Television

Your Virtual Fall TV Preview: Wednesdays

Part three 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.)

 
7pm

Don’t worry, FOX’s The X Factor is not a reality show about dating your ex. It is another singing competition, however, in a world filled with Karaoke Battle USA, Nashville Star, The Sing Off, The Voice, and American Idol. In fact, it is based on the UK spin-off of Idol and features Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell as two of their judges. There are no age restrictions and groups can also compete, but will the highly complicated rules and overdone premise turn viewers off? (Airs on Wednesday and Thursday nights at different lengths over the course of the season.)

Despite all the hype about The X Factor’s pedigree, judges, guest performances, and even sponsors, it all comes down to just how talented and interesting the show’s contestants are. That being said, while nothing can beat American Idol in ratings -- love it or hate it, you have an opinion because you have watched it at some point -- this show will probably stick around for a year or so. (Debuts 21 September)


The CW brings us H8R (pronounced as “Hater”) as competition. A reality show in which people are “forced” to spend time with a celebrity they can’t stand. Small scale celebs Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have already been confirmed as guests. Although the CW doesn’t always look to be a ratings champion, I just don’t see how this can hold on for long. (Debuts 14 September)


NBC adds two new comedies to their Wednesday night. In Up All Night Christina Applegate and Will Arnett star as overworked, overtired parents struggling at life with a newborn baby. Adding to the proceedings is SNL’s Maya Rudolph, co-staring as a boss who’s hopelessly out-of-touch. Free Agents, a comedy about two newly single co-workers that just might be perfect for each other, follows. From what I’ve seen, these shows just aren’t that funny. There’s only so many 4AM feeding jokes you can do, and people are tired of the “friends with benefits” angle. Despite the star quality, these shows don’t stand a chance against ABC’s comedy block. (Both shows debut 14 September)


 

7:30pm

ABC’s Suburgatory centers on a teen whose father has moved them from the city to a seemingly idyllic suburban neighborhood. However, the daughter starts to notice the weird behavior (teens getting plastic surgery, obsessive lawn care, etc.) of all the town’s residents. Situated between The Middle and Modern Family, this show would have to be really terrible to fail. I’m guessing that the show will eventually move beyond the “rich people are weird” theme, but it’s still a good theme. (Debuts 28 September)

 

8:30pm

Two single moms discover that their daughters are just like the girls who taunted them in high school on FOX’s I Hate My Teenage Daughter. After years of failure in the live action sitcom department, the network has something to prove this year. If the show’s good enough to hold on to The X Factor’s audience, expect to see it paired up with Raising Hope and/or New Girl in the spring. (Debuts 23 November)

 

9pm

ABC adapts The Count Of Monte Cristo into its drama, Revenge. Emily Van Kamp (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters) stars as a social climber who plots against those who wronged her family. Versus mainstays like CSI and Law & Order: SVU, I would be surprised to see this stick around. (Debuts 21 September)


Coming soon, Thursday nights!


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