I appreciate that this is a level of geek that many people don't care about, but I always like this week in May when the networks begin unveiling their new shows for the Fall. There's this air of hope. Never mind that most of these new shows are doomed. It's like the start of a sport's season. Everything has the potential to be a winner. At least until you see them play. Then it becomes pretty obvious which ones are winners and which ones are stinkers.
Hey, that wasn't a bad analogy....
Anyway, each network - NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and the new CW (formerly UPN and WB) - will be rolling out their shows this week. NBC was first.
But first, a moment to mourn those that tried and failed, just plain sucked or had a good run and headed off to the corn field.
Done Like Toast
'Book of Daniel'
'The West Wing'
'Will & Grace'
I'm saddest to see West Wing go, obviously. But I do feel somewhat sorry for Joey. I think Matthew Perry has a good chance at a post-Friends career if his new show takes off. And he's going about it the right way, hooking up with a good ensemble cast and a fantastic writer.
But you just kind of figure that's it for Matt LeBlanc. Then again, he's got more money then I'll ever see in this lifetime, so I shan't feel deep waves of sympathy for him.
And what is NBC preparing to unleash on us to make us forget such gems as Surface? Well, Zap 2 It has a pretty good breakdown. The most interesting twists are that there is no Sunday night programming. Instead, NBC will be showing football. They also have a football drama, based on Friday Night Lights airing, when else, but Tuesday night.
They also have two shows based on being behind-the-scenes at Saturday Night Live - 30 Rock with the other being the highly anticipated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Oh, and they're doing weird things to ER. It's going to run straight through from September to December. Then, in January, they'll be running the new drama The Black Donnellys. Which says to me that NBC is just about ready to give up on ER.
I remember being with The Express and wanting to go to this unveiling. Or at least be able to scam something so I could get the advance look at these shows. Alas, never happened.
So which shows look like they have promise and which ones are turkeys? Studio 60 is a lock, I should think. The Black Donnellys has Paul Haggis (of Crash) behind it, so you got to like the odds there. And hell, Friday Night Lights could work as well. Americans are crazy for football. Plus, the movie was pretty good.
As for what smells like turkey, well, I don't think there is room for two SNL knock-off shows on one network during the same season. Raines, features a dour looking Jeff Goldblum (oxymoronic, I know) looking annoyed that he has to be on TV. The Singles Table is a Friends knock-off. Kidnapped looks too much like Prison Break mixed Without a Trace.
And Heroes is a super hero drama. Yeah...they just haven't worked on TV so far. I don't anticipate a new trend starting this year. It also looks a bit like 4400, which is now cancelled, if I'm not mistaken.
We'll see, of course. Predicting things this far ahead is a mugs game. I recall two years ago laughing when I saw the descriptions for Lost and Desperate Housewives. Shows can turn out to be better than a short descriptions and a publicity photo.