THIS WEEK IN TV - YET MORE NEW SHOWS * Surviving Suburbia premieres Monday on ABC. From the previews, I know it's got Bob Saget, and that's about it. The show was originally supposed to air on The CW in the Sunday time slot. But the first shows to occupy that timeslot (In Harm's Way, Valentine, and Easy Money) did so horribly that The CW replaced them with reruns of Jericho and movies from the '80s (which did frankly do much better). I don't want to get down on a show that hasn't aired yet, but the clips I saw on ABC's website didn't seem very funny. It probably didn't help that I had to watch a commercial before I could watch the commercial for the show that I was interested in finding more about. They really give you the idea that they'd rather you not watch videos on the internet in the first place. Regardless, I didn't see anything that I found funny in the 10 minutes I sat watching commercials. Did hear a whole lot of laugh track though. * Monday on CBS is the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, so no new shows for them. * Tuesday on ABC they've replaced the Dancing With The Stars Recap Show that sometimes airs before the live show with It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974) (The W at Amazon), followed by Charlie Brown's All Stars! (1966) (which is only available on a VHS that came out in 1996), though there is also a downloadable version available for $1.99. I watched the 2 minute preview and I learned that Charlie Brown, like Joe Morgan, hates statistics. Obviously since Easter isn't until Sunday (for Western churches; the Eastern [as in Eastern Europe] churches have Easter April 19th), ABC thinks this is the lowest rated hour on their schedule (and they'd be correct). Both shows also appear to be available online in a copyright infringing manner on an unnammed website that allows you to upload videos. * On FOX, American Idol is followed up with the return of Fringe. * Wednesday, ABC premieres The Unusuals, about a group of strange NYPD detectives. Looks to be a dramedy. It replaces Life On Mars which had its series finale last week.
Originally posted by the press release Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn) has just been transferred to the NYPD's Homicide unit from Vice and is instantly thrown into a setting of bullets and bodies. As she begins her new assignment, Casey finds that the force is full of secrets, which serves her well, since she's keeping a few of her own. But her first case is not an easy one, as she's assigned to investigate the death of one of the department's own, the former partner of Detective Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner), who is now her new partner. As the duo seeks out the cop killer, the secrets and eccentricities of the rest of the department begin to emerge. Prank-magnet and social climber Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox) has no qualms about stealing cases, as long as he can turn them into front-page stories; partners Eric Delahoy (Adam Goldberg), who is trying to get himself killed in the line of duty, and Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau), an overly cautious officer who refuses to remove his bulletproof vest, are polar opposites; and the very religious Detective Henry Cole (Josh Close) is trying to keep his secret past from both his streetwise partner, Alison Beaumont (Monique Gabriela Curnen), and Sgt. Brown (Terry Kinney), who is struggling to rid the 2nd precinct of corruption.
* Thursday brings us three more new shows. First on CBS is Harper's Island, a serialized murder-mystery drama. A wedding party gets trapped on an island due to bad weather, and they start dying one by one. Created by Ari Schlossberg, who previously wrote the movies Hide and Seek and Lucky 13. * Then on NBC we have the premiere of the Amy Poehler comedy Parks & Recreation. This is the show that NBC originally planned to be a spin-off of The Office, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, until the writers talked them out of it. Even if it's bad, I'll be there to watch all 6 episodes. I'm told there's only six because they knew they wanted Amy Poehler, and they needed to wait for her to be ready following the birth of her child. NBC has given this every opportunity to be seen by Office fans, having a new episode air before it and another new episode air after it. The TV writer for the Chicago Sun Times says the pilot isn't a slam dunk. But she posts some clips and I found them all amusing. * Finally, taking over in the ER timeslot is Southland, yet another police drama. * Saturday, it's the yearly airing of The Ten Commandments. Last year did a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. I'm curious to know whether that number will stay the same or go down, and what say, the last 10 years of ratings were. It's like those plastic hair wraps that old women wear. What stores sell those, and are they prepared for the future when no one is going to buy that stuff? Likewise, will there come a time when no one is interested in watching a 70 or 80 or 100 year old movie? By the way, The Ten Commandments is still the 5th highest grossing movie of all time when adjusted for inflation. And they adjust for the average ticket price, but they don't take into account the increase in population. For instance, E.T. made $400+ million when released in 1982. That means about 150 million people paid to see it, out of 231 million US residents. The Ten Commandments made $65 million in 1956, when the average ticket price was $.50. So 130 million paid to see it, when the population was 169 million. These are all estimates, but you get the idea. * The CW Sunday Night Movie is Cutthroat Island (1995), starring Matthew Modine and Geena Davis. Oddly enough, I just heard a song called "Matthew Modine" on Pandora yesterday. It was from the Canadian all-girl indy-rock band Pony Up. Might I recommend that you go to http://sixeyes.blogspot.com/2006/11/montreals-all-girl-band-pony-up.html and listen to that as well as "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" from their first full-length album.
TV RATINGS Last two columns tell how last week's episode did in comparison with the average episode of that show from last year, for shows that were on last year. It really gives you a sense of how some shows have dropped off. All shows that aired on Thursday have below average ratings because the ER finale did so well. I Get That A Lot! was pretty successful, so you can be pretty sure it'll be back some time in the future.
The series finale for LIFE ON MARS was beyond bizarre. I liked it, and the series ended on a decent note. I would have loved a second season, but they did well.
ER's series finale was pretty good, too. I started watching the series a few years ago, so the girlfriend got more out of it than I did, but it was good to watch. The retrospective beforehand was well done, as well.
Surviving Suburbia was fun...seeing the mom from Dead Like Me was pretty cool. It wasn't nearly as profane as the adverts leading up to the debut would suggest, but I'll give it a three episode chance before making a decision. If this fails, at least Sagat has his narration gig for HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.
The Unusuals and Parks & Recreation are already set on my DVR.
Useful Links FOX.com The W: FOX Preview thread Returning Shows Prison Break (9.1.8 - Fourth Season) Bones (9.3.8 - Fourth Season) Kitchen Nightmares (9.4.8 - Second Season) Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (9.5.8 - Third Season) COPS (9.6.