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Friday, June 18, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Hot in Cleveland

With familiar faces Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White in the cast, HOT IN CLEVELAND is fun comfort television. Actually, the latter two steal the show, and along with Bo Duke/Jonathan Kent himself, JOHN SCHNEIDER, one can overlook the weak pilot script and still enjoy this bit of comedic fluff. The trifecta of Val, Jane and Wendie make an emergency landing in Cleveland en route from LA to Paris. Now big fish in a small pond, they decide to stay. Betty's great timing and delivery are spot-on. B

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Neighbors From Hell

Shoddy animation doesnt mean a cartoon has to be bad (witness SOUTH PARK for proof). But if the writing stinks, and the humor doesnt exist, then the show can't help but suck. NEIGHBORS FROM HELL tries to be like FAMILY GUY and CLEVELAND SHOW, and Fails. Actually, the only thing saving this show from an F is the casting of Molly Shannon as the Mama Hellman. But even she can't save this mess of a show. D-

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Warren The Ape


WARREN THE APE: OMFG! Warren the puppet lives! To any GREG THE BUNNY fan (that brilliant but cancelled FOX series from the mid-aughts), the return of Warren to MTV is BIG NEWS! I became a fan of GREG THE BUNNY when I bought the DVD of the show, and for a few years I actually felt sad thinking about the puppets being stuck on some shelf in LA gathering mold and dust. To see Warren speak again very nearly brought tears to my eyes (and upcoming previews show Greg the Bunny living on again too..along with Seth Green in a live-action role). To the uninitiated, Warren is a boozy, drug-using womanizer who, in the opener, enlists Drew Pinsky to help him with his addictions. A funny new character in the form of Chauncey the Bear (with the big dick who wins Newcummer of the Year at the AVN show) very nearly steals the show. WARREN THE APE is not as sweet as GREG THE BUNNY, but that's okay. And so far WARREN hasnt hit the comedy highs of the FOX original. But DAMN does it ever feel good to have these puppets back in the mainstream! A-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: The Jaquie Brown Diaries

THE JAQUIE BROWN DIARIES: Not exactly sure why this BBC show is on LOGO based on episode 1, but, as Joy Behar from The View would say: "so what, who cares?" Very British in humor, BROWN is thick-accented, so you may need to sync up the subtitles. The first episode has TV personality Jaquie Brown being pared up with a co-anchor to her talk show segment, someone whom JB see as a threat to her job. The aftermath is roughly 30 minutes of JB making an arse of herself to her co-workers (though they already pretty much think of JB as an arse to begin with). It's not LOL-funny, but it surely has a vibe similar to THE OFFICE that came before it. B+

Friday, June 11, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: WORK OF ART

After a couple of flop attempts to try and replace the magic they'd lost when LIFETIME acquired PROJECT RUNWAY, those being LAUNCH MY LINE and FASHION SHOW, BRAVO rebounds with the art-world reality competition series, WORK OF ART: THE NEXT GREAT ARTISTS. It's amazing to see how fast these selected artistes can whip up something in a challenge, just as I am sure it was true with fashionistas on RUNWAY. But the production values are great, and the appearance of executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker lends the show a bit of gravitas. I am hooked already! A-

Monday, June 7, 2010

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: SUNDAYS

SUNDAYS:

7:00 to 8:00: The usual suspects of FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA on NBC, AMERICAS FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS on ABC and 60 MINUTES on CBS.

8:00 to 9:00: A no-brainer for fall: NBC’s SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL will dominate. And ABC keeps the SAME line-up of EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION, CBS stays with THE AMAZING RACE, and FOX sticks with Animation Domination with THE SIMPSONS and CLEVELAND BROWN. Snooze-fest.
FIRST: FOOTBALL (NBC)
SECOND: AMAZING RACE (CBS)
THIRD: SIMPSONS/CLEVELAND (FOX)
FOURTH: EM: HOME EDITION (ABC)

9:00 to 10:00: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES returns on ABC, UNDERCOVER BOSS makes a play for it on CBS and FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD attract the kids on FOX.
FIRST: FOOTBALL (NBC)
SECOND: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
THIRD: UNDERCOVER BOSS (CBS)
FOURTH: FAMILY GUY/AMERICAN DAD (FOX)

10:00 to 11:00: About the only exciting thing on the night is the relocation of CSI: MIAMI on CBS. Otherwise, its possibly the final season of BROTHERS & SISTERS on ABC and the final hour of football on NBC.
FIRST: FOOTBALL (NBC)
SECOND: CSI: MIAMI (CBS)
THIRD: BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC)

BREAKOUT HIT: None. There aren’t any new shows premiering on the night.

SHOWS I WILL WATCH: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. For ONE hour of TV.

NOTES:
*This schedule, for all the nets except for CSI: MIAMI on CBS, is pretty much boring and the same ole, same ole. I don’t think FOOTBALL will lose any viewers with the weakened lineup.

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: FRIDAYS

FRIDAYS:

8:00 to 9:00: CBS decided to bring back only ONE of their scripted shows from the night, and that was the NBC-transplanted MEDIUM instead of GHOST WHISPERER. There really isn’t too much competition in the hour, though the final season of SMALLVILLE could pose a threat. I don’t see bubble show HUMAN TARGET doing much damage, either. Reality on NBC (WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE) and ABC (SECRET MILLIONAIRE) are the alternatives. ABC may actually pick up GHOST WHISPERER for a sixth season, and this could be where they place it if they do.
FIRST: MEDIUM (CBS)
SECOND: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE (NBC)
THIRD: SMALLVILLE (CW)
FOURTH: SECRET MILLIONAIRE (ABC)
FIFTH: HUMAN TARGET (FOX)

9:00 to 10:00: This hour gets more interesting, especially since CBS moved CSI:NY to the night and hour. SUPERNATURAL on CW is also a winner, though the CW doesn’t attract a mass audience, and Fridays look to only weaken it’s numbers. That leaves DATELINE NBC on NBC and BODY OF PROOF on ABC with Dana Delaney. No competition at all coming from THE GOOD GUYS, which premiered terribly a week ago. Unless it picks up over the summer, I highly doubt FOX will keep THE GOOD GUYS on the air come September.
FIRST: CSI: NY (CBS)
SECOND: BODY OF PROOF (ABC)
THIRD: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE (NBC)
FOURTH: SUPERNATURAL (CW)
FIFTH: THE GOOD GUYS (FOX)

10:00 to 11:00: Two new shows…on a FRIDAY NIGHT, no less. Jimmy Smits headlines OUTLAW on NBC and Tom Selleck headlines BLUE BLOODS on CBS. ABC throws in the towel with 20/20. Look for BLOODS to win the hour solely on the CSI lead-in.
FIRST: BLUE BLOODS (CBS)
SECOND: OUTLAWS (NBC)
THIRD: 20/20 (ABC)

SHOWS I WILL WATCH: SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL. For a total of TWO hours.

BREAKOUT SHOW: If there is such a thing on Fridays, I say BLUE BLOODS
RUNNER-UP: Scratch

NOTES:
*All the networks were more aggressive on this night, but even so, all the new shows look like duds. As for the returning shows, MEDIUM and CSI: NY make the most sense. But don’t count out Superman and the Winchester boys.

*It’s nice to see SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL (former Thursday night soulmates) back together again on the CW.

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: THURSDAYS

THURSDAYS:

8:00 to 9:00: It’s been over 40 years since CBS programmed comedies on the night with GILLIGAN’S ISLAND and MY THREE SONS. Next fall they unleash BIG BANG THEORY with the compatible SHIT MY DAD SAYS (the link being Sheldon loves Star Trek, and SHIT stars Captain Kirk, William Shatner). That can only mean curtains for the struggling COMMUNITY, and maybe even 30 ROCK in its fifth year. Complicating matters are the red-hot VAMPIRE DIARIES for the kids, and the female-centric MY GENERATION on ABC and BONES on FOX. BONES is in danger here, as age has to factor in. As for MY GENERATION, its going to have to make its mark out of the gate, otherwise its serialized story will get lost on ever hoping to get new viewers. This could ALL be good news for COMMUNITY, but I worry BIG TIME about BIG BANG. Both comedies are in my top ten favorite shows. Also, I have a strong feeling OFF THE MAP will be replacing MY GENERATION by November.
FIRST: BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)
SECOND: BONES (FOX)
THIRD: COMMUNITY/30 ROCK (NBC)
FOURTH: VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW)
FIFTH: MY GENERATION (ABC)

9:00 to 10:00: Not much changing here. CBS keeps CSI in place, ABC does the same with GREYS ANATOMY, and even FOX decides to pit FRINGE in the unenviable position of also having to compete with THE OFFICE and the new OUTSOURCED on NBC. The only real new addition is CWs NIKITA, which might be a surprise hit, at least in terms of the CeeDub’s audience base. NIKITA also has one thing going in its favor: all the other shows (save for OUTSOURCED and maybe FRINGE) are aging big time. It could be the right time for a new hit show to start to emerge. I’m sure CBS will look at CSI’s ratings early on. If they are bad, look for a permanent switch between that show and lead-out THE MENTALIST.
FIRST: GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC)
SECOND: CSI (CBS)
THIRD: THE OFFICE/OUTSOURCED (NBC)
FOURTH: FRINGE (FOX)
FIFTH: NIKITA (CW)

10:00 to 11:00: NBC’s new LOVE BITES will be competing for female eyeballs with ABCs PRIVATE PRACTICE. Both shows have compatible lead-ins: LOVE BITES is a comedy following NBCs 2-hour Must See TV comedy block. And PRACTICE is an extension of GREY’S. Unfortunately, CBS’s MENTALIST will eat both shows alive. And LOVE BITES is an anthology, which hasn’t worked on TV since the days of HOTEL and LOVE BOAT.
FIRST: THE MENTALIST (CBS)
SECOND: PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
THIRD: LOVE BITES (NBC)

SHOWS I WILL WATCH: BIG BANG THEORY, SHIT MY DAD SAYS, COMMUNITY, 30 ROCK, THE OFFICE, OUTSOURCED, LOVE BITES, MY GENERATION, FRINGE and NIKITA. For a total of a whopping SEVEN hours.

BREAKOUT HIT: SHIT MY DAD SAYS
RUNNER-UP: OUTSOURCED

NEW SHOW CLASHES: SHIT MY DAD SAYS competes with MY GENERATION, and OUTSOURCED competes with NIKITA.

NOTES:
*CBS could spell BIG PROBLEMS for NBC with BIG BANG THEORY on the night. But I wonder if SHIT will be too mean-spirited and something of a drag over time. Look for COMMUNITY to cede to a new NBC comedy if it can’t make the grade. Then again, would ANY new NBC show have much luck against BIG BANG in the timeslot? Perhaps FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS could do some damage, what with that FRIENDS word in the title. This is also TERRIBLE news for MY GENERATION, which will be an early casualty of the season.

*With CSI MIAMI and NY moving to new nights, its something of a surprise that CBS kept the original CSI at 9. But that wont last long if the ratings continue to drop for it. MENTALIST makes more sense in the hour, and will probably move into the primo real estate by January.

*With FRINGE doing bad this current season, don’t look for a miracle in season 3. Yet FOX will probably keep the show alive for one more year to please JJ Abrams. Not to mention a fourth season of the show would be great for syndication. I just think FRINGE would have done better on Wednesdays following LIE TO ME.

*If OFF THE MAP replaces MY GENERATION there will be a 3-hour block of Shonda Rhimes-created TV on the night for ABC.

*With CHUCK and UNDERCOVERS showing us spies in love, is there any audience left for the CWs spy show NIKITA? Hell, is there any audience left for CW at all? (I jest, lol)

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: WEDNESDAYS

WEDNESDAYS:

8:00 to 9:00: Once the dust settled from the upfronts, this once-weak hour has suddenly become one of the most competitive hours going into the fall. The question now becomes: Who is going to survive SURVIVOR? Now that CBS has relocated its still-hot reality show to the night (competing directly with the elimation show AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL on CW), it will be up to ABC (who bolstered its comedy hour with BETTER TOGETHER leading out of THE MIDDLE) and NBC (with the much-hyped JJ Abrams drama UNDERCOVERS) to battle it out for second place. It will definitely be a close race all-around. The loser in all of this? Bubble show LIE TO ME on FOX, which hasn’t set the world on fire, and certainly doesn’t look to come fall.
FIRST: SURVIVOR (CBS)
SECOND: UNDERCOVERS (NBC)
THIRD: THE MIDDLE/BETTER TOGETHER (ABC)
FOURTH: LIE TO ME (FOX)
FIFTH: AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL (CW)

9:00 to 10:00: Once again, look for CRIMINAL MINDS to take total viewers for CBS. Though the show is aging, which means it could also be time for America to reclaim comedy on the night, now that ABC is sticking with MODERN FAMILY. But bringing down the averages for the hour will be COUGAR TOWN. A stronger lead-out for FAMILY probably would have sealed the deal. HOWEVER, the wild card is the relocated LAW & ORDER: SVU on NBC. It didn’t fair well in the hour when it preceded LENO, but now that LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES is its leadout, that changes thing dramatically. Still, what if the cancellation of the original flagship L&O spooks viewers away from both SVU and the LA version? ALSO, competition from CRIMINAL MINDS for procedural eyeballs could factor into comedy being king for ABC for the night. That leaves two HELL shows for competition: HELLS KITCHEN on FOX and HELLCATS on CW. HELLCATS could be a sleeper hit; then again, it could be the next TBL: THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE. All in all, it’s an hour up for grabs, much like the hour before it.
FIRST: CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
SECOND: MODERN FAMILY/COUGAR TOWN (ABC)
THIRD: L&O: SVU (NBC)
FOURTH: HELLS KITCHEN (FOX)
FIFTH: HELLCATS (CW)

10:00 to 11:00: Three NEW shows all battle it out, and they ALL involve courtrooms: L&O: LA on NBC; THE WHOLE TRUTH on ABC and THE DEFENDERS on CBS. Since LOLA is branded, it emerges the winner. The other two depend on their pilots, but I think DEFENDERS has the better fit of a lead-in with CRIMINAL MINDS. I don’t think WHOLE TRUTH makes much sense following ABCs comedy block.
FIRST: LOLA (NBC)
SECOND: DEFENDER (CBS)
THIRD: THE WHOLE TRUTH (ABC)

SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: UNDERCOVERS, THE MIDDLE, BETTER TOGETHER, MODERN FAMILY, COUGAR TOWN, and HELLCATS. For a total of FOUR hours.

BREAKOUT HIT: UNDERCOVERS (NBC)
RUNNER-UP: BETTER TOGETHER (ABC)

NEW SHOW CLASHES: The BIG clash is at 10 pm where all three networks have scheduled something new: LOLA on NBC, THE WHOLE TRUTH on ABC and THE DEFENDERS on CBS. It’s really anyone’s game to win at this point.

NOTES:
*See NEW SHOW CLASHES above.

*After failing with HANK last year, ABC doubled up on THE MIDDLE or MODERN FAMILY for the rest of the season (why didn’t they give BETTER OFF TED a shot?). Anyway, that looks to be reversed next season with BETTER TOGETHER. The one snag? It’s multi camera while the other 3 are all single camera. And why do I bring this up? Because HANK was multi-camera, too. I’m just saying….

*SURVIVOR is either going to reinvent Wednesdays for CBS, or really bite them in the ass. The aging show won’t ever return to it’s original glory, but its just the kinda juice that has to leave UNDERCOVERS and ABCs comedies sweating a little bit. Smart move, Eye network!

*NBC’s idea of a crime night is a smart move, but there’s just so much crime and punishment on TV these days. And after canceling the original L&O just shy of the history books, are audiences really that invested in ANOTHER one? Then again, it IS Los Angeles

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: TUESDAYS

TUESDAYS:

8:00 to 9:00: CBS keeps the lights on for NCIS to open the hour. This show has done great with total viewers, but not so hot with the 18 to 49 target audience. Leave that to GLEE, which moves into the hour and starts up a live-action comedy night for FOX. Not to be outdone is NBCs aging THE BIGGEST LOSER. I don’t see bubble show ONE TREE HILL making much of a dent for CW, seeing as how it WAS a bubble show, after all. That leave wild card NO ORDINARY FAMILY on ABC. This Michael Chiklis show has the buzz, but is it a one-trick pony? And are viewers over the whole superhero thing (ahem, HEROES). Still, FAMILY has a family hook, similar to THE INCREDIBLES. If the tone stays light, NO ORDINARY FAMILY could be DY-NO-MITE!
FIRST PLACE (TOTAL VIEWERS): NCIS (CBS)
SECOND PLACE: GLEE (FOX)
THIRD: BIGGEST LOSER (NBC)
FOURTH: NO ORDINARY FAMILY (ABC)
FIFTH: ONE TREE HILL (ABC)

9:00 to 10:00: NCIS: LA shouldn’t have a problem winning the hour for CBS. That leaves DWTS results show and the second hour of THE BIGGEST LOSER to duke it out. RESULTS usually don’t do so hot, so I give the edge to LOSER. RAISING HOPE and RUNNING WILDE are two comedies on FOX, who hasn’t had a live-action hit since THAT 70’S SHOW. But I think RAISING HOPE stands a chance. As for RUNNING WILDE? The cancellation clock is ticking. Oh, and that goes for you, too, LIFE UNEXPECTED.
FIRST: NCIS: LA (CBS)
SECOND: DWTS: RESULTS (ABC)
THIRD: BIGGEST LOSER (NBC)
FOURTH: RAISING HOPE/RUNNING WILDE (FOX)
FIFTH: LIFE UNEXPECTED (CW)

10:00 to 11:00: PARENTHOOD on NBC and THE GOOD WIFE on CBS are back to duke it out with newcomer DETROIT 1-8-7 on ABC (V doesn’t return until midseason). So expect more of the same, with PARENTHOOD gaining viewers, THE GOOD WIFE losing viewers, and DETROIT just kinda holding the fort until V returns.
FIRST: THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
SECOND: PARENTHOOD (NBC)
THIRD: DETROIT 187 (ABC)

SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: NO ORDINARY FAMILY, PARENTHOOD, GLEE, RAISING HOPE and RUNNING WILDE. For a total of FOUR hours.

BREAKOUT HIT: NO ORDINARY FAMILY
RUNNER-UP: scratch (The next closest hit would be RAISING HOPE, but I won’t hold my breath)

NEW SHOW CLASHES: None. There aren’t any new shows competing against each other on this night.

NOTES:
*THE CW is giving up on the night, if you ask me. Why program TWO bubble shows as your only offering? Do they REALLY think ONE TREE HILL has a chance against GLEE? Not to mention NO ORDINARY FAMLY will be getting the teen males.

*NO ORDINARY FAMILY looked good in the preview, but now I am wondering if another superhero show is what people are looking forward to? I, myself, am burnt out from HEROES, SMALLVILLE, IRON MAN 2, BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, etc. I worry FAMILY will be this season’s FLASHFORWARD: starts out huge, then slides week to week to weak.

*Kudos to FOX for pairing two live-action comedies, and if any show can bring eyeballs to them, its GLEE. But couldn’t they have found BETTER comedies? What happened to AB FAB or something like that? Keep it campy and fun, just like GLEE. Not kinda depressing and snarky like, respectively, RAISING HOPE and RUNNING WILDE. Indeed, HOPE is about a father raising a baby with the mother on death row; and WILDE is about an asshole who likes to destroy the planet for commerce. Doesn’t exactly sound inspiring and uplifting to me.

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: MONDAYS

MONDAYS

Heading into the fall of 2010, perennially brutal Monday nights look to remain, well, brutal. There are FIVE new shows debuting on the night, with probably THE most-buzzed-about show of the development season, HAWAII FIVE-0, looking to make mince-meat out of its competition. CBS keeps it’s comedy block, while the CW tries for a East Coast/West Coast teen mash-up. Here is the night, hour by hour:

8:00 to 9:00: ABC keeps its DANCING WITH THE STARS franchise intact for the first two hours, and much of the show’s success will depend on the casting directors and who they are able to schmooze into the line-up. Would Jon Gosselin have the balls to try it out? This show was most popular with overall viewers this current season, even beating out AMERICAN IDOL for the first time…ever. So it would be unjust to bet against DWTS until the line-up is at least revealed. There is still some hoofing juice yet in this long-running alternative show. FOX has HOUSE, and though the Hugh Laurie drama slipped this year in the percentages, HOUSE still should be DWTS’s biggest competition. But don’t count out CBS’ comedies! HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is still huge, but it’s lead-out, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, is a good utility player, at best. Ratings will be good, but not great. That leaves NBC’s CHUCK, which has a huge fan following, but not the ratings to back it up to anything other than a 4th place finish again. Don’t get me wrong, CHUCK is one of my fave shows, and I am so glad it has survived yet again, but I really feel like next fall will be the show’s last. I’m just so happy that it got to live for 4 seasons, which is so important for syndication. Go, CHUCKIE! Then there is the CW, with newly-relocated 90210. This show has it’s tween girl fans, and not much else going for it. Still, it should do decent enough for CW since the bar is so low for that network anyway.
PREDICTIONS, TOTAL VIEWERS:
FIRST PLACE: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND PLACE: HOUSE (FOX)
THIRD PLACE: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER/RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (CBS)
FOURTH PLACE: CHUCK (NBC)
FIFTH PLACE: 90210 (CW)

9:00 to 10:00: DWTS will continue to win the hour for ABC, and CBS will do mighty fine, too, especially now that Charlie Sheen is back on TWO AND A HALF MEN for two more years (though what if he goes to jail?). The cute MIKE & MOLLY shouldn’t have any problems finding viewers as the lead-out to men. I loved the preview CBS provided, and if it has a heart, viewers will seek it out, especially since a lot of America is overweight and can relate. I mean, really, who doesn’t love an underdog story? After that , things get more interesting. I don’t think GOSSIP GIRL poses much a threat at the 9 hour, but two newbies, THE EVENT on NBC and LONESTAR on FOX, will be duking it out for third place. Both shows look good, with THE EVENT actually having me on the edge of my seat with it’s trailer. And if LONESTAR can recapture the glory days of DALLAS, it could just become a sleeper hit. With HOUSE as a lead-in, I give LONESTAR the edge over THE EVENT.
FIRST: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND: TWO AND A HALF MEN/MIKE & MOLLY (CBS)
THIRD: LONESTAR (FOX)
FOURTH: THE EVENT (NBC)
FIFTH: GOSSIP GIRL (CW)

10:00 to 11:00: No contest: HAWAII FIVE-0 wins the hour replacing the fading (and sliding to Sundays) CSI: MIAMI. Both hours have that sunny-vibe, so expect HAWAII to fit right it. I also love that the tone of FIVE-0 is lighter, which should mesh with the comedy block preceding it much better than CSI: MIAMI did. CASTLE has gained a lot of fans this current season, but will it continue to grow, or start to slow? I say the latter considering the competition. NBC brings on Jerry Bruckheimer’s THE CHASE. To me, it’s a little too generic sounding, but I would never want to count a show like it out. With a huge platform of FOOTBALL on NBC the night before to promote it, CHASE could be the dark-horse for second place. Then again, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on ESPN is also it’s competition.
FIRST: HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
SECOND: CASTLE (ABC)
THIRD: THE CHASE (NBC)

SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: CHUCK, THE EVENT, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, TWO AND A HALF MEN, MIKE & MOLLY, HAWAII FIVE-0 and LONESTAR. For a total of SIX hours.

BREAKOUT NEW SHOW: HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
RUNNER-UP: MIKE & MOLLY (CBS)

NEW SHOW CLASHES: Three new shows duke it out in the 9 pm hour: THE EVENT on NBC, LONESTAR on FOX and MIKE & MOLLY on CBS. Then at 10 pm, CHASE competes against HAWAII FIVE-0.

NOTES:
*I admire NBC for ditching HEROES and LAW & ORDER, though I am sad to see no record broken with the latter. I’m a bit less admiring CHUCK staying where it’s been for the last 3 years. I would have relaunched CHUCK on a less-competitive night/hour. But going into its fourth year, realistically how many new viewers is CHUCK going to pick up? At best, it can end its four years in the same spot where it started.

*I like how CW paired up the East Coast brats (GOSSIP GIRL) with the West Coast brats (90210). Now let them all battle it out to the death….and by death, I mean cancellation.

*CBS worked aggressively…they removed two hits from the night (BIG BANG and CSI: MIAMI). RULES OF ENGAGEMENT had it contractually written that it COULD NOT come back at midseason, therefore it appears on the fall sked for the first time in years. And I like how CBS is keeping the 9 pm hour a Chuck Lorre hour (BIG BANG is a Lorre show, too).

SUMMER TV REVIEW: THE NEISTAT BROTHERS

Going into this HBO show, I had no idea of who the Neistat brothers were; and after 5 minutes, I didn't care. Using video footage of the two bros growing up, I found the show to be something of a vanity project for these guys. No doubt they are talented, but I just didn't see the point to the show, other than it being two guys using their creative minds to create short films using their vast library of personal photos and video shot over the years. But then mid-way through something AMAZING happened: I got emotional! When the older brother sets up a camera and meets his biological father for the first time, I 'got it'. And when the younger brother presents a card where his 8 year old-ish son writes how he wants to be just like dad when he grows up and makes movies, I lost it. In a way, this is gonzo TV that seduces the viewer into the amazingly talented and creative minds of the Neistat brothers. It might not be something for everyone, and might just be kinda painful at times, but I look forward to the next 7 installments to air this summer. B+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: ARE WE THERE YET?

ARE WE THERE YET is the kind of comedy that would have worked brilliantly in the 80s or 90s, but compared to the sophistication of family-themed comedies in the last decade (THE MIDDLE, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE), AWTY falls into the generic-humor category. On TBS, the show is a fine fit, though, and the execution pretty much matched my expectation. In fact, by the second episode, I felt the cast was clicking more. I also found the supporting cast to be quite funny, with Keesha Sharp pretty much stealing the show as Gigi. I am also a fan of daddy Terry Crews. He is HOT. My only quips are with the casting of Essence Atkins as the Mom and Christian Finnigan as Nick's white friend Martin. C+

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TV ROUND-UP 2010-2011

I will be reviewing EVERY scripted show during the 2010-2011 TV season on the following networks: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and the CW. I will also be reviewing most of the unscripted 'reality' shows, too. Also, I will be reviewing as many scripted shows on cable as I can. Exceptions will be to shows that I just don't know about, or are on stations that I don't get (such as SPARTACUS on STARZ channel). Shows eligible premiered from end of May 2010 through early May 2011.

WARREN THE APE (MTV) A-
WORK OF ART: NEXT GREAT ARTIST (BRAVO) A-
THE NEISTAT BROTHERS (HBO) B+
HOT IN CLEVELAND (TVLAND) B
100 QUESTIONS (NBC) B
THE GOOD GUYS (FOX) B
THE JAQUIE BROWN DIARIES (LOGO) B-
ARE WE THERE YET? (TBS) C+
THE HARD TIMES OF RJ BERGER (MTV) C+
DOWNFALL (ABC) C+
MEMPHIS BEAT (TNT) D+
UNNATURAL HISTORY (Cartoon Network) D+
DOUBLE EXPOSURE (BRAVO) D
NEIGHBORS FROM HELL (TBS) D-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: The Good Guys

In it's FOX preview, THE GOOD GUYS didnt perform good at all. That's not good, considering how the show is also part of FOX's FALL lineup on Friday nights. That could all change if ratings don't improve. Which is too bad because THE GOOD GUYS, as these kind of shows go, actually was entertaining. It was more of a comedy than a typical procedural. Maybe it would be better off on cable. Still, I am notorious for not following shows of this nature, which makes me something of one of the bad guys as I grade THE GOOD GUYS with a solid B.

TV REWIND: TV ROUND-UP 2009-2010

NEW TV ROUND UP 2009-2010 TV SEASON

Here is a run-down of all the new shows that have premiered since May 2009, excluding SPARTACUS and GRAVITY, since I don't get Starz channel. Please note that the rating is based on the PILOT episode only and does not reflect how I felt about subsequent episodes of each individual series.

NOTE: BOLD means the show was cancelled

SPECIAL MENTION: THE PACIFIC (HBO) A+ (limited-run miniseries)
1. Glee (FOX) A BEST SHOW OF THE YEAR
2. The Middle (ABC) A
3. V (ABC) A
4. The Wrong Door (IFC) A
5. Vampire Diaries (CW) A
6. Trauma (NBC) A
7. Human Target (Fox) A-
8. Eastwick (ABC) A-
9. Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) A-
10. FlashForward (ABC) A-


11. Parenthood (NBC) B+
12. Stargate Universe (SyFy) B+
13. Justified (FX) B+
14. Life Unexpected (CW) B+
15. TBL: The Beautiful Life (CW) B+
16. Community (NBC) B
17. Cougar Town (ABC) B
18. Caprica (SyFy) B
19. Happy Town (ABC) B
20. Funny or Die Presents (HBO) B

21. Blue Mountain State (Spike) B
22. Modern Family (ABC) B-
23. Sons of Tucson (Fox) B-
24. Melrose Place (CW) B-
25. Good Luck, Charlie (Disney) B-
26. How To Make It In America (HBO) B-
27. The Cleveland Show (FOX) B-
28. Ugly Americans (Comedy Central) B-
29. Archer (FX) B-
30. White Collar (USA) B-

31. Men of a Certain Age (TNT) B-
32. Treme (HBO) B-
33. Bored to Death (HBO) C+
34. Undercover Boss (CBS) C+
35. Sherri (LIfetime) C+
36. The Jeff Dunham Show (Comedy Central) C+
37. Romantically Challenged (ABC) C

38. Minute To Win It (NBC) C
39. the forgotten (ABC) C
40. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) C

41. RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked (Logo) C
42. The Marriage Ref (NBC) C-
43. The Good Wife (CBS) C-
44. Brothers (FOX) C-
45. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (ABC) C-
46. Demons (BBCAmerica) C-
47. LaLaLand (SHowtime) C-
48. The League (FX) C-
49. The Inbetweeners (BBCAmerica) C-
50. Past Life (FOX) C-

51. The Deep End (ABC) D+
52. Mercy (NBC) D+
53. Miami Medical (CBS) D+

54. Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC) D+
55. Three Rivers (CBS) D
56. Victorious! (Nickelodeon) D
57. Outer Space Astronauts (SyFy) D
58. Hank (ABC) D-
59. Players (Spike) D-

60. The Ricky Gervais Show (HBO) F

61. Launch My Line (Bravo) F
62. Fly Girls (CW) F
63. High Society (CW) F-
WORST SHOW OF THE YEAR!

SUMMER TV REVIEW: 100 QUESTIONS

This comedy is something of a throwback to the days of NBC's FRIENDS, but without the engaging cast of that landmark series. It's shot multi-camera, and one can see why it just didn't fit in with NBC's crop of single-camera comedies on Thursday nights this past season. So NBC decided to burn it off this summer, and judging from the horrible ratings, they were wise to do it. Still, I didn't find 100 QUESTIONS horrible. It was better than ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED, but nowhere near COUGAR TOWN. NBC has FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS and PERFECT COUPLES premiering in the fall, so don't expect 100 QUESTIONS to live past it's already-filmed 6 questions. leaving 94 or so unanswered questions still out there..... B