All of the networks ran through their “TV Upfront” presentations this past week. This is the time of year where they all announce next season’s new shows and let us know which of their current shows are on the chopping block.
As far as cancellations go for shows I’ve been watching (or, well, recording and not watching), there weren’t any huge surprises… Studio 60 is officially dead, Veronica Mars is as good as dead (although various pundits and execs keep dangling the vague possibility of hope for that one, I sincerely doubt it), and Jericho is toast.
I suppose I was mildly surprised about Jericho, but it didn’t really affect me because I never ended up watching the second half of the season. The first two eps after it returned were pretty damn awful, and I never worked up the desire to give it another chance.
As for the pick-ups, I was most worried about How I Met Your Mother (I accepted long ago that things were dire for Veronica Mars), but CBS thankfully picked that one up for another season. It’s easily the best traditional (three-camera, laugh track) sitcom on air, and I’d argue that it’s just as good as my favorite single-camera sitcoms on NBC.
Speaking of which, NBC has picked up their entire Thursday night sitcom line up for another year, which makes me plenty happy, as you might imagine. ABC also made an awesome decision and worked out a three-year plan for Lost so that the writers can actually start working towards the ending of their story.
The real treat for me, however, is always the new shows. I love nothing better than priming my DVR to record a bunch of brand-new shows that may or may not stick around. The following are the shows I’m looking forward to:
- NBC: Bionic Woman, Chuck (Created by Josh Schwartz. Looks like what would happen if Seth Cohen got wrapped up in super-spy intrigue), The IT Crowd (a remake of a throughly bizarre British show about IT workers), Journeyman
- CBS: Viva Laughlin (because it sounds so bizarre… it’s apparently “part drama, part thriller, part musical”)
- FOX: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (although FOX will cancel this after 3 episodes)
- ABC: Pushing Daisies, Sam I Am, Miss/Guided, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Big Shots, Cavemen (This is the show based on those Geico commercials. It will be hideous. I cannot look away.)
- CW: Reaper (a supernatural comedy/drama about a guy whose parents sold his soul to The Devil, played by Laura Palmer’s dad), Gossip Girl (Created by Josh Schwartz. Possibly too girly, but we’ll see.)
Of the five networks, NBC and ABC clearly have more shows that I’m interested in, but of the two networks, NBC’s shows look the most interesting. Out of everything coming out next year, I’m most excited about Bionic Woman and Chuck. Bionic Woman is obviously a remake of the 1970s show about a woman who is injured in a terrible accident and has parts of her body replaced with bionic limbs.
I think it’s kind of interesting that NBC has a “re-imagining” of a spin-off show, but the creative team behind the remake are the same folks who modernized Battlestar Galactica, which is one of my most favorite shows on TV right now. They’ve got quite the quality pedigree, and the cheesiness of the source material does not seem to affect how well the modern version turns out. Also, as you can see from the picture above, they’ve picked a gorgeous (British!) actress named Michelle Ryan to play the new Jaime Sommers.
ABC has a lot of shows that seem like they’ll have potential, but could go either way. From what Mike Ausellio says, Pushing Daisies is the next big ABC hit, so I’m looking forward to that the most. All of the other ABC shows look like they could go either way… except for Cavemen. Cavemen looks like a crime against television (if such a thing is possible), and I want to be there to see how things go down.
It’ll be fascinating to see which of these shows make it through the year… It’s a safe bet, however, that FOX will cancel something that will have its fans up in arms. This year it was Drive, which I never even bothered to watch because it was canceled after two weeks.