Television

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

7pm

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.

7:30pm

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.

8pm

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.

8:30pm

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.

9pm

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.)


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.