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Friday, May 18, 2012

Fall TV Preview: Connie, Vanessa and many bad sitcoms

The five major networks revealed their 2012-13 schedules this week, and I'm sorry to report that next season's crop of new TV shows is pretty dismal and depressing. Last month I posted a list of 22 TV pilots that were being considered, but only six of them were picked up - ABC's Nashville, 666 Park Avenue and Malibu Country, NBC's The New Normal and Infamous, and CBS's Partners. A few folks who will not be returning to television this fall are Delta Burke (ABC's Counter Culture), Susan Lucci (ABC's Devious Maids), Roseanne Barr (NBC's Downwardly Mobile), Allison Janney (NBC's Friday Night Dinner) and John Barrowman (ABC's Gilded Lilys).

So below you can check out the six new series that I will be tuning in - for at least their pilot episodes - as well as 13 shows that I will NOT be watching next season (all times are Central Standard). You can see a complete list of shows and trailers at The Futon Critic:

Before I get to the new fall shows, here is one upcoming summer series that I'm looking forward to:

Political Animals (9-10 PM on USA Network beginning July 15)
This six-episode drama stars Sigourney Weaver as a former First Lady and current Secretary of State, which sounds vaguely familiar. The cast also includes Carla Gugino, James Wolk, Ciaran Hinds and the wonderful Ellen Burstyn.


New series that I will watch at least the first episode:
Partners (7:30-8 PM on CBS) - The last CBS Monday sitcom that I regularly tuned in was The Class, which starred Jason Ritter, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sam Harris, but it was canceled after only one season back in 2007. Now comes this new comedy from the creators of Will & Grace (David Kohan and Max Mutchnick) about two life-long best friends and business partners, straight Joe (David Krumholtz) and gay Louis (Ugly Betty's Michael Urie). I wish the promo below was a lot funnier, but since I like Urie and the handsome Brandon Routh - who plays Urie's boyfriend - I'm willing to give it a chance. But that's pretty much it for CBS, which remains one of my least favorite networks to watch.


New series that I will NOT be watching:
Go On (8-8:30 PM on NBC) - Poor Matthew Perry hasn't had much luck with TV series since Friends ended in 2004. He's appeared in two flops - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006-07) and Mr. Sunshine (2011) - and it doesn't look like the third time will be a charm for him as the promo for his new dramedy is a laugh-free disappointment. Perry plays a recently widowed sportscaster who joins a support group - and I'm already falling asleep. It also depresses me to see the lovely Laura Benanti wasting her talents in such boring drek.

New series that I will NOT be watching:
The Mindy Project (8:30-9 PM on FOX) - I've always liked Mindy Kaling as the self-absorbed Kelly Kapoor on The Office, but the promo for her new sitcom about a single OB/GYN looking for romance doesn't make me want to tune in. I do find her co-star Chris Messina very attractive - but it's not enough to keep me from watching the handsome Justin Bartha in NBC's The New Normal instead.

New series that I will be watching:
The New Normal (8:30-9 PM on NBC) - I don't love the promo for this new dramedy from Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) - but I like it enough to tune in for a few episodes. The gorgeous Justin Bartha (The Hangover) and the adorable Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) play a gay couple who want to have a baby - and the fabulous Ellen Barkin is the grandmother (she's only 58, folks!) of the young woman who becomes their surrogate. Reminds me of a more serious Modern Family.


The WORST new series of the season:
Animal Practice (7-7:30 PM on NBC) - If you thought the Matthew Perry sitcom was bad, take a gander at this piece of crap starring Weeds' Justin Kirk as a New York veterinarian. What were those NBC executives smoking when they gave their approval to this excruciating sitcom?

WORST new series dishonorable mention:
Guys with Kids (7:30-8 PM on NBC) - Here's another big stinker of a show, in which a single father sniffs his baby's butt before buying a drink for a girl. I will be sticking with ABC's amusing sitcoms, Suburgatory and Modern Family, on Wednesday nights this fall.

New series that I will NOT be watching:
The Neighbors (8:30-9 PM on ABC) - Well, it's got a terrific time slot following Modern Family, but the Coneheads were much funnier on Saturday Night Live 35 years ago.

FAVORITE new series of the season:
Nashville (9-10 PM on ABC) - Now this soapy drama about country music singers in Nashville looks quite promising - and it stars one of my favorite actresses, Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story). The rest of the impressive cast includes Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital), Eric Close and Powers Boothe.

New series that I will NOT be watching:
Chicago Fire (9-10 PM on NBC) - This looks like a bad rip-off of FX's Rescue Me - but without its dark sense of humor.


Returning series that I will continue to watch:
30 Rock (7-7:30 PM on NBC) - NBC has given this hilariously bizarre sitcom a 13-episode final season. I will miss Liz Lemon and her gang.

The Vampire Diaries (7-8 PM on The CW) - I don't know how The CW remains in existence, but I'm happy that they renewed this series for a fourth season (it's the only CW show I'll be watching this fall).

Glee (8-9 PM on FOX) - A brand new day for this series, which is the only show on FOX that I will be tuning in this fall.

Parks and Recreation (8:30-9 PM on NBC) - What a relief! Despite its low ratings, my favorite sitcom was renewed for a fifth season of 22 episodes.


New series that I will NOT be watching:
Malibu Country (7:30-8 PM on ABC) - Maybe I would enjoy this sitcom starring Reba McEntire more if it didn't feature an IRRITATING laugh track. Then again, it's probably been added because there are very few genuine laughs to be had. But I do love Lily Tomlin, who plays Reba's mother - I just wish she was on a much better show.


Returning series that I will continue to watch:
Once Upon A Time (7-8 PM on ABC) and Revenge (8-9 PM on ABC) - Sundays are the best night of television - especially now that two of my favorite new dramas from last season have been put together.

FAVORITE new series runner-up:
666 Park Avenue (9-10 PM on ABC) - This I like. Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and the always entertaining Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty) are the mysterious owners of a historic apartment building in this dark and creepy new drama, which also stars the cute Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) and the hunky Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill, Lipstick Jungle). I am definitely intrigued.

Midseason TV

Returning series that I will continue to watch:
Smash (NBC) - Hopefully this will give the writers enough time to make some much-needed improvements in this Broadway drama, which had a creatively bumpy but enjoyable first season.

New series that I will watch at least the first episode:
Infamous (NBC) - Formerly known as Notorious, this drama is a soapy mystery reminiscent of ABC's Revenge. It's about a female detective who goes undercover to solve the murder of a wealthy socialite who was once her best friend. Sounds interesting - and I like Victor Garber who plays the socialite's father, so I'll check out the pilot.

Below are six new series that I will NOT be watching:

Save Me (NBC) - Anne Heche plays a woman who has a direct line to God after a near-death experience. The concept sounds somewhat interesting, but the preview scene just doesn't do it for me. And I liked Ms. Heche in the 1996 film, Walking and Talking, but since then I haven't been that enamored with her as an actress.

1600 Penn (NBC) - I thought this sitcom about a White House family might be funny, but Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) is so annoying as the First Son in the preview scene. I think I'd rather watch old reruns of Hail to the Chief, a 1985 ABC sitcom starring Patty Duke as the President.

Next Caller (NBC) - And to complete NBC's trio of lame mid-season "comedies" is this one starring Dane Cook as the obnoxious host of a radio show called Booty Calls with Cam Dunne. The preview scene just makes me miss the days of WKRP in Cincinnati.

How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) (ABC) - Single mother returns home to live with her eccentric parents (played by Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett). I've always loved Perkins, but I've never cared much for Garrett - and this new sitcom doesn't offer a fresh spin on a stale storyline.

WORST new series runner-up:
The Family Tools (ABC) - Oh God, this show really reeks of terrible writing. And how many failed sitcoms has actor Kyle Bornheimer starred in? CBS's Worst Week (2008-09), ABC's Romantically Challenged (2010), NBC's Perfect Couples (2010-11) - and now he's back for a fourth attempt as an inept son who returns home to run the family business. It looks like something that fans of Tim Allen's Last Man Standing might enjoy - but I do not belong to this group.

Mistresses (ABC) - So ABC canceled the delightfully daffy GCB and gave a greenlight to this dreary series, which doesn't appear to have a sense of humor. If they wanted a show about a group of female friends, they should have stuck with Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts (Mistresses is scheduled to begin next May for a summer run).


Lance said...

JB & Blythe Danner (Gilded Lily's) won't be coming after all, eh? Well that sucks!! =(

dj Buddy Beaverhausen said...

Oy gevalt! Well, more Me time. For me, for ME, FOR ME!

Marc said...

Sorry, Lance, I'm disappointed, too. I was looking forward to seeing Mr. Barrowman and Ms. Danner every week.