The Soap Box Office is about the get very TV intensive for the next couple of weeks. My plan is to give you a brief look into the shows that I'm watching week-to-week plus a few others that I'm trying on for size. A few shows started this week but most of the good ones will premiere in the upcoming days and I'll try to provide my best guidance for where to spend your TV time. With that in mind, my friend and colleague Richard Bardon has agreed to provide you with a quick glance at the potential hits and misses for the upcoming season with a piece her wrote for the Univerisity of North Texas student newspaper. Big shout out to Richard and the mighty UNT Eagles.
Fall is my favorite season. The weather cools, the football begins, and the reruns cease. It is an exciting time of year for those of us who enjoy new shows of promise, as well as those of us who love the brief glimpses of shows sure to go down in flames. The following is a network-by-network list of shows to pay attention to, be it for sincere or sardonic reasoning.
ABC – ABC has a new programming chief, Paul Lee (hired from offspring, upstart network ABC family), as the previous executive was let go amidst some rumors. The first thing Mr. Lee did in office was fire the network’s head of marketing. This does not appear to be a banner year for the network of Disney.
Could be a hit – "Body of Proof" – Fans of Kim Delaney’s from her runs recently on Desperate Housewives and Castle may be inclined to give this a look. This show is ABC’s attempt at CBS style programming with older actors, self contained storylines, and the Friday night time slot. FYI – This show costars a local actor named Windell Middlebrooks. Not familiar? Well you may know him better as the “Miller High Life Guy.”
Will be a miss – "No Ordinary Family" – This is ABC’s most promoted show of the year and features The Shield star Michael Chiklis. I don’t think this show will be an immediate failure, but having no lead in, being an hour long comedy, and going against heavy Tuesday night 7 PM competition, I do see this one eventually suffocating despite itself.
CBS – CBS has become the master of hour-long, self contained dramas the last decade. The CSI and NCIS franchises have kept CBS as the most consistent network over the last ten years.
Could be a hit – "Hawaii Five-O" – When I first heard that this was being remade, I joined with the rest of the world in a solid shake of the fist. Stars Alex O’Laughlin and Scott Caan have apparently taken the 80s staple to the next level, as the show has been getting great buzz. Though it’s not saying much, this will be the hippest show in CBS’ lineup, and the theme song is fabulous.
Will be a miss – "(Stuff) my Dad Says" – The sitcom based on everyone’s favorite twitter feed will have to learn the lesson of every SNL movie after the Blues Brothers. Some stories are just made for a certain medium.
FOX - This is a year of transition for the FOX network. Their banner show American Idol is in the midst of recasting, and they are now a Glee focused network. This could all change in Fall of 2011 when Simon Cowell launches X-Factor, but for now, Glee is alpha dog.
Could be a hit – "Raising Hope" – There is only one writer/producer to have 2 successful shows (all be them moderately) in the last decade. Greg Garcia is the mind behind CBS’ Yes, Dear as well as NBC’ My Name is Earl. While neither were ever critical or commercial darlings, there is something to be said for his ability to get a show to syndication. Hope is given the crucial post-Glee timeslot and it is imperative to see how the younger fans of Glee react to Garcia’s dark sense of humor. The show looks solid, but one should always be weary of non-animated comedies on Fox.
Will be a miss – "Running Wilde" – While I consider it blasphemous to discern upon Wilde creator Mitchell Hurwitz and muse Will Arnett. This show does not seem to have what it takes to make it. Hurtwitz’ predecessor, the incomparable Arrested Development was able to stay on the air due only to the buzz generated by critics. Networks are in it to make money, but they love winning awards as well. Wilde will not win awards as the pilot has already been reshot twice.
NBC – After last year’s Leno/Conan debacle NBC is trying to get back to their roots in delivering a variety of entertainment that is not solely comic based.
As we finally drift away from the remains of the writer’s strike of 2007, this fall provides with a large amount of new shows to replace our Lost and 24 voids, and occupy the time we should be studying.