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Wednesdays This Fall: An Early TV Preview

Promotional still from Animal Practice (2012)

To combat the titans of fall TV ratings, Modern Family, Criminal Minds, and American Idol, the networks are offering up space aliens, superheroes, and a monkey!

Considering that over half of the new TV series that debuted last year on the major broadcast networks have already been canceled, the pressure is on to make viewers more aware of what will be debuting this fall. Most of the official fall 2012 schedule has been announced, with video previews of all of the new shows available online.

Though largely ignored in the past, the success of shows like Modern Family, Criminal Minds, and American Idol have made Wednesday one of the biggest TV nights of the week. To combat these titans of TV ratings, the networks are offering up space aliens, superheroes, and a monkey!

Along with descriptions and official previews, I’ll add my own predictions as to whether or not these new shows will stand a chance of making it to 2013.


Taking place in the same world as Superman and various other members of the Justice League, The CW’s Arrow details the adventures of The Green Arrow, a mysterious billionaire who greenlights as an arrow-shooting superhero. Not to be confused with the popular Smallville character, this series features a different actor playing the role and promises to stick to the canon of the original comic books.

A preview of the show’s pilot reportedly did well with the crowd at Comic-Con, and The CW isn’t looking for blockbuster ratings. Paired with a cult favorite (Supernatural), this just might stick around for a while.

Finally! A sitcom that isn’t about single buddies trying to find a date in the big city! NBC’s Animal Practice is about the goings-on at a veterinary clinic. Starring Weeds Justin Kirk as a House-like vet, Sons Of Tucson’s Tyler Labine as his “zany sidekick”, and Crystal, the monkey from The Hangover 2 as “Dr. Zaius”.

It may be the breakout comedy of the season. Only really bad writing could mess this concept up. NBC loves sitcoms, so I would be surprised if this doesn’t at least get a full-season pick-up.


Did you like What To Expect When You’re Expecting?? Or the scenes in any romantic comedy that deal with clueless men trying to take care of babies? NBC’s Guys With Kids is just like that.

Featuring a well-known cast (Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford, Jamie-Lynn Sigler), and a celebrity executive producer (Jimmy Fallon), this shows some potential. Its success may depend on how well Animal Practice does, however.

A family is shocked to discover that all of their new neighbors are friendly yet wacky space aliens in ABC’s The Neighbors.

Coming from a Disney writer, this may be the most family-friendly sitcom on TV. ABC recently made the wise decision to pair this up with the similarly TV-G rated The Middle, giving the network an edge over its competition. I’m interested in seeing if this starts a trend.


Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton and Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere star as feuding country music superstars in ABC’s soapy Nashville.

Viewers didn’t care for Lonestar or GCB, so I doubt this has any chance of dethroning CBS’ CSI in the ratings department. This might become the first cancelled series of the season.

NBC’s Chicago Fire is not about the local soccer team (though that might have been more interesting), it's a firefighter drama produced by Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf.

The least-buzzed about series of the new fall season, it’s likely to be replaced by Law & Order reruns by the end of the year.

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