The FOX 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/25/2011 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:

MONDAY

8p – Terra Nova (9/26) NS

9p – House (10/3) NT

TUESDAY

8p – Glee (9/20)

9p – New Girl (9/20) NS

9:30p – Raising Hope (9/20) NT

WEDNESDAY

8p – The X Factor Performance Show (9/21) NS

9:30p – I Hate My Teenage Daughter (11/30) NS

THURSDAY

8p – The X Factor Results Show (9/22) NS

9p – Bones (11/3)

FRIDAY

8p – Kitchen Nightmares (9/23)

9p – Fringe (9/23)

SATURDAY

8p – Cops (9/10)

9p – Encores / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)

SUNDAY

7p – The OT (NFL post-game)

7:30p – The Cleveland Show (9/25 at 8:30) NT

8p – The Simpsons (9/25)

8:30p – Allen Gregory (10/30) NS

9p –Family Guy (9/25)

10p – American Dad (9/25)

MIDSEASON 2012 SCHEDULE (TENTATIVE)

MONDAY

8p – House

9p – Alcatraz NS

TUESDAY

8p – Glee

9p – New Girl NS

9:30p – Raising Hope NT

WEDNESDAY

8p – American Idol Performance Show

9:30p – I Hate My Teenage Daughter NS

THURSDAY

8p – American Idol Results Show

9p – The Finder NS / Bones (spring)

FRIDAY

8p – Kitchen Nightmares

9p – Fringe

SATURDAY

8p – Cops

9p – Encores / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)

SUNDAY

7p – Animation Domination (encores)

7:30p – The Cleveland Show NT

8p – The Simpsons

8:30p – Napoleon Dynamite NS

9p –Family Guy

10p – Bob’s Burgers NT

SPECIAL SCHEDULING NOTE

NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

FOX recently ordered Touch, starring Kiefer Sutherland for midseason.  No word yet what night it will air.  Also, Breaking In was un-cancelled and will return TBD.

THOUGHTS ON RETURNING SHOWS

Minus Cuddy this season

Nothing much to report.  Other than House moving to give Terra Nova a nice spot (and to hopefully make a powerful night for FOX), there hasn’t been any big scheduling change.

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW PROGRAMS

Terra Nova – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“From executive producers Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Jurassic Park”), Peter Chernin, René Echevarria (“Castle,” “The 4400”) and Brannon Braga (“24”) comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. Terra Nova follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists at the FERMI Particle Accelerator unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past – a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land. JIM SHANNON (Jason O’Mara, “Life on Mars”), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new world of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH (Shelley Conn, “Mistresses”), is a trauma surgeon and the newest addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH (Landon Liboiron, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) is their 17-year-old son who is angry to leave life as he knows it behind; upon arriving at the settlement, he finds himself instantly drawn to the beautiful and rule-breaking SKYE (Allison Miller, “Kings”). MADDY (Naomi Scott, “Life Bites”), Josh’s endearingly Awkward 15-year-old sister, hopes Terra Nova will give her a chance to reinvent herself. Although Elisabeth’s medical training secured the family a spot on the pilgrimage, a secret involving their five-year-old daughter, ZOE (newcomer Alana Mansour), soon endangers their place in this utopia. Upon the Shannons’ arrival, they are introduced to COMMANDER NATHANIEL TAYLOR (Stephen Lang, “Avatar”), the charismatic and heroic first pioneer and leader of the settlement. Taylor warns the travelers that while Terra Nova is a place of new opportunities and fresh beginnings, all is not as idyllic as it initially appears. Along with blue skies, towering waterfalls and lush vegetation, the surrounding terrain is teeming with danger – and not just of the man-eating dinosaur variety. There is also a splinter colony of renegades led by the battle-hardened MIRA (Christine Adams, “TRON: Legacy”), who is vehemently opposed to Taylor and his leadership. Even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls of the colony is the chilling possibility that something sinister is happening inside Terra Nova. The Shannons will come to suspect that not everyone on this mission has the same idea of how to best save mankind; in fact, there may be forces intent on destroying this new world before it even begins.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Land of the Lost meets Jurassic Park.

So will this show succeed?  Teaming it with House (and taking its time period) is a great placement for one of the most expensive shows ever developed.  This show was originally supposed to debut over a year ago, but due to production problems (of which there were many) had to be pushed to this fall.  Hopefully every problem has been ironed out and this can be an ambitious, successful show for FOX.

New Girl – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“A new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether (“No Strings Attached”) that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel, “(500) Days of Summer”) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn’t. Although she’s dorky and Awkward, she’s comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she’s not used to hanging with the boys – especially at home. Of the three male roommates, NICK (Jake Johnson, “No Strings Attached”) is the most grounded. He had big plans for life, but somewhere along the way, he stopped caring and became a bartender. Usually the smartest guy in the room, he has an uncanny knack for reading people and uses humor to deflect everyone and everything. SCHMIDT (Max Greenfield, “Ugly Betty”) is a hustling young professional who fancies himself a modern-day Casanova. Though his heart is usually in the right place, he’s always scheming ways to climb the social ladder and is driven by an immature and almost obsessive urge to be on “the scene.” Viewing Jess as a gateway into the elusive female mind, as well as a personal project, Schmidt encourages the guys to bring Jess into the apartment. The third roommate, COACH (Damon Wayans Jr., “The Underground”), is a former high school athlete who currently makes his living as a personal trainer. Set in his ways and with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to dating, Coach is most comfortable when he’s in the gym. Though he’ll never admit it, Coach’s macho athletic exterior is actually a cover for his shyness around women, and he struggles to translate his personal confidence into conversation, preferring to speak in sports metaphors – or not at all. Rounding out this group is Jess’ childhood best friend, CECE (Hannah Simone, “Beautiful People”), a deadpan, somewhat cynical model who blossomed after outgrowing her promiscuous adolescent years. She has the street smarts Jess lacks and spends a lot of time doling out no-nonsense relationship advice that only a professional model could give. She and Jess balance each other well and accept each other despite their faults, making Cece the perfect complement to Jess. As their relationships progress, the five friends come to realize they need each other more than they ever thought they would and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional family.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Friends

So will this show succeed?  It’s looking very likely.  Last week it rated almost one point higher than its lead-in:  Glee!  VERY good sign for the freshman sitcom.

The X-Factor – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“Simon Cowell returns to FOX in the award-winning international phenomenon The X Factor. This new competition series, hosted by Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones, gives viewers the opportunity to help choose the next global superstar or breakout music group. The X Factor judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. Auditions for The X Factor were held this spring in Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Newark, NJ; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; and Dallas, TX. In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time a contestant auditions for judges Simon Cowell, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul, he/she will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence it takes to become a global superstar or breakout music act and win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music. Those contestants who survive the first auditions graduate to “boot camp” and will be divided into four categories. Each category will be mentored by one of the show’s judges. Not only is it a competition between the hopefuls to stake their claim for the coveted win, but it’s also a showdown among the judges as to whose acts will dominate the competition and make it to the finals. The judges may have their say in how the competition progresses, but it will be up to America to decide who ultimately has The X Factor.”

Let me simplify this for you:  FOX’s fall American Idol (including Cowell and Abdul), but with singles and groups competing.

So will this show succeed?  It debuted last week to decent ratings to win Wednesday night (a 4.2), but that’s probably nowhere near what FOX was hoping with Cowell and Abdul involved.  Time will tell if this can be profitable for FOX to keep the show.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“A new multi-camera comedy about two best friends who are single moms struggling to raise their difficult and over-privileged teenage daughters. ANNIE (Emmy Award winner Jaime Pressly, “My Name Is Earl”) and NIKKI (Tony Award winner Katie Finneran, “Wonderfalls”) are former high school outcasts whose pasts inform their current parenting styles. Annie, who was raised in an ultra-strict, über-religious household where she had little-to-no freedom, pretty much allows her daughter, SOPHIE (Kristi Lauren, “You”), to do whatever she wants. Nikki, once an unpopular, overweight social pariah, has reinvented herself as a pretty Southern belle whose top priority is providing her daughter, MACKENZIE (Aisha Dee, “Dead Gorgeous”), with the childhood she never had. Sophie and Mackenzie are also best friends, which leads to a lot of co-parenting for Annie and Nikki. They have given the girls everything they asked for and everything they never had: clothes, money and self-esteem. The unintended consequence is they have created two mean girls just like the ones who tortured them years ago. Sophie finds her mother embarrassing and mocks her at every opportunity, but she secretly needs her mom and knows that her behavior is not always appropriate. Mackenzie, on the other hand, is the more manipulative of the daughters – she knows how to work her mother’s insecurities to her benefit. Annie’s ex-husband, MATT (Eric Sheffer Stevens, “As The World Turns”), wants to be a good parent, but is too clueless to know what that even means. That leaves his brother, JACK (Kevin Rahm, “Desperate Housewives,” “Judging Amy”), an attractive, high-powered attorney, to serve as more of a father figure for Sophie. Jack’s meddling would annoy Annie more if she didn’t have such a crush on him. GARY (Chad Coleman, “The Wire”), Nikki’s ex, also tries to help raise his challenging daughter, but the couple’s complicated relationship often makes his involvement more difficult. As their daughters begin to experience their first high school dances and other life-changing teen events, Annie and Nikki are often reminded of their own tortured adolescent years. But when Sophie and Mackenzie’s mean-girl antics cross the line, the moms quickly realize that they must, for the first time, dole out some real punishment and fix what is broken. They have no idea how to do that, but they do know one thing: They can’t do it without each other.”

Let me simplify this for you:  As I have seen nothing for this sitcom, I’m not even going to try.

So will this show succeed?  It’s airing after X-Factor, so as long as the ratings stay up for that, Daughter should do well when it debuts at the end of November.  Then again, December is usually a bad month for ratings – so it’s really 50/50.

Allen Gregory – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

Allen Gregory is a new animated comedy series that tells the story of one of the most pretentious 7-year-olds of our time. When he looks in the mirror, Allen Gregory DE LONGPRE (Jonah Hill, “Superbad,” “Get Him to the Greek”) doesn’t see a child. He sees a young man who is intelligent, sophisticated, worldly, artistic and romantic – characteristics he inherited from his doting father, RICHARD (French Stewart, “Private Practice,” “3rd Rock from the Sun”). The pair share an extraordinary father-son bond – a bond that is sometimes annoyingly interrupted by Richard’s life partner, JEREMY (Nat Faxon, The Cleveland Show, “Reno 911!”), for whom Allen Gregory has minimal respect, if any at all. They live together in a stunning architectural loft, along with JULIE (Joy Osmanski, “Grey’s Anatomy”), Allen Gregory’s adopted Cambodian sister. Although Allen Gregory has allegedly composed operas, written novels and dated Chloë Sevigny, he’s about to embark on his greatest challenge yet: leaving the safety of his father’s homeschooling and attending elementary school with children his own age. His journey will be a struggle, not only with the other kids at school, but with the faculty as well. Whether it’s the all-out rivalry with GINA WINTHROP (guest voice Leslie Mann, “Funny People”), his by-the-book second grade teacher; his unique relationship with JUDITH GOTTLIEB (guest voice Renée Taylor, “How I Met Your Mother”), his 68-year-old principal; or his desperate desire to be best friends with JOEL ZADAK (guest voice Jake Johnson, “Get Him to the Greek”), the school’s popular stud, Allen Gregory has his work cut out for him. With the help of his trusty friend and assistant, PATRICK VANDERWEEL (Cristina Pucelli, “Finley the Fire Engine”); and the support of SUPERINTENDENT STEWART ROSSMYRE (Will Forte, “Saturday Night Live”), who believes the De Longpres are a tremendous asset to the school, Allen Gregory won’t have to get his hands too dirty. Allen Gregory is about an outsider. And while he may put on a tough exterior, deep down, all Allen Gregory wants is to fit in. Well, that, and for Julie to run away and never be seen or heard from again. And Jeremy too.”

Let me simplify this for you:  If Stewie from Family Guy was raised by a gay couple.

So will this show succeed?  Despite the caliber of voice talent – as well as being sandwiched between Simpsons and Family Guy – new shows have been hit-or-miss in that time period.

Alcatraz – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“From executive producer J.J. Abrams (FRINGE, “Lost,” “Star Trek” and the upcoming “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Super 8”) and writer and executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff (“Lost,” “Deadwood”) comes ALCATRAZ, the chilling new thriller centered on America’s most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation’s most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers, thieves and arsonists. When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, “Sons Of Anarchy”) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, “The Nine”), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, “Jackie Brown”), 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, “Jurassic Park”) tries to impede her investigation, she’s doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO “DOC” SOTO (Jorge Garcia, “Lost”), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he’s loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted WARDEN EDWIN JAMES (Jonny Coyne, “Undercovers”) and the merciless ASSOCIATE WARDEN E.B. TILLER (Jason Butler Harner, “The Changeling”). Madsen and Soto reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, LUCY BANERJEE (Parminder Nagra, “ER”), to stop Sylvane’s vengeful killing spree. By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca’s own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. For while he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane won’t be the last prisoner to reappear from Alcatraz. Through the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Agent Hauser has known about the prison’s secret history and has been awaiting the prisoners’ return. Soto will witness his life’s work – the history of Alcatraz – come alive. Madsen will be forced to keep her supportive San Francisco cop fiancé, JIMMY DICKENS (Santiago Cabrera, “Heroes”), at arm’s length from the highly classified assignment as she sees everything she thought she knew about her family’s past shattered, all while fighting to keep the country safe from history’s most dangerous criminals.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Lost in jail.

So will this show succeed?  Paired with House, FOX hopes so.  I think it looks insanely interesting, but serials (especially complex Lost-ish ones) don’t always grab onto mass appeal.  I, for one, can’t wait.

The Finder – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“Iraq war veteran WALTER SHERMAN (Geoff Stults, “She’s Out of My League”) gained a reputation while serving in the Army Military Police as someone who was very good at tracking down insurgents, deserters and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Unfortunately, Walter found one IED just moments before it found him. Two months later, when Walter woke from his coma, he earned an honorable discharge and returned home. His resulting brain damage from the explosion transformed him from someone skilled at recovering people and things into something much more extraordinary: a Finder. From the creator of the hit series Bones comes THE FINDER, the new one-hour procedural centering on a remarkable man who uses his unique gift to help others recover what they’ve lost. Walter may have left the military, but his reputation as a discreet professional who can unearth anything and anyone has been passed on to generals, politicians and other powerful figures. His first post-military assignment was to find the CIA head honcho’s missing daughter and bring her home. Walter did both, and since then has never been without an assignment. After settling in Key West, Walter met the beautiful and worldly IKE LATULIPPE (Saffron Burrows, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), a woman with a mysterious past and many hidden skills. She tends bar at The Ends of the Earth, which also serves as a makeshift office and home base for Walter. Walter helped Ike escape a dangerous life, and for that, she is eternally grateful. Another island denizen dedicated to Walter is LEO KNOX (Michael Clarke Duncan, “The Green Mile”), once an obese lawyer who, after the deaths of his wife and children, completely reinvented himself into a gentle giant, philosopher and Walter’s legal advisor. Because of his skills, Walter is often asked to find a person or a thing that law enforcement either will not or cannot find. With the help of Ike and Leo, as well as a patchwork of indebted connections, he and his team ultimately find meaning in their own lives by finding something or someone other people have lost.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Bones with a twist.

So will this show succeed?  It’s getting the cushy spot while Bones (the show it is a spinoff of) is on hiatus – so probably.

Napoleon Dynamite – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“Based on the hit film, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is an animated series that follows the continuing adventures of America’s most awesome Awkward teenager and his quirky family and friends as they struggle to navigate small-town life in rural Idaho. The original cast from the film – Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries and Diedrich Bader – will voice their characters in the series, and many new characters will be added along the way. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Heder) is a 16-year-old boy convinced – for no apparent reason – that he is destined for greatness and blessed with unlimited “sweet abilities.” He spends his days practicing ninja moves, drawing ligers, soul dancing and bragging about his “girlfriend in Oklahoma” whom nobody has ever seen. Napoleon’s brother, KIP (Ruell), is an unemployed 32-year-old who lives at home and believes he would be an amazing catch for any girl who would respond to his online come-ons. The Dynamite brothers live with GRANDMA (Martin), a crusty woman who can often be found four-wheeling with her lady friends at the local sand dunes. Napoleon’s allies include PEDRO (Ramirez), his unflappable best friend who has recently been elected class president; and DEB (Majorino), an incredibly sweet girl who sees the good in Napoleon and dreams of someday being his wife. Napoleon’s UNCLE RICO (Gries) lives out of an orange custom van, where he obsesses over his botched high school football career and dreams up ways to become rich and famous. Then there’s REX KWON DO (Bader), a self-proclaimed martial-arts master who runs the local dojo. Guest voices in the debut season include Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie,” “Legally Blonde”), Sam Rockwell (“Choke”) and Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”).”

Let me simplify this for you:  The obvious: A cartoon version of Napoleon Dynamite.

So will this show succeed?  I’m going to repeat what I said for Allen Gregory: Despite being sandwiched between Simpsons and Family Guy – new shows have been hit-or-miss in that time period.  Also, even though Napoleon fits better as a cartoon than a live-action concept, I wonder whether there’s enough mass appeal.  After all, an indy hit like Dynamite was is just that – an indy hit.

Touch – Here’s how FOX described it in their press release:

“From writer/creator Tim Kring (“Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan”) and executive producers Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope  comes TOUCH, a preternatural drama in which science and spirituality intersect with the hopeful premise that we are all interconnected, tied in invisible ways to those whose lives we are destined to alter and impact. Through masterful storytelling, the series follows a group of seemingly unrelated characters – beginning with a former firefighter tormented by his inability to save a dying woman, an Iraqi teenager who will go to great risks to help his family, a gifted singer whose actions at a karaoke bar save lives thousands of miles away and a British businessman desperately trying to retrieve a key piece of information from his lost mobile phone – who affect each other in ways seen and unseen. At the center is MARTIN BOHM (Kiefer Sutherland, “24”), a widower and single father, haunted by an inability to connect to his mute, severely autistic 10-year-old son, JAKE. Caring, intelligent and thoughtful, Martin has tried everything to reach his son who shows little emotion and never allows himself to be touched by anyone, including Martin. Jake busies himself with cast-off cell phones, disassembling them and manipulating the parts, allowing him to see the world in his own special way. After multiple failed attempts at keeping Jake in school, Martin is visited by social worker CLEA HOPKINS, who insists on doing an evaluation of the Bohms’ living situation. Although new at her job, Clea sees a man whose life has become dominated by a child he can no longer control. She believes his attempts to communicate with Jake are just wish fulfillment, and determines that it’s time for the state to intervene. But everything changes when Martin discovers that Jake possesses a gift of staggering genius – the ability to see things that no one else can, the patterns that connect everything. Jake is indeed communicating after all. But it’s not with words, it’s with numbers. And now he needs Martin to decipher their meaning and connect these numbers to the cast of seemingly unrelated characters whose lives they affect. Along the way, Martin will be guided by BORIS PODOLSKY, a discredited aging professor who offers Martin a compelling but unorthodox theory about Jake and his rare ability. Whether it be chance, coincidence, timing, synergy or fate, there are events that touch us all, as part of an interconnected, dazzlingly precise universe.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Nah.  Let’s just say that if you liked Heroes season one and/or Kiefer Sutherland, you’ll be tuning in.

So will this show succeed?  I sure hope so – but since there’s not been a time period chosen yet, I can’t guess.

 

Thoughts?

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The ABC 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/24/2011 at 7:37 pm | Posted in iamnoahjames.com, Net/Spec | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:

MONDAY

8p – Dancing with the Stars (9/19)

10p – Castle (9/19)

TUESDAY

8p – Last Man Standing (10/11) NS

8:30p – Man Up (10/18) NS

9p – Dancing with the Stars Result Show (9/20)

10p – Body of Proof (9/20)

WEDNESDAY

8p – The Middle (9/21)

8:30p – Suburgatory (9/28) NS

9p – Modern Family (9/21)

9:30p – Happy Endings (9/28) NT

10p – Revenge (9/21) NS

THURSDAY

8p – Charlie’s Angels (9/22) NS

9p – Grey’s Anatomy (9/22)

10p – Private Practice (9/29)

FRIDAY

8p – Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (9/25 – a Sunday) NT

9p – Shark Tank

10p –20/20

SATURDAY

8p – Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY

7p – America’s Funniest Home Videos (10/2)

8p – Once Upon A Time (10/23) NS

9p –Desperate Housewives (9/25)

10p – Pan Am (9/25) NS

SPECIAL SCHEDULING NOTE

Cougar Town will return midseason.

NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

THOUGHTS ON RETURNING SHOWS

This is the final season of Desperate Housewives.

Giving Happy Endings the cushy spot after Modern Family shows their level of confidence in building Endings into another ABC powerhouse. 

ABC had a very good year last season – so their schedule is almost the same as last year (with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as the exception).

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW PROGRAMS

Last Man Standing – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“Today it’s a woman’s world, and this man’s man is on a mission to get men back to their rightful place in society.  Tim Allen returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt (“30 Rock”). Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women — namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before.   The show stars Tim Allen (“Home Improvement”) as Mike, Nancy Travis (“So I Married an Axe Murderer,” “Three Men and a Baby”) as Vanessa, Molly Ephraim as Mandy, Alexandra Krosney as Kristin, Kaitlyn Dever as Eve and Hector Elizondo (“Chicago Hope”) as Ed.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Tim “The Toolman” Taylor living in a woman’s world.

So will this show succeed? It’s placed in a decent spot, launching a new comedy block right before the Dancing with the Stars Results Show.  While Dancing’s ratings have hit some lows, it still gets enough viewers that its (and Tim Allen’s) appeal should generate interest in this new show.  And with Allen getting a reported $225,000/episode, ABC is counting on it.

Man Up – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

Three modern men try to get in touch with their inner tough guys and redefine what it means to be a “real man” in this funny and relatable comedy.  Will’s grandfather fought in WWII. Will’s father fought in Vietnam. Will plays Call of Duty on his PS3 and drinks non-dairy hazelnut creamer. So what happened to all the real men? They’re still here — they just smell like pomegranate body wash now. Meet Will (Mather Zickel). His evolved, sensitive nature is why his awesome wife, Theresa (Teri Polo), married him. But Will and his friends find themselves wondering — in a world of Axe ads and manscaping — what does it really mean to be a guy anymore? Will is more interested in finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan’s (Jake Johnson) 13th birthday than in doing his job selling insurance; sensitive soul Craig (Christopher Moynihan) still pines for his college ex, Lisa; and Kenny (Dan Fogler) clamps down on his anger and asks himself, “What would Tobey Maguire do?,” when his ex, Brenda (Amanda Detmer), starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons) who is everything he’s not and much better looking. After Craig crashes Lisa’s wedding to try to win her back, they are all faced with an opportunity to Man Up and be like their forefathers.  The show stars Christopher Moynihan as Craig, Mather Zickel (“The Cape”) as Will, Dan Fogler (“Balls of Fury”) as Kenny, Teri Polo (“Meet the Fockers”) as Theresa, Amanda Detmer (“What About Brian”) as Brenda and Henry Simmons (“Shark”) as Grant.  “Man Up” comes from writer/executive producer/actor Christopher Moynihan (“100 Questions”), executive producer Victor Fresco (“Better off Ted”), Ron West and Kelly Kulchak of Tagline Television (Psych) and director Beth McCarthy-Miller (“SNL,” “30 Rock”). ”Man Up” is produced by ABC Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Taking manhood back from the metrosexual to its old style mentality.  I have a feeling this show will be guys trying to be “guys”, but failing due to their nature. Similar to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

So will this show succeed?  I don’t know.  It’s sandwiched between Last Man Standing and Dancing’s Results Show – so it would SEEM like it could do well.  However, if the dip in ratings between those shows is too big, expect Man Up to be replaced by a midseason sitcom.

Suburgatory – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been.  Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a “Kramer vs. Kramer” before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast.  The show stars Jeremy Sisto (“Law & Order”) as George Altman, Jane Levy (“Shameless”) as Tessa Altman, Carly Chaikin (“The Last Song”) as Dalia Royce, Allie Grant (“Weeds”) as Lisa, Alan Tudyk (“V”) as Noah Lerner and Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) as Dallas Royce. Ana Gasteyer (“Saturday Night Live”) guest stars.  Emily Kapnek (“Hung”) writes and executive-produces this bitingly ironic single-camera comedy. “Suburgatory” was directed by Michael Fresco (“Raising Hope”), who also executive-produced the pilot. It is produced by Warner Bros. Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Fish out of water story about a single dad moving to a suburb, where they experience Mean Girls and Desperate Housewives.

So will this show succeed?  It’s in a great spot on Wednesdays, so its chances are good.

Revenge – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of Revenge.  Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance.  “Revenge” stars Madeleine Stowe (“We Were Soldiers,” “The Last of the Mohicans”) as Victoria Grayson, Emily Van Camp (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Everwood”) as Emily Thorne, Gabriel Mann (“The Bourne Identity”) as Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny (“Mission: Impossible,” “Clear and Present Danger”) as Conrad Grayson, Ashley Madekwe (“Secret Diary of a Call Girl”) as Ashley Davenport, Nick Wechsler (“Roswell”) as Jack Porter, Josh Bowman (“Prowl”) as Daniel Grayson, Christa B. Allen (“13 Going on 30”) as Charlotte Grayson and Connor Paolo (“Gossip Girl”) as Declan Porter.  “Revenge” is written and executive-produced by Mike Kelley (“Swingtown”), along with executive producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (“Twilight”). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Phillip Noyce (“Salt”). “Revenge” is produced by ABC Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you: Another primetime soap for ABC.

So will this show succeed?  Things are looking good.  It debuted to great numbers for ABC in a time period that has proved troublesome in the past.  Once its usual lead-in has its season premiere (Happy Endings) we’ll be able to see where the ratings settle.  Either way, the year-to-year increase has to make ABC happy.

Charlie’s Angels – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“Everyone deserves a second chance — even a thief, a street racer and a cop who got in a little too deep. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re Angels… Charlie’s Angels.  Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new Angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the Angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure — Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs.  “Charlie’s Angels” stars Annie Ilonzeh (“General Hospital”) as Kate Prince, Minka Kelly (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) as Eve, Rachael Taylor (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Abby Sampson and Ramon Rodriguez (“The Wire,” “Daybreak”) as Bosley.  Written and executive-produced by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Smallville”), “Charlie’s Angels” is also executive-produced by Drew Barrymore (“Charlie’s Angels” movies), Leonard Goldberg (the original “Charlie’s Angels”) and Nancy Juvonen (“Charlie’s Angels” movies). It’s directed and executive-produced by Marcos Siega (“Vampire Diaries,” “Dexter”). “Charlie’s Angels” is produced by Millar/Gough Ink, Flower Films and Panda Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Let me simplify this for you: Charlie’s Angels Lite.  If you’ve seen the Charlie’s Angels movies (also produced by Drew Barrymore) you know what to expect – minus (hopefully) the awful slapstick of Full Throttle.

So will this show succeed?  It debuted alright (way above last year’s abysmal My Generation), but time will tell.  Unless ratings go up, I’m skeptical it will see a second season.  They’ve only aired one episode, so it is anyone’s guess at this point.

Once Upon A Time – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“From the inventive minds of “Lost” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide.  And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.  “Once Upon A Time” stars Ginnifer Goodwin (“Big Love”) as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison (“House MD”) as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle (“The Full Monty,” “Trainspotting,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore (“Mad Men”) as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie.  “Once Upon A Time” was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC’s “V”). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod (“Entourage”). “Once Upon A Time” is from ABC Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you: See my thoughts on NBC’s Grimm.  Pretty much the same, but with a female lead.

So will this show succeed?  Maybe.  It’s pretty niche, but it has a great time slot as lead-in to Desperate Housewives.

Pan Am – Here’s how ABC described it in their press release:

“Passion, jealousy and espionage… They do it all – and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series.  In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world. Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am they also have to be educated, cultured and refined. They’re trained to handle everything from in-air emergencies to unwanted advances – all without rumpling their pristine uniforms or mussing their hair. There’s Dean (Jonah Lotan) – a cocky, charismatic and ambitious new pilot – the first of a new breed not trained in the war. On the sly against company policy, he’s dating Bridget, a stunning beauty with a mysterious past. A rebellious bohemian, Maggie (Christina Ricci) turns into a buttoned up professional for work so she can see the world. Rounding out the crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vanasse), the adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner) and, finally, Laura (Margot Robbie) – Kate’s beauty queen younger sister, a runaway bride, who recently fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies.  “Pan Am” stars Christina Ricci (“Penelope”) as Maggie, Kelli Garner (“Going the Distance”) as Kate, Karine Vanasse (“Polytechnique”) as Colette, Margot Robbie (“Neighbours”) as Laura, Jonah Lotan (“24”) as Dean and Michael Mosley (“Justified”) as Ted.  Jack Orman (“ER,” “Men of a Certain Age,”), Tommy Schlamme (“The West Wing,” “Parenthood,”
Mr. Sunshine”) and Nancy Hult Ganis (“Akleeh and the Bee”) are the executive producers of “Pan Am.” Orman is also the writer, with Schlamme directing. “Pan Am” is produced by Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.”

Let me simplify this for you: One of two shows trying to capitalize on Mad Men’s tone (The Playboy Club being the second).  Expect similar story arcs and set pieces.

So will this show succeed?  With Desperate Housewives as a phenomenal lead-in, it has a better chance (and getting better reviews) than The Playboy Club.  It needs to retain the majority of viewers to be seen a hit for ABC’s standard in that prime real estate.

 

Thoughts?

The CBS 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/18/2011 at 9:19 pm | Posted in iamnoahjames.com, Net/Spec | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:

MONDAY

8p – How I Met Your Mother (9/19)

8:30p – 2 Broke Girls (9/19 at 9:30) NS

9p – Two and a Half Men (9/19)

9:30p – Mike & Molly (9/26)

10p – Hawaii Five-O (9/19)

TUESDAY

8p – NCIS (9/20)

9p – NCIS: Los Angeles (9/20)

10p – Unforgettable (9/20) NS

WEDNESDAY

8p – Survivor: South Pacific (9/14)

9p – Criminal Minds (9/21)

10p – CSI (9/21) NT

THURSDAY

8p – The Big Bang Theory (9/22)

8:30p – How to Be a Gentleman (9/29) NS

9p – Person of Interest (9/22) NS

10p – The Mentalist (9/22)

FRIDAY

8p – A Gifted Man (9/23) NS

9p – CSI: NY (10/23)

10p –Blue Bloods (9/23)

SATURDAY

8p – Rules of Engagement (10/8) NT

8:30p – COMEDYTIME SATURDAY

9p – CRIMETIME SATURDAY

10p – 48 Hours Mystery

SUNDAY

7p – 60 Minutes

8p – The Amazing Race (9/25)

9p -The Good Wife (9/25) NT

10p – CSI: Miami (9/25)

SPECIAL SCHEDULING NOTE

NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

Other than Rules, Saturday will be encore programming from during the week.

THOUGHTS ON RETURNING SHOWS

CBS has always had a love/hate relationship with Rules of Engagement.  Even only getting midseason airings, Rules has always garnered good ratings – even better than new fall shows.  Last year, CBS actually broke habit and gave it a full season.  Well, CBS is now moving it to Saturdays with reruns and 48 hours.  My feeling is that once it reaches the number for syndication, CBS will drop it.

CSI is moving out of its once powerful time period.  The years with Laurence helming brought down the ratings quite a bit (don’t blame him, blame the exit of William Petersen).  This year it is moving to Wednesday with Ted Danson as the lead.  I’ll be very interested to see how that pans out!

The Good Wife moving to Sunday makes sense.  CBS wants a show that gets better ratings, but wants to keep this critical hit.

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW PROGRAMS

2 Broke Girls – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“A comedy about two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash.  Sassy, streetwise Max (Kat Dennings) works two jobs just to get by, one of which is waiting tables during the night shift at the retro-hip Williamsburg Diner.  Sophisticated Caroline (Beth Behrs) is an uptown trust fund princess who’s having a run of bad luck that forces her to reluctantly give waitressing a shot.  At first, Max sees Caroline as yet another in a long line of inept servers she must cover for, but she’s surprised to find that Caroline has as much substance as she does style.  When Caroline discovers Max’s knack for baking amazing cupcakes, she sees a lucrative future for them, but they first need to raise the start-up money.  While they save their tips, they’ll stay at the restaurant, working with Oleg (Jonathan Kite), an overly flirtatious Russian cook; Earl (Garrett Morris), a 75-year-old kool-kat cashier; and Han Lee (Matthew Moy), the new, eager-to-please owner of the diner.  Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break.  Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”) and writer-comedian Whitney Cummings (“Chelsea Lately“) are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  An out of luck pair of girls with talent and sarcasm.

So will this show succeed? Every year, CBS cancels one or two new sitcoms.  If CBS doesn’t see a dramatic dip in viewers between Mother and Men, the show might have a chance.

Unforgettable – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind.  It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder.  Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case.  His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop.  Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie.  Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister.  All she needs to do is remember.  Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Just like Prime Suspect except…well, you know…she remembers everything.

So will this show succeed?  Maybe.  CBS’s weakest 10p slot is on Tuesdays –the last one to do well was Without a Trace, which Poppy also starred in – so starting a new show in that slot is risky. 

How to Be a Gentlemen – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Inspired by the book of the same name, is a comedy about the unlikely friendship between a traditional, refined writer and an unrefined personal trainer.  Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) is an etiquette columnist whose devotion to ideals from a more civilized time has lead to a life detached from modern society.  Infectiously optimistic, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon) is a reformed “bad boy” from Andrew’s past who inherited a fitness center, but can still be rude, loud and sloppy.  When Andrew’s editor, Jerry (Dave Foley), tells him to put a modern, sexy twist on his column or be fired, he hires Bert as a life coach in the hopes of learning to be less “gentle man” and more “real man.”  Andrew’s mom, Diane (Nancy Lenehan), and his bossy sister, Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), support the plan, as would Janet’s husband, Mike (Rhys Darby), if he was allowed to have an opinion.  Though Andrew and Bert’s views may be centuries apart, they may find they’re each other’s missing link.  David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia“), Adam Chase (“Friends”), Ted Schachter (“The Invention of Lying”), Joe Hipps and Modi Wiczyk are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  The Odd Couple, co-starring Drama from Entourage.

So will this show succeed?  Like I said before, CBS cancels one or two new sitcoms every year. Last year’s Bang lead-out was cancelled, so we’ll see.

Person of Interest – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“Stars Jim Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice.  Reese’s (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes.  Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work outside of the law using Reese’s adept skills and Finch’s unlimited wealth to unravel the mystery of the Person Of Interest and stop the crime before it happens.  Reese’s actions catch the attention of the NYPD, including homicide detective Carter (Henson), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a cop who Reese uses to his advantage.  With infinite crimes to investigate, Reese and Finch find that the right person, with the right information, at the right time, can change everything.  Emmy Award winners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (“Lost”), Academy Award nominee Jonathan Nolan (“Memento”), David Semel (“Heroes”) and Greg Plageman (“Cold Case”) are the executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Source Code: The series (which is weird, because a Source Code show IS being developed).

So will this show succeed?  CBS wants it to – giving it one of their prime slots.  Caviezel is getting $100,000/episode, so I’m sure they want this to work.

A Gifted Man – Here’s how CBS described it in their press release:

“A drama about a brilliant, charismatic surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching him the meaning of life from the “hereafter.”  Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is an exceptional doctor who lives a materialistic life of luxury thanks to his work-obsessed career and powerful and wealthy patients; however, Michael’s ordered world is rocked when his ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle), an idealistic free-clinic doctor and the love of his life, mysteriously appears to him.  Michael’s off-beat sister, Christina (Julie Benz), a single mom to her teenaged son, Milo (Liam Aiken), is thrilled that Anna’s back in her brother’s life, even as an “illusion,” because Michael was always a better person with her.  Curious about Michael’s sudden change in behavior is his efficient assistant, Rita (Margo Martindale).  When Anna asks Michael to go to her clinic to help keep it running, he meets Autumn (Afton Williamson), a volunteer carrying on Anna’s work with the underprivileged.  Touched by those in need and accepting of Anna’s compassionate “presence,” Michael’s attitude toward serving the rich and poor is turned upside down, and he begins to see that there’s room in his life for everyone.  Academy Award nominee Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”), Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Neal Baer (“ER”) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Sixth Sense-ish series.

So will this show succeed?  I don’t know.  The ratings will be pretty low, since it’s on Fridays; but they are paying Wilson $100,000+/episode, so I would be shocked if they are just trying to burn these episodes off.

Thoughts?

The NBC 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/18/2011 at 7:28 pm | Posted in iamnoahjames.com, Net/Spec | 1 Comment
Tags: , ,

Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:

MONDAY

8p – The Sing-Off (9/19) NT

10p – The Playboy Club (9/19) NS

TUESDAY

8p – The Biggest Loser (9/20)

10p – Parenthood (9/13)

WEDNESDAY

8p – Up All Night (9/14) NS

8:30p – Free Agents (9/14) NS

9p – Harry’s Law (9/21) NT

10p – Law & Order: SVU (9/21) NT

THURSDAY

8p – Community (9/22)

8:30p – Parks & Recreation (9/22) NT

9p – The Office (9/22)

9:30p – Whitney (9/22) NS

10p – Prime Suspect (9/22) NS

FRIDAY

8p – Chuck (10/21) NT

9p – Grimm (10/21) NS

10p –Dateline NBC (9/23)

SUNDAY

7p – Football Night in America

8:15p – NBC Sunday Night Football

SPECIAL SCHEDULING NOTE

NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

Saturday will be encore programming from during the week.

Due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy, 30 Rock’s sixth season won’t debut until midseason.

These last 13 episodes of Chuck will conclude the series.

THOUGHTS ON RETURNING SHOWS

NBC has done a great job wrapping new shows around their strong performers.  Judging by the brisk pace of The Sing-Off its first year (multiple installments a week for 2-3 weeks), I doubt they thought it would generate the amount of ratings it did.  So now they are doing what they should have done in the first place – running it for two hours once a week.  It isn’t really a great fit as lead-in for The Playboy Club, but it should help holdover a large number of viewers.

The Biggest Loser is NBC’s highest-rated unscripted program, and Parenthood always gets just enough ratings to justify renewals; so I see this as NBC wanting to keep Parenthood alive – since they could have understandably given Loser a new show as lead-out.  Jillian Michaels will no longer be on Loser, as she decided to scream at people on The Doctors this season instead.

Harry’s Law was like Parenthood last year; meaning, the ratings weren’t amazing, but good enough for renewal.  I personally believed it would have a better chance with SVU as its lead-in, and not the new NBC comedy block.  I’ll be interested to see what happens.  I will also be interested to see how big of a hit SVU takes when the two lead detectives are transitioned out and the two new actors take over.

For my viewing pleasure, I’m thrilled with the Community/Parks & Rec/The Office block.  Ratings-wise, it also makes sense.  Last season, Community held its own against Big Bang, and managed to keep its audience even when American Idol emerged midseason.  As for The Office – NBC’s highest-rated scripted show – I will be interested to watch the ratings now that Michael Scott is gone.

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW PROGRAMS

The Playboy Club – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“From Academy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer, “The Playboy Club” is a provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It’s the early ‘60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies — and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade’s biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, “CSI: Miami”) is one of the city’s top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city’s power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, “Zombieland”), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, “Take the Lead”), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, ”Numb3rs”), the club’s general manager. Adding to the charm of The Playboy Club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, “American Virgin”), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, “CSI: Miami”), an overly protective bartender. Also starring are Naturi Naughton (“Fame”) and Leah Renee (“True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet”). In addition to Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “American Gangster”), the executive producers on “The Playboy Club” include Chad Hodge (“Tru Calling”), Francie Calfo (“Scoundrels”), Jason Burns (“The House Bunny”) and Dick Rosenzweig (“Kendra”). Hodge also wrote the pilot, which was directed by Alan Taylor (“Mad Men,” “The Sopranos”). The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Mad Men feel/look/tone/time period, etc – but in The Playboy Club.  This is actually one of TWO shows trying to tap into Mad Men’s appeal (the other is on ABC). 

So will this show succeed? I’m not convinced.  Part of it is the time slot – Monday at 10p.  With Castle on ABC and Hawaii Five-O on CBS, I wonder what rating it will have to average for NBC to be happy with continually being in 3rd place.  The other part is the fact that this show was created because Mad Men is “successful” – however, the success is critical and not ratings-wise.  I’ll be interested to see if NBC can succeed in something Mad Men can’t – getting decent ratings.

Up All Night – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“From Emily Spivey (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes “Up All Night,” a modern take on Parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) plays Chris, Reagan’s supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents – a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults — for the most part. Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”) stars as Ava, Reagan’s outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan’s former carefree life. James Pumphrey (“High Road”) portrays Brian, Reagan’s socially Awkward hipster assistant. “Up All Night” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC’s “30 Rock”).”

Let me simplify this for you: Mr. Mom meets new parents trying to raise a baby while also managing the attention-hungry, selfish, Oprah-like boss.  The jokes /stories will be centered on outside elements stretching the couples thin – mostly Applegate’s character, who has to steer the ship at her office too.

So will this show succeed?  While I didn’t care for the pilot that much (Maya’s character was too abrasive), that doesn’t mean anything.  A lot of shows get notes and retool after the pilot.  What’s working against it is launching a new night/block of comedy for NBC that also includes another new series.  However, with Lorne Michaels as an Executive Producer, this show might be given more time to breathe.  Going against Survivor isn’t doing it any favors either.

Free Agents – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“A crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (“Party Down”) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, “The Simpsons,” “Huff”) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, “Hung”) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex’s co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, “Love Bites,” “Modern Family”) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Gary, Unmarried”), and Stephen (Anthony Head, “Merlin,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started — in a casual, intimate and beautifully Awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (“Backwash,” “Mad Love”) and Natasha Leggero (“Ugly Americans,” “’Til Death”). “Free Agents” is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke (“Miss/Guided”) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions’ Kenton Allen (“Free Agents,” BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.”

Let me simplify this for you:  I can’t.  I really know very little about this show.  From everything I’ve seen on it, it seems like a sitcom vehicle for Hank Azaria.

Will this show survive?  Probably not.  It’s in the same boat as Up All Night, since it’s the second sitcom on the new NBC Wednesday comedy block.  However, unlike Night, Lorne Michael is NOT attached – so expect the show to get canned if it doesn’t match Night in ratings (NBC has many sitcoms on deck for replacements).  If it does get cancelled, Hank will be alright; he makes $600,000/episode on The Simpsons.

Whitney – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“A hilarious look at modern love, “Whitney” is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, “Chelsea Lately”) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, “Glory Daze”), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends’ weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends — including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Other Guys”) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, “The Starter Wife”) — and then snaps into action. A few Awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other — and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC’s “30 Rock”) as Lily’s perfect boyfriend, and Dan O’Brien (“How I Met Your Mother”) as an eternal bachelor. “Whitney” is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber (“The Break Up”), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (“My Boys”) and Barry Katz (“Last Comic Standing”) are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is an executive producer and directed the pilot.”

Let me simplify this for you:  A “fresh” take on relationship comedy (I use quotations because studios always use “fresh” to make it sound completely original).  Whitney Cummings actually created this herself, so that’s impressive.  I just hope her attitude doesn’t delve too deep into Roseanne’s. 

Will this show survive?  NBC seems to want it to – since it has The Office as its lead-in.  Last season, Outsourced got great ratings by retaining most of the audience from The Office; however, once Outsourced moved from being The Office’s lead-out, its ratings tanked – getting it cancelled by May.  So I suspect if Whitney stays at 9:30 and maintains a majority of the viewers, it should be fine.

Prime Suspect – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (“Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue”), director Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — and stars Maria Bello (“A History of Violence”) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the Prime Suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (“Unknown”), Brian O’Byrne (“Flash Forward”), Tim Griffin (“Star Trek”), Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe“), Joe Nieves (“How I Met Your Mother“), Damon Gupton (“The Last Airbender”) and Peter Gerety (“Blue Bloods“). “Prime Suspect” is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnson, Paul Buccieri and Lynda LaPlante.”

Let me simplify this for you:  UK-imported show about a tough-as-nails female cop who has to prove herself with all the men.  Oh, and she’s better than the other cops.

Will this show survive?  I don’t know.  NBC wants it to, since they are paying Bello $125,000/episode; but NBC has been getting crushed on Thursday’s 10p time period – so it isn’t looking like a sure bet.

Grimm – Here’s how NBC described it in their press release:

“A new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm‘s Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren’t stories — they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli “Turn The Beat Around”) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn’t quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy”) arrives, Nick’s life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as “Grimms,” who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors — and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby (“Lincoln Heights”), Bitsie Tulloch (“Quarterlife”), Silas Weir Mitchell (“Prison Break”), Reggie Lee (“Persons Unknown”) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) also star. “Grimm” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (“Hot In Cleveland”) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (“National Treasure,” “Angel”) and David Greenwalt (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (“My Name Is Earl”) is the director.

Let me simplify this for you:  The Brothers Grimm (movie) meets Supernatural meets The X-Files.

Will this show survive?  Probably not.  Fridays are usually where shows go to die, or – like Chuck & Fringe – where low-rated-but-loved shows go to conclude their run.  But listen, I’m rooting for this show.  I love Supernatural and The X-Files (still haven’t seen Brothers Grimm), so this sounds like it could be pretty cool.  But looking at historical data, I’m not convinced it will survive.

The CW 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

09/14/2011 at 12:23 am | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment

Since three new shows premiere this week for The CW, we will cover them first. 

 

Below is the 2011-2012 primetime schedule, including premiere dates:

MONDAY

8p – Gossip Girl (9/26) NT

9p – Hart of Dixie (9/26) NS

TUESDAY

8p – 90210 (9/13) NT

9p – Ringer (9/13) NS

WEDNESDAY

8p – H8R (9/14) NS

9p – America’s Next Top Model (9/14)

THURSDAY

8p – The Vampire Diaries (9/15)

9p – The Secret Circle (9/15) NS

FRIDAY

8p – Nikita (9/23) NT

9p – Supernatural (9/23)

SPECIAL SCHEDULING NOTE

NS notates new series – NT notates a returning show moving to a new time period.

Saturday and Sunday primetime periods are given to the local CW station to use for syndicated/local programming.

THOUGHTS ON RETURNING SHOWS

The CW has decided to split up two of their franchise shows – moving 90210 from Mondays at 8p to the same time period on Tuesdays, and pushing Gossip Girl up from 9p to 8p.  While Gossip Girl is the lowest-rated returning shows (remember – Fridays are always excluded in ratings talk), it is one of the benchmark programs for The CW – and probably sells well internationally.  Added to the fact that it has plenty of episodes in the bank, this show generates good money for the network (and respective studio).

Nikita has been moved from Thursdays at 9p to Fridays at 8p for its second season.  While that usually is a death sentence for most shows – this transition shouldn’t be seen as such.  Supernatural (Fridays at 9p) is one of The CW’s favorite shows; so the fact that Nikita is being given Smallville’s old spot and Supernatural as its lead-out should be seen as a positive.  Added to the fact that Mark Pedowitz (new President of The CW) announced that the network isn’t planning on this to be the final season of Supernatural – expect The CW to keep this Friday line-up for the next season as well.  Granted, if Nikita doesn’t tank…

America’s Next Top Model is going to have an “All-Star” season, bringing back fan favorites.  I don’t really have any thoughts on that – just thought I’d give you a heads-up.

THOUGHTS ON THE NEW PROGRAMS

Hart of Dixie – Here’s how The CW described it in their press release:

“Fast-talking New Yorker and brand new doctor Zoe Hart has it all figured out – after graduating top of her class from medical school, she’ll follow in her father’s footsteps and become a cardio-thoracic surgeon.  But when her dreams fall apart, Zoe decides to accept an offer from a stranger, Dr. Harley Wilkes, to work with him at his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama.  Zoe arrives in this small Gulf Coast town only to find that Harley has passed away and left his half of the medical practice to her in his will.  She quickly finds that Southern hospitality isn’t always so hospitable – the other doctor in town, Brick Breeland, is less than pleased to be sharing the practice with this young outsider, and his daughter, Lemon, is a Southern belle whose sweet disposition turns sour when she meets Zoe.  Zoe’s only allies are the mayor, former football star Lavon Hayes, her bad-boy neighbor Wade Kinsella, and handsome lawyer George Tucker – who just happens to be Lemon’s fiancé.  Zoe is out of her element and ready to pack her bags, but a surprise visit by her snobby New York mother leads to Zoe’s decision to stay in Bluebell for a while, discovering small-town life and a side of herself she hadn’t known was there.  The series stars Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, Jaime King as Lemon Breeland, Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella, Cress Williams as Lavon Hayes, McKaley Miller as Rose and Scott Porter as George Tucker.  Hart Of Dixie is from Bonanza Productions Inc., in association with Fake Empire, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Leila Gerstein (“Gossip Girl,” “Eli Stone”), Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl,” “Chuck,” “The O.C.”), Stephanie Savage (“Gossip Girl,” “The O.C.”), Len Goldstein and Jason Ensler (“Gossip Girl,” “Chuck”).  The pilot was directed by Jason Ensler.”

Let me simplify this for you:  The show is basically the sequel to Doc Hollywood with a gender-swap of the main character.  Like I said in my disclaimer post, I’m not accusing them of ripping off the fun movie starring Michael J. Fox; I’m simply doing what the producers did when they pitched it to WB/CBS – giving a quick-and-easy reference to set the tone.

So will this show succeed?  Short answer: I don’t know.  I like Bilson, King, and Williams – and God knows that Jaime King deserves better than the TV luck she’s had over the years (the short-lived Kitchen Confidential, and even shorter-lived My Generation).  My fear is having Gossip Girl as its lead-in.  As I previously stated, GG isn’t exactly pulling in the viewers – and while The CW doesn’t normally go by the ratings for its success metric – it absolutely cancels the freshman show with the lowest ratings (last year’s Hellcats, for example).  Added to the fact that Mondays at 9 are crazy-packed with hit shows on the Big Four, I’m not sure how many viewers are left to tune in.

My hope is that The CW gives this show more than one season to determine if it’s a keeper or not.  With three of Gossip Girl’s executive producers attached, they just might do that.  It would be a positive sign if The CW moves Hart of Dixie to another time period (maybe Wednesdays at 8p) for midseason or Fall 2012.

H8R – Here’s how The CW described it in their press release:

“Celebrities go head-to-head with civilians who hate them to win their “haters” over.  Hosted by Mario Lopez, H8R is from Horizon Alternative Television with executive producers Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey (“Extra”), Jeremy Spiegel (“Extra”) and Mario Lopez.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Inexpensive filler.  The less said about this show, the better for my brain cells.  I really do like Mario Lopez, but this just seems like a VH1 “celebreality” program geared for D-listers to try and extend their 15 minutes of fame.  Other than the pilot edition, I find it very hard to believe that they will have anyone of actual note to show up and submit themselves to being criticized.  Chances are, this show will feature people who the “civilians” may have even forgotten about.  How many times are people going to tune in for this exchange:

Lopez:  So what do you really think of (obscure actor from the early 80s)?

Civilian:  I…thought you were dead.

Celebrity(?): Well, I’m not.

Lopez:  And there you have it!  Next celebrity!

Once midseason hits, this show will be replaced by one of the two reality shows The CW ordered.  I would love it if Dixie took this spot, and the reality show was placed on Mondays at 9p.

Ringer – Here’s how The CW described it in their press release:

“Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister – only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind.  Bridget is six months sober and starting to turn her life around when she is the sole witness to a professional hit.  Despite the assurances of her FBI protector, Agent Victor Machado, Bridget knows her life is on the line.  She flees to New York, telling no one, not even her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, Malcolm.  In New York, Bridget reunites with her estranged twin, Siobhan.  Wealthy, pampered and married to the strikingly handsome Andrew Martin, Siobhan lives what appears to be a fairy tale life – a life where no one knows that Bridget exists.  The Sisters seem to be mending their frayed relationship, until Siobhan disappears mysteriously, and Bridget makes the split decision to take on her sister’s identity.  She discovers shocking secrets, not only about her sister and her marriage, but also about Siobhan’s best friend, Gemma, and Gemma’s husband, Henry.  And when someone tries to kill Bridget in her sister’s penthouse, she realizes she is no safer as Siobhan than she is as herself.  The series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as Bridget and Siobhan, Kristoffer Polaha as Henry, Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Martin, Nestor Carbonell as Agent Victor Machado and Tara Summers as Gemma.  Ringer is produced by CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television in association with ABC Television Studios and Brillstein Entertainment with executive producers Pam Veasey (“CSI, NY,” “The District”), Peter Traugott (“Samantha Who?”) and Emmy Award-winner Richard Shepard (“Ugly Betty”).  The pilot was directed by Richard Shepard.”

Let me simplify this for you:  Twin swap (Parent Trap) meets mistaken identity (El Mariachi).  This show is depending/hoping on fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – to the tune of $90,000/episode paid to Sarah Michelle Gellar.  While I can’t say I’m excited about this show, I did watch the premiere tonight.  Not because I’m a Buffy/Angel fan (which I am), but the previews had piqued my interest some.  While I found the last few minutes interesting (it seems to be a show that has a cliffhanger-esque ending for each episode), the premiere as a whole had pretty slow pacing.

Do I think this show will survive?  I think the odds are better for Ringer than Dixie.  The CW has more financial investment in Ringer, but if its ratings are at or below Dixie’s levels – The CW might choose to cut costs and reward Gossip Girl’s executive producers by going with Dixie.  We’ll probably have a clear idea by midseason.

The Secret Circle – Here’s how The CW described it in their press release:

“Cassie Blake was a happy, normal teenage girl – until her mother Amelia dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire.  Orphaned and deeply saddened, Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington – the town her mother left so many years before – where the residents seem to know more about Cassie than she does about herself.  As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen.  When her new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they’ve been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of The Secret Circle, Cassie refuses to believe them – until Adam shows her how to unlock her incredible magical powers.  But it’s not until Cassie discovers a message from her mother in an old leather-bound book of spells hidden in her mother’s childhood bedroom, that she understands her true and dangerous destiny.  What Cassie and the others don’t yet know is that darker powers are at play, powers that might be linked to the adults in the town, including Diana’s father and Faye’s mother – and that Cassie’s mother’s death might not have been an accident.  The series stars Britt Robertson as Cassie Blake, Thomas Dekker as Adam Conant, Gale Harold as Charles Meade, Phoebe Tonkin as Fay Chamberlain, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Melissa, Shelley Hennig as Diana Meade, Louis Hunter as Nick, Ashley Crow as Jane Blake and Natasha Henstridge as Dawn Chamberlain.  Based upon the book series by L.J. Smith (author of “The Vampire Diaries” book series), The Secret Circle is from Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Scream,” “Dawson’s Creek”), Andrew Miller (“Imaginary Bitches”), Leslie Morgenstein (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl”) and Gina Girolamo.  Elizabeth Craft (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Lie To Me”) & Sarah Fain (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Lie To Me”) were executive producers on the pilot which was directed by Liz Friedlander (“The Vampire Diaries,” “90210”).”

Let me simplify this for you:  The Craft: The Series.  The CW’s top show is The Vampire Diaries.  Also, Thursdays have been good for The CW with supernatural-themed shows – such as, well, Supernatural and Smallville (I know I know – technically that one is paranormal and extraterrestrial).  The CW is hoping that the viewers who love Diaries will keep their TVs on for Circle.

Will it survive?  All signs point to: Yes.  Thursdays at 9p is a great time period on The CW – especially with The Vampire Diaries as a lead-in.  Nikita pulled in solid ratings last year; and had it also had a supernatural theme, it might have stayed in that slot.

Want to catch a sneak peak before Thursday’s premiere?  You can download the first episode on iTunes for free.

There you have it for The CW.  Next up will be NBC.

Thoughts?  Comments?

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