I know, you’re saying, “TV Watcher, its still August, why the rush on the Fall Preview?” Valid question, fictional reader, but because of NBC’s performance enhancing idea to start its Fall season in August (building on the Olympics lead in), we are all a little early this year.
Anyway, Summer will soon be ending, the leaves will soon be turning, and TV Watcher will soon be getting comfortable in front of his television for another season of television highs and lows. There is some real promise in the year’s new helping (especially in the scripted dramas) and a lot of duds to be sure (especially in the comedies).
To help you sort through it all, On My DVR presents its second annual Fall Preview: Your 30-Second Guide to the Fall Season’s Newest Shows. Enjoy!
New Dramas (in alphabetical order)
666 Park Avenue (ABC, premiering on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: A young, naive couple take a job manging a supernatural hotel owned by John Locke and Wilimena Slater. Shit gets real. From ABC, “What would you do to have everything you desire? Step inside “666 Park Avenue,” New York’s most seductive address. We all have some burning needs, desires and ambitions. For the residents of The Drake, the premier apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, these will all be met – for a price – courtesy of the building’s mysterious owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn). But be careful what you wish for, because the price you have to pay is your soul … When Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), an idealistic young couple from the Midwest, arrive in New York City, the glamorous center of industry and media, they are offered the opportunity to manage the historic Drake. Jane, a small town girl with big ambitions, always knew she wanted to be an architect. Henry, a member of the Mayor’s staff, is grounded, intelligent and tenacious. They are lured by the intoxicating lifestyle of New York’s wealthy elite. Gavin, who has many skeletons in his own closet, is at the height of his world and commands the dark power of The Drake. Olivia (Vanessa Williams), his beautiful but enigmatic, supportive wife, wears her elegance, wealth and position in society as armor… but cracks will slowly be revealed. Jane and Henry not only fall prey to the machinations of Gavin and Olivia, but unwittingly live in the dark embrace of the building’s supernatural forces which endanger the lives of its residents.”
On My DVR’s take: It might look like Devil’s Advocate: The Series (with no Al Pacino) but I have a feeling that this one is going to be great. The shows looks spooky, mythology heavy and sexy as hell, all with a dry sense of humor. Admittedly, I have reservations about Vanessa Williams in this particular role BUT the pros far outweigh the cons and this will be the perfect way to end your Sunday night!
Arrow (The CW, premiering on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 8pm). Premise: A billionaire changed by an ordeal abandons the trappings of his affluent life to fight crime vigilante style … with a bow and arrow. Its Batman… with a bow and arrow. the show stars Stephen Amell (Heartland), Colin Donnell (Pan Am), Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl), David Ramsey (Blue Bloods; Dexter), Willa Holland (The O.C.), with Susanna Thompson (Kings; NCIS) and Paul Blackthorne (The River). From The CW, “After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.”
On My DVR’s take: This is the third new show On My DVR will be recapping this coming season (with Last Resort and Revolution) and we’re extremely excited about it. It looks to have better execution and production values than NBC’s failed superhero show, The Cape, and it will have the room to grow and be its nerd-tastic self on The CW (especially paired with the grandpa of supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi shows, Supernatural). The previews released so far seem dark and twisty and all together awesome. I don’t see how this show fails unless it just comes so far off the rails as to be devoid of any redeeming qualities. The CW has built up a nice stable of quality supernatural/fantasy shows and I expect they have another hit with Arrow.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW, premiering on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: In the late 1980′s, Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman got together and played out the classic fairytale of Beauty and the Beast in a modern setting as Cat and Vincent. In 2012, The CW is doing that same show … again. Except the beast won’t be … beasty, well, on the inside but he’ll still be “CW” pretty on the outside. or something and Cat will be a detective instead of a lawyer. Stars Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) and Jay Ryan (Terra Nova). From The CW, “Catherine “Cat” Chandler (Kristin Kreuk, “Smallville,” “Chuck”) is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective, who is haunted by her own tragic past. When she was a teenager, Cat witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Cat would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…though it was strange and terrifying, it was human …
Years have passed, and although she thinks about her mother every day, Cat is now strong and confident, a capable police detective working with her equally talented partner, Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello, “Nurse Jackie”) … While investigating a new case Cat and Tess discover fingerprints that lead to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan, “Terra Nova”), who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Digging deeper, Cat learns that Vincent is actually still alive. For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years. With the help of his childhood friend J.T. Forbes (Austin Basis, “Life Unexpected”), Vincent has been able to guard his terrible secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Cat is stunned when Vincent admits he was the “animal” who saved her the night of her mother’s murder. Vincent doesn’t admit the whole truth – he is emotionally tied to Cat and has been watching over her for years. Cat agrees to protect Vincent’s identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder.”
On My DVR’s take: Pass. I remember being very fond of the 1980′s original and watching it with my sisters. But really, I have no desire to see the same show again and besides, the Disney animated movie was the best telling of the story in any incarnation … maybe if The CW version gets dishes and tea pots to sing and dance, I’ll take a look … maybe.
Chicago Fire (NBC, premiering on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: The daily (and surely, highly dramatic) goings on of the members of a firehouse including the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics. From NBC, “From renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes the high-octane drama “Chicago Fire,” – an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way and whose actions make the difference between life and death. The pressure to perform on such a high level has a way of taking a personal toll, sometimes putting team members from the Truck and the specially trained Rescue Squad at odds with each other. Despite any differences, this is an extended family, and when it’s “go time,” everyone inside Firehouse 51 knows no other way than to lay it all on the line for each other.”
On My DVR’s take: I always liked Jesse Spencer on House so he’s a reason to watch and I always like the Law & Order series, which, as a Dick Wolf project, this will have to be somewhat L&O like so … this show has promise. We’ll see how serious it takes itself which will ultimately decide if we stick around.
Copper (BBC America, premiering Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: Its Gangs of New York, the Series … done by British people. From BBC America, “With New York City still recovering from the Draft Riots of 1863, Detective Kevin Corcoran finds himself investigating the murder of a young Five Points girl that hits uncomfortably close to home.” From IMDb.com, “Set in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City in the 1860s, focusing on a rugged young Irish cop who is forced to navigate his unruly and dangerous immigrant neighborhood while interacting with the uptown Manhattan crowd and the black community.”
On My DVR’s take: Listen, I totally missed the boat on the Downton Abbey craze so I will NOT, WILL NOT! miss the Copper phenomenon. Put that need for social acceptance together with the fact that BBC America produces fantastic and beautiful television and my love for New York-set period pieces and Copper has everything I need in a show. Sundays at 10 will be crowded with Scandal moving to the big leagues but I make room for this show, that its starting in August will only help it succeed!
Elementary (CBS, premiering on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: Sherlock Holmes in Modern Day NY … with a female (Asian) Watson to keep track of his crazypants. From CBS, “ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson. A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance. However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients. He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs. But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson, knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team. With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crime, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.”
On My DVR’s take: Thursday nights are going to be so tough for me between ABC and CBS’s shows but with Person of Interest as its lead-in and Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as its leads, Elementary will be the number one rated freshman drama of the Fall. Predictions! They’re fun! If I had room to recap one more show, this would be it. Its everything that everyone loves about CBS, cutting edge procedurals with minimalist serialization and a decent sense of humor. Add on top, the twist of Liu as Watson (TCAs made it seem like we’ll really delve into her character and her backstory) and Miller’s tattoos and accent and this will be a winner across the board.
Emily Owens, M.D. (The CW, premiering on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: A fish out of water, girl coming into her own story with Mamie Gummer (Off the Map) in the lead. Which, that’s probably enough for some people. From The CW, “At long last, Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer, “The Good Wife”) feels like she is an actual grown-up. She can finally put her high school days as the geeky-girl-with-flop-sweats behind her. She’s graduated from medical school, and she’s beginning an internship at Denver Memorial Hospital, where, not-so-coincidentally, her med-school crush Will Collins (Justin Hartley, “Smallville,” “Passions”) is also an intern. So why does everyone keep warning Emily that the hospital is just like high school? She will soon finds out the hard way – her high school nemesis, the gorgeous, popular Cassandra Kopelson (newcomer Aja Naomi King), is also a new intern at Denver Memorial. Another fellow intern, Tyra Dupre (Kelly McCreary, “White Collar”), warns Emily that the cliques at the hospital are all too familiar: the jocks have become orthopedic surgeons; the mean girls are in plastics; the rebels are in the ER, and Tyra has her own awkward place as the principal’s kid – her father, Dr. Tim Dupre (Harry Lennix, “Ray”), is the chief resident … Even with the long hours, the heavy workload, and no shortage of personal drama filling her first days as an intern, Emily still fees like she’s the new geeky kid all over again, and it’s just as awkward as high school. At Denver Memorial, Emily is just beginning to learn that although she may be a geek, she may also grow to be a great doctor, flop sweats and all.”
On My DVR’s take: I was wrong about Hart of Dixie being a fantastic flop last year so I won’t even predict the future of Emily Owens, M.D. I love Mamie Gummer (and I loved Off the Map … stop snickering) and so I wish the show the best of luck but I am not the show’s demographic and I just can’t get into it. So, yes, I am guessing this show will do fine … it’ll just do fine without me watching.
Last Resort (ABC, premiering on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 8pm). Premise: A US Nuclear Submarine is fired upon by its own country after it demands confirmation of orders to fire its nukes leading the Captain and XO to take the sub to an island and set up their own little kingdom. The show stars the ever awesome Andre Braugher (most recently, Men of a Certain Age) and Scott Peedman (Felicity). From ABC, “Five hundred feet beneath the ocean’s surface, the crew of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine “Colorado” – the most powerful nuclear submarine ever built — receive their orders. Over a communications channel designed only to be used if the U.S. homeland has been wiped out, they’re told to fire nuclear weapons at a foreign country. This suspenseful, emotional, epic series with high stakes will evolve like a classic, action-packed drama. Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) demands confirmation of the orders to fire, only to be unceremoniously relieved of duty. XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) finds himself suddenly in charge of the submarine and facing the same difficult decision. When he also demands confirmation of the orders, the Colorado is fired upon and hit. The submarine and its crew, who are actually honorable patriots, now find themselves crippled on the ocean floor and declared rogue enemies of their own country. With nowhere left to turn, Chaplin and Kendal take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an exotic but dangerous island. Here they will find refuge, romance and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get back home.”
On My DVR’s take: I like every thing about this show and like Revolution, it sounds almost too good to be true. I hope and pray that my very high expectations are met. That being said, I have confidence in the cast and the pedigree behind the camera (it was created by Shawn Ryan who also did The Shield and The Unit). Also, the concept of the “dangerous” Island makes me wish too much for a LOST-like scenario, I can’t even stand it. We’ll see how it unfolds but I see this as one of the top 3 freshman dramas of the Fall Season. My biggest concern is that its too high concept and aggressive for an 8pm timeslot but we’ll see.
Made in Jersey (CBS, premiering on Friday, September 28, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: A Jersey girl tries to make in the cut throat world of Manhattan Big Law. From CBS, “MADE IN JERSEY is a drama about a young working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete among her pedigreed Manhattan colleagues at a prestigious New York law firm. Martina Garretti finds her firm’s cutthroat landscape challenging, but what she lacks in an Ivy League education she more than makes up for with tenacity and blue-collar insight. After just a few weeks, firm founder Donovan Stark takes note of Martina’s ingenuity and resourcefulness, as does third-year chair Nolan Adams, who is part of Manhattan’s royal literati; Riley Prescott, a second-year at Stark & Rowan and the daughter of the former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden; her sassy secretary, Cyndi Vega; and River, a former LAPD detective turned firm investigator. With the support of her big Italian family, including her sexy older sister Bonnie and her encouraging mother Darlene, Martina is able to stay true to her roots as a bold, passionate lawyer on the rise in a new intimidating environment.”
On My DVR’s take: Having lived this exact life for years, I have a true empathetic heart for Martina Garretti’s plight but that won’t make me tune in. I don’t know that anyone else will either. Already buried on Friday nights (not a place to grow a drama), I think CBS has misjudged the public’s appetite for legal dramas (especially ones that take place outside of the courtroom as it appears this will); even the recent ones that were good (e.g., Harry’s Law) haven’t made it and I don’t think Made in Jersey will revive the brand. That being said, its almost never a good bet to bet against CBS.
Major Crimes (TNT, premiering on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: The spinoff to the much loved (and now ended), The Closer, Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) reprises her The Closerrole as, now in charge , Captain Sharon Raydor and puts a fairly typical procedural into action. From TNT (They KNOW Drama), “The detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes division are still reeling from the departure of Brenda Leigh Johnson and the realization that Captain Raydor is now in charge. Unlike their previous chief, Raydor is determined to lead the department with a more team-oriented approach, sharing the credit with the people with whom she works. Raydor’s hardest job, however, will be gaining the full trust and confidence of her detectives, who aren’t quick to forget her long history of internal investigations targeting them and their previous boss. Especially troublesome is Provenza, who has a difficult time taking orders from someone he doesn’t think knows as much as he does.”
On My DVR’s take: We didn’t watch The Closer; we won’t be watching Major Crimes but we do LOVE Mary McDonnell.
The Mob Doctor (Fox, premiering on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: A promising doctor moonlights as physician to the Chicago Mafia in order to pay off her (loser) brother’s debt. Starring Jordana Spiro (My Boys, Harry’s Law). From Fox, “For most physicians, the Hippocratic oath is sacred. But for one Chicago doctor, who is indebted to the mafia, saving lives isn’t her only concern. THE MOB DOCTOR is a fast-paced medical drama focusing on a young female surgeon caught between two worlds as she juggles her promising medical career with her family’s debt to Chicago’s Southside mob. DR. GRACE DEVLIN (Jordana Spiro) is a top resident at Chicago’s Roosevelt Medical Center. Smart and self-assured, she’s heralded as one of the country’s most promising young surgeons. But family ties keep her glued to her Southside roots. To pay off her brother’s life-threatening gambling debt, she makes a deal with the devil and agrees to work “off book” for the mafia men she once despised.”
On My DVR’s take: I think I’ll pass. This show does nothing for me though I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out a hit. The subject matter is the kind of thing people flock too (medical drama combined with mob stories ?!?! Gold!) but for me, I am medical show’d out and I feel like this is going to be in the Made In Jersey bucket of blah blah blahs. Bright Side? Zach Gilford (FNL; Off the Map) co-stars which makes me secretly hope it works out because I like him a lot but I just can’t bring myself to watch.
Nashville (ABC, premiering on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: Coach Taylor’s Wife has moved to Nashville and had a 2 decade long music career which is now threatened by up and coming phenoms and a record label only concerned with the next big thing. The Cheerleader is the next big thing! The show stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as Rayna Jaymes and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) as Juliette Barnes. From ABC, “Music legend and entertainment icon Rayna Jaymes has been one of the industry’s top female vocalists for two decades. After working tirelessly to elevate her game, Rayna suddenly discovers her passion for the business is not enough to compete with the new generation of talent lighting up the charts. She is reluctant to accept the emerging trend in the business and refuses to be steamrolled by her longtime label, which she helped build. When they give her an offer she can’t refuse, Rayna is forced to accept the harsh reality that she’ll have to start over and reinvent herself if she plans on being relevant … Juliette Barnes is sexy, sassy, and she’s got trouble written all over her. She’s the hottest act in the business and she’s not about to let anyone stand in the way of her success, much less Rayna James. On her way to the top, an even bigger set of circumstances will cast a shadow on her girl-next-door image. But Juliette is calculating, has an insatiable appetite for fame, and will do whatever it takes to leave her hard knocks past behind.”
On My DVR’s take: Count me in for Nashville. I love the cast, I love the music, I love the story. I am already watching ABC on Wednesday nights anyway. That Hayden and Connie sing their own songs is only icing on the cake for me. I hope it finds a broad enough audience to generate ratings and keep the Country Truck a Rolling!
Revolution (NBC, premiering on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: The World has completely blacked out, all forms of energy have been lost and a girl travels across America to try and rescue her brother from bad guys. From NBC, “What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and “Supernatural’s” Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, “Revolution” is also about family – both the family you’re born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, “Being Human”), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, “Memphis Beat”). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, “The Twilight Saga”), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if – or how – it will ever return.”
On My DVR’s take: This is one of the top shows that we are most anticipating this Fall and the only potential downside is that its on NBC which has not had a good track record for sci-fi/supernatural shows (I am looking at you Cape and The Event). Upside? Its from JJ Abrams and Eric Kripke and Jon Favreau directed the pilot so at least that episode won’t suck. I also like that the protagonist is a woman though I suspect Billy Burke will come to be the star of this show.
Vegas (CBS, premiering on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 10pm). Premise: Las Vegas in ’60s was a clash of a fledgling rule of law and the mob. This is that story! From CBS, “Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis star in VEGAS, a drama inspired by the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth-generation rancher tasked with bringing order to Las Vegas in the 1960s, a gambling and entertainment mecca emerging from the tumbleweeds. Ralph Lamb wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life. Recalling Lamb’s command as a military police officer during World War II, the Mayor appeals to his sense of duty to look into a murder of a casino worker – and so begins Lamb’s clash with Vincent Savino, a ruthless Chicago gangster who plans to make Vegas his own. Assisting Lamb in keeping law and order are his two deputies: his diplomatic, even-keeled brother, Jack, and his charming but impulsive son, Dixon. Ambitious Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’Connell, who grew up on the ranch next to the Lambs, also lends a hand in preserving justice. In VEGAS, two powerful men – Lamb and Savino – are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the budding oasis, and for both of them, folding is not an option.”
On My DVR’s take: Quaid and Chiklis alone are enough to warrant giving this a watch, the period set piece is another. Carrie-Ann Moss (The Matrix) and Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova) in supporting cast roles are a third. Expect lots of action and pushing on the limits of broadcast standards for violence and language with a good story to boot. The season will be crowded so I don’t know if we’ll be tuning in every week but we’re definitely going to give this a chance. The serialization of the show may lose some CBS viewers who like a “__ Of the Week” format but may attract a different audience that otherwise isn’t disposed to watch The Eye.
New Comedies (in alphabetical order)
Animal Practice (NBC, Preview Episode Was August 12, 2012. Regular Series premiering on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 8pm). Premise: An unorthodox vet with an inappropriate affinity for animals has his world turned upside down when his ex-girlfriend inherits the practice he’s made into his own. Also, there is a monkey and she’s cute. The show stars Justin Kirk (Weeds) and JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Better With You). From NBC, “Animal Practice” is a new comedy centering on Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, “Weeds,” “Angels in America”), a top veterinarian with an impressive list of famous animal patients at the Crane Animal Hospital – a bustling New York City veterinary practice where it often seems as if the patients are running the place. Despite his unorthodox style, George has an undeniable gift with animals of all kinds – except the human kind. Much to his chagrin, George recently learned that his ex-girlfriend, Dorothy Crane (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Better with You”), has inherited the family business and is now George’s boss. Whip-smart and ambitious, Dorothy shakes up the hospital as she brings order to the chaos and butts heads with George’s animal-friendly administration.”
On My DVR’s take: This show is not as horrible as it looks; however, any show that has a monkey as its biggest draw is doomed from the start. Justin Kirk is almost unreedemably off putting as the quirky Dr. Coleman and Joanna Garcia is a little too simpering and weak willed as ex-girlfriend, Dorothy but there is room to improve here. The veterinarian setting is unique (lord, must the set smell to high hell with all the animals) but the show is SUPER predictable which will ultimately turn me off. Its trying too hard to be offbeat like Scrubs without the je ne sais quoi that gave that show its heart and soul. In other words, Animal practice thinks its much cuter and funnier than it really is and it needs to tone that down. Last, this show will get KILLED on Wednesday nights, especially up against the ABC juggernaut block. Look for the Keep or Delete Review sometime this week.
Ben and Kate (Fox, premiering on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 8:30pm). Premise: A brother and sister move in together and do … wacky things? Sorry, I ahven’t been paying attention to this show and I can’t even pretend to really care. From Fox, “What happens when an exuberant dreamer who always says “yes” moves in with his overly responsible little sister to help raise her five-year-old daughter? BEN AND KATE, a new single-camera ensemble comedy, follows a pair of odd-couple siblings and their friends as they push each other out of their comfort zones and into real life. KATE FOX (Dakota Johnson) followed the rules all her life…until she got pregnant in college and dropped out just shy of graduation. After the birth of her daughter, MADDIE (Maggie Elizabeth Jones), Kate put her 20s on hold. Now working as a bar manager to make ends meet and maximize her time with Maddie, she’s uber-prepared for every possible catastrophe – except for the arrival of her older brother, BEN FOX (Nat Faxon).”
On My DVR’s take: Pass. Just writing that one word is more time than I care to spend on this show. We’ll see how I feel after I watch the pilot but I am not excited about doing that. At all. In short, I think Ben & Kate will be in a tight contest with Guys with Kids for first show cancelled of the New Fall Season and in any case, I suspect both shows will fall early in the death pool.
Go On (NBC, Preview Episode Was August 8, 2012. Regular Series premiering on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: Chandler Bing has to attend grief counseling sessions before returning to his job as a radio sports talk show host and surprise, the group is made up of oddballs. Go On stars Matthew Perry (Friends), John Cho (FlashForward), Laura Benanti (Playboy Club) and Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) which is a strong ensemble cast. From NBC, “Matthew Perry (“Friends,” “Mr. Sunshine”) stars as Ryan King, a recent widower and sports talk radio host ready to get back to work after the loss of his wife. Ryan’s alpha-male boss, Stephen, played by John Cho (“Star Trek,” “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”), has a different plan in store for Ryan, making him attend grief counseling before returning to the air. A reluctant Ryan finds himself in a support group for “life change,” where he meets an oddball cast of characters, all with their own backstories filled with varying degrees of loss.”
On My DVR’s take: This show will get at least a few episodes from me because of my continued good will towards to Matthew Perry ( I liked Mr. Sunshine so deal with that) but I am not seeing this as Thursday Must See TV material, which is the measuring stick against which all NBC comedies are compared. Sometime this week, we’ll have the Keep or Delete Review posted.
Guys with Kids (NBC, premiering on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 8:30pm). Premise: Did you see the movie, What To Expect When Expecting? Guys with Kids is that part of the movie about the dad’s group that walks in the park. Have I over sold it? So, the show is about three guys trying to remain youthfully relevant while raising their babies. Expect lots of buzzy words to be tossed around on this show, like calling the babies, “littles” and expect to be annoyed .. a lot. Stars Anthony Anderson (Law & Order), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos; Joey) and Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show) and may be one of the first casualties of the new season. From NBC, “Balancing work or staying at home, happily married or happily divorced, taking care of the “littles” while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it’s hosing down their babies in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with “babybjorns,” these guys are taking on fatherhood in ways no one has ever seen before. ”
On My DVR’s take: Groan. So many groans. This show sounds exhausting to even think about existing. I hope it is horrible and that it gets pulled quickly.
Malibu Country (ABC, premiering on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 8:30pm). Premise: Reba (just, Reba) plays a fish out of water story when, after finding out her husband has been a cheating, packs up her kids and Lily Tomlin and moves them to all California to starts their lives over. From ABC, “On her way to becoming a country star herself, Reba put her career on hold to raise a family. Husband Bobby always emphasized family values in his music, but with the very public discovery of his numerous affairs, Reba decides to not stand by her man. Now, with a divorce pending, Reba packs up her sharp-tongued southern mother, Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin, “Laugh-In,” “Damages,” “Desperate Housewives,” “West Wing,” “Nine to Five,” “Nashville”), and her two kids and U-Hauls it straight to sunny California to begin a new chapter in life. Leaving Nashville in the rear view mirror, they start over at their Malibu residence — the last remaining asset they have, and Bobby’s former secret love nest.”
On My DVR’s take: Malibu Country will not be breaking new ground but it has a good (and funny) cast and a good premise and Reba is very easy to watch; throw in some singing (her character will be rebuilding her music career so there’ll be singing) and this show sounds like it will provide some good times. Its troubling that ABC has stuck it on Friday nights, a death slot for most shows but its ABC, and they have a history of making comedies work on Friday (TGIF anyone?). We’ll be giving Malibu Country a chance!
The Mindy Project (Fox, premiering on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 9:30pm). Premise: Mindy Kaling (The Office) plays a doctor version of herself and deals with wacky adventures with men and life. Stars Mindy Kaling. From Fox, “THE MINDY PROJECT is a biting new single-camera comedy from Emmy Award-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) that follows a woman who, despite having a successful career, is unlucky in love and desperately needs to get her personal life back on track before her friends and colleagues are forced to stage an intervention. Funny, impatient and politically incorrect, MINDY LAHIRI (Kaling) can quote every romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan that exists. She loves the good ones and the bad ones, because the girl always gets the guy. Mindy is determined to be more punctual, spend less money, lose weight and read more books – all in pursuit of becoming a well-rounded perfect woman…who can meet and date the perfect guy.”
On MY DVR’s take: We’re in! The Mindy Project is THE single comedy we really want to see this Fall season; we have the highest of hopes for Kelly Kapoor’s new life direction. Mindy Kaling is a phenomenal comedic talent and I can only hope she is allowed to shine her true personality into every corner of this show. If that happens, this show can’t miss. To tell the truth, I would watch Kaling read the phonebook as long as she gave some sass and snark along the way.
The Neighbors (ABC, premiering on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 9:30pm; Regular Timeslot Premieres on Wednesday, October 3,2012 at 8:30pm). Premise: A dad moves his family to a gate community in Hidden Hills, NJ where it turns out, the strange neighbors are aliens. The humans decide to stay and make it work and friendships are formed as hilarity ensues. From ABC, “Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) just wants the best for his wife, Debbie (Jami Gertz), and their three kids. That’s why he’s moving them to Hidden Hills, New Jersey, a gated community complete with its own golf course. Marty is certain that their new home will be a dream come true. And then, they meet the neighbors … Larry Bird (Simon Templeman) introduces himself as the “leader” of the community. Then he presents his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), and their two sons (yes, they’re named after famous athletes – Dick Butkus and Reggie Jackson). As Debbie and Marty frantically try to make sense of the weird neighbors – European? A cult? Amish athletes? – they discover that the entire Hidden Hills community is comprised of aliens from the planet Zabvron. ‘Turns out the Zabvronians have been holed up in Hidden Hills for the past 10 years, awaiting instructions from back home, and the Weavers are the first humans who have ever lived amongst them.”
On My DVR’s take: Groans, GROANS I SAY! This sounds just horrible, right? Aliens? Who Cry Out of their Ears? And name their people after famous athletes? C’mon, ABC. But, here’s the thing. This is ABC which has been the leader in single camera comedies for a while now AND they are putting the show into the high profile 8:30pm lead-in to Modern Family (Subugatory‘s old slot) so, someone at ABC thinks this show has the goods to deliver. Until we see it and taste it, we won’t be able to tell but I am ready to cut and run on this one.
The New Normal (NBC, premiering on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 9:30pm). Premise: Its about an unorthodox or shall we say, “modern”, family arrangement and Ryan Murphy is responsible. That’s about all I know going into this show; I’ll know more when I get around to the Keep or Delete Review. From NBC, “These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, “Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”) and David (Justin Bartha, “The Hangover”) are a Los Angeles couple, and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, there is one thing that this couple is missing: a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, “One Day”), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Emmy and Tony Award-winner Ellen Barkin), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious eight-year-old daughter. Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother, surrogate family. Ryan Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with creator/executive producer Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”).”
On My DVR’s take: Until I see the pilot, I won’t know about this one but I might like it. I doubt it but maybe … I do know I LOVE Modern Family and this sounds like NBC’s answer to that mega hit show.
Partners (CBS, premiering on Monday, September 24, 2012 at 8:30). Premise: Its Will & Grace for 2012 with a straight guy in for Debra Messing. From CBS, “PARTNERS is a comedy based on the lives of creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, about two life-long best friends and business partners whose “bromance” is tested when one of them is engaged to be married. Joe is an accomplished architect who leads with his head and not his heart, especially in his love life. That’s in stark contrast to his gay co-worker, Louis, who is spontaneous, emotional and prone to exaggeration. Both have found joy in their love lives: Joe is newly engaged to Ali, a beautiful and sophisticated jewelry designer, and Louis’ companion is Wyatt, a vegan nurse who Louis insists is just a promotion away from becoming a doctor. As news of Joe’s engagement settles, time will tell if their business and personal bond can adapt to the addition of two other important relationships.”
On My DVR’s take: David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are very funny people but I am not sure that I want to see their real life played out on TV; also, we saw them do this a decade plus ago with Will & Grace. The cast, with its 4 known leads: Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), David Krumholtz (The Playboy Club; Numbers), Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns; Chuck), is strong and attractive (though, other than Urie, not a group I think of as “funny”) and will be the strength of the show if it succeeds. That is has the How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls bumpers will give this comedy time to grow and find its voice but I will likely be watching something else.
Reality/Unscripted Shows (in alphabetical order)
Hotel Hell (Fox, premiering on premiering on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 8pm). Premise: Gordon Ramsay bitching out useless hotel owners. Its Kitchen Nightmaresin a hotel. From Fox, “Hotel Hell features Gordon Ramsay on a quest to fix horrid hotels, awful inns and just plain bad bed and breakfasts … After he has uncovered all the dirty secrets, Ramsay will put the hotel owners and employees to work as he attempts to turn around these failing establishments. With reputations on the line, one thing is certain: if they can’t meet Ramsay’s high standards, they will never check out of Hotel Hell.”
On My DVR’s take: We’ll skip this, not because we don’t LOVE Ramsay bitching out people, because, really, no one does it better. No.One. But, we’re a little Gordon’d out with this being the FOURTH Ramsay show from Fox, all of which air within the same time period and revolve around one thing, Gordon Ramsay’s personality. We’re tired … you fucking donkeh.
The Next (The CW, premiering on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9pm). Premise: Somewhat established local acts get a celebrity mentor and then a shot to go head to head against other established local musical acts, then move up to a larger area of domination and so on, all for the eventual shot at a record deal. The 4 celebrity mentors are Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly and Joe Jonas. From Fox, “In each episode of THE NEXT, four music industry superstars — Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly, and Joe Jonas — will drop in on the lives of four up-and-coming local musicians … These aspiring stars are not plucked from obscurity; they are proven artists on the brink of success. They just need a little help making the leap from opening act to headliner. Over the course of 72 hours, each superstar will groom one contestant — while taking over their lives … When that 72-hour mentoring session is up, the four newly groomed artists will go head-to-head at a well-known local venue … One winner will be chosen and that contestant will move on to represent their city in the semi-finals. Then it’s on to the next city and four more contestants. As an extra twist to the competition, even the contestants who don’t win in their home cities will still have a chance to compete in the finals – viewers across the country will be able to vote for their favorite among the performers who didn’t make the first cut, and the contestant with the most votes will go on to the finals … the vocalist left standing at the end will be rewarded a recording contract with Atlantic Records.”
On My DVR’s take: Like Duets, I just wish this show had bigger named mentors to bring gravitas to the show’s street cred. How relevant is Nelly today? And does anyone take any Jonas brother seriously? At least Gloria Estefan and John Rich have true superstar status in their respective genres. This show has real potential and I like the fact that the artists will already be local celebrities, it adds a believability factor to a music competition that is often missing (e.g., the shows that pretend that cetrtain established contestants haven’t had prior record deals or any taste of success) and we’re also likely to be missing the gag reels of oddities and goofballs that shows like American Idol revel in for the first few weeks. At the end of the day, will the mentors be more Kelly Clarkson (Yay!) or more Robin Thicke (groan). We’ll see after the first episode. Check back for On My DVR’s Keep Or Delete Review!
Oh Sit! (The CW, premiering on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 8pm). Premise: Its Musical Chairs … yeah, like the game you played as a kid on rainy days in school but like on crack. Riveting. Hosted by Jamie Kennedy (Jamie Kennedy Experiment) and Jessi Cruickshank (MTV Live). From The CW, “OH SIT! is a fun, high-stakes, high-octane musical chairs competition, in which 12 thrill-seeking daredevils race head to head through five physically demanding, obstacle course-style eliminations as they each compete to claim a chair, to the sounds of a live band. At the end of the hour, only one contestant will be left sitting triumphant to seize the cash prize. Adding to the fun, Tanika Ray (“Extra”) will be in the trenches with the contestants both on and off the track and will add color commentary from the sidelines as the action unfolds.”
On My DVR’s take: This show looks like idiotic … in a good way; kind of Wipeout meets Double Dare meets American Gladiators? Until Arrow begins in October and ABC’s Wednesday comedy block returns, I’ll probably be tuning into this show on and off because its sounds like goofy fun … which is much the way I appreciate (and watch) Wipeout; it’ll do fine until something better comes along.
Stars Earn Stripes (NBC, premiering on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 8). Premise: A military inspired celebrity gameshow, (B, C and D-List) Celebrities Compete in military-like challenges, for charity! From the mind of Dick Wolf (Law & Order), Mark Burnett (Survivor) and David Hurwitz (Fear Factor), the competing celebrities are Dean Cain, Dolvett Quince, Eve Torres, Laila Ali, Nick Lachey, Picabo Street, Terry Crews, and Todd Palin and is hosted by Samantha Harris (Dancing with the Stars) and General Wesley Clark (Ret.). From NBC, “… eight celebrities will gather at a remote training facility where they will be challenged to execute complicated missions inspired by real military exercises. From helicopter drops into water to long-range weapons fire, the contestants will be tested physically, mentally and emotionally. Each will be paired with a special operative from a military branch or one of our first-responder forces, including former U.S. Army Delta Force and Green Berets, U.S. Navy SEALS, U.S. Marines and police officers, who train alongside their partners and compete in the missions with them.”
On My DVR’s take: This show will be fun to watch but not “must see” by any stretch of the imagination. The potential of getting to see Dean Cain cry or Eve Torres in skimpy sportswear will be too much to keep us away forever but we don’t anticipate watching week in and week out. The use of real military personnel is a cool angle and supports every little boy’s fantasy of playing soldier.