The networks have (finally) unveiled their fall line-ups for the 2006-07 season, and I am here with your handy guide on what you should be on the look out for next year.
NBC: Believe it or not, NBC has the show I am most rabidly anticipating. Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip reunited Sorkin with The West Wing's Bradley Whitford and tosses in Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet for some flavoring. While the pilot episode received a lukewarm reception from the critics in New York, I am betting on Sorkin to deliver the goods. Tina Fey's similar 30 Rock has been getting rave reviews, so I might also give this one a try.
Studio 60 will air Thursday from 9-10, meaning it will compete with Grey's Anatomy, CSI, and Supernatural. If NBC has any brains at all, they will rework the schedule to give this show a real shot at making an audience. 30 Rock will air Wednesdays at 9:30, pitting it against Lost and possibly American Idol.
ABC: The big news at the alphabet network is the move of Grey's Anatomy to Thursdays at 9 when it will compete against CSI. Since I am happy to watch Grey's on DVD (and haven't actually seen an episode of it yet) this doesn't bother me too much. New shows to keep on your radar are Six Degrees (a drama about how all people in the world are connected, from J.J. Abrams, natch), and Betty the Ugly which is kind of like a tv version of The Devil Wears Prada.
Six Degrees will air Thursdays at 10 and Betty will air Fridays at 8, practically guaranteeing that its target audience of girly twenty-somethings will never see it, being out on the town boozing it up. That's just me, you say? Fair enough.
It is worth noting that all the shows ABC has green-lighted this year look somewhat entertaining, and I don't really see a stinker in the bunch. Although the one where Taye Diggs is stuck in a dramatized Groundhog Day-esque set-up doesn't really do anything for me. But how can you not love Taye? He was the original Benny!
CBS: Zzzzzzzzz...oops, sorry! Remember when CBS was the land of Touched by an Angel and Murder, She Wrote, and everyone talked about how it was a network for old people? And then it launched the CSI franchise and got all sexy, but not really, because not much is sexy about women getting raped and chopped up every week. Except Lady Heather, she's totally sexy. Anyway, CBS seems to have returned to its old ways with procedurals and yadda yadda. ALTHOUGH, I will say, that I love Numb3rs, but mostly because its two lead characters are hot Jewish guys. Come on, you knew I was shallow.
I am, however, going to give Jericho a try. CBS described is thusly: a drama about what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive.
Sounds good to me! Reminds me of this Christopher Pike book I read back in the day. But that one had this weird abortion subplot that was just icky. Jericho will air Wednesdays at 8, which means it will conflict with Top Model, but that is why God invented my cheap-ass VCR. No, I do not have DVR, get over it.
FOX: Yeah, there's pretty much nothing on FOX I want to watch. Maybe things will change come August, but right now, that's a dry well.
The CW: The new network makes the two single most brilliant decisions EVER (by returning Veronica Mars and Supernatural) and then also does perhaps one of the dumbest things EVER (bringing back 7th Heaven and cancelling Everwood). I know there are a bunch of Everwood fans, and although I have never seen it, I have heard really good things about it. And 7th Heaven is just crap.
There does seem to be some possibilities for the new show Runaway which will air Mondays at 9 and will star Donnie Wahlberg. Yes, that Donnie. Woot! Something about being accused of a crime, and going on the lam with his family and angsty teenage son...whatever. Could be good, could suck. Probably the later. But who cares? Because we get Veronica and the Brothers Dean, yay!
So there you have it. Looks like the big race is going to come down to Thursdays at 9. I am constantly at a loss to figure out why networks would put all their heavy hitters on the same night at the same time. I think the likely result is that American Idol and House end up being the most watched shows next year, and Thursday night will just split the audience. Does that mean FOX might become the most watched network? Awww, remember when FOX was just a fledgling and only had shows like The Simpsons, Married with Children, and The Rock? Good times.