The Best New Shows of the Fall

November 7, 2008

This week I am a guest columnist at Clique Clack for this article.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already November and that we are two months into the fall TV season.  Sweeps will be starting soon and it’s time to see how this fall’s new shows measured up.

Michael Lavine/FOX

FRINGE: When an unlikely trio uncovers a deadly mystery that involves a series of unbelievable events, they discover it may be part of a larger, more disturbing pattern that blurs the line between science fiction and technology. Cr: Michael Lavine/FOX

I have to admit that overall – with a few exceptions – it’s not been a very impressive freshman crop.  I’m guessing it’s a result of last season’s writers strike and can only hope that we can expect better in the future. 

Without further ado, here’s my report card for this season’s new shows:

View the rest of the article

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Fall TV Premiere Schedule

September 11, 2008

I remember a time when the fall premieres last a week, maybe two.  Nowadays, the premieres go on for a couple months.  If you are like me it’s very hard to keep track of when your favorite shows return, let alone when the new shows start airing.

So in an effort to make your TV viewing pleasure easier, I’ve compiled a list of the premiere dates from various sources including TVGuide.com and TV Guide Magazine.  Hope this helps you find your favorites – new and old.

Thursday, September 11

8 p.m.
Hole in the Wall on Fox

9 p.m.
Kitchen Nightmares on Fox

Friday, September 12

9 p.m.
Don’t Forget the Lyrics! on Fox

Saturday, September 13

11 p.m.
Mad TV on Fox

11:35 p.m.
Saturday Night Live on NBC

Tuesday, September 14

9 p.m.
House on Fox

Thursday, September 18

8 p.m.
Survivor: Gabon on CBS
Smallville on CW

9 p.m.
Supernatural on CW

Sunday, September 21

7 p.m.
In Harm’s Way on CW

8 p.m.
Valentine on CW

9 p.m.
Easy Money on CW

Monday, September 22

8 p.m.
Dancing with the Stars on ABC
The Big Bang Theory on CBS

8:30 p.m.
How I Met Your Mother on CBS

9 p.m.
Heroes on NBC
Two and a Half Men on CBS

9:30 p.m.
Worst Week on CBS

10 p.m.
Boston Legal on ABC
CSI: Miami on CBS

Tuesday, September 23

8 p.m.
Opportunity Knocks on ABC
NCIS on CBS

9 p.m.
The Mentalist on CBS

10 p.m.
Without a Trace on CBS
Law & Order:SVU on NBC

Wednesday, September 24

8 p.m.
New Adventures of Old Christine on CBS
Knight Rider on NBC

8:30 p.m.
Gary Unmarried on CBS

9 p.m.
Criminal Minds on CBS

10 p.m.
CSI: New York on CBS
Lipstick Jungle on NBC

Thursday, September 25

8 p.m.
Ugly Betty on ABC
My Name is Earl on NBC

9 p.m.
Grey’s Anatomy on ABC
The Office on NBC

10 p.m.
ER on NBC

Sunday, September 28

7 p.m.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC

8 p.m.
Amazing Race 13 on CBS
The Simpsons on FOX

8:30 p.m.
King of Hill on Fox

9 p.m.
Desperate Housewives on ABC
Cold Case on CBS
Family Guy on Fox
Dexter on Showtime

9:30 p.m.
American Dad on Fox

10 p.m.
Brothers & Sisters on ABC
The Unit on CBS
Californication on Showtime

Monday, September 29

8 p.m.
Chuck on NBC

10 p.m.
Life on NBC (airs Monday and Fridays through Oct. 10 and moves to Fridays)

Wednesday, October 1

8 p.m.
Pushing Daisies on ABC
Friday Night Lights on DirecTV (doesn’t return to NBC on Fridays until midseason)

9 p.m.
Private Practice on ABC

10 p.m.
Dirty Sexy Money on ABC

Friday, October 3

8 p.m.
Wife Swap on ABC
Ghost Whisperer on CBS
Everybody Hates Chris on CW

8:30 p.m.
The Game on CW

9 p.m.
Supernanny on ABC
The Ex List on CBS

10 p.m.
Numbers on CBS

Monday, October 6

9:30 p.m.
Samantha Who? on ABC

Thursday, October 9

8:30 p.m.
Kath & Kim on NBC

9 p.m.
CSI on CBS

9:30 p.m.
Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday on NBC

10 p.m.
Life on Mars on ABC
Eleventh Hour on CBS

Friday, October 10

10 p.m.
The Starter Wife on USA

Monday, October 13

10 p.m.
My Own Worst Enemy on NBC

Tuesday, October 14

10 p.m.
Eli Stone on ABC

Friday, October 17

8 p.m.
Crusoe on NBC

Wednesday, October 29

9 p.m.
Stylista on CW

Thursday, October 30

9:30 p.m.
30 Rock on NBC

Sunday, November 2

7:30 p.m.
Surviving Suburbia on CW

Already Premiered

Sunday
True Blood on HBO at 9 p.m.
Entourage on HBO at 10 p.m.

Monday
Gossip Girl on CW at 8 p.m.
Prison Break on Fox at 9 p.m.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox at 8 p.m.
One Tree Hill on CW at 9 p.m.
Raising the Bar on TNT at10 p.m.

Tuesdays
90210 on CW at 8 p.m.
The Biggest Loser: Families on NBC at 8 p.m.
Fringe on Fox at 9 p.m.
Greek on ABC Family at 9 p.m.
Privileged on CW at 9 p.m.
The Shield on FX at 10 p.m.

Wednesday
Bones on Fox at 8 p.m.
America’s Next Top Model on CW at 8 p.m.
Deal or No Deal on NBC at 9 p.m.
 ‘Til Death on Fox at 9 p.m.
Do Not Disturb on Fox at 9:30 p.m.

Friday
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader on Fox at 8 p.m.

What show are you most looking forward to returning?  Supernatural and Chuck tops my list.


Tales of Robinson Crusoe Heading to NBC

February 25, 2008

Recently, NBC turned to the ‘80s in search of series for its fall lineup, banking on nostalgia for Knight Rider to be a hit.  Now, it’s turning to the classics in the pursuit of another hit series for its fall lineup.  Look for Robinson Crusoe to hit the Peacock network soon.

Robinson CrusoeAccording to TV Squad, NBC has already order 13 episodes of the new series based on the famous castaway.  The TV version of Daniel DeVoe’s novel could air as soon as the fall, but might be held in reserve until the mid-season.

It’ll be interesting to see how NBC is going to take a story first published in 1719 and modernize it.  In this case, I hope that take a page out the Brits’ book because I loved the way they recently revitalized the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Jekyll.

As far as I can tell, the castaway’s story has been told several times as a movie, but never as a TV series in the U.S. (France had a Crusoe series).  Do you think that the classic tale could translate into an interesting series?  What other classic books would you like to see as a TV series?


Can NBC’s ‘Knight Rider’ Live up to the Memories?

February 18, 2008

I had prepared myself to be let down when I saw NBC’s two-hour movie/pilot for Knight Rider.  However, I must say that producers Dave Bartis (The O.C.) and Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) did a fair job of bringing a second-generation KITT and story into the 21st century.

***The following might contain spoilers, but I’ve done my best to keep them to a minimum****

Sarah and MikeI was a big fan of the original ‘80s series, Knight Rider.  Was it because I was 10 when the show first aired or that we just had lower – let’s make that different – expectations from our television shows 25 years ago?

Needless to say I haven’t seen an episode of Knight Rider is 20+ years and can just barely remember the premise of the show.  Still nobody wants memories of their favorite childhood shows to be blown to bits with a bad remake.

But NBC’s two-hour movie that doubles as a pilot should the network decide to go forth with a new Knight Rider series is more of a sequel than a remake.

The creator of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), the car from the ‘80s series, Charles Graiman (Bruce Davison) has continued his work as a cutting edge genius developer in solitude pushing away his wife and his daughter, Sarah (Deanna Russo).  His work includes a new improved KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) and a weapons program called Prometheus for the Pentagon.

KITTThis next generation KITT makes his predecessor look like a cheesy ‘80s special effect.  The new improved KITT doesn’t just talk; he’s connected to Internet, satellite and GPS.  Nano technology still makes the car indestructible, but now KITT can morph his appearance as well.

But the car isn’t the only one that got a generational upgrade.  Michael Tracer (Justin Bruening) is show in bed with two women and FBI agent Carrie Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier, daughter of Sydney Poitier) is a lesbian – two things you’d never seen in the ‘80s version.

For the premise of the movie, some apparently well funded thugs have broken into Charles’s secluded home in an effort to steal Prometheus.  They manage to steal the hard drives with the intel, but need someone to unlock the information.  Only three hold the key to unlocking these files – Charles, Sarah who is away at Stafford working on her doctorate and KITT. 

Detecting a threat on the Graiman house, KITT activates and follows a pre-programmed mission to ensure Sarah’s safety and procure the help of bitter ex-Ranger Michael Tracer.  Tracer, who’s been wasting his life – and money – racing cars and chasing women in Vegas, was once a neighbor and love interest of Sarah. 

The trio eventually crosses paths with Agent Rivai, who seems to have a past friendship with Charles, and Michael’s mother, Jennifer (Susan Gibney) on their quest to save Prometheus.

Given the history of Knight Rider and rumors that this movie might be turned into a series, the ending is a bit predictable, but nonetheless well told.  David Hasselhoff’s cameo as Michael Knight was well-played if expected.  My only complaint is that we didn’t find out what he’s been doing for the last 25 years.

As far as TV movies go, I ranked Knight Rider up there as a decent effort.  And maybe this next statement is a consequence of quality show withdrawal as a result of the writers strike and the continual influx of reality and game shows, but I would be willing to tune into a revived Knight Rider series.

If you didn’t catch the show, NBC is re-airing it Saturday night at 9 p.m.

What did you think of the show?  Did it do the past series justice or was it just another cheesy remake?  Where you a fan of the original ‘80s series?  Would you want NBC to go forth with a Knight Rider series?