Television

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?

Friday


7:30PM

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.

8:00PM

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.

Sunday


9:00PM

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.

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