[2009-2010 Tv Season] In Which We Opine & Speculate About the Season Ahead

Hunter

Registered User
Validated User
#1
My thoughts, feelings, and fearless predictions on the upcoming television season, based on the announced schedule and the show blurbs in the TV GUIDE Fall Preview issue:

The Show I Hope Will Fail:
JAY LENO
It’s not because I hate Jay or anything like that, it’s that I want to have scripted drama and comedy in prime time to watch. We already have a schedule clogged up with reality shit, if the Leno experiment is successful that will give the networks even more inducement to ditch the good stuff in favor of the bland or the outright terrible – but alluringly cheap to produce. Because of that, I hope Leno’s show gets whomped in the ratings every single night it is on. Sorry, Jay, it’s for the greater good.

Returning Show Most Likely To Go Down for the Count:
HEROES
Man, the other networks can smell blood in the water as far as HEROES is concerned. It’s up against ratings powerhouses DANCING WITH THE STARS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and HOUSE in its time slot this season. If Bryan Fuller was still on the writing staff for the show I might have some hope that the swiftly listing vessel could be saved, but with him gone and up against that kind of competition (and let’s not forget that last year’s protection for the series – presold advertising slots – is gone also)… This show is not even going to make it to midseason. Watch it while you can, HEROES fans.

Biggest Trend:
GEEK APPEAL!
The 2009-2010 TV season is shaping up (at least in the early stages) to be a geeks delight. Besides returning shows like FRINGE, SUPERNATURAL, SMALLVILLE, DOLLHOUSE, LOST, CHUCK, and HEROES (for as long as that lasts), the schedule also boasts such new genre shows as V (alien invasion!), FLASH FORWARD (LOST-ish mystery), and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (okay, that one not so much). And sitting on deck for midseason replacements are HAPPY TOWN (TWIN PEAKS-style weirdness), DAY ONE (post-apocalyptic drama) and THE HUMAN TARGET. Geek shows for every flavor of geek! Of course, it must be noted that the failure rate on geek-appeal shows tends to be rather severe (Note the fate of LIFE ON MARS, PUSHING DAISIES, and KINGS last season), that many of the returning shows are in their last season, and that many others are just barely hanging on ratings-wise. So what seems to be a bountiful schedule of genre shows now may be a wasteland when the season comes to an end. Still, we’re going to have these shows at least for a while, and that’s the important thing.

Show That Proves That LAW & ORDER Isn’t The Only One To Rip From the Headlines
THE GOOD WIFE
There’s this politician, see, and he gets caught in this huge sex-and-corruption scandal, and his betrayed wife has to stand by his side while he confesses all on TV… no, it isn’t that latest news story, it’s the premise of a new TV series starring Julianna Marguiles this fall. Talk about being topical! Of course, the premise also has her rejoining the work force as a lawyer, so chances are it will devolve into yet another boring L.A. LAW knockoff (just like the eleventy-hundred other L.A. LAW knockoffs that have come down the pike since that show was on the airwaves), but at least the first five minutes of the premiere episode will have that frisson of reality.

Most Likely to Become The Next Jason Gedrick: Showkiller Extradonaire
CHRISTIAN SLATER
Man, Mr. Slater can sure pick ‘em. Last season he starred in MY OWN WORST ENEMY, a not-bad series which parent network NBC overhyped, mishandled, and generally folded, spindled, and mutilated into a pathetic 9-episode run. This season he’s headlining THE FORGOTTEN, a pedestrian crime drama that has “doomed to an early cancellation” written all over it. Dude, get yourself into an at least moderately successful series before you get tagged as ratings poison! (Of course, just to spike my own argument, I must note that Simon Baker was building up quite the rep as a showkiller until he struck gold with THE MENTALIST, and that THE FORGOTTEN has been granted a pretty cushy time slot on ABC’s schedule. So it could end up being a hit. Maybe).

Most Unneeded Series Remake
MELROSE PLACE
Of all the series that could return to the airwaves…. Gawd.

I Wouldn’t Bet Against This Show Succeeding
NCIS: LOS ANGELES
It’s a spinoff of an already enormously popular series, and it’s back-door pilot aired to great success last season. This show is as close to a sure thing as you can get in the TV business. Even with Chris O’Donnell in one of the lead roles.

Worst Timeslot for An Otherwise Promising Show
V, TUESDAY AT 8 P.M.
Is ABC trying to strangle this show in its cradle? Who the hell puts a genre show ostensibly for adults in the 8 p.m. slot? Up against established successes NCIS and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? The far better time slot would have been at 10 p.m. on the same night, where it could have benefited from the lead-in from DANCING WITH THE STARS and only had to compete with other new series. As it is, we can only hope that ABC sees fit to move the show to a better time slot at the first opportunity. That is, if the show turns out to be good. Otherwise, it can die at 8 and all will be well.

Critically Praised Show Most Likely To Fail
GLEE
Man, have the critics fallen in love with GLEE. They have been praising it to the skies, comparing it to FREAKS AND GEEKS and PUSHING DAISIES. They haven’t gone this nuts about a comedy since THE KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY. And therein lies the problem. Because all the above-mentioned shows GLEE has been compared to? Didn’t exactly hit it big in the ratings and give it’s fans many years of enjoyment. Most of them didn’t even last beyond one season. I really don’t know why the critics keep pushing these shows that – while definitely quality television – are so doomed to fail. Do they like getting their heart broken every single season?

Biggest Waste of a Whedonverse Alumni
Michelle Trachtenberg, MERCY
Why, oh why, is Michelle Trachtenberg being wasted in this GREY’S ANATOMY-knockoff junk show? I know actors gotta eat and all but surely a spot could have been found for her in a show that was actually halfway good. Oh, well. At least she’s working, which is more than can be said for Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Show Most Likely To Be Cancelled First
Tie: BROTHERS and THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE
One show has been universally hailed as the worst new show to hit the airwaves this season. The other, a week-and-a-half out for it’s series premiere date, is still reworking the premise, rejiggering the scripts, and trying to get ostensible star Mischa Barton in shape to film the damn thing. Can we say, “Walking dead shows?”

Show I Will Give a Chance Simply Because Paul Gross Is In It
EASTWICK
I hated the movie. I was no big fan of the book. I find the three lead actresses strictly so-so. But… Paul Gross. He was great as a buttoned-down Mountie in DUE SOUTH. An absolute hoot in MEN WITH BROOMS. And he reached heights of truly inspired greatness in SLINGS AND ARROWS. The man just exudes charisma. So I am going to check the show out and give it a chance just for him. And if the show turns out to suck big rocks… I know it won’t be his fault.

Show Most Likely To Be Either A Monster Hit Or A Dismal Failure
FLASH FORWARD
I’m not seeing a lot of in-between on this one. Ratings-wise, it’s going to either go big or go home. (Either way, I’m seeing a band of vociferous die-hard fans forming around it almost instantaneously. Whether it’s a JERICHO-sized band or a LOST-sized band remains to be seen). What I don’t see is it becoming a moderate hit along the lines of, say, COLD CASE. The show is just too daring and stylish (at least in concept) for that. It will be interesting to see how it fares.

Most Tired Premise for a Show
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
Vampire soap opera. Oooh. Aaah. Hold me back. Yawn.

Dumbest Idea for a Police Procedural
PAST LIFE (Midseason replacement on Fox)
In which a psychiatrist and a detective use past-life regression therapy to solve yesteryears crimes! This premise is so completely loopy, you just know that the show is going to either an utter disaster or utterly brilliant.

PBS Show Most Likely To Cause Geekgasms Around the World
MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY
Now hosted by David Tennant!

That’s my random musings. Anybody else got any thoughts?

ALSO: Here’s AOL’s take on the upcoming season.
 
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Apok

Corporate Tech Priest
Validated User
#2
I enjoy reading your synopsis of the TV landscape, Hunter.

It makes me glad I stopped watching TV programming outside of Mythbusters.
 

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#3
Biggest Waste of a Whedonverse Alumni
Michelle Trachtenberg, MERCY
Why, oh why, is Michelle Trachtenberg being wasted in this GREY’S ANATOMY-knockoff junk show? I know actors gotta eat and all but surely a spot could have been found for her in a show that was actually halfway good. Oh, well. At least she’s working, which is more than can be said for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Oh snap!

But this was exactly what i said when i heard about the show. Are nurse series the new doctor series?



P.S. And by the way, i know this might shock people, but i haven't been watching Gossip Girl. Won't she be appearing in the show's 3rd Season? If no, is there some in-series reason for that?
 

sugarman

Oh hiatus ...
Validated User
#5
My thoughts, feelings, and fearless predictions on the upcoming television season, based on the announced schedule and the show blurbs in the TV GUIDE Fall Preview issue:
I don't watch or follow enough of Television to comment on everything, but I'll give it a shot here and there.

The Show I Hope Will Fail:
JAY LENO
It’s not because I hate Jay or anything like that, it’s that I want to have scripted drama and comedy in prime time to watch. We already have a schedule clogged up with reality shit, if the Leno experiment is successful that will give the networks even more inducement to ditch the good stuff in favor of the bland or the outright terrible – but alluringly cheap to produce. Because of that, I hope Leno’s show gets whomped in the ratings every single night it is on. Sorry, Jay, it’s for the greater good.
I am in full agreement with on this one. It isn't completely against Jay, though I was and still am a big Conan fan, and seeing how Jay's new show also works against the Tonight Show, chalk this up as another reason for this show to die.

But it's potential success does send the wrong signal: that cheap production trumps originality. One can argue that all the good stuff is on cable anyways, but there are some severe discrepancies between what is allowable on the two media. But the sooner the broadcast networks address those discrepancies, the better able they will be to survive.

And giving Jay Leno 5 hours of primetime isn't the way to do this. (Unless their plan is to engineer an epic failure, in order to start the above process. However, no publicly-traded company could consider such an option).

Returning Show Most Likely To Go Down for the Count:
HEROES
Man, the other networks can smell blood in the water as far as HEROES is concerned. It’s up against ratings powerhouses DANCING WITH THE STARS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and HOUSE in its time slot this season. If Bryan Fuller was still on the writing staff for the show I might have some hope that the swiftly listing vessel could be saved, but with him gone and up against that kind of competition (and let’s not forget that last year’s protection for the series – presold advertising slots – is gone also)… This show is not even going to make it to midseason. Watch it while you can, HEROES fans.
I admittedly tuned out about 6-8 episodes into season 2, and Heroes has entered Highlander and Matrix territory for me. I have fond memories of Season 1, and the discussions and arguements that took place here, but I'm done.

Biggest Trend:
GEEK APPEAL!
The 2009-2010 TV season is shaping up (at least in the early stages) to be a geeks delight. Besides returning shows like FRINGE, SUPERNATURAL, SMALLVILLE, DOLLHOUSE, LOST, CHUCK, and HEROES (for as long as that lasts), the schedule also boasts such new genre shows as V (alien invasion!), FLASH FORWARD (LOST-ish mystery), and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (okay, that one not so much). And sitting on deck for midseason replacements are HAPPY TOWN (TWIN PEAKS-style weirdness), DAY ONE (post-apocalyptic drama) and THE HUMAN TARGET. Geek shows for every flavor of geek! Of course, it must be noted that the failure rate on geek-appeal shows tends to be rather severe (Note the fate of LIFE ON MARS, PUSHING DAISIES, and KINGS last season), that many of the returning shows are in their last season, and that many others are just barely hanging on ratings-wise. So what seems to be a bountiful schedule of genre shows now may be a wasteland when the season comes to an end. Still, we’re going to have these shows at least for a while, and that’s the important thing.
I'm not 100% sure how how much this is indicative of Geek Appeal, or just the more general mainstreaming of formerly geek-only themes. It doesn't feel like the Geek resurgence of the late 90's, where a lot of networks had some heavily-themed geek stuff driven by the triple-threat of pre-Millenial angst, the cybering of society, and the general good fortune of the X-Files.

Rather, it feels like it is the tail end of the post-Lost / post-Battlestar explosion. (As you noted). I think the execs are getting hip to the fact that it isn't just the geek stuff that sells, but the kinds of geek-stuff that sell as well. The production has to be there.

If a bunch of the shows you mentioned above fail, or end, then we may have a lull for a few years. (Filled by what I have no idea, probably a burst of more reality/Jay Leno-style chaff.) But eventually someone with a clue will figure out that no one is willing to shell out for Season DVD sets of the aforementioned chaff, and we'll see an upsurge again.

Critically Praised Show Most Likely To Fail
GLEE
Man, have the critics fallen in love with GLEE. They have been praising it to the skies, comparing it to FREAKS AND GEEKS and PUSHING DAISIES. They haven’t gone this nuts about a comedy since THE KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY. And therein lies the problem. Because all the above-mentioned shows GLEE has been compared to? Didn’t exactly hit it big in the ratings and give it’s fans many years of enjoyment. Most of them didn’t even last beyond one season. I really don’t know why the critics keep pushing these shows that – while definitely quality television – are so doomed to fail. Do they like getting their heart broken every single season?
Yes, it will fail. And the column inches devoted to it will still surpass anything that its numbers warrant. But the reasons for both: the critics latching on to it, and its inevitable failure aren't particularly nice, so I won't go into it here.

Biggest Waste of a Whedonverse Alumni
Michelle Trachtenberg, MERCY
Why, oh why, is Michelle Trachtenberg being wasted in this GREY’S ANATOMY-knockoff junk show? I know actors gotta eat and all but surely a spot could have been found for her in a show that was actually halfway good. Oh, well. At least she’s working, which is more than can be said for Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Bah! I'm pretty much indifferent to all things Whedon. I'm glad Nathan Fillion seems to be doing well with Castle, but that has no bearing on his Whedon-alum status.

I'm more interested in the The Wire alums right now, which is why Simon's new show Treme holds a lot more interest for me. Given the cast, and the production staff involved, it could be real good. It'll also give us a change to see if Simon can do more than just Baltimore. Granted we won't know until 2010, but I'll tune in for this one.

Show I Will Give a Chance Simply Because Paul Gross Is In It
EASTWICK
I hated the movie. I was no big fan of the book. I find the three lead actresses strictly so-so. But… Paul Gross. He was great as a buttoned-down Mountie in DUE SOUTH. An absolute hoot in MEN WITH BROOMS. And he reached heights of truly inspired greatness in SLINGS AND ARROWS. The man just exudes charisma. So I am going to check the show out and give it a chance just for him. And if the show turns out to suck big rocks… I know it won’t be his fault.
I'm not sure where they are going with this one, but I'll agree, Paul Gross deserves a shot (much like Fillion, above). My guess is it'll have a Desperate Housewives + supernatural vibe, as DH is in the winding down phase, correct? If so, then this may be a good thing for Paul Gross. The audience might transition to this, and they may be in a good place to capitalize. This will expose PG to a much wider audience, which can only help him in the future.

Overall, there's not much new I'm looking forward to this season. I'll still watch HIMYM and Castle on Monday, but otherwise, my evenings are booked, and I'm not seeing a lot else that'll grab me. Maybe I'll check out Fringe season 1 DVD, and see if it's worth getting aboard for Season 2.

--sugarman--
 

JonAcheson

Cyborg!
Validated User
#6
Returning Show Most Likely To Go Down for the Count:
HEROES
Man, the other networks can smell blood in the water as far as HEROES is concerned. It’s up against ratings powerhouses DANCING WITH THE STARS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and HOUSE in its time slot this season. If Bryan Fuller was still on the writing staff for the show I might have some hope that the swiftly listing vessel could be saved, but with him gone and up against that kind of competition (and let’s not forget that last year’s protection for the series – presold advertising slots – is gone also)… This show is not even going to make it to midseason. Watch it while you can, HEROES fans.
I gave up on the show two-thirds of the way through last season.

Another factor working against them: They won't have Chuck as a lead-in, which made for a pretty solid geek-show sandwich before.
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#7
P.S. And by the way, i know this might shock people, but i haven't been watching Gossip Girl. Won't she be appearing in the show's 3rd Season? If no, is there some in-series reason for that?
Probably because she got that other regular show.

EDIT: Looks like she will be in both.

Watch with Kristin said:
Steph in Highland Park, Calif.: How is Michelle Trachtenberg going to juggle Gossip Girl and her new show Mercy?
Gossip Girl's Georgina Sparks herself tells us, "I can't even begin to guess what the writers have in store for me. I mean, Mercy is definitely something that will take a lot of time and will be spearheaded, so there will be a little bit of a combination of everything. The great news is that if Georgina isn't in as many episodes as one would think...and she kind of can't die ever. So she'll be in and out always."
 
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Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#8
This show is not even going to make it to midseason. Watch it while you can, HEROES fans.
I will. I rather enjoyed the new story that happened in the backend of last season.

Most Unneeded Series Remake
MELROSE PLACE
Of all the series that could return to the airwaves…. Gawd.
So I guess 90210 is doing OK then.

Most Tired Premise for a Show
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
Vampire soap opera. Oooh. Aaah. Hold me back. Yawn.
Teen soap I thought. And in the wake of that movie series I wouldn't be surprised to see it do well amongst the same demographic.
 

Rikimaru

Ninja Comedian
Validated User
#9
I will. I rather enjoyed the new story that happened in the backend of last season.
So did I. It looked good - they had Bryan Fuller back as the main writer and he started to put it all back together. He cleaned things up a lot, and then got a better job somewhere else and took off.

So just as Heroes was put back into a shape resembling something enjoyable, we have yet another new writer coming in and who knows where the show is headed now?

I'll give them the chance to keep me watching - for all I know, it'll be really good. But I suspect that this is Heroes last season no matter what. If that looks to be true early on in the season, I'd like to see them wrap up the story. I'd hate to see it just stop or wrap up in a hurry. I'd like to see what they can do for a proper ending.

That said, if they do really well this yeaar and get a fifth season, that'd be even better. But I'm not holding my breath.
 
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