Check back each day this week for more TV previews…
Untangling the fall TV lineup isn’t as simple as you might think
Twenty-seven new TV shows will debut during the next few months. You can catch them when they premiere on TV or maybe see an early glimpse online. I watched most of them in the course of one exhausting week.
You’d be mistaken if you’re imagining an on-the-clock stint at home, with me wearing pajamas, spooning ice cream straight from the carton, staring at the screen.
Some of the writing here in our Fall TV Preview is produced from home, with a small-but-mighty TV and a computer parked in my lap for enough hours to make the cats jealous. But it’s so much more than watching.
I consider each show’s network, time slot and night it’s on, which shows come before and after and the shows on other networks before, during and after. I check who’s in it, who produced it, who directed it and who stands to make some cash if it’s successful. I consider the grand scheme of what’s new this year, what was new last year and what has survived so far.
Eventually, I remember to laugh, cry, roll my eyes or bang my head against the arm of the couch until it doesn’t hurt anymore. Then, I type.
The early crop of pilots sent to critics, like me, isn’t meant for review. Before the shows hit your TV, some actors will recast; story lines will disappear. Still, we rely on the pilots to give us a sense of where our time will go this fall. Everything in this Fall TV Preview is as up-to-date as possible.
There is no guaranteeing what makes a hit. Often, the best shows fail, the best ideas falter or the worst catch on. Hopefully, this guide will help you.
Give it a read. Grab the ice cream. Get watching.
PREVIEWS AVAILABLE AT NETWORK SITES
All the networks have streaming video on their Web sites. And all of them are offering previews of their new shows before the broadcast premieres, along with featurettes, clips of returning shows and programming schedules.
Thursday, September 6 2007
If the networks' clutch of new shows doesn't appear to contain, at first glance, an instant game-changer such as Lost, be patient. Something great might emerge from this fall's crop. Or not.
A few thoughts on trends and trendlets for fall TV.
What if we put the best of several promising fall shows together? Would it result in the perfect program or a horrible botch?
Wednesday, September 5 2007
Thursday and Friday are healthy, stable TV nights this year, a dramatic shift from last year's Thursday ratings wars and Friday's former status as a dead zone.
Tuesday, September 4 2007
We have reality TV about people younger or more beautiful than ourselves, fantasy TV about people smarter, younger and more beautiful than ourselves, and sitcom TV about people too much like ourselves. What we don't have much of, though, is fantasy TV for pure fancy, for delight.
CBS takes a giant leap from its usual crime procedural, solved-in-an-hour lawyer routine with Cane.
Monday, September 3 2007
Your Monday night could be anything you want. You're looking for mindless distraction? Flip to ABC. Funny, or at least supposed-to-be funny? CBS.
Sundays, we celebrate the invasion of British television. Two of the night's new shows existed abroad first.