Tuesdays This Fall: An Early TV Preview

Ben & Kate

Our toes may be burrowed in the sand at the beach, but our minds might be drifting to this fall's TV line-up. Hmmm... what will rise up the ratings charts, and what will be canceled before Christmas?

More than half of the new series that debuted last fall have been canceled. While some series did very well, like ABC’s Revenge or FOX’s New Girl, there are many more examples of total flops, like ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, NBC’s Prime Suspect, CBS’ How to Be a Gentleman, and The CW’s The Secret Circle.

Luckily, the major networks have already announced their fall 2012 schedules, with video previews of the new series available online. Along with this look at what the networks will offer up on Tuesday nights, here are my guesses on what will rise up the ratings charts and what will be canceled before Christmas. I previously predicted the failures of My Generation, Terra Nova, and several other series that you probably don’t remember, but I don’t always get it right


After Dancing With the Stars ends its new season in January, ABC is trying out two new sitcoms. First up, How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, in which a newly divorced mom (Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke) has to move in with her own kooky parents because of the economy.

That will be followed by another recession-themed comedy, The Family Tools, which is based on the British series White Van Man. Kyle Bornheimer (Worst Week, Perfect Couples, Romantically Challenged stars as a guy who unexpectedly has to take over his father’s repairman business, but has a long, long list of failed jobs behind him.

Not only will these two shows be up against FOX’s comedy block, but also the highest rated show on TV: NCIS. Unless ABC is satisfied with the low numbers that these shows will bring as temporary time fillers, it is unlikely that they will both stick around.


Described as heart-warming and maybe even family-friendly (wow!), Ben & Kate follows the antics of Ben, an irresponsible, fun-loving kid-at-heart, who moves in with his uptight, type-A personality sister, Kate. Much to her surprise, he is the perfect babysitter/role model for her five-year-old daughter.

Possibly the perfect accompaniment to FOX’s moderately successful Raising Hope, I can easily see this scoring a full season pick up.


The CW’s Emily Owens, M.D. is a bit different from most doctors on television, but the show isn’t an entirely new concept. The audience hears her innermost dorky thoughts (similar to Ally McBeal) and the entire series promises to be a little more lightheared (like Hart Of Dixie) than the usual ultra-serious hospital drama.

While it’s obvious that NCIS: LA will still rule the time slot, The CW isn’t as obsessed over high ratings as other networks. Most “dramedies” don’t last long, but it does have the potential to bring in higher numbers than Ringer did.

NBC’s Go On

Friends’ Matthew Perry stars as a sportscaster who joins a support group. But this is not an hour-long drama, it’s a Community-style half-hour sitcom.

Something about this show must have the networks excited; NBC has already ordered thirteen episodes and is planning how it can air during the 2012 Olympics. It isn’t merely Perry’s star power, considering that he also starred in the ratings starved Mr. Sunshine and Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip.


NBC’s The New Normal follows two dads who befriend the surrogate mother of their future baby (or babies). Co-created by the creator of Glee, many are comparing it to the characters of Kurt and Blaine on that show.

While many will initially tune in for its historic subject matter, they will likely be turned off by the seemingly cheap stereotypes peppered throughout. (For example, a character in the pilot is credited as “deaf mom” and the promotional poster for the show features the dads with pregnant stomachs.)

FOX hopes that The Office’s Mindy Kaling will become their next comedy VIP in The Mindy Project. Watch it if you like Bridget Jones’ Diary, medical humor, New Girl, and the phrase “adorkable”.

In an overcrowded sea of Tuesday night comedies, it’s going to be really interesting to see what will make it through. I don’t think this will do well, but then again, I also thought the same thing about New Girl.


Not to be confused with all of those other terrible TV shows that were set in Nevada (The Defenders, Dr. Vegas, Viva! Laughlin, Las Vegas, certain seasons of CSI…) CBS’ Vegas stars Dennis Quaid as a sheriff who tries to rid the town of a mafia kingpin (The Shield’s Michael Chiklis) in the '60s.

This genuinely looks interesting. I can easily see it becoming one of biggest shows of the season, unless the network deems it too expensive for their high ratings standards. (CBS previously canceled the 12 million viewer averaging Rob, which broke the record for the highest rated show that was canceled due to low ratings.)

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

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