kind of good (The Following and The Goodwin Games especially).  They do have a few big changes, but I pretty much agree with them.

#1 The Tuesday night comedy block was something they seemed to be leaning towards this year and have committed to 100% for the fall.  I’m totally on board with this decision.  Especially because new shows Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project actually look both funny and like they will fit well with Raising Hope and New Girl as lead-ins.

#2 Moving Touch to Fridays.  First of all, I think it was actually kind of stupid to give Touch a second season seeing as that show is lame.  However, I think that putting it on Fridays and pairing it with Fringe just makes sense.  And let’s all thank whatever God spoke to Kevin Reilly and convinced him to give Fringe 13 more episodes of awesome.

#3 Outside of the fact that I think that X-Factor is totally noisy and not at all good, it makes total sense to pair it’s result show (and American Idol’s come mid season) with Glee.  I don’t know why no one had done that before.  Glee is kind of on its way out (at least it is if it’s being smart) so it could definitely use the boost of the music competition audience (because even though X-Factor didn’t do as good as was expected, it still held it’s own ratings-wise).

There’s really not too much to say though.  I’m a little disappointed that The Following and The Goodwin Games are being held til midseason but that seems like something a lot of networks are doing now.  And regardless, the Fox Tuesday comedy block is totally going to become a thing – like NBC’s Must-See Thursdays or ABC’s TGIF block from the early 90′s.  I wonder what catchy name they’re going to give it.

NBC 2012-2013 Schedule

NBC was the first up to present their 2012-13 schedule to advertisers and so far, they’re making the most changes.  They have 3 new dramas and 4 new comedies, they’ve moved Whitney and Community to Fridays, and they are bringing The Voice back in the fall.  Personally, I think there are a lot of bad moves on this schedule.

#1 They have created a Wednesday comedy block with no established lead-in.  I mean, they must have a lot of faith in Animal Practice and Guys with Kids to just leave them hanging in the wind like that. On top of not having a lead-in, they are paired with the slowly but surely declining Law & Order: SVU.  This seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

#2 The Whitney/Community move to Friday is about as ridiculous a decision as they come.  While I think that having Grimm follow Community isn’t a bad move (they seem to both have heavily male audiences) pairing it with Whitney is just weird.  The shows couldn’t be more different.  This will be Whitney’s third scheduling move in a year and it hasn’t done very well anywhere.  On top of that, it seems that NBC has decided to pair it’s most critically lauded show (Community) with it’s most reviled (Whitney).  It’s just a really weird move.

#3 I like The Voice as much as the next gal and I get that NBC thinks it needs to have a big reality competition on during the fall to combat both Fox’s X-Factor and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but enough is enough.  The way to combat those shows is by doing something different and The Voice is just more of the same.  I am TIRED of singing competitions.  There are too many of them and they’re exhausting.  I think that by adding The Voice to the fall lineup, NBC is diluting the brand and will probably see a big number drop in the spring.

Overall, there’s not a whole lot bringing me back to NBC next year.  I will love them forever for renewing Parenthood and Parks and Recreation and I will definitely check out all of the new shows (I’m most intrigued by Revolution and Animal Practice), but right now, NBC is low on my list of Must-See-TV.

Upfront Preview: See whats new and what’s renewed for the 2012-13 season (updated)

Alright everyone.  Take a deep breath.  A lot of shows have been renewed.  A lot of shows have been cancelled.  I don’t know where we’re going to end up in the end, but here’s where we stand as of 3pm on Friday May 11th:

NBC Renewed: 30 Rock (final 13-episode pickup), Comunity (13-episode order), Football Night in America, Fashion Star, Grimm, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Office, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Smash, Sunday Night Football, Up All Night, Whitney

NBC New ShowsDo No Harm, Infamous, Revolution, Chicago Fire, The New Normal, Save Me, Go On, Animal Practice, 1600 Penn, Next Caller

NBC Canceled: Are You There Chelsea?, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Chuck, Free Agents, Harry’s Law, The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect

Fox Renewed: American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Bones, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Fringe, Glee, Kitchen Nightmares, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Simpsons, Touch, The X Factor

Fox New ShowsThe Following, The Mob Doctor, The Mindy Project, The Goodwin Games, Ben & Kate

Fox Canceled: Alcatraz, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, The Finder, House, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Terra Nova

ABC Renewed: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Castle, Dancing With the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Endings, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Shark Tank, Suburgatory, Wife Swap, Scandal, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23

ABC New Shows:  666 Park Ave., Nashville, Last Resort, How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, Red Widow, Family Tools, Zero Hour, Neighbors, Mistresses

ABC Canceled: Charlie’s Angels, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Man Up!, Work It, GCB

CBS Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, How I Met Your Mother, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Survivor, Undercover Boss

CBS New Shows: TBD

CBS Canceled/Ending: A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman

CW Renewed: Nikita, 90210, America’s Next Top Model, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl (final 11-episode season), Hart of Dixie

CW New Shows: Carrie Diaries, Arrow, Cult, Beauty and the Beast, First Cut

CW Canceled: H8R, One Tree Hill, Ringer, Secret Circle

I LOVE UPFRONTS! (AKA Zach Gilford is coming back to my TV Screen)

Oh how I've missed you Matt Saracen

The best part about upfronts is getting to see which of my favorite actors are going to be back after long absences.  Yesterday, Fox announced that it was picking up The Goodwin Games starring my old fave Scott Foley.  They also announced that they were moving forward with a show called The Mob Doctor starring Jordan Spiro (of the late, lamented My Boys).  I didn’t really have much of a reaction to this.  I give every show a chance at the beginning of the year and I always liked Spiro so I knew going into it that The Mob Doctor would at least get one viewing on my DVR.  Then I read this description from The Daily Beast:

From creators Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva) and Robert Wright (Knight Rider) comes this medical drama, which revolves around a young female thoracic surgeon (My Boys’ Jordana Spiro) who juggles her workload with another job: she’s secretly a mob doctor who is working off a debt incurred by her ne’er-do-well brother. The pilot episode was directed by Michael Dinner (Justified), who also serves as an executive producer on the drama, which also stars Jaime Lee Kirchner, William Forsythe, Zach Gilford, James Carpinello, and Jesse Lee Soffer.

Yes, you read that correctly.  A Friday Night Lights alum is coming back to TV after a way-too long absence.  ZACH GILFORD!!!  YAY!!  Now, this show is going to turn into something that I actually root for.  God, I hope it’s good.

 

In Preparation for Upfronts: NBC & Fox order new shows

Welcome back to my TV Scott Foley!

Upfronts are next week!  That’s totally crazy.  I’m still waiting to hear the fate of some of my favorites (specifically Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Community, and Cougar Town) but we’re starting to get some news on the new shows that the networks are ordering.  Just today, Fox picked up 5 new shows including The Goodwin Games by the creators of How I Met Your Mother.  I was fortunate enough to sneak a peek at the pilot script and it had me laughing out loud.  Plus, it stars Scott Foley so one third of my Felicity triangle is complete!  I’m also excited about the Mindy Kaling comedy but nervous for what it means for The Office despite the fact that I’m sort of over that show.

 

 

The cast of 1600 Penn includes Bill Pullman as the president and Jenna Elfman as the first lady.

Here’s a more detailed look at what NBC is taking to series so far.  In my opinion, Revolution looks like it will start out great and intriguing and then devolve into a big old mess – the cast is too big.  The most promising of the NBC slate definitely looks to be 1600 Penn which stars Josh Gad as the black-sheep son of the President of the United States.  The photo alone makes the show look hilarious.  I’m sure there will be plenty to dissect when the schedules are officially announced next week.

Mid-Season Review: Scandal, Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, & Best Friends Forever

The cast of ABC's new show, Scandal

Despite the fact that it seems a little late in the season to be debuting new shows, a slew of them have just hit the airwaves.  I caught the pilot episodes of Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 and Best Friends Forever On Demand a couple of weeks ago and was charmed by both of them while Scandal‘s premiere last week left me on the fence a bit.

Dreama Walker & Krysten Ritter of Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23

First of all, while Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt 23 is a great title, taking the “itch” out of “bitch” is annoying.  Man up, ABC!  ”Bitch” really isn’t a bad word anymore.  But the show itself has a lot going for it in my opinion.  Krysten Ritter is what Kat Dennings wants to be on 2 Broke Girls but isn’t – she is caustic and sarcastic while at the same time not completely without compassion.  James Van Der Beek is hilarious playing the exaggerated version of himself that he has been perfecting over the past couple of years in Funny or Die sketches.  And, so far, Dreama Walker seems to be holding her own.  I think the writers made some really good choices with her character – giving her a backbone instead of making her a complete pushover for Ritter’s character to walk all over.  I’ve only seen the pilot, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this show develops.  It really does seem to be a hipper, edgier version of 2 Broke Girls and without the laugh track and multi-camera shooting style, Apt. 23 definitely comes across as more authentic. Continue reading