Your Virtual Fall TV Preview


by Jessy Krupa

22 August 2011

Part one of a primetime look at what the major networks will be offering us, with predictions on what will stick and what will flop.

New TV series were hyped at an all time high in 2010, only to see disappointing ratings and early cancellations. As a result, this fall will see more new series debuts than last year. But what will stay and what will get cancelled before Christmas? Looking at a show’s premise and competition, I previously predicted the demises of Running Wilde, Detroit 1-8-7, My Generation, and Outlaw, so let’s see about this year. 

(The listings shown are for the Central Standard time zone.) 



FOX starts the night off with Terra Nova, a futuristic drama co-executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Focusing on a family who escapes grim, pollution-filled earth in the year 2149 by time traveling to a settlement in the age of dinosaurs, the show’s big-budget special effects have kept it in development for over a year. If the show is as family-friendly as it looks, it could have an edge over some of its competition (Dancing with the Stars, Gossip Girl, and CBS’ comedies), but Terra Nova’s high price tag might give it an early death.



CBS adds 2 Broke Girls to its roster of sitcoms, starring Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Raising Dad, ER) as a sarcastic waitress who befriends her co-worker, a cash-strapped former socialite. Test audiences reportedly loved the pilot, as some are calling the show a modern Laverne & Shirley. Sandwiched between the popular How I Met Your Mother and a newly retooled Two and a Half Men, the show’s a safe bet for renewal.




Finally, a series not set in California or New York. The CW’s latest dramedy Hart of Dixie centers on a big-city med student (Rachel Bilson) who moves to Alabama to start her career. The CW usually doesn’t look to beat the other networks in ratings, only to bring in a loyal following. Perhaps this show would do better on another night.




NBC brings us The Playboy Club and I’m wondering how this made it to air in the year 2011. Set in the 1960s, this drama about the beginnings of the (nefarious) Chicago club with bunny-suit clad waitresses also weaves in a murderous subplot. Congratulations, NBC! You’re airing TV’s most sexist, demeaning-to-women series in recent history. Viewers, do yourself a favor and watch either ABC’s Castle or CBS’ Hawaii Five-O instead. On those shows, women are police officers, not mannequins.



Coming soon: a look at Tuesday nights!


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

Virtual Reality and Storytelling: What Happens When Art and Technology Collide?

// Moving Pixels

"Virtual reality is changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

READ the article