This week all the networks announced their fall seasons, and as usual, being a big TV watcher, here are my thoughts…
First, here are links to the network pages for their fall line-ups: NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS and The CW.
Next, the shows I’m losing (more shows than these were cancelled, these are just the ones I was watching): 24, Dollhouse, Better Off Ted, Defying Gravity, Lost, Ugly Betty, Accidentally on Purpose, and Gary Unmarried. Of these, the only one I am really upset about is Better Off Ted. It was, quite possibly, my favorite sitcom ever. With pre-emptings and shufflings I don’t think it got a fair chance. Season 1 is on DVD, buy it. Season 2 is likely coming, buy it. And when the complete series is released, buy that too. Okay, maybe you don’t need to buy it twice, but you should buy it in some form.
NBC: Chuck, The Event, Chase
FOX: House, Lonestar
ABC: Dancing with the Stars, Castle
CBS: How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly, Hawaii Five-O
CW: 90210, Gossip Girl
NBC looks like it has a winning line-up as far as I am concerned. I already like Chuck and both The Event and Chase will be given a shot. Fox isn’t looking too shabby either, I like House, but while the cast of Lonestar looks promising, I’m not sold on it entirely. The con man angle is nice, so I’ll give it a chance. For ABC, I’ll continue not watching dancing shows, but I’m in for another season of Castle. CBS, HIMYM I like… but I’m also getting bored of not meeting the mother. I’ll give Mike and Molly a shot, and I’m down for Hawaii Five-O. The CW has nothing on Mondays that I care to see. Total: 7 hours, 8 if Lonestar doesn’t suck.
NBC: The Biggest Loser, Parenthood
FOX: Glee, Raising Hope, Running Wilde
ABC: No Ordinary Family, Dancing with the Stars Results, Detroit 1-8-7
CBS: NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife
CW: One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected
Reality shows still don’t interest me much outside of American Idol in the spring, so The Biggest Loser is a loser for me, but I found myself really enjoying Parenthood despite initial reservations, so I’m in for that. Glee won me over already, and I’ll give both Raising Hope and Running Wilde a shot based entirely on their casts. Hope looks better than Wilde. No Ordinary Family: not only is the cast full of people I like, but it’s about superheroes, so count me in. Skip dancing. Detroit 1-8-7 has a strike against it – homicide. Lots of other crimes happen out there, why does almost every cop show focus on murders? This is going to be one of those shows I won’t watch until at least five people I trust tell me it is worth seeing. CBS has programmed a night full of shows I’m not watching. I gave up on One Tree Hill a while ago, and I’m still watching Life Unexpected. Total: 5 hours, 6 if Detroit 1-8-7 turns out to be worthwhile.
NBC: Undercovers, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Las Angeles
FOX: Lie to Me, Hell’s Kitchen
ABC: The Middle, Better Together, Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Whole Truth
CBS: Survivor, Criminal Minds, The Defenders
CW: America’s Next Top Model, Hellcats
I’m a J.J. Abrams fan, so I’ll be watching Undercovers, but I’ll be skipping the Law & Order shows. Nothing for me on FOX. All three of ABC’s returning half-hours I skipped last season, but am now catching up on, so I’ll probably continue watching them. I’ll probably add Better Together, but The Whole Truth doesn’t interest me. Legal dramas just don’t keep me watching unless the characters are great, and I’ll wait to hear reviews before I bother trying. Mostly, I’m not interested in CBS’s Wednesday, but The Defenders might be something I watch. Legal dramas, eh… but throw in comedy and I’m willing to give it a shot. And the CW’s Hellcats is about cheerleaders and I’m a guy, so, yeah, I’ll be watching, but I may not stick about. Total: 4 hours, 5 if The Defenders works, back to 4 if Hellcats sucks.
NBC: Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Outsourced, Love Bites
FOX: Bones, Fringe
ABC: My Generation, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice
CBS: The Big Bang Theory, S#*! My Dad Says, CSI, The Mentalist
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Nikita
I bailed on 30 Rock a while back and I never gave The Office a chance, Community is something I’m thinking of going back to catch up on, and Outsourced looks pretty funny. I’m not overly thrilled with the idea of Love Bites, but I know the wife will want to watch. FOX has a winning line-up. We kicked Private Practice to the curb this year, but we still watch Grey’s Anatomy. My Generation looks like it’ll be pulled from the schedule within 6 episodes. The Big Bang Theory is still awesome, William Shatner will draw me in for S#*! My Dad Says, and I’ll probably keep sitting through The Mentalist if only for brief moments of Cho (he and Rigsby need a Dragnet-like spin-off). We finally gave up on The Vampire Diaries… I’ve always talked about how lots of TV shows get stale because of their unwillingness to kill characters, this show illustrates the exact opposite, someone seems to die every episode – they’ll spend a whole night introducing a character just enough to make you care and then whack them. People die so often I came to assume everyone was going to die and numbed to it. I’ll give Nikita a shot because I like spy/action shows. Total: 6.5 hours, 7.5 if she makes me watch Love Bites.
NBC: Who Do You Think You Are, School Pride, Dateline, Outlaw
FOX: Human Target, The Good Guys
ABC: Secret Millionaire, Body of Proof, 20/20
CBS: Medium, CSI: NY, Blue Bloods
CW: Smallville, Supernatural
NBC has nothing for me unless Outlaw gets some great word of mouth. I love Human Target and the Premiere of The Good Guys this week was enough to keep me watching. ABC only has Body of Proof that I want to watch. I keep watching Medium despite my frustration that Allison and her family don’t seem to actually pay attention to their own lives, and Blue Bloods looks good enough to try. Smallville can die in a fire, and despite feeling like Supernatural should have finished strong at the end of this past season I’ll be watching to see where they go with it. Total: 6 hours, 7 if Outlaw holds up.
NBC: Encore programs (repeats)
FOX: Cops, America’s Most Wanted
ABC: College Football
CBS: Crime Time Saturday, 48 Hours: Mystery
Nothing. Nada. Total: 0 hours.
FOX: The OT, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, The Family Guy, American Dad
ABC: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters
CBS: 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss, CSI: Miami
I’d almost say it’s a repeat of Saturday, but I might still watch Brothers & Sisters. The show has gotten a tad out of control with crazy plot lines and intrigue, so I also might not. Total: 1 hour, 0 if I kick B&S.
So… the final total for the week is a low of 28.5 hours of television and a possible high of 33.5 hours. Yeah, that’s a lot of TV, but not all of these shows will stay. Of course there will be mid-season shows too, and this list doesn’t include the less traditional schedules of the cable networks like USA, TNT, FX, Syfy and so on. I think I can attribute a good chunk of the increase over 2009 to NBC actually having a 10pm slot this year since the whole Jay Leno debacle. And there you have my thoughts on the 2010 Fall Season.