The 2006 Fall TV Season

All this week, networks were unveiling their fall line-ups for the upcoming season. The following are my thoughts, as they progressed through the week, so don’t complain when I speculate about things that by the time you see this are already known.

NBC

I was happy to see the return of Las Vegas, Medium, and My Name Is Earl. Good shows all three, and they will continue to be on my watch schedule. Scrubs, as usual a fan favorite but not well rated, managed for the first time in 5 seasons to not be cancelled, but will be held off until mid-season (likely to fill the hole of some show they cancel within the first couple of weeks). I’m sad to see that Surface isn’t returning as it was the best, most exciting of all the alien invasion TV shows from last season. Heist is gone, which sucks because frankly it was more exciting to watch than Thief on FX (Thief has a better cast, but it was so slow in its plodding storyline). Teachers bids farewell as well, a shame because it was pretty funny, in my opinion, as was Four Kings (also not returning). Conviction is missing from the line-up, which is too bad because I was really enjoying it. As for new shows… Heroes looks great to me, which means it should last exact three episodes, nine tops. Kidnapped also looks interesting, in the vein of all the other mystery serials, this one could be good. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has a stellar cast, and Sorkin is a good writer/creator (see the first seasons of The West Wing). 30 Rock, well, I like Tina Fey, she’s a good comedy writer, I’ll watch the show, but I’m iffy about its chances. I really want to see Andy Barker, P.I., but its been relagated to mid-season status, so I’ll have to wait. Raines might be good, but as much as I like some of the actors the plot seems like it could be a bit too hokey for me. As for the rest of NBC’s line-up, I really don’t care… ER I gave up on long ago, though I’ve heard its been decent. The various Law & Orders, I catch those on TNT, USA and other stations when I’m trying to go to sleep. Friday Night Lights? Didn’t enjoy the movie, I’ll probably not enjoy the show. Deal Or No Deal? I’ll care when they come to Atlanta and I get to be on. America’s Got Talent? Like the Deal, only care if I’m on it. NBC also got the contract for Sunday Night Football, which means at least one night a week I don’t have to even bother checking to see what’s on that channel.

ABC

Lost is sticking around (Yay!), as is Grey’s Anatomy (Woot!). Freddie is gone (Boo!), and The Night Stalker got axed early this past season, as did Emily’s Reasons Why Not. I’ll miss In Justice, The Evidence and Commander-in-Chief. Invasion is out… however, I know the CW has expressed interest in picking it up, and I’m conflicted about this show. Previously I wrote that it was the worst of last season’s three alien TV shows, and for about the first 9 or so episodes, it clearly was. The pacing was godawfully slow, and it made me want to scream at the TV, but seeing as how I was a huge fan of American Gothic years ago, I wanted to give Shawn Cassidy a chance, so I stuck with it. Now, at the end of their season, Invasion has gotten alot better. There is action, and plot movement, and stuff makes more sense now. If the CW doesn’t pick it up, I won’t be too upset, but if they do, I’ll keep watching. So, on to the new shows… Day Break, eh, not so interested but I’ll watch it for Adam Baldwin. The Nine sounds interesting, but I’m willing to bet it gets cancelled rather quick. Six Degrees will get some attention from me if only because J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost) is involved. I refuse to watch Traveler, because it sounds kind of lame, and I don’t think it will last long at all (Best Buy, however, will sell exclusively the complete series that contains as many as six unaired episodes). I’m going to pass on most of their comedies… I might watch the Ted Danson one, Help Me Help You, if enough people tell me its good, and Let’s Rob… might be a winner, but then I love Donal Logue (only not in a gay way). Every show I didn’t mention, I have no interest in. Betty the Ugly and Men in Trees have to be the two worst named TV shows ever. And American Inventor? This season was so horribly crappy that it won’t sucker me in again… what a hunk of garbage!

CBS

Of the shows I watch How I Met Your Mother will be back, so will The Unit, Numb3rs, and Ghost Whisperer. Yes, Ghost Whisperer is a stupid show, but for some reason (and it couldn’t possibly be Ms. Love Hewitt’s breasts) I keep watching it. Threshold, of course, got axed early this past season, and won’t be returning. CBS is actually renewing 18 shows, more than anyone else, so there isn’t alot to complain about in the cancellation department. New shows… sitcom The Class sounds like it might be okay, but the appearance of Lizzy Caplan in the cast doesn’t bode well for the WB’s Related, which I can now assume is not getting picked up for the CW. Smith is another “people stealing stuff” drama, Heist didn’t last and I found Thief kind of boring, so I’ll give this a try but I’m not holding out much hope (though the cast is stellar). Jericho sounds like it might be interesting, Skeet Ulrich as the lead isn’t a big draw for me though. With the possibility of real nuclear war looming in the Middle East these days, either people will heartily embrace this story, or flee from it, I don’t see much middle ground. Shark… well, since I lost Conviction, I suppose my TV line-up is missing a court drama, so I’ll give it a shot. If the world didn’t so love all the various CSIs, I’d say can them and pull a couple of the midseason replacements out… Waterfront sounds promising, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for Joey Pants (and, really, not in a gay way). So it looks like I’ll be trying all of CBS’s new offerings, how many stick is another story.

FOX

Prison Break, Bones, The O.C., and The Family Guy all return (though I’m getting less enthused by The O.C. each season Marisa continues to live). 24 is back, of course, but I’m still many seasons behind and have decided I’ll just watch them on DVD, but as long as they are good, I’ll be happy they keep making them. The Loop is coming back, and probably bringing is crappy theme song with it, but only as a pair with the American Idol Results show on Wednesdays. And yeah, Americal Idol will be back. Reunion died long ago, and the only show they axed I was watching was Free Ride, and I really won’t miss it. Vanished sounds like it might be good, but frankly I’m getting pretty tired of the “you must watch every episode or else you’ll be completely confused because this show is really one 24 hour story” shows. A couple is fine, a few is pushing is, but next season it looks like there will be aboout fifteen of them. Standoff looks better since its more episodic (like Numb3rs, The Unit, and a few others). Justice… well, it’ll be either Shark on CBS of this, I really don’t want too many courtroom dramas on my schedule. Shark may win just because “James Woods > Kerr Smith”. ‘Til Death sound formulaeic, but fun. The Winner might be a winner, except I got burned on Reunion last year, so a time warping comedy drama looking back to the days of 1994 probably won’t make my list unless the word of mouth is extremely good. Yeah, and Simon Cowell has another show, Duets… more singing on TV. On The Lot might be the first reality show I actually get excited about rather than just watch because its on and people talk about it. (New Fox Shows don’t have links because I can’t find links to New Fox Shows)

The CW

Veronica Mars survives the merger! WOOHOO!! So did Supernatural, Smallville, Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill (I hate that I’m addicted to this show). Pepper Dennis and Related didn’t make the cut. Neither did Everwood, of which I wasn’t a fan watching every week, but I enjoyed every episode I saw. I honestly don’t know why they renewed 7th Heaven. It wasn’t a bad show, but I never felt it was any good either, it was very bland family happy-happy-joy-joy drama. But I guess I can’t begrudge a network wanting at least one wholesome show on TV. Sadly, they are keeping both the UPN’s and the WB’s reality shows. Runaway seems like an odd plot… its The Fugitive, only the guy doesn’t run off alone, he takes his whole family with him. It could work. They’ve picked up Palm Springs for midseason, which sounds like The O.C. only with really dark secrets. As long as Marisa Cooper isn’t there I’ll be watching. No word anywhere, but I hope that they at least try out Mercy Reef (the Aquaman TV show) to see if people like it instead of just letting it go. And it seems they did pass on Invasion, something about it being too expensive. I wish they’d take the 7th Heaven money and put it in Invasion instead. Well, I got my Veronica Mars, so I guess I’m happy for now.

Other Networks

TNT is starting up another season of The Closer this summer, and it looks like they cancelled Wanted. FX will probably keep Rescue Me and The Shield, even Thief might run another season. USA has a show called Psyche about a private detective who pretends to be a psychic by lying, guessing and using inside information. And beyond that, I don’t really know any more…

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