Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The New Shows of 2011-12: CBS and FOX

Apparently I can't do math. Actually, not math, just counting. There are 41 new network scripted shows, not 45. But since only 6 of them are on CBS (the benefit of massive success) and 10 on FOX (the benefit of 2 hour nights and launching X Factor) I've combined the two networks into one post! Reminder, these are only new scripted shows, I've only seen the publicly available trailers *(I've now seen the pilot to New Girl, which is available on demand for free on many cable systems), and all summaries come from Wikipedia unless stated otherwise. Here we go...

-2 Broke Girls- "Set in New York City, the series chronicles the lives of two waitresses in their twenties—Max (Kat Dennings), who comes from a poor working-class family, and Caroline (Beth Behrs), who was born rich but is now down on her luck—working together at a Brooklyn restaurant. The two become fast friends and build their dream of one day opening a cupcake shop (for which they need to raise $250,000), although they can barely afford anything with the pay they receive at work, and must continually find ways to make ends meet. Among those working with them at the restaurant are their boss, Han Lee; Oleg, a cook; and Earl, the cashier." You know Kat Dennings- she's the sneaky hot and extraordinarily likable girl from 40 Year Old Virgin, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and most recently Thor. You don't know Beth Behrs. I mean maybe you do- have you seen the Castle episode "Slice of Death" or the NCIS:LA episode "Disorder" or the direct-to-video "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love?" No. Then you don't know Beth Behrs. Anyway, the concept seems good, Kat Dennings seems good, the stereotyped supporting characters don't seem as good. But as Bret Michaels says, every rose has it's thorn. This should be CBS's next hit sitcom. Chance of Season 2: 90%

-The 2-2- I've got virtually nothing. It's a rookie cop procedural produced by Robert De Niro. It's airing at midseason. And that's it. It's getting 50% because as far as I can tell it has a 50/50 shot. Chance of Season 2: 50%

-A Gifted Man- "Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is a talented but self-absorbed surgeon at an upscale New York City clinic. He lives a comfortable and materialistic life due to the wealthy clients he treats, but is nevertheless discontent with his life and acts coldly to those around him. This life is thrown into disarray, however, when he is visited by the ghost of his ex-wife Anna (Jennifer Ehle), who was recently killed in a car accident. Anna asks Michael to help keep running the free clinic she previously directed, which leads Michael to be exposed to poorer patients in need who are far different from his usual clientele. Michael's sister Christina (Julie Benz), a single mother struggling to care for her troubled teenage son Milo (Liam Aiken), believes in the supernatural and is thrilled with the idea that Anna is back in Michael's life, as she insists he was a better person when she was around." So Medium as a medical procedural. This is right in CBS's wheelhouse. Chance of Season 2: 90%

-How to be a Gentleman- "The series chronicles the friendship between an uptight columnist (David Hornsby) and his more freewheeling trainer (Kevin Dillon)." Well there's certainly no consistency in the length of the summaries on Wikipedia, is there? This one fails to mention the supporting cast that includes NewsRadio's David Foley, 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Flight of the Conchord's Rhys Darby. But if CBS was going to pick up a Kevin Dillon sitcom, I would have preferred him and Andrew Dice Clay voicing the leads in Johnny Bananas. This is the kind of sitcom that CBS always has that I'll watch one episode of, forget about, and suddenly it's entering its fifth season. I don't think it will be any good, but that doesn't mean it won't succeed. Because everything on CBS succeeds. Chance of Season 2: 50%

-Person of Interest- "Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) is a mysterious billionaire who has developed a computer program that predicts the identity of a person connected to a violent crime that will take place some time in the future. However, the program has its limitations - it cannot predict whether they will be a victim, perpetrator or a witness, nor can it predict when or where the crime will take place. Unable to stop the crimes on his own, Finch hires Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA agent who is presumed to be dead, to help stop the crimes from taking place." So it's a guy from Lost and Jesus solving crimes, alongside Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (as opposed to all the other Taraji Hensons. Thank god we know the middle initial). Not my kind of show, but again, CBS procedural. Chance of Season 2: 70%

-Unforgettable- "The series follows a former New York City police detective named Carrie Wells, who suffers from hyperthymesia, a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to remember everything. She is reluctantly asked by her former boyfriend and one-time partner to join his homicide unit after he asks for help with solving a case. The move allows her to do the one thing she has been trying to remember, that of finding out how her sister was murdered." I really have nothing to say about this. CBS crime procedural. Look at the picture. If you just saw that, would you realize it was a new show and not a show that has been airing on CBS since 2004? Chance of Season 2: 70%

-Alcatraz- "When San Francisco Police Department Det. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to Jack Sylvane (guest star Jeffrey Pierce), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history-both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, Ray Archer (Robert Forster), were guards at the prison-Madsen's interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) tries to impede her investigation, she is doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto (Jorge Garcia), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he is loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he has not aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted Warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) and the merciless Associate Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner)." Also, J.J. Abrams. I know, who would have thought? It sounds like the kind of intriguing show I would never watch, but a small but passionate audience (a "fringe" audience, pun intended) could hold onto it for a few years. Chance of Season 2: 66%

-Allen Gregory- "The series will follow Allen Gregory De Longpre, a precocious 7 year-old being raised by his father Richard and his father's life partner Jeremy." The show was created, and the lead is voiced by, Jonah Hill. Fox sure does love their animation. Has any other network aired an animated series in prime time this decade? And why would Entourage think CBS suddenly would? Anyway, this sounds better than Fox's other new animated series (we'll get to that). Chance of Season 2: 75%

-The Finder- "The character of Walter is described as an eccentric but amusing recluse in high demand for his ability to find anything. He is skeptical of everything—he suffered brain damage while overseas, which explains his constant paranoia—and known for asking offensive, seemingly irrelevant questions to get to the truth." Do you love Bones, but hate the attractive, deeply blue eyed female star? Then this is the show for you! This Bones spinoff (the backdoor pilot aired as an episode of Bones last spring) will take the quirky procedural and sexual will-they-won't-they tension of the original and transfer it to Geoff Stults of 7th Heaven fame and Michael Clarke Duncan, that big black guy with the deep voice from that Tom Hanks movie and not much else. (Note: There is no evidence that there will be any sexual will-they-won't-they tension between Stults and Duncan). Chance of Season 2: 70%

-I Hate My Teenage Daughter- "The show will follow two mothers who fear their daughters are turning into the kind of girls who tormented them in high school." The title says it all really. I guess if you love Jaime Pressley you might enjoy this. I'm fairly ambivalent towards her, the premise sounds awful, and this does not seem like the show that is going to be Fox's big breakout live action sitcom they've been seeking. Chance of Season 2: 10%

-Little in Common- From TVLine- "The single-camera project, from Veronica Mars and Party Down vet Rob Thomas, centers on the Wellers (Rob Corddry, Heather Graham), who move from California to Texas, but find that their adjustment won’t be quite that easy considering their Latina single mother neighbor (played by Alana Ubach) has a radically different approach to child-rearing than they do. Meanwhile, their other new neighborhood acquaintances, the African American Burlesons (Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union), take sports way too seriously." Heather Graham is funny. She was funny in her one episode of Arrested Development, she was funny in The Hangover. Just because she has a failed sitcom past (the 1 episode run of Emily's Reasons Why Not) doesn't mean this show will fail. Rob Coddry and Gabrielle Union make this a pretty impressive cast. The only issue is whether the supporting characters can be more than obnoxious stereotypes. Chance of Season 2: 60%

-Napoleon Dynamite- "The series is based on the 2004 cult film Napoleon Dynamite. It follows the adventures of Napoleon Dynamite, and his family and friends, as they navigate small-town life in rural Idaho." Also it's animated. Allen Gregory sounds pretty good about now, doesn't it? Chance of Season 2: 3%

-New Girl- "The show will star Zooey Deschanel as Jessica "Jess" Day, a well-liked, bubbly, and adorable woman in her late 20s who is trying to get over her surprise breakup with her model boyfriend. She eventually finds a new place to stay when she moves in with three single guys: Nick, a bartender; Schmidt, a professional and modern-day casanova; and Coach, a former athlete turned trainer. Rounding out this unlikely bunch is Jessica's street-smart model friend Cece. Together, this group of friends try to help Jess learn a lot about love, life and mostly about herself, while at the same time learn a lot about themselves." Do you hate Bones, but love the attractive, deeply blue eyed female star? Then this is the show for you! Yes, Fox is doubling down on their Deschanel business. If you love Zooey Deschannel, you're going to love this show. If you hate Zooey Deschannel, you're going to hate this show. If you're ambivalent towards Zooey Deschannel, try the show. The pilot is available EVERYWHERE. On Demand, iTunes, Hulu, Fox.com, everywhere. I enjoyed it a lot. I question how hard replacing Damon Wayans Jr. will be (he's sticking with Happy Endings). It's amazing I'm saying that- in last years preview I openly mocked his existence. Fox is betting big on this show, I bet it succeeds. Chance of Season 2: 95%

-Terra NovaThe show begins in the year 2149, a time when all life on planet Earth is threatened with extinction (suggested in trailers to be due to dwindling worldwide air quality and overpopulation). In an effort to save the human race, scientists develop a time machine allowing people to travel 85 million years back in time to prehistoric Earth. The Shannon family (father Jim, his wife Elisabeth, and their three children Josh, Maddy and Zoe) join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first human colony on the other side of the temporal doorway. However, they are unaware that the colony is in the middle of a group of carnivorous dinosaurs." There is no in between with Terra Nova. It will either be a monster hit- the biggest scripted television show of the decade, drawing 20 million people in the demographic- or a colossal disaster- greater than anything in history, the "Water World" of television. They've been working on this show for a few years. The budget for the pilot is bigger than many full seasons of shows. If the ratings are just good, and not great, Fox can't afford to keep this show on. Critics are just getting to the final, 2-hour pilot, so there's been little word about it. The pilot will get massive ratings for interest at least, but I bet it flops by the end of the season. Chance of Season 2: 20%

-Touch- From The Hollywood Reporter- "the drama pilot revolves around a father (Kiefer Sutherland) and his autistic and mute son (David Mazouz) who can predict events before they happen." Also it has Danny Glover. People will watch. Chance of Season 2: 75%

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