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The New Fall Season: Predict the DUDS.

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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 5525
Location: Philadelphia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:24 am    Post subject: The New Fall Season: Predict the DUDS. Reply with quote

Below you'll see a listing of each network and their new TV show offerings. For each network, pick the series you think will be canceled the quickest. Or don't and just join me in bitching about the new season of sludge we're about to be offered.


The Benefactor - What would you do for a million dollars? Billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is about to find out because he is "The Benefactor," and he?s set to give away a million bucks to a complete stranger. Why has he agreed to give away such a large sum of money? Because he can?t wait to figure out how America?s applicants will prove to him they deserve it! Sixteen contestants will vie for the money in a competition full of emotional, dramatic challenges ? tests of character, intelligence, heart, and maybe a little bit of luck.

Rodney - Stand-up comedian Rodney Carrington would like to take you to the middle of real, everyday America. In the tradition of "Home Improvement" and "Roseanne" comes a down-to-earth guy's guy who, with his own heartland intelligence, speaks the truth. Rodney is quitting or getting fired from jobs he hates while doing stand-up in dive bars at night. He may not have much money, but he still finds excitement. He's not afraid to walk into a department store naked on a dare. Not afraid to take credit for flowers someone else sent his wife. Not afraid to get between his fighting boys. Not afraid to tell his wife he wants to make stand-up his career. He's going to figure out how to find happiness while being the best damn husband, dad and son he knows how to be.

Lost - Out of the blackness the first thing Jack senses is pain. With a rush comes the horrible awareness that the plane he was on tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island. From there it's a blur as his doctor's instinct kicks in: people need his help. Stripped of everything, the 48 survivors scavenge what they can from the plane for their survival. A few find inner strength they never knew they had. Like Kate who, with no medical training, suddenly finds herself suturing the doctor's wounds. The band of friends, family, enemies and strangers must work together against the cruel weather and harsh terrain. But the intense howls of the mysterious creatures stalking the jungle fill them all with fear. Fortunately, thanks to the calm leadership of quick-thinking Jack and level-headed Kate, they have hope. But even heroes have secrets, as the survivors will come to learn. From J.J. Abrams, the creator of "Alias," comes an action-packed adventure that will bring out the very best and the very worst in the people who are lost.

Wife Swap - Already a smash hit in the UK and most recently awarded a BAFTA, the UK?s most prestigious television award, WIFE SWAP gives two families the rare opportunity to witness what it is like to live someone else?s life and experiences. Two matriarchs from two households trade places for 10 days. For the first five days of the challenge, they must obey the rules of the new family?s lifestyle and adopt their daily routine ? parenting, shopping, housework, creating budgets and social life. For the remaining five days, these women get to run the new house their own way ? a radical shock to both families. This intense new series taps into America?s voyeuristic tendencies and desires to judge how others run their households, raise their children and treat their spouses. Never before has a reality series taken such an honest inside look at the American family.

Life as We Know It - They say teenage boys think about sex every 15 seconds. That's 240 times an hour. And in between they cram everything else: Cheating moms. Interfering dads. Sex. Secret crushes. Pop quizzes. Sex. Clueless teachers. School cliques. Sex. Melvin Burgess' breakthrough novel is the basis for this series about three hormone-charged teenage boys who are trying to do something even harder than losing their virginity, and that's to grow up without totally freaking out. There's Dino, the handsome jock with the secret sensitive side; Jonathan, the artist who sees life through a camera lens; and Ben, the straight-A student who still can't make his parents happy. This coming of age drama in the tradition of "Stand By Me" and "The Outsiders" comes to ABC from the writers of "Freaks & Geeks" and "Just Shoot Me."

Complete Savages - Meet the Savage brothers. They smell. They're slobs. And they love it that way. Executive producer Mel Gibson's real life experiences of raising a brood of boys provide the basis for a take-no-prisoners comedy. Dad Nick wants his boys to learn the skills women don't seem to take so much joy in anymore ? you know: cooking, cleaning, laundry. Somehow this dad is going to turn his loutish boys into independent men, the kind any girl could take home to her mother. This is going to be some battle because Nick, just like his sons, is still a boy at heart. Producers Mike Scully and Julie Thacker Scully, writers for "The Simpsons," add their own family experience into the mix for a funny, honest take on raising kids. It reminds us that each child comes with their own personalities and problems, and that none of them come with instructions.

Desperate Housewives - Looking down on her friends and family isn't a way of life for Mary Alice Scott. It's a way of death. One day, in her perfect house, in the loveliest of suburbs, Mary Alice ended it all. Now she's taking us into the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, commenting from her elevated POV. Her husband's acting suspicious, the neighbors are talking, and her girlfriends are wondering why one of their own would do something so rash? and so messy. From her unique vantage point, Mary Alice sees more now than she ever did alive and she's planning to share all the delicious secrets that hide behind every neighbor's closed door in this seemingly perfect American suburb. The writer of Melrose Place and General Hospital (Executive Producer Charles Pratt Jr.) has helped create a primetime soap with a truly contemporary take on happily ever after.

Boston Legal - Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner) lead the brigade of high-priced civil litigators in an upscale Boston law firm in a series focusing on the professional and personal lives of brilliant, but often emotionally-challenged, attorneys. Fast-paced, darkly comedic, the series will confront social issues, moral conscience, safe sex, pursuit of happiness and money, with varying degrees of priority. Escape to the law firm on One Fleet Street. Where anything goes? and often will.


Listen Up - LISTEN UP (Monday, 8:30 PM) stars Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") in a comedy about a well-regarded sports talk show host and columnist who struggles to get the respect and admiration from his family that he gets from his fans. Based on the writings of real-life sports commentator and columnist Tony Kornheiser, Tony Clineman (Alexander) is an irreverent sports show host who banters about all things sports with his witty sidekick, Bernie Widmer (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), a former football player turned sports show host, on their television talk show, "Shut Up and Listen." Tony has also begun writing a humorous syndicated newspaper column that includes commentary on his family who are less than thrilled to have their trials and tribulations made public. Tony's wife, Dorothy, works as a fundraiser. While not a sports fan, she is always supportive of her paranoid and obsessive-but-loving husband. Lauren (Daniella Monet) is the Clineman?s know-it-all, soccer-playing 14-year-old daughter. Mickey (Will Rothhaar) is their 15-year-old golf prodigy son. While Tony?s inability to self-edit before broadcasting his thoughts is what makes him most endearing to his fans, it keeps his friends and family on their toes as everything could be fodder for his column. Jeff Martin ("The Simpsons") and Lindy DeKoven are the executive producers for Regency Television in association with CBS Productions.

Clubhouse - CLUBHOUSE (Tuesday, 9:00 PM) is a drama about a 16-year-old boy who becomes a man in a world of overgrown boys when he takes a job as a batboy for a professional baseball team. For the first time, Pete Young (Jeremy Sumpter) takes a risk ? perhaps the only risk of his young life - when he applies for and lands his dream job as a batboy for the New York Empires. The problem is his single mom, Lynne (Mare Winningham), has no idea what he?s up to. Until now, he?s been the golden boy while his rebellious older sister, Betsy (Kirsten Storms), has always been in the doghouse. On the job, Pete becomes a part of a new family that includes Conrad Dean (Dean Cain), the team?s captain and star third baseman and one of the boy?s all-time idols who takes on the role of an older brother. Also, in the clubhouse is his boss, Lou Russo (Christopher Lloyd), a gruff but fair equipment manager who becomes a much-needed father figure; Rich (Marc Donato), a fellow batboy who just happens to be the general manager?s nephew; Carlos Tavares (John Ortiz), a rookie who believes that Pete is his good luck charm, and Jose Marquez (J.D. Pardo), the Empire?s territorial head batboy. Pete is over the moon at being a member of his favorite team, but he must still balance life at home and life in the big leagues as he faces the moral dilemmas and curve balls that life throws his way. Emmy Award-winners Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent ("And The Band Played On," "Day One"), Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson ("Braveheart") and Bruce Davey ("The Passion of the Christ"), Daniel Cerone ("Charmed") and Ken Topolsky ("Party of Five") are the executive producers for Spelling Television.

C.S.I. New York - CSI: NY (Wednesday, 10:00 PM) stars Academy Award-nominee, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump," "Truman") and Emmy Award-nominee Melina Kanakaredes ("Providence") in a crime drama, spun-off from "CSI: Miami," about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in The Big Apple. Det. Mack "Mac" Taylor (Sinise) is a dedicated and driven crime scene investigator who believes that everything is connected and for everyone there is a story. He and his partner, Det. Stella Bonasera (Kanakaredes), a workaholic and a jack-of-all-trades, share a passion for the job. They lead a team of experts amid the gritty and kinetic city that never sleeps. Their team includes Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), a Brooklyn-born investigator with rugged good looks, an unflappable spirit and a colorful family history, and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. Rounding out the team is Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito), a smart and sexy investigator whose chameleon-like behavior allows her to adapt to any situation at any time. Inspired by the #1 drama series, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the New York CSIs may have a different process than those in Vegas or Miami, but they are guided by the same steadfast determination. These skilled investigators, who see New York City in a whole different light, follow the evidence as they piece together clues and eliminate doubt to ultimately crack their cases. Jerry Bruckheimer ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"), Anthony E. Zuiker ("CSI"), Carol Mendelsohn ("CSI"), Ann Donahue ("CSI"), Danny Cannon ("CSI") and Andrew Lipsitz ("CSI") are the executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and CBS Productions in association with Alliance Atlantis Communications.

Dr. Vegas - dr. vegas (Friday, 10:00 PM) stars Emmy Award-nominee Rob Lowe ("The West Wing") and Emmy Award-winner Joe Pantoliano ("The Sopranos") in a drama about an unconventional physician who takes a gamble when he leaves behind the world of emergency medicine to become the in-house doctor at a high-end casino in Las Vegas. From his penthouse office suite, Dr. Billy Grant (Lowe) attends to the round-the-clock medical needs of guests, employees and their families amid the lures of Sin City. The doctor?s always in when it comes to catering to the often frivolous medical requests of his good friend and boss, Tommy Canterna (Pantoliano), the hotel?s general manager. Tommy?s priority is the well-being of his high rollers and the casino?s bottomline, while Billy?s committed to upholding the Hippocratic Oath, often putting them at odds. Assisting Billy is his former ER colleague, Alice Doherty (Amy Adams), who serves as his trusted nurse practitioner but who spends most of her time watching his back. The frenetic pace continues on the casino floor where the action never stops. Always on hand is beautiful blackjack dealer, Veronica Harold (Sarah Lancaster), who attends classes during the day and works nights to help support her father. Whether it?s a celebrity headliner who takes a header from the stage, an employee hurt on the job or a desperate guest whose luck has run out at the tables, it?s a safe bet that Dr. Grant will see his share of unique medical cases. But, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and for Billy, it?s all in a day?s work on the Strip. Jack Orman ("ER"), Lawrence Bender ("Pulp Fiction"), Kevin Brown ("The Survivor?s Club") and Mark Sennett ("Martin and Lewis") serve as executive producers for CBS Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television Production, Inc.


Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy - Nuff said.

The Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best - THE BILLIONAIRE: BRANSON'S QUEST FOR THE BEST (working title): SIR RICHARD BRANSON, the colorful founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies, teams with award-winning Bunim-Murray Productions ("The Simple Life," "Real World") to lead a group of young entrepreneurs on an epic journey around the world, testing their mettle by having them relive some of his own colorful adventures. If they make decisions that impress Branson, they will continue. But each week, one candidate will be left behind on the tarmac as the rest of the group jets off to the next adventure.

House - HOUSE: From Executive Producer PAUL ATTANASIO, the creator of "Homicide: Life on the Street", along with KATIE JACOBS and DAVID SHORE, comes a new take on mystery, where the villain is a medical malady and the hero is a cantankerous doctor who trusts no one, least of all his patients. DR. GREG HOUSE (HUGH LAURIE, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows") is irreverent, controversial, devoid of bedside manner and wouldn't even talk to his patients if he could get away with it, but he is brilliant diagnostician and only the most dire cases come his way. House and his hand-picked team of experts will do whatever it takes ? legal or not ? to make the diagnoses that will solve these medical mysteries and save lives.

The Complex: Malibu - A reaity show in which people interact. Awesome.

The Next Great Champ - Six-time World Champion OSCAR DE LA HOYA and television powerhouse Endemol USA have teamed to discover young, raw boxers with the potential to become a top prizefighter. The hopefuls will push themselves to the limit as they train and slug it out in hopes of achieving every fighter's ultimate dream ? a possible shot at a titleholder and a professional contract with De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. This unscripted series will feature approximately one dozen up-and-coming fighters from across the country, all getting their shot to become THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP. They'll be joined by someone from their real life ? a friend, co-worker, family member or loved one. The personal relationship between the fighter and friend will add tension, drama and a rare opportunity for viewers to see pugilism through the eyes of a non-boxer.

The Partner - A team of "book smart" Ivy League graduates will compete against a team of "street smart" lawyers from less prestigious schools until one of them wins a job in a major law firm. Each week, the dueling lawyers will serve as prosecutors or defenders in mock trials based on highly charged cases. A jury of lay people ? selected by the contestants ? will determine the winner of each trial. Then the losers go on trial ? defending their performance before a celebrity "judge," who will decide which individual will be thrown out of court. The last two lawyers standing will go head-to-head to argue a final blockbuster case. With every episode, viewers will be drawn into two dramas ? the compelling legal drama of that week's trial, and the suspense of who will ultimately become THE PARTNER.


LAX - Television favorite Heather Locklear ("Spin City") returns to primetime -- full-time -- in this off-beat dramatic series centered in a world unto itself: a major international airport. Security breaches, tearful reunions, illegal immigrants, missing children, runaway animals, drug busts, drunken pilots -- there are countless stories to tell in "LAX." Whether it's the ongoing power struggle between the Airfield Chief (Locklear) and the Terminal Manager (Blair Underwood, "L.A. Law"), the romantic misadventures of the Airline Supervisor Tony (Paul Leyden, "As the World Turns") or the trial-by-fire of a young, naive Immigration Office clerk Nick (David Paetkau, "Final Destination 2"), viewers will be pulled into this unique world. Then there are the passengers, loading, unloading and passing through each episode. Each week will feature their compelling dramas -- from chance encounters between strangers to surprise reunions of long-lost lovers to - "the sky's the limit." Wendy Hoopes ("Daria"), Chad Todhunter ("Party of Five") and Frank John Hughes ("Band of Brothers") also star. "LAX" is from NBC Universal Television. Mark Gordon and writer Nick Thiel are the executive producers. Joe and Anthony Russo ("Lucky") directed the pilot.

The Biggest Loser - Viewers will be among the big winners as NBC unveils "The Biggest Loser," a new, unscripted and life-altering drama that will provide severely overweight participants with the opportunity to undergo a radical physical makeover ? without any kind of surgery. The announcement was made by Jeff Gaspin, President, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment & Cross-Platform Strategy. The inspirational series will provide the strong-willed yet hopeful contestants with all of the approved weight-loss skills and resources in an effort to help them transform their bodies, health -- and ultimately, their lives. "This challenging new drama offers a strong emotional attachment for viewers who can follow people trying to change their lives and re-shape their lifestyles," said Gaspin. "But the quest and final results will be entirely up to the people who can benefit most ? the participants." Adds Executive Producer Ben Silverman (NBC's "The Restaurant," "The Office: An American Workplace"), " ?The Biggest Loser' celebrates hard work and rewards discipline. Hopefully we will inspire an overweight America to get fit. Everyday will be a struggle for our characters as they battle each other and try to change their habits and way of life." "The Biggest Loser" is a production of Reveille, NBC Universal Television and 3 Ball Productions. Silverman, David Broome ("Jingle Ball Rock") and J.D. Roth ("NBC's "For Love of Money," "Endurance") are the executive producers for the series.

Father of the Pride - NBC teams with the creative powerhouse studio that brought the world "Shrek," along with some all-star voices, to create a computer-generated-imaging (CGI) series of the highest caliber. Viewers will journey inside the lives of a pride of white lions who perform in the world-famous Siegfried and Roy show and will also explore their lush Las Vegas habitat. The lions are led by zoo-raised Larry (John Goodman, "Roseanne") and his wife Kate (Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), a showbiz veteran. In fact, Kate's father, Sarmoti (Emmy winner Carl Reiner, "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), is a Las Vegas legend who is used to headlining the show. However, when Sarmoti's age begins to catch up with him, he reluctantly passes the crown to Larry -- and sets the Las Vegas "neighborhood" abuzz. Other animals in the mix include a mischievous gopher named Snack (Orlando Jones, "Magnolia"), a karaoke-performing orangutan, and an easily agitated pink flamingo. Oddly enough, their world is a lot like ours - except for the whole talking animals thing. CGI versions of Siegfried & Roy (voiced by Julian Holloway, "Michael Uncle Silas," and Dave Herman, "Office Space) will be featured in the series. Danielle Harris ("Rugrats Gone Wild") and Daryl Sabara, "Spy Kids") also star. "Father of the Pride" will be the first primetime television show with feature film-quality CGI animation. Created by Jeffrey Katzenberg ("Shrek") and developed by Jonathan Groff ("Late Night with Conan O'Brien"), the series is executive-produced by Katzenberg, Groff, Jon Pollack ("Spin City," "Just Shoot Me") and Peter Mehlman ("Seinfeld"). The series is produced by DreamWorks Television and DreamWorks Animation.

Hawaii - Hawaii can seduce just about anyone...cops and criminals alike. Murder, drug-running and organized cartels filter through the unique island culture to represent just some of the big-city casework that this big island police force confronts. Where else would cops discover a smoldering torso at the base of an active volcano? The diverse group of cops and detectives may work against a breathtaking backdrop of jungles and seascapes, but they can never take a vacation from the tangle of local and international criminals who constantly cross their paths. It's never a typical crime scene and these are not TV's typical cops - which is exactly what makes "Hawaii" so alluring. Michael Biehn ("Terminator"), Sharif Atkins (NBC's "ER"), Ivan Sergei (NBC's "Crossing Jordan"), Eric Balfour ("Six Feet Under"), Aya Sumika and Cary Tagawa star. Jeff Eastin is the creator and executive producer. Daniel Sackheim ("The Lyons Den") directs. "Hawaii" is from NBC Universal Television.

Joey - The still-single Friend strikes out on his own as Emmy nominee Matt LeBlanc reprises his "Friends" role as charming Joey Tribbiani in this spinoff that continues the beloved "Friends" tradition. LeBlanc is backed by the award-winning writers and director who contributed to the unforgettable "Friends" phenomenon. Joey leaves New York for Hollywood in order to take his acting career to the next level. He also says goodbye to a time when his friends were his family and welcomes the chance to turn his family into his friends. After reuniting with his high-strung sister Gina (Drea de Matteo, "The Sopranos"), Joey moves in with Michael (Paulo Costanzo, "Road Trip"), his 20-year-old genius nephew, who unbelievably is literally a rocket scientist. However, what Joey lacks in book smarts he makes up for with people smarts - making him the best new friend his nephew could ask for. Ashley Scott ("Birds of Prey") also stars as Joey's attractive neighbor. "Joey" is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Kevin S. Bright ("Friends") returns as executive producer and director; Shana Goldberg and Scott Silveri (both "Friends") also return as executive producers and writers.

Medical Investigation - Based on true accounts, these are the stories of the National Institute of Health, America's most elite unit of medical experts. But these doctors don't operate in a hospital. At a moment's notice, they're summoned anywhere in the country, authorized to take over treatment of any case. Each assignment is a life-or-death rescue against time and the leader is Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough, "Boomtown"), a doctor consumed by his job -- with a broken marriage to prove it. Equally passionate Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams, "The Practice") is the heart and soul of the team. Investigations are complicated by a harried government administrator who consistently pushes Bowman to go by the book, -- which is unlikely to happen. Completing the unit are a chief investigator Troy Winbush ("John Q."), the team's press liaison (Anna Belknap, "The Handler") and a young doctor (Christopher Gorham, "Jake 2.0") new to the team. A saltshaker, a cigarette butt, a flower petal -- anything could be the clue to crack the case. Part cop show, part medical drama - and a great hour of mystery. Michelle Ashford, Bob Cooper and Scott Vila are executive producers for this series from Paramount Network Television and NBC Universal Television. The pilot episode was written by co-executive producer Jason Horwitch and Michelle Ashford.


On the Cover - Game show in which contestants are shown magazine, DVD and CD covers and are then asked to answer popular culture questions about the movies, music or personalities pictured On The Cover.

Balderdash - Elayne Boosler hosts an "outrageous showcase of comedic talents as a panel of three celebrity comedians presents two competing contestants with a series of sidesplitting bluff answers to a variety of questions from the game's original categories including words, movies, people, famous epitaphs and looney laws".

Model Citizens - On the reality front, PAX will be doing good work with "Model Citizens," an hour-long weekly series hosted by "Average Joe Hawaii" star and former Miss USA contestant Larissa Meek. During each episode, a five-model ensemble, both men and women, will have the opportunity to make a difference in small towns across America. With settings very different from the catwalks in New York or Paris, our Model Squad will most definitely be out of their element, trading in the five-star hotel for the no-star motel. Using their beauty, charm and most of all, common sense, they will be charged with providing a lasting resolution to a community problem. Executive produced by Bradley Anderson and Mack Anderson of First Television ("Unexplained Mysteries," "Trigger Happy," "Battlebots"), our team will be forced to use their imagination, break a sweat and win over the local townspeople of Main Street USA in order to fulfill the task in just five days. Whether it's restoring an old library, raking out topsoil at a forgotten playground, or raising funds for the local Boys and Girls Clubs, their efforts will be philanthropic to the core, with cameras on hand each and every minute to capture all the action.

World Cup Comedy - Seems to be a competitive-style rip-off of "Whose Line...". Whoop.

Second Verdict - The next generation of "court shows," "Second Verdict" features compelling, real-life felony cases from around the country from trials that permitted cameras in the courtroom. In this one-hour program, our host introduces the facts of a case to a jury that is unaware of the actual verdict. These twelve men and women are presented with the prosecution and defense cases through videotaped clips and along the way are given explanations of complicated legal terms and concepts. Once the presentation is complete, the cameras will follow the jury into the deliberation room, and once a verdict is reached, viewers will find out if the second verdict matches with that of the original jury. "Second Verdict" is a production of Termite Arts (a division of Lion's Gate Entertainment) and Kimo-Jagger Productions. Executive producers are Raymond Brune (former president and executive producer, News for E! Networks), Andrew Yani (E! News Live, Channel One) and David Harding of Lion's Gate Entertainment.

Veronica Mars - VERONICA MARS (Tuesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM) is set in the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, where the rich and powerful make the rules, own the town and the high school, and desperately try to keep their dirty little secrets just that?secret. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell, "Everwood"), a smart, fearless 17-year-old, apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries. During the day, Veronica must still negotiate high school like any average teenage girl. Along with fellow outcast, sophomore Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III, "The Guardian"), she bravely maneuvers her classes, wary of former in-crowd friends, like ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn, "The Manchurian Candidate") and his best friend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring, "Judging Amy"), and edgy outsiders, like Weevil (Francis Capra, "CSI") and his P.C.H. Bike Club boys. At night, Veronica looks after her former-Sheriff father Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni, "Just Shoot Me") and helps with his struggling, new private investigator business. By sneaking through back alleys and scoping out no-tell motels with a telescopic-lens camera and her math book, Veronica attempts to uncover the California beach town's darkest secrets, including who killed her best friend and Duncan's sister, Lilly, and created a scandal that cost her father his job, his home and wife. Pushed to the edge of this multicultural, venomous little Peyton Place, Veronica Mars relentlessly continues to search for evidence that will clear her father's name and get her back into the "in-crowd," but what she finds may tear the town of Neptune apart at the seams. VERONICA MARS is a production of Stu Seagall Productions, Inc. and Silver Pictures Television in association with Warner Bros. Television Production, Inc. Joel Silver and creator Rob Thomas are executive producers.

Kevin Hill - KEVIN HILL (Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM) stars Taye Diggs ("Chicago") as a 28-year-old, self-made, hotshot entertainment lawyer in New York City with the ultimate bachelor life -- a high-power job, plenty of pretty ladies and enough money to buy whatever he wants. Through all of his exploits, he is joined by his two buddies, the charming and witty Dame (Jon Seda, "Bad Boys II"). But, Kevin?s whole life turns upside down when he's left to raise the six-month-old daughter of his cousin, who unexpectedly passed away. After figuring out how to deal with bottles, diapers and his new no-nonsense, gay nanny George (Patrick Breen, "Radio"), Kevin quits his workaholic law firm for a flex-time, boutique law office, Grey & Associates, owned and staffed completely by women. Kevin must adjust his attitude when dealing with his new co-workers, who include Jessie Grey (Michael Michele, "ER"), a professional single mom and boss; Nicolette Raye (Christina Hendricks, "Presidio Med"), the office's most underestimated legal weapon; and Veronica Carter (Kate Levering, "Law & Order: SVU"), a whip-smart diva, who previously had a one-night stand with Kevin. Despite continuing temptation from his party buddies, Kevin is determined to walk the line between the women at his job, the women that he chases, and the baby girl in the crib. KEVIN HILL is a production of Icon Productions in association with Touchstone Television. Bruce Davey and Alex Taub are executive producers and Jorge A. Reyes is co-executive producer.

The Mountain - Boundary Mountain is an escapist playground for wealthy tourists and extreme sports enthusiasts, but to the Carver family, it's home. "The Mountain" chronicles the larger-than-life saga of the Carvers, whose colorful patriarch, David Carver, Sr. (guest star Chad Everett, "Mulholland Drive," "Medical Center"), founded the town and its internationally famous ski resort after winning the land in a poker game. When this legendary man unexpectedly dies, his choice of an heir sends shockwaves throughout the community. Free-spirited David Carver, Jr. (Oliver Hudson, "Dawson's Creek") left home years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class motocross racer, while his older brother Will (Anson Mount, "Poolhall Junkies") diligently attended business school with every expectation of taking over the family empire. No one, least of all the brothers themselves, expected David to inherit the Mountain. Now, David finds himself saddled with a responsibility he never wanted and a brother who rightly feels betrayed. On top of this, he is torn between two women and suddenly immersed in a power struggle with a neighboring family. David just wants to run, until he realizes his grandfather may have had bigger things in mind. Through the episodes to come, David will begin to reconnect with his mother Gennie (Barbara Hershey, "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Beaches") and teenage sister Shelley (newcomer Tara Thompson), and he will uncover long-buried secrets about his co-workers, his town and even his own family mythology. Also starring Alana De La Garza ("All My Children"), Johann Urb ("Zoolander"), Elizabeth Bogush ("Titans") and newcomer Tommy Dewey, with guest-stars Mitch Pileggi ("The X-Files") and Penn Badgley ("Do Over"). A Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision. Executive producers are McG ("The O.C," the "Charlie's Angels" blockbusters and the upcoming film "Superman"), Stephanie Savage ("The O.C.") and Shaun Cassidy ("American Gothic"). David Barrett ("Fast Lane") directed.

Cold Turkey - Executive produced by "Average Joe" creator Stuart Krasnow, the series, comprised of 10 installments, is entitled "Cold Turkey." Hosted by former E! correspondent A.J. Benza, the program will monitor participants as they attempt to kick a habit that effects millions of people. Separated from the world they know and the family and friends that support them, participants will be sequestered in a house for three weeks. In this case, their sole support system is comprised of the other players in the house all struggling to overcome their habit. A series that is sure to have television watchers talking this fall, "Cold Turkey" reveals a new and positive side to reality, exploring the world of self-esteem and keeping one's word. Beyond the cash prize, what contestants win at the series' end is the chance at a better life and pride in knowing that they kicked the habit. "Cold Turkey" is a production of Visual Frontiers and is executive produced by Stuart Krasnow and John Holmes ("Average Joe"). The series creators are Emmy winner Jeremy Wallace (CNN, KNBC) and Murray Valeriano (Comedy Central, ABC Family).

Blue Collar TV - Don't ask. Unless you love that hilarious "white trash" comedy material.

Drew Carey's Green Screen - Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show," "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?") and his comic friends have a clever plan to shake up the concept of live improv comedy. The performers on this show will act out quirky ideas suggested by the audience ("You're getting married underwater and are attacked by a giant squid"), but that's just a jumping-off point. The real fun begins with the technique known as green screen, which Drew's behind-the-scenes team will use to animate the skits, creating an actual improvised movie that brings to life the details going on in their vivid imaginations. This series promises to be a fun and lively marriage of improv and animation ' a concept only Drew Carey could pull off. Also starring Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Chip Esten, Brad Sherwood, Greg Proops, Jeff Davis, Kathy Kinney, Sean Masterson, Julie Larson, Katlin Olson and Jonathon Mangum. From Production Group and Michigan J. with executive producer Drew Carey and post producer Ron Diamond of ACME Filmworks.

Jack & Bobby - From master storytellers Greg Berlanti ("Everwood," "Dawson's Creek"), Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Ally McBeal") and Mickey Liddell ("Everwood," "Go") comes a powerful and poignant new drama directed by the incomparable David Nutter ("Smallville," "Without a Trace"). If "greatness is thrust upon us," as Winston Churchill once said, then it's equally true that those who are destined for greatness are rarely aware of it. Take Jack (newcomer Matthew Long) and Bobby McCallister (Logan Lerman, "The Butterfly Effect") for example: two bright young brothers growing up under the watchful eye of their eccentric single-parent mother Grace McCallister (Christine Lahti, "Chicago Hope"). Grace's personality is a force of nature destined to shape both of these young men's lives and secure one a place in the history books-as President of the United States. Set in the present day, the series will detail the relationship between these brothers and the people that help shape their lives, including Jack's best friend Marcus French (Edwin Hodge, "The Alamo"), their beautiful neighbor Courtney Benedict (newcomer Jessica Par‚) and her father Peter Benedict (John Slattery, "Mona Lisa Smile"). With flash-forward interviews of White House staffers and the First Lady, "Jack & Bobby" is a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become this mid-century's greatest Presidential leader. From Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., Berlanti/Liddell Productions and Shoe Money Productions with creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti, creator/co-executive producer Vanessa Taylor ("Everwood"), creators Steve Cohen and Brad Meltzer and executive producers Mickey Liddell and Thomas Schlamme.

(Thanks to The Futon Critic for sharing all the press releases!)
Scott Weinberg
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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 1022
Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going with a quick tank for The Clubhouse - its Sunday debut wasn't impressive and there will be actual playoff baseball next week - thankfully leading to a speedy return for The Amazing Race.

The one I fear for is Veronica Mars, which could nicely fill the ecological niche vacated by Buffy three years ago if its audience pays any attention to UPN - but who does?
Blogs: Jay's Movie Blog, Transplanted Life, The Trading Post
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Charles Tatum

Joined: 04 Aug 2002
Posts: 1703

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank the Lord I don't have cable, and get only NBC...until the new fall season happened. "LAX-ative" is nothing but Locklear and Blair running around and screaming into their cell phones, conveniently solving all the world's problems in fifty minutes. I was bored from the beginning, knowing how each story thread would turn out.

"Joey" is no "Friends," and that is a bad thing. The "Friends" cast got along well, having a chemistry "Joey" has not been able to capture, yet. Plus, he is an actor in L.A., yet all the action takes place around a sprawling apartment set! Go on auditions, get an acting job, those were the situations that provided the most laughs in "Friends" (remember when he and Monica fashioned some Silly Putty into a fake foreskin because a role required him to be nude and circumcised?)

"Medical Investigation" (or, CSI XVI) is simply a ripoff of all those CSI shows. The network has tried to get the show referred to by its initials, MI, just like CSI is. What did this country do before cell phones came along? Better actors than the material stomp around screaming into cell phones and muttering grandiose statements like "if I don't find the enzyme, they are all going to die!" Even the characters are copies of CSI characters, and I only picked that up after watching one MI episode, and then thirty minutes of a CSI rerun in syndication.

In "Father of the Pride," I think the funniest sequences have involved Siegfried and Roy! Other than these two, I keep having flashbacks to "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy." Did we really need another animated "mature" comedy about family life? Even if they involved animals this time around?

I dropped cable because it was expensive, and I never watched it. I'll keep renting and watching my videos and DVDs...and my private stock of "art films," you can have your prime time lineup. Thank God "Scrubs" is still on, I still want to be Dr. Cox when I grow up.
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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 5895
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have abandoned TV, though I'm still paying for cable (just in case I have a need at the drop of a hat), because it's all just so borrrrrring. The only thing in Scott's list that even mildly interested me was Green Screen, and even that really isn't anyting more than a new twist on an old show.
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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 690
Location: Champaign, IL

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sat throught Father Of The Pride twice to get to Scrubs. I won't be doing that again, but I'll agree that Siegfried and Roy are the funniest bits. And by "funniest" I mean "least non-funny."

I don't mind Joey at all, though.
The Sunday News Recap! Archive - Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?
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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 1474
Location: The Moroccan Quarter of Provo

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Benefactor
Dr. Vegas

I don't care how hard they push it, promo it and pummel it, Father of the Pride isn't going to fly. It's just not funny.

LAX may hang around, although it does stink. I can usually enjoy Heather Locklear, but the botox facial stiffness is annoying. I've seen two episodes and wasn't terribly impressed. Manipulative storylines that wrap up too nicely and neatly.

Medical Investigation has the potential to be a good show, but is overly dramatic and serious. Someone, send Neal McDonough a memo, crack a smile just once!

I caught the preview episode of Wife Swap on ABC. Unlike the Fox rip-off, Wife Swap is actually pretty fun.

The Clubhouse? Who is this series for? It airs at 9est/8c, so younger kids wouldn't be watching it. Women? Don't think so. Men? I don't think it will work. Check with Erik, though, he may be more of the target audience.

Does it really matter what Fox airs? Their biggest strength and biggest weakness is that they'll air anything.

More to come as it occurs to me...

One should always aim at being interesting rather than exact

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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 13 Jul 2002
Posts: 2091
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't comment on the slew of reality crap, Rodney, or Listen Up, because I will never watch them.

I have seen, and will not be watching again, Father of the Pride.

Of the filler shows, stuff you watch just because nothing else is on at the time, Dr. Vegas could be decent if the banter between Rob Lowe and Joe Pants ever sparks. LAX is better than CSI Miami, which is on at the same time. Of course, that's not saying much at all. But I watch, because the Russo brothers promised future experimentation with the form. I love Neal McDonough, but I'm lukewarm on Medical Investigation. He deserves a better show, like, say, Boomtown, which the bastards cancelled.

CSI New York has a great cast, Joey seems promising enough, and The Mountain is sudsy but good enough for easyview on Sunday afternoons. Thank you WB.

I am looking forward to seeing Desperate Housewives, House (great cast), Kevin Hill, and Green Screen - cuz I love the Whose Line fellas. I am interested to see Clubhouse. I like sports shows, and I read a rave review of it.

So far, I love Lost. It promises great adventure, solid acting, secrets, romance, and survival - all in a scripted show, wouldn't ya know. I really like Veronica Mars. It has a tough time slot, but, luckily, MTV is showing reruns the following week out of prime time. I'm also a fan of Jack & Bobby. I love everything Greg Berlanti has his hands in, and the show is really interesting. You have the action of today intermixed with interviews telling the future story of Bobby's presidency, giving clues and insight into what happens to these people. It is well written and well acted.
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HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 1474
Location: The Moroccan Quarter of Provo

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I'm more excited about this:

CNN.com --- Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered a pilot presentation for a comedy/variety show starring the members of the popular Canadian pop group Barenaked Ladies, known for its playful music style of tongue-in-cheek humor, pop-culture lyrics and upbeat tempos.

The project, tentatively titled "The Barenaked Ladies Variety Show," is set to expand upon the comedy sketches that have become a staple of Barenaked Ladies' concerts, along with the quintet's stage banter and improv bits with the audience.

The five band members -- Steven Page, Kevin Hearn, Tyler Stewart, Jim Creeggan and Ed Robertson -- will star in the skits as exaggerated versions of themselves, joined by guest actors. The show, in which a story line will run through each episode, connecting the sketches, also will include musical performances by the group and musical guests.

The show's producers are looking for a writer. Because there will be a strong element of improvisation on the show, the script will provide structure for the episodes while giving Page, Hearn, Stewart, Creeggan and Robertson room to ad-lib.

I never miss BNL when they're in town and I can't wait to see the variety series. It can't be worse than the NickLacheyJessicaSimpson variety hour...

One should always aim at being interesting rather than exact

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