Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ABC Schedule and thoughts

Earlier this week ABC announced their upcoming fall lineup, but I was too busy to make my comments regarding the upcoming schedule. Now...at last, my time has come.

Continuing the trend of other networks, the majority of ABC's new orders are for Dramas (7), with a few Comedies (4) added for good measure. The current era of television seems to be as dominated by the Drama and Dramedy as the 90s were with the half-hour comedy. Which is one way of saying that TV networks will go with a good thing until they beat it to death and then they'll see if they can kick a couple of death throes out of it. Only then, will they move on to the next best thing. A less cynical way of saying that might be that networks go with what works.

The new television series include everything from modern man to cavemen. Yes you read that right, ABC is premiering a series based on the Geico commercials. Some of these series are: “Big Shots,” “Carpoolers,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “Cavemen,”
“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Eli Stone,” “Miss/Guided,” “Private Practice,”
“Pushing Daisies,” “Sam I Am” and “Women’s Murder Club.”

The proposed fall lineup, and my comments are below (with the new shows in italics):

8:00 p.m.: “Dancing with the Stars” -- I only watch this show in spurts. I understand the appeal, heck I used to love "Circus of the Stars," but like "Circus" this is more of a one time thing for me than a weekly commitment.

9:30 p.m.: “Sam I Am” (new comedy series) -- This is Christina Applegate's new series about a person who has an accident and forgets who they are, only to discover they weren't very likable. The show's tension will rest on a "nature vs. nurture" irony, she wants to be good but isn't. (deadpan)I am laughing already. This is such a funny idea. No one ever though of a bad person trying to be good, but can't actually succeed at being good story before.(end deadpan) I will watch the show once, but I won't be very forgiving.

“Sam I Am”
When a terrible accident leaves Samantha “Sam” Newly in a coma for eight days, she wakes up with no recollection of any past experiences, memories or events. Faced with amnesia, Sam must start over. To her dismay she discovers that she wasn’t a particularly honest, good-hearted or loving person. In fact she was self-involved, narcissistic and devoid of real relationships - essentially a bitch. Sam must now struggle with her desire to be good and her temptation to be...not so good. Finding the line between good and evil is never easy.

10:00 p.m.: “The Bachelor” -- The fact that people watch this show makes me worry for the state of our civilization. "Look ma! It's women being treated like cattle by a man who they all plot in Machiavellian fashion to seduce."

8:00 p.m. “Cavemen” The commercials are funny, but somehow I think that placing this show in the suburban South will spell quick doom for this show. That and the fact that the dinosaur version of the "Honeymooners" didn't last too long either.

Cavemen is a unique buddy comedy that offers a clever twist on stereotypes and turns race relations on their head. Inspired by the popular Geico Insurance commercials, the series looks at life through the eyes of the ultimate outsiders - three modern cavemen - as they struggle to find their place in the world. Joel, his cynical best friend, Nick, and easy-going little brother, Jamie, are contemporary cavemen who live in the suburban south and simply want to be treated like ordinary thirty-something guys. Despite their attempts at assimilation, Nick doesn’t believe mainstream society will ever completely accept them, Jamie seems to take it all in stride and Joel straddles the middle, torn between his friends, his more traditional values and his loving fiancĂ©e.

8:30 p.m. “Carpoolers” -- Hopefully this show will have moments that take place outside of the car. Though that makes me wonder how that would be different from an Office Space show. I'll watch it once, but if they don't get out of the car I won't be back. I want you to remember that this show is about 4 people. That seems to be a theme.

Less about saving the environment than male bonding, four guys from very different backgrounds relish their daily commute as they commiserate about their lives, jobs and families in the carpool lane. There’s Laird, the recently divorced playboy; Aubrey, the timid homemaker and breadwinner; the conservative and traditional Gracen; and eager newlywed Dougie. Together, between the pressures of home and work, these men find time to be themselves while driving to and from the office.

9:00 p.m. : “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” -- See above.

10:00 p.m.: “Boston Legal” -- Glad to see the show back for another season. Shatner!

WEDNESDAY: A night completely filled with new shows? That is a potential risk.

8:00 p.m. “Pushing Daisies” -- I am intrigued by this twist on a procedural and the romantic tension possible has potential. Ideal scenario for me as viewer is if this show is a well thought out single season narrative with a final episode that resolves the season long arc.

“Pushing Daisies”
From Bryan Fuller (“Heroes”) and Barry Sonnenfeld (“Men in Black”) comes an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy in a forensic fairytale about a young man with a very special gift. Once upon a time, a mild-mannered boy named Ned realized he could touch dead things and bring them back to life. Grown-up Ned puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor, but working with an investigator to crack murder cases by asking the deceased to name their killers. But the tale gets complicated, as all tales do, when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, back from the dead and keeps her alive. Chuck encourages him to use his power to help others, instead of merely solving mysteries and collecting the rewards. Life would be perfect for Ned and Chuck, except for one cruel twist: If he ever touches her again, she’ll go back to being dead, this time for good.

9:00 p.m.: “Private Practice” -- "Grey's Anatomy 2?" No thanks. I stopped watching "Grey's Anatomy" when they killed the dog just to end a romantic storyline. I still like Kate Walsh, but I won't watch this show. The best "Grey's Anatomy" moment, in my opinion, was during the last season of "The OC" when Summer's father moved to Seattle.

“Private Practice”
From Shonda Rhimes, the Golden Globe-winning creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” comes a story about new beginnings and old friends. Addison Forbes Montgomery is a renowned neonatal surgeon, respected by her friends and colleagues at Seattle Grace Hospital. Deciding she can no longer healthily co-exist with her ex-husband, McDreamy, and her ex-lover, McSteamy, Addison heads to Los Angeles for sunnier weather and happier possibilities. Reunited with her once-married, newly divorced medical school friends, Naomi and Sam, Addison joins their chic private practice. Featuring an all-star cast including Kate Walsh, Amy Brenneman, Tim Daly and Taye Diggs, “Private Practice” tells the story of a woman unafraid of change and willing to begin a new life.

10:00 p.m. “Dirty Sexy Money” -- I think it is good to see the return of the evening Soap, but this just doesn't seem to do it for me. Besides wasn't the "I'll have access to a lot of money to do good things" tension a part of 2 Week's Notice? (Minus the Soapy mysterious death etc.) This show would have to be funny to attract me. And the "Darling" clan? Please, shoot me now.

“Dirty Sexy Money”
Some people say money is the root of all evil. They may be right. Nick George’s whole life has been lived in the shadow of the Darling family, but as an adult he’s leading the perfect life as an idealistic lawyer, until his father’s suspicious death. The absurdly wealthy Darlings of New York have asked him to take over his father’s job as their personal lawyer, but the money that will allow him the freedom to be an altruistic do-gooder is only part of the picture. That same money pulls him into the dubious doings of the Darling clan. Power, privilege and family money are a volatile cocktail.

8:00 p.m.: “Ugly Betty” -- One of my favorite shows, but I hope they do like a real telenovella and let the story end at some point.

9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” -- As I said, I stopped watching it when they killed the dog just to eliminate a romantic rivalry.

10:00 p.m. “Big Shots” -- It's "Carpoolers," but serious. By the way, what is up with the whole "4 friends" thing? Can't we have three friends? Or even five friends?

“Big Shots”
This is the story of four friends at the top of their game...until the women in their lives enter the room. Lines between boardroom and bedroom blur when these competitive but dysfunctional CEOs take refuge in their friendship, discussing business, confiding secrets, seeking advice and supporting each other through life’s surprising twists and turns.

8:00 p.m.: “MEN IN TREES” -- Don't watch it, so I have no opinion one way or the other.

9:00 p.m.: “Women’s Murder Club” -- "CSI: Vigilante" with a dash of possible romantic subplots? Okay, I'm down for that. But what is with the whole 4 friends thing again?

“Women’s Murder Club”
Based on James Patterson’s bestselling novels, The Women’s Murder Club, four working women in San Francisco - a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner and a reporter - use their expertise and unique talents to solve murder cases. Each woman is successful in her own field, but because of their unique friendship, they realize that pooling their resources during investigations leads to undiscovered clues and answers in both work and their personal lives.

10:00 p.m.: “20/20” -- For those who have no internet or are baffled by the "tubes" that make the interwebs work.

SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m.: “Saturday Night College Football” -- Depends on who's playing.

7:00 p.m.: “America’s Funniest Home Videos” -- Watch Jimmy hit someone in the crotch! No. Don't watch this. Won't watch this.

8:00 p.m.: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” -- I watched one season of this show. I like the premise, but don't watch it.

9:00 p.m.: “Desperate Housewives” -- I don't watch this, but I have nothing against it. I have to read books some time.

10:00 p.m.: “Brothers & Sisters” -- Sunday at 10? I might be watching "Lipstick Jungle" on NBC. I might not.

The remaining shows will be mid-season pick ups after “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Bachelor” conclude their fall seasons. I will probably watch both "Cashmere Mafia" and "Miss/Guided" at least once.

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