Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Final Thoughts

September 18, 2007

Here’s the link to my day by day review of the TV Fall Schedule. I’m definitely enthusiastic about the return of my favourite shows from the past few years but I think this is one of the least interesting Fall TV seasons in recent memory.

Last year there were almost a dozen shows that peaked my interest: Smith, Kidnapped, The Nine, 30 Rock, Brothers & Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Jericho, Heroes and even Vanished. This year there are some shows that look interesting and that I’m willing to give a try: Bionic Woman, Dirty Sexy Money, Journeyman, Reaper, Chuck,, Cane, Private Practice and Pushing Daisies – but I’m not actually excited about any of them. I had to go look up the shows before I could put this list together. None of them stuck out in my mind.

I’m still going to try them out but I won’t be surprised if a large number of them fall of my list pretty early in the season.

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Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Sunday Night

September 18, 2007

Here’s my Sunday TV plan:

ABC

10:00 – 11:00 – Brothers & Sisters – The show started out pretty weakly but somewhere around episode 5 or 6 the actors  started to gel, the storylines were compelling and I started to care about the Walker family.  I’m definitely looking forward to the new season as Rob Lowe becomes a regular, Justin returns from Iraq and Sarah goes through with her divorce.  (Starts Sept. 30)

CBS

8:00 – 9:00 – Viva Laughlin – I’ve heard this is the weirdest show of the new season as Cop Rock meets Las Vegas.  I’ll probably give it an episode or 2 but I don’t have high hopes that it’s going to last or that I’m going to stick it out.  (Starts Oct. 18)

Fox

8:00 – 8:30 – The Simpsons – I still haven’t seen the movie and the last few seasons have had way more clunker episodes than winners.  However, I still enjoy watching despite not being able to recollect it much after viewing.  (Starts Sept. 23)

CW

8:00 – 9:00 – Life is Wild – Family relocates to the South African bush.  This could go either way depending on whether it’s close to 7th Heaven or Everwood in tone.  If it’s the latter I’m in and I figure it will only take 1 episode to tell.  (Starts Oct.7)

Bottom Line: Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

8:00 – 8:30 – The Simpsons (Fox)

8:30 – 9:00 – Curb Your Enthusiasm (TMN/ HBO)

10:00 – 11:00 – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

I’m on the fence about: Viva Laughlin and Life is Wild

I absolutely will not be watching:  Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, Extreme Makeover, King of the Hill, American Dad, Family Guy (I like to watch on DVD).


Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Friday Night

September 18, 2007

Here’s the rundown of my Friday night picks and look at the new shows:

ABC

9:00 – 10:00 – Women’s Murder Club – Murder She Wrote 2.0 is just not something that appeals to me.  My mother said she’d watch though.  (Starts Oct. 12)

CBS

9:00 – 10:00 – Moonlight – Call this Angel 2.0 – vampire private detective.  I’m definitely going to give it a try especially with the addition of Jason Dohring (Logan from Veronica Mars) to the cast.  Hopefully it’s closer to the arc driven years of Angel than the “done in one” first season.  (Starts Sept. 28)

NBC

9:00 – 10:00 – Friday Night Lights – My most anticipated returning drama of the fall season.  I’ve been rewatching some of the reruns and the show still draws me in with its fantastic cast, brilliant acting and emotionally cathartic plot lines.  I’m going to echo my wife’s comments – “it doesn’t start until October 5th?”  The two weeks still seems too long to wait.  If you haven’t caught up go buy the DVD’s right now.   There’s a money back guarantee and you will not use it.

10:00 – 11:00 – Las Vegas – I only watch sporatically when there’s nothing else on but last season’s cliff hanger where the Monticito blew up and Sam’s been kidnapped is enough to get me to watch for an episode or 2.  Especially with the new cast addition, Magnum PI himself – Tom Selleck. (Starts Sept. 28)

Bottom Line:  Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

I’m going to record: Moonlight.

I’m on the fence about: Las Vegas

I absolutely will not be watching: Women’s Murder Club, Men in Trees, Ghost Whisperer, Numbers, Deal or no Deal, Next Great American Band, Nashville


Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Thursday

September 15, 2007

My Thursday schedule this year will not look much different than my Thursday schedule last year.

ABC

9:00 – 10:00 – Grey’s Anatomy –  I was pretty close to dropping this show at the end of last season.  The whole George-Izzy thing gave me the willies.  I was at best indifferent but more likely annoyed and bored by Derek and Meredith.  There’s nothing left to say about Cristina and Burke.  Addison is gone.  I can barely remember Alex and outside of Bailey who I still like and maybe the chief the characters have worn out their welcome with me.  But, this is one of those shows that my wife and I watch together so I’m willing to give it another chance for the first 4 weeks of the season.  After that time, I may go back to watching The Office live, regardless of how much I enjoy watching with my wife.  (Starts Sept. 27)

10:00 – 11:00 – Big Shots – The critics have ripped this show to shreds.  Not one has actually said this Sex and the City for guys worth watching.  What makes this so disappointing is the great cast (Dylan McDermott, Jeremy from Sports Night, Vaughn and Titus).  It could be that the pilot just sucked and that maybe, just maybe the show gets better.  The cast deserves my benefit of the doubt, for a week or 2 at least. (Starts Sept. 27)

CBS

8:00 – 9:00 – Survivor – Last season I watched the first 2 episodes and then jumped back in around episode 8 or 9 and it actually worked for me.  It meant fewer challenges eating up 40 minutes of the hour and brought me to a point of the game where the human dynamics were in full flight.  The well cast season also didn’t hurt with fun characters to watch.  This year, I’m likely to do the same.   (Starts Sept. 20)

10:00 – 11:00 – Without a Trace – 2 words.  James Marsters.  This is the only CBS procedural that I watch regardless but with those 2 words I’m sure to push this to the top of the list.  (Starts Sept. 27)

NBC

8:00 – 8:30 – My Name is Earl – I like this show a lot but not as much as the rest of NBC’s Thursday night comedy line up.  Still, it’s better than almost every show ever aired after Friends.  This year Earl is in jail and I understand he’s getting a girl friend.  Should be fun.  (Starts Sept. 27)

8:30 – 9:00 – 30 Rock – One of my favourite new shows from last season.  It only got better after watching the reruns this summer.   If you gave this one a pass based on last year’s mediocre pilot, go rent or buy the full season.  The show only got richer and funnier and as the season went on and this one is looking like it’s going to be great. (Starts Oct. 4)

9:00 – 9:30 – The Office –  Perhaps my favourite show every week.  I have nothing else to say. (Starts Sept. 27)

9:30 – 10:00 – Scrubs – The final season (hard to believe it’s been 7) is likely to be as quirky and laugh out loud funny as it has been in its first six years. (Starts Oct. 25)

10:00 – 11:00 – ER – I would hope it’s the last season of this show although Stanley Tucci who is joining the cast could be just what this long in the tooth series needs to get it back on track.  (Starts Sept. 27)

CW

8:00 – 9:00 – Smallville – I gave up on this show mid-way through the season last year.  I still haven’t watched since episode 10.  I’m unlikely to pick it up again this season, particularly on such a competitive night but one day, maybe next summer, I’ll sit down and catch up.  For now though this is off my list. (Starts Sept. 27)

Bottom Line:

Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

8:00 – 8:30 – My Name is Earl (NBC)

8:30 – 9:00 – 30 Rock (NBC)

9:00 – 10:00 – Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – only so I can watch with my wife

10:00 – 10:30 – The Office (NBC)

10:30 – 11:00 – Scrubs (NBC)

I’m going to record: Big Shots, Survivor, Without a Trace, ER

I absolutely will not be watching:  Ugly Betty, CSI, anything on Fox, Smallville, Supernatural.


Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Wednesday

September 15, 2007

Here’s how my Wednesday is shaping up:

ABC

8:00 – 9:00 – Pushing Daisies – I’m hearing mixed reactions on this one – everything from this being the best show of the year to it being too “out there” to waste time on.  The premise of a man who can bring the dead back to life by touching them and does so to solve mysteries seems a bit too Ghost Whisperer for me.  Throwing in a romance angle is making me more interested.  However, given the polarization of the critics there is only thing a true TV lover can do; I need to watch it myself.  (Starts October 3)

9:00 – 10:00 – Private Practice – Like many others, I too did not enjoy the 2 hour pilot that was shown last season on Grey’s Anatomy.  The show seemed to take everything we liked about the Addison character and turned her into a cross between two of the most hateful characters I can remember – Ally McBeal and Meredith Grey.  They also didn’t seem to know what to do with the top class TV actors they recruited, from Tim Daly to Taye Diggs to Amy Brennerman, etc.  The word on the pilot for the series seems to be promising and I do like the cast and lead character enough to give it a chance.  Personally I won’t be surprised if I stick with this show and drop the original Grey’s. (Starts Sept. 26)

10:00 – 11:00 – Dirty Sexy Money – Another show with a great cast, a great pedigree in the brilliant Greg Berlanti and a great nighttime soap premise with Peter Krause as the Darlings’ family lawyer who has to keep them out of trouble.  It’s the one new show (besides the above Private Practice) that my wife is likely to watch this season and you know how much I enjoy watching TV with my wife.   (Starts Sept. 26)

CBS  – I’m watching nothing.  The new show Kid Nation looks like a train wreck, publicity or no publicity, and the procedural Criminal Minds and CSI: Whatever has no interest for me.

NBC

9:00 – 10:00 Bionic Woman – Yes, I am one of those people who grew up on the original and its companion series The Six Million Dollar Man.  This reimagining of the series seems to be a lot darker taking its cue from the brilliant and successful reimagining of Battlestar Galactica.  In fact it even has Starbuck as a bad guy.  I understand the pilot was just okay but I’m looking forward to this becoming the new Alias.

10:00 – 11:00 Life – This show is a maybe for me.  It’s the story of a former cop who gets out of prison (framed of course) and looks to reenter the world and solve crime with the help of a friend from prison.  Sounds a bit too repetitive and formulaic but I’ll give it a couple of episodes to test the waters. (Starts Sept. 26)

Fox

8:00 – 8:30 – Back to You – I’m a huge Cheers and Frasier fan.  Kelsey Grammer did great things with the character and I’m guessing he’s going to be good on this show as well.  (I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond so I can’t comment on Patricia Heaton.)  The premise is that Kelsey is a news anchor exiled from the big city markets and goes back to Pittsburgh where he got his start.  The one concern is that this show just may be too traditional a sitcom and frankly skew a little too old for me.  I’ll give it a few episodes to decide. (Starts Sept. 19)

The CW

9:00 – 10:00 – Gossip Girl – I still wish Veronica Mars was in this spot and that Kirstin Bell was doing voice over on her own show instead of this one but “it is what it is”.  I’ve never read the books this show is based on and although I’ve seen lots and lots of previews I still am not completely sure what the show is about.  It seems like it’s about rich teens and all the indulgences and petty squabbles they have with each other.  Given its OC connection, as developed by Josh Schwartz, it should be a fun ride – at least until Oliver comes along.  (Starts Sept. 19)

Bottom Line:

Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

8:00 – 9:00 – Pushing Daisies (ABC)

9:00 – 10:00 – Bionic Woman (NBC)

10:00 – 11:00 – Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

I’m going to record: Private Practice, Back to You, Gossip Girl

I’m on the fence about: Life

I absolutely will not be watching:  Kid Nation, Criminal Minds, CSI:NY, Deal or no Deal, Til Death, Kitchen Nightmares, America’s Top Model.


Avi’s Fall TV Preview 2007 – Tuesday

September 14, 2007

For me Tuesday is looking to be quite a light TV night.

ABC

8:00 – 8:30 – Cavemen – All of the bad press for this show has focused on it’s roots as a spin-out of a TV commercial from Geico.  From what I’ve seen it looks like there’s plenty of badness to focus on in the show itself.  Entertainment Weekly says that some of the pilot has been reshot and while I’d admit the one I saw wasn’t as bad as I expected it would be, the very unsubtle focus the show has on the difficulty that cavemen have trying to live in a world of non-cavemen presented as social commentary was a little too much for me.  I’ll be skipping this show. (Starts Oct. 2)

8:30 – 9:00 – Carpoolers –  The buzz on this show is pretty bad but I’m going to give it a try.  I have a soft spot for Jerry O’Connell from his Sliders days (as well as Stand By Me, one of my favourite movies of all time) and Fred Goss was on one of the best shows last season Sons & Daughters.   I’m not sure there’s legs in a show about guys who commute to work but here in Canada they did maintain a daily show for a few seasons with a similar premise so you never know. (Starts Oct. 2)

10:00 – 11:00 – Boston Legal – By the end of last season I made the decision to give up on this ridiculous farce and its number of Emmy nominations only strengthened my resolve.  On the flip side, most of the characters have been fired and they are adding John Laroquette to the cast and he might draw me back for one or two episodes.  Still, my guess is that by the third episode I will have had enough and Boston Legal will permanently drop off my viewing schedule. (Starts Sept. 25)

CBS

10:00 – 11:00 – Cane – The premise of a Cuban family version of Dynasty with A-list TV actors like Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno sounds like it could be fun.  But then again it’s airing on CBS so I give it 4 weeks before it gets canceled by the network which doesn’t have much patience for letting serial dramas grow if they don’t jump out of the gate with huge ratings.  I’m definitely going to watch even though critics have hated the pilot.  (Starts Sept. 25)

NBC

10:00 – 11:00 – Law & Order: SVU – The best of the Law & Order franchise and one of the few procedurals in a world of procedurals that I still watch religiously.  It’s a good thing NBC’s negotiations to keep its two lead detectives was successful.  Without them the show would not be as compelling – just go back and watch some of the episodes last season where Benson was replaced and see if you disagree. (Starts Sept. 25)

Fox  – Nope.  I don’t watch House or Bones.

The CW

9:00 – 10:00 – Reaper –  The premise of a slacker who has to hunt down escaped souls from Hell on behalf of the devil sounds a little out there for me.  Still, the critics seem to really be high on this and I loved star Bret Harrison in his last show The Loop and I understand that Ray Wise (the great Leland Palmer) as the devil is awesome.  That’s enough to get me in the door. (Starts Sept. 25)

Bottom Line:

Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

8:30 – 9:00 – Carpoolers (ABC)

9:00 – 10:00 – Reaper (CW)

10:00 – 11:00 – Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
I’m going to record: Cane

I’m on the fence about: Boston Legal

I absolutely will not be watching:  Dancing with the Stars, Cavemen, NCIS, The Unit, The Biggest Loser, Singing Bee, Bones, House, Beauty and the Beast.


Avi’s Fall Preview 2007 – Monday Night

September 12, 2007

Wow! Is Monday just packed with TV goodness.  Here’s my network by network, show by show breakdown of what I plan to watch on Mondays:

ABC

9:30 – 10:00 – Samantha Who? – A great cast of  likable TV veterans including Kelly Bundy, Barry Watson, Jean Smart and Jennifer Esposito and a pretty neat concept of a horrible person who gets amnesia and tries to change her life makes this show sound promising.  I’m not sure there’s enough meat on the show to last a few seasons but given its pedigree I’m definitely going to give it a try.  (Starting October 15th)

CBS
8:00 – 8:30 – How I Met Your Mother – One of the best sitcoms on TV.  Rather than go into detail of my love for all things Robin Sparkles I’m going to paraphrase this from Entertainment Weekly’s article that I think perfectly captures the awesomeness of this true mash-up show:

The chummy New Yorkers of Friends, hanging out in the bar from Cheers .  The experimental structure of The Office with the comfort of a laugh track.  The pop culture references of Gilmore Girls and the random in-jokes of Arrested Development.  The sweetness of The Wonder Years and the overstuffed pace of Seinfeld and The Simpsons.  Even a mystery for the Lost fans.

On top of that one of the best ensemble casts on the airwaves.  If you haven’t watched go rent seasons 1 & 2 and get ready for some great slap bat sessions.  (Starting Sept. 24)

8:30 – 9:00 The Big Bang Theory – I stopped paying attention when I saw it was from Chuck Lorre the creator of Two and a Half Men.  Nerds living next to a hot girl.  It’s getting some good reviews even from people I know hate 2 1/2 but I’m on the fence whether to give it even a single viewing.   I guess I’ll decide on September 24th.

NBC

8:00 – 9:00 Chuck – This show has gotten great buzz from the critics so I’m going to have to give it a try.  The premise as it reads – computer geek downloads government secrets into his brain and is chased by bad guys – sounds incredibly silly but so did university student turns spy (Alias) and high school girl solves mysteries (Veronica Mars).  I read the show was very well received by my fellow comic geeks in San Diego so I’m going to definitely check it out. (Starts Sept. 24)

9:00 – 10:00 Heroes – One of the standout shows from last season and I expect great things from the new season and new cast member Kristin Bell.   (Starts Sept. 24)

10:00 – 11:00 Journeyman – I liked Vorenus’s understatedness in Rome and it will be interesting seeing him carry this story of a time traveller solving Quantum Leap like problems but within a larger story arc.  It’s a good fit with Heroes and compared to the other Monday at 10:00 shows like CSI Miami (yuck) or the Bachelor (bigger yuck) it’s a no brainer which one wins the time slot for me.  (Starts Sept. 24)

Fox

8:00 – 9:00 Prison Break – I pretty much decided at the end of last season that the show had gotten way too stupid and gone on far longer than the premise should allow.  This year they’re in a Panama jail and I’m not sure I care if they stay there for ever.  Still, I’m this invested I have to watch at least a couple of episodes to see if it can recapture some of the fun of the first season.  But 2 episodes to change my mind is more than generous.  (Starts Sept. 17)

9:00 – 10:00 K-Ville – As much as I don’t think I need to watch another cop show, this one stars Anthony Anderson who was just fantastic on The Shield and takes place in New Orleans after Katrina.  It may be a bit too real for some viewers (it films on location) and frankly may be difficult to watch at times but I applaud the creators for ignoring controversary to tell stories in a town that 2 years later has fallen off the front page but still is dealing with the aftermath of the diaster. (Starts Sept. 17)

The CW

8:00 – 8:30 Everybody Hates Chris – I’m still behind in this show and haven’t seen most of season 2 but I do recommend it.  (Starts Oct. 1)

8:30 – 9:00 Aliens in America – Family with geeky son takes in an exchange student from Pakistan and hilarity ensues.  It isn’t the show that instantly jumps out for me but the early pilot I saw (before they recast the father role) actually was pretty entertaining with a mixture of laughs and sweetness.  The lead, Justin, is just great as is the mother who I instantly remembered from Caroline in the City.  I’m not sure the enjoyment will endure but it gets at least a few viewings in my schedule.  (Starts Oct. 1)

Bottom Line:

Here’s what I’m going to be watching:

8:00 – 9:00 – Chuck

9:00 – 10:00 – Heroes

10:00 – 11:00 – Journeyman

11:00 – 11:30 How I Met Your Mother

I’m going to record: Samantha Who?, Prison Break, K-Ville, Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America

I’m on the fence about The Big Bang Theory.

I absolutely will not be watching:  Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, 2 1/2 Men, Rules of Engagement, CSI: Miami, Girlfriends or The Game.