Fridays & Weekends This Fall: An Early TV Preview

Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams in 666 Park Avenue (2012)

The end of the week this Fall doesn't go anywhere new, much. But it does go down -- deep down.

Despite the fact that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the two biggest nights in network television, your viewing options almost come to a complete halt during the weekends. Only three new series are scheduled to air on Fridays and Sundays this fall, but there’s still a lot of TV to talk about.

Fridays will soon look different, as ABC will be trying sitcoms out and the CW made the risky decision to move cult-hit Supernatural to Wednesdays, replacing it with the next cycle of America’s Next Top Model. However, the biggest story of the night is whether NBC’s quickly rising Grimm will overtake CBS’ CSI: NY in the ratings.

Just like last year, there will be no new programming airing on Saturday nights. (Unless a canceled series gets moved there to burn off its remaining episodes, as CBS did with How To Be A Gentleman)

Sunday nights have seen a resurgence in recent years with shows like CBS’ The Good Wife, ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and FOX’s block of animated adult comedies pulling in strong numbers. CBS and ABC see so much promise in the night that they have canceled weaker shows (CSI: Miami and Desperate Housewives) in favor of airing stronger material in their place (The Mentalist, 666 Park Avenue).

But what are the new TV series that will soon be filling up at least part of our weekends?



Country star Reba McEntire makes a return to sitcom TV in ABC’s Malibu Country, starring as (what else?) a country singer who moves to an upscale neighborhood in order to give her career a boost. Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, Laugh-In) co-stars as her wacky mother.

From what I’ve seen, this show has more in common with Two & A Half Men than the more family-oriented series that precedes it, Last Man Standing. Viewers expecting to see a reboot of her 2001 WB series will be disappointed, but this will probably stick around for a year or two.


CBS’ Made In Jersey is a traditional courtroom drama, with the twist lying in the series’ slightly unconventional star, (Janet Montgomery) a young lawyer who has a tattoo and speaks in a noticeable Jersey accent.

Are viewers as fascinated with New Jersey as this show seems to be? Its previews don’t seem to be selling us a show as much as the personality of its lead character. Still, I could see this doing well at a different time slot.



ABC’s 666 Park Avenue follows one couple’s ascent (or descent?) into the extravagant lifestyle of an exclusive apartment complex, which may or may not be cursed by an evil presence (or the devil himself).

It's an interesting concept, but it looks like it could quickly dissipate into a gothic-themed soap opera. I’ve heard some criticism from insiders that lead me to believe that this will be canceled by Easter.




Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.


A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.


The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.


90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.


Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

'Avengers: Endgame' Faces the Other Side of Loss

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our pandemic grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.


Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.


Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.


First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?


HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.


Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

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