Thursdays This Fall: An Early TV Preview

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary (2012)

FOX’s American Idol, the current highest rated show on TV, will still hold a Thursday night spot when it returns in January, but the season starts off with the less-popular X Factor.

Is Thursday still the biggest TV night of the week? NBC was once famous for “Must See Thursdays”, but as Friends ended, the network shifted its focus to lower-rated but critically acclaimed sitcoms. ABC’s heavily hyped Grey’s Anatomy still airs on the night, but it has seen lower ratings recently. FOX’s American Idol, the current highest rated show on TV, will still hold a Thursday night spot when it returns in January, but the season starts off with the less-popular X Factor.

The major networks still have big plans for Thursdays, though. The CW kept its highest rated series (The Vampire Diaries) on the night, CBS is keeping their highly rated comedy block, and FOX is betting on big celebrities (Britney Spears on X Factor, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, and more on Glee) to take over.

Still, three new series will air on the night. Let’s take a look at these previews and guess if any of them will become a “must see”.


ABC’s Last Resort is a military-based drama from the mind of Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield. It has an unusual concept: the American crew of a nuclear sub lands on a desert island and declares themselves as a foreign country.

There hasn’t been much talk about this series, good or bad, which is a very bad sign. Considering its competition, I don’t think Last Resort will still be on the air in 2013.


The CW’s modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast is loosely-based on the 1987 CBS series. Loosely based on the fairy tale, it centers on the relationship between a female homicide detective (Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk) and a mysterious man who occasionally turns into a beastly werewolf-type creature.

The CW loves supernatural romances, hence its decision to pair this up with their most-popular series, but the real question is whether or not teen audiences will also find the police investigation angle interesting. And what will those who remember the '80s version think? Either way, this is sure to do better in the ratings than Nikita did.


CBS’ made the risky decision to move the popular Mentalist to Sunday nights, with Elementary taking its old time slot. Already one of the most talked about shows of the new fall season, it follows a modern day Sherlock Holmes (Dark Shadows’ Jonny Lee Miller). The twist is that Dr. Watson, his friend/partner in crime solving / maybe something-more is female (Lucy Liu).

There's some concern that with the success of PBS’ Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr.-starring series of Sherlock Holmes movies, viewers have had enough of the world’s greatest detective. Also, the male/female crime-solving duo concept has already been explored by Bones and Castle. However, Sherlock has been the most talked about series of the new fall season, and its likely to become 2012’s biggest hit.

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