Monday, May 14, 2007

NBC Announces Fall Line-Up

NBC's Upfronts may be at 3pm EST today, but that didn't stop Variety (among others) from reporting NBC's upcoming fall schedule. Though I was sad to see that Raines wasn't among the listed shows (I didn't really expect it to be), the list looks pretty interesting. Below is the line-up with my thoughts (new shows in italics):

8-9 p.m.: "Deal or No Deal" -- I know that this show gets good number, but I just don't get it. All I can do as I watch this show is chant "Choose Wisely" like the knight in Indiana Jones 3. I just can't take seriously a show that adds dramatic tension to a hidden information game where the contestants seem to be selected based on their ignorance of probability.

9-10 p.m.: "Heroes" -- This was one of my favorite new shows this year and I am glad to see it has been renewed for the fall. I also can't wait for the "fill in" show "Heroes: Origins" which will be running this while the main show is on hiatus.

10-11 p.m.: "Journeyman" --Based on the description (below) this is a combination of "Quantum Leap" and "The Unit." Not only do we get the "Sam travels through time fixing stuff" narrative, but we also get the "what's happening in his home life" as well. It sounds like an interesting enough combination for me to watch a re-envisioning of an idea I enjoyed before. The added element of the protagonist having to deal with his home life does intrigue me, so I'll be either staying up or Tivo-ing this show.

"Journeyman"-- From Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Kevin Falls ("The West Wing") and Emmy Award-winning director-producer Alex Graves ("The West Wing"), "Journeyman" is a romantic mystery-drama about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, "Rome"), a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives. Along the way, he also must deal with the difficulties and strife at work and home brought on by his sudden disappearances. However, his freewheeling travels through the decades reunite him with his long-lost fiance Livia (Moon Bloodgood, "Day Break") -- which complicates his present-day life with wife Katie (Gretchen Egolf, "Martial Law") and their son. Reed Diamond ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and Charles Henry Wyson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") also star. "Journeyman" is a production of 20th Century Fox Television. Falls is executive producer and writer; Graves is executive producer and director of the pilot.

8-9 p.m.: "The Biggest Loser" -- Ah, lame reality programming, renewed. I'll pass.

9-10 p.m.: "Chuck" -- A new show from Josh "pop culture" Schwartz and Mc"king of high concept"G, that seems to be an interesting combination of "Jake 2.0," "The Six Million Dollar Man," and The Computer Wore Red Tennis Shoes. Based on the creative crew, "The OC" and "Supernatural" are two of my favorite shows, alone I was sold. Add a semi-SF/espionage back story and Adam Baldwin from "Firefly" and I'll give the show 8-10 episodes to prove itself to me.

From executive producer, Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") and executive producer-director McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall") comes a one-hour, comedic spy thriller about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, "Less Than Perfect") - a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent. When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at Buy More. Instead of fighting computer viruses, he must fight assassins and international terrorists. With the government's most precious secrets in Chuck's head, Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin, "My Bodyguard") of the NSA assumes the responsibility of protecting him. His partner is the CIA's top agent (and Chuck's first date in years) Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strzechowski, "Gone"). They'll keep him safe by trading in his pocket protector for a bulletproof vest. Also starring are Joshua Gomez ("Without a Trace") as Chuck's best buddy Morgan and Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian?") as Chuck's ever-supportive sister Ellie. Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak wrote "Chuck," which is produced by College Hill Pictures and Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television.

10-11 p.m.: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" -- Don't watch it. Not because it's bad or anything, just not enough time in the day.

8-9 p.m.: "Deal or No Deal" -- Two days a week of bad decision making? No thanks.

9-10 p.m.: "Bionic Woman" -- My demands of remakes of my favorite childhood shows are very high. Given that this has "Battlestar Galactica" connections, I expect to be disappointed.

10-11 p.m. "Life" -- "A cop given a second chance after serving time for a crime he didn't commit?" Like the old Life cereal commercial, I'll be like Mikey. I'll try it out, but I don't expect to like it. Who knows...It might be good. It might be terrible. I'll find out what I think.

8-8:30 p.m.: "My Name Is Earl" -- I don't watch it, but Fritz thinks it's very funny.

8:30-9 p.m.: "30 Rock" -- I don't watch it, but it looks very funny.

9-9:30 p.m.: "The Office" -- One of my favorite shows.

9:30-10 p.m.: "Scrubs" -- Just when you think ratings are the only consideration when renewing shows, they renew "Scrubs." Not that I'm complaining, I really like this show. I'm just saying. It's not every show that looses 2.1 million viewers from the previous hour that gets renewed. (On May 3, "The Office" had 7 million viewers, "Scrubs" had 4.9).

10-11 p.m.: "ER" -- This show will be on in twenty years. I stopped watching it when they dropped a helicopter on one of my favorite characters. That was a year or so after they had a helicopter cut the same character's arm off. It was just too much for me.

8-9 p.m.: "1 vs 100"/"The Singing Bee" -- Could we get a new host for "1 vs 100"? I like the concept, but Bob Saget? As for "The Singing Bee," I might just watch this to see how many interpretations of "Blinded by the Light" I can hear.

9-10 p.m.: "Las Vegas" -- Until a show demonstrates just how dull and mechanical the behind the scenes of a casino is, I will be disappointed. As someone who was a 21/Craps dealer for a couple of years, I can't watch the "Casinos are so exciting" narratives. Puhleese. It's all about old ladies loosing their Social Security money in the hopes that the few moments of "friendship" they receive from casino staff can substitute for family who doesn't visit or call. Casinos are dull, depressing, and filled with the desperate.

10-11 p.m.: "Friday Night Lights" -- It makes more sense to me that this show be broadcast on Fridays. Well...except for the fact that a good part of their target audience are out watching the games that this show fictionalizes! Hello?

8-9 p.m.: "Dateline NBC" -- Um...there's still cable news and the internet right? Pass.

9-11 p.m.: Drama Series Encores -- Space for "Raines" here if they give it a shot again. I'll go light a candle.

SUNDAY (Fall 2007)
7-8 p.m.: "Football Night in America" -- I'm a baseball and college football guy myself, but I'll probably watch this semi-regularly.

8-11 p.m.: "NBC Sunday Night Football" -- Ditto.

SUNDAY (January 2008)
7-8 p.m.: "Dateline NBC" -- The internet still here at this point of the post? Same answer.

8-9 p.m.: "Law & Order" -- Long after our society crumbles, the Eloi will still be watching this show.

9-10 p.m.: "Medium" -- Sorry, I read James Randi's website during this hour.

10-11 p.m. "Lipstick Jungle" -- Maybe, maybe not. If it is just another show about catty women sleeping around in the workplace, no. If it is a show about the genuine obstacles women face in the entertainment industry, yes. As someone with friends, and family, who hope to be in the basic circumstances of some of the characters in this show, I'm intrigued. But I still don't trust it. The fact that the show stars Brooke "nothing gets between me and my Calvin Kleins" Shields leads me to believe that the show will likely be the first. Based on the description though, I am ordering the novel today.

Based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell ("Sex and the City"), this fun dramedy follows three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game. Nico (Kim Raver, "24"), editor-in-chief of a hot fashion magazine, wants to replace her boss as CEO. Movie exec Wendy (Brooke Shields, "Suddenly Susan") finds even her most earnest efforts may not be enough to balance career and family. And free-spirited designer Victory (Lindsay Price, "Beverly Hills, 90210") longs to make her dreams come true, and maybe find Mr. Right along the way. Armed with humor and strength, these three modern New York women support one another through the triumphs and tears that are all part of making it big in the Big Apple. Written by executive producers DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler (both for "How I Met Your Mother," "Three Sisters") and based on the book by Bushnell, "Lipstick Jungle" is from NBC Universal Television Studio. The pilot is directed by Gary Winick ("13 Going on 30").

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