Fall TV Season – 2010

I gave up doing the watch list, because there are now like a billion TV blogs who do this coverage better than I do.

That doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest in the numbers, the new shows, the cancellations…

So far the Cancellation Grim Reaper has claimed 2 scalps:

LONE STAR (FOX)
MY GENERATION (ABC)

Ratings are low enough that the following shows may be in danger:

OUTLAW (NBC)
THE WHOLE TRUTH (ABC)
DETROIT 1-8-7 (ABC)
LIFE UNEXPECTED (CW)
MEDIUM (CBS)

You’ll notice the last two shows on that list are returning shows.  Unfortunately their ratings indicate this may be their last rodeo.

Posted under tv news, watch list

This post was written by Shawna Benson on October 4, 2010

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NBC 2010-11 fall schedule

From their press release. 

*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET

MONDAY

8-9 p.m. -  “Chuck”                     

9-10 p.m. –  “THE EVENT”       

10-11 p.m. -  “CHASE”      

TUESDAY

8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”

10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”  

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m. – “UNDERCOVERS”

9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”               

10-11 p.m. – “LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES”  

THURSDAY

8- 8:30 p.m. – “Community”              

8:30-9 p.m. – “30 Rock”

9-9:30 p.m. -  “The Office”    

9:30-10 p.m. -  “OUTSOURCED”     

10-11 p.m. -   “LOVE BITES”      

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m. – “Who Do You Think You Are?”/”SCHOOL PRIDE”    

9-10 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”            

10-11 p.m. – “OUTLAW”  

SATURDAY

Repeats  

SUNDAY      

7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”      

8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”  

SUNDAY (beginning March 2011)

7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”

8-9 p.m. – “Minute to Win It”

9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”

Posted under tv news

This post was written by Shawna Benson on May 16, 2010

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Paving Stones

It has been one of those weeks.

I don’t know how I got here, or why.  I already wasn’t sure where I started, and now the terrain is really unfamiliar.  It’s like when Q sent Voyager into the Gamma Quandrant…okay, too nerdy.  It’s not exactly a road to nowhere or a stairway to heaven or some other metaphorical place (Hotel California?) but it’s weird.

First, it started with the not sleeping thing.

That happens sometimes, I know.  To everyone.  But it had started happening more and more to me over the weeks following my unemployment, and it was as if I was building to some Mozart-style fever pitch insomnia this week.  For all I know, my own version of Solieri is going to pop out of my closet and help me write my own Death Fugue.

Yes, there will be a lot of movie and/or song metaphors coming up.

So my doctor prescribed Ambien (which, now that I look at that sentence, sounds EXACTLY like the commercial line, which would normally be followed by a horrifically long list of potential side effects).  Apparently Ambien should NOT be taken with alcohol…though, in my defense, I hadn’t actually had any alcohol for well over an hour before I took it.

And when I had taken it in the past, I took half.  Now, these pills are eeety bitty.  Teensy tiny.  You honestly think, ‘half a pill isn’t going to cut it if I’ve only been getting 2-3 hours of sleep every night” when you look at them, as I did.

So I took a whole one.

And then it was like some Hunter S. Thompson gonzo nightmare featuring The Lizard King.  I’ve never done drugs so I have no frame of reference, but if you had seen me when I awoke from this stupor, I looked like Johnny Depp swatting at imaginary bats.

So I won’t do that again.

But really, that trippy little experience was like a microcosm of my week, which, if you were around for the last chapter of the blog, included finding out a long distance friend of mine has been dead for 6 years.  That little revelation led me down the memory hole, back in time through the miracle of ones and zeros…sorting through emails that are more than 16 years old.

16 years.  I know there are a lot of people who have had a ‘net presence for longer than that, but I’ve spent nearly half my life in the virtual world.  Now some kids will spend their entire lives there.  But that virtual life led me to Jason, and to many other friends…and now I want to find them all.

Of course, they may not all want to be found.  I’m still looking for Meg, my friend in Junior High who improvised stuff in my friend’s basement that still makes me laugh (before she moved away a year later).  And I’ve lost track of Keely, Tom and Steve…who, if you knew who they were you’d understand how implausible that seems.  My best friend, Susan…she has such a small internet footprint, well, it doesn’t leave a mark.  I’ve lost her too over time.

And I don’t like to lose anybody.  I’ve lost enough in my lifetime, that I don’t really have people to spare.

Fortunately, I found a few people I had lost this week, and that has really encouraged me.  But I also found Jason.

It happens every fall, I guess – I get weirdly introspective and moody.  Usually I come out of it upon my return from Austin Film Festival.  Ah, AFF.  I cannot quit you, even in a recession.

So, I’m going.  Again.  To see the people I call me far flung writer friends, who I do not want to lose and maybe get some writing mojo injected into my veins.  With any luck, the usual World Series timed malaise will pass, and I’ll be back on track.

Or I’ll be with Johnny, in Bat Country.

Posted under randomness

This post was written by Shawna Benson on October 7, 2009

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The first victim

Congrats to the CW for beating Fox to the (usual) punch of canceling the first show of the new season!  CW handed walking papers to “The Beautiful Life” on Friday.  I never read it.  I never watched it.  It had zero appeal to me.  Still not sure why CW greenlit it (was it just the Ashton Kutcher involvement?  It couldn’t have been Mischa Barton).

A&E has canceled “The Cleaner.”  TBS confirmed that “The Bill Engvall Show” is no more.

And “Dollhouse”… what shall we do with you?

Re-runs of two ABC sitcoms from earlier in the week had more viewers.  You barely beat “Smallville.”

Perhaps Whedon fans need to get off their computers for one day and watch some flippin’ TV.

Just sayin’.

Posted under tv news, watch list

This post was written by Shawna Benson on September 26, 2009

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CW commits to Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place

CW has given back nine episode orders to Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place and One Tree Hill.

I’d hold back on those specs though…let’s see how the shows hold up until the end of the season.  Second seasons are NOT guaranteed yet.

Posted under tv news, watch list

This post was written by Shawna Benson on September 23, 2009

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Upfronts 2009: The CW announces fall schedule

[This is The CW press release.  My thoughts are at the bottom]

THE CW ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR 2009-2010 SEASON

A NEW SEASON OF TV TO TALK ABOUT LAUNCHES IN THE FALL WITH RETURNING HITS “GOSSIP GIRL,” “90210″ AND “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL,” ALONG WITH HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW SERIES “MELROSE PLACE,” “THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE” AND “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES”

Monday Night Stays Strong with Winning Team of Hit Dramas “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill”

Tuesday Night: “90210″ Returns for a Second Season in The Zip, Followed By New Updated Version of Iconic Drama “Melrose Place”

On Wednesdays, “America’s Next Top Model” Leads Into New Fashion-Fueled Drama “The Beautiful Life” From Producer Ashton Kutcher

New Drama “The Vampire Diaries” From Producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek”) and Julie Plec (“Kyle XY”) Teams with “Supernatural” For a Spine-Tingling Thursday Lineup

Fan-Favorite “Smallville” Moves to Friday Night, Followed by an Encore of “America’s Next Top Model”

New Drama Premieres Midseason: “Parental Discretion Advised”

May 21, 2009 (New York, New York) – The CW Network unveiled the schedule for its 2009-2010 season today at a presentation for advertisers, affiliates and national media in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The announcement was made by Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW.

“In just three years, The CW has become TV to talk about, with culturally current, quality programming,” said Ostroff. “Next fall, we will have great flow from Monday through Friday, starting with the Monday pairing of Gossip Girl’ and One Tree Hill,’ which made The CW one of the top destinations for young women this season. Tuesday night gives us a perfect match with 90210′ and Melrose Place.’ And what could be better than our Wednesday night shows from Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher the all-model lineup of America’s Next Top Model’ and The Beautiful Life.’ On Thursdays, The Vampire Diaries’ taps into the continuing fascination young women have with all things vampire, and makes the perfect lead-in for Supernatural,’ which is coming off its strongest year ever. Moving Smallville’ to Fridays gives us a major player with a loyal fan base to kick off the night. Top all that off with our heartwarming and humorous midseason drama Parental Discretion Advised,’ from writer/producer Liz Tigelaar, and we have a full slate of great programming to keep our viewers watching, chatting, texting and tweeting all next season.”

On Monday, the powerhouse combination of GOSSIP GIRL and ONE TREE HILL will remain in place. Last fall, this winning team made The CW the Number One network with women, and sent Monday night ratings up 118 percent in women 18-34. GOSSIP GIRL, which continues to be one of the most talked-about shows on television, will return to its 8:00-9:00 p.m. slot, followed by ONE TREE HILL from 9:00-10:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, 90210 returns for its sophomore season in the 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot. Last season, 90210 gave The CW its highest-rated series premiere ever and improved the 8:00 p.m. time period by 35 percent in women 18-34. The highly anticipated, updated version of the 1990s monster-hit drama MELROSE PLACE will premiere in the 9:00-10:00 p.m. timeslot. The new MELROSE PLACE features a dynamic ensemble of up-and-coming stars, along with two original cast members reprising the roles they made famous: Laura Leighton as Sydney Andrews and Thomas Calabro as Dr. Michael Mancini. MELROSE PLACE promises to deliver all the backstabbing and sizzle of the original series. And, as they did once before, 90210 and MELROSE PLACE will combine for a great night of television.

On Wednesday, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL returns in its successful 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot, followed by the glamorous new drama THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE. Last season, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL ranked second in its time period with young women. Tyra Banks is one of the few women who is seen regularly on both daytime and primetime television. Beginning this fall, The CW’s daytime block will feature two hours of THE TYRA BANKS SHOW, with an encore episode from 3:00-4:00 p.m. and an original episode from 4:00-5:00 p.m. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and THE TYRA BANKS SHOW provide perfect symmetry and a natural fit for The CW brand by targeting the same audience in both primetime and daytime.

New drama THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE joins TOP MODEL on Wednesdays. From producers Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg, Karey Burke, Mike Kelley and Carol Barbee, the fashion-based series gives viewers an exciting, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the cutthroat world of a group of young, beautiful and very sexy models living together in a models’ residence in New York City. The show features a stunning ensemble cast, featuring Sara Paxton (“Last House on the Left”), Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”) and supermodel Elle Macpherson (“Friends”). Together, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE will be television’s most fashionable night.

Thursdays go Goth with the new teaming of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES from 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by SUPERNATURAL in the 9:00-10:00 p.m. hour. Based on the best-selling series of books, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, and battling to control the fate of an entire town. Starring Nina Dobrev (“DeGrassi: The Next Generation”), Paul Wesley (“Mad Men”), Ian Somerhalder (“Lost”) and Steven R. McQueen (“Everwood”), THE VAMPIRE DIARIES makes the perfect new lead-in to SUPERNATURAL. Last season, SUPERNATURAL’s Winchester brothers gave the network ratings growth across key young demos, despite the highly competitive timeslot.

Big changes are in store on Fridays when SMALLVILLE relocates to the 8:00-9:00 p.m. hour, bringing young viewers from Thursday into Friday nights. With non-stop action and classic DC Comics characters from Lois Lane to Doomsday, SMALLVILLE continues to give loyal viewers the stories and characters they love.

The heartwarming and humorous drama PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED will premiere midseason. From writer/producer Liz Tigelaar, (“Brothers and Sisters”), PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED is the story of a young girl who finds her biological parents and how that discovery changes all their lives. The show stars Britt Robertson (“Swingtown”), Kristoffer Polaha (“Mad Men”), Shiri Appleby (“E.R.”) and Kerr Smith (“Eli Stone”).

Following is The CW’s 2009-2010 primetime schedule, a night-by-night breakdown and accompanying details on all the programs.

THE CW’s 2009-2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL

9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM 90210

9:00-10:00 PM MELROSE PLACE (New Series)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL

9:00-10:00 PM THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (New Series)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (New Series)

9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM SMALLVILLE (New night)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 P.M. “GOSSIP GIRL”

Returning for its third season, GOSSIP GIRL is a one-hour drama based on an exclusive group of privileged teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side whose lives revolve around the blog of the all-knowing albeit ultra-secretive Gossip Girl. No one knows Gossip Girl’s identity, but everyone in this exclusive and complicated vicious circle relies on her website and text messages for the latest scoop. The series stars Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen, Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf, Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald, Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey, Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass, Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams, Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen and Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey. Filmed in New York and based on the popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, GOSSIP GIRL is from Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “The O.C.”), Stephanie Savage (“The O.C.”), Bob Levy (“Privileged”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Privileged”), John Stephens (“Gilmore Girls,” “The O.C.”), and co-executive producer Joshua Safran.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “ONE TREE HILL”

In season seven of ONE TREE HILL our beloved characters learn the struggle to live an exceptional life doesn’t end once you’ve achieved your dreams. Whether they found true love, answered a call to greatness, or sought redemption for sins of the past, nothing that’s come before compares to the challenges our characters now face to keep their dreams alive, their friendships intact and their lives full in the place they call home. ONE TREE HILL was created by Mark Schwahn and is executive produced by Schwahn, Joe Davola, Greg Prange, Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. ONE TREE HILL is a Mastermind Laboratories and Tollin/Robbins Production in association with Warner Bros. Television.

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 P.M. “90210″

The second season of “90210″ focuses on the West Beverly group as they begin their all-important Junior year. They’ll go through all the ordinary teenage struggles and triumphs crushes, sexual discovery, academic pressure, evolving friendships, shunning and isolation, love and relationships, family issues, SATs, STDs, a desire to fit in, a desire to stand out, fear and humiliation, joy and exultation but they’ll do so in the extraordinary world of LA a world of movie stars and overnight success, glamour and glitz, surfing and sunshine; a city where the American dream is writ large in the Hills and yet failure could come around any corner of the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. We’ll follow Naomi, the well-meaning, but delightfully narcissistic rich girl with a heart of cubic zirconium; Adrianna, the gifted, artistic drama queen whose personal life is as dramatic as any role she could hope to play; Silver, the outspoken free spirit who marches to the beat of her own drum machine; Annie, the good girl from Kansas who has gotten a bit lost in the land of Oz; Dixon, her charming, good-natured brother who adapts easily to any challenging situation and yet is still struggling to find his own voice; Navid, whose geeky charm makes all the Blaze girls swoon; and Liam, the troubled New York transplant who abhors the decadent materialistic world of Beverly Hills. These stories could only happen in LA…and only on “90210.” The series stars Rob Estes as Harry Wilson, Lori Loughlin as Debbie Wilson, Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson, Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson, AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark, Ryan Eggold as Ryan Matthews, Jessica Stroup as Silver, Michael Steger as Navid Shirazi, Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan and Matt Lanter as Liam Court. 90210 is produced by CBS Television Studios with executive producer Rebecca Sinclair.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “MELROSE PLACE” (New Series)

In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, the original “Melrose Place”) is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos, “Shark”). Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, the original “Melrose Place”). Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, “Supernatural”), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career. Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield, “All My Children”). After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie’s sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding Sydney since she began drinking again. The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady, “Swingtown”), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), a first-grade teacher. The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, “7th Heaven”), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way. An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (“Smallville”). Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) is the director and executive producer of the pilot.

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 P.M. “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL”

Returning with its thirteenth and fourteenth cycles, the runaway runway hit series stars Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Daniel Soiseth (“Hell’s Kitchen”). The reality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE” (New Series)

The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful faade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition. Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left”), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line”), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy. When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen (appearing in a cameo role), she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja (Mischa Barton, “The O.C.”). Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel. While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by agent Simon Lockridge (newcomer Dusan Dukic) of the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson, “Friends”). At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera. That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”), Egan (Jordan Woolley, “As The World Turns”), Issac (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical 2″) and the current alpha-male-model known as Kai (Nico Tortorella, “Twelve”). At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career. However, after an ugly scene with Simon, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame. THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE is from Katalyst Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Ashton Kutcher & Jason Goldberg (“True Beauty,” “Punk’d”), Karey Burke (“True Beauty”), Mike Kelley (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”) and Carol Barbee (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”). Christian Duguay (“Coco Chanel”) directed the pilot.

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 P.M. “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES” (New Series)

Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, “DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, “Everwood”) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives. Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world. As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, “Army Wives”). Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, “Lost”) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality. Now these two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – are at war for Elena’s soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is from Alloy Entertainment and Bonanza Productions Inc in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer”), Julie Plec (“Kyle XY,” “Wasteland”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”) and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”). Marcos Siega (“Dexter”) directed the pilot.

9:00-10:00 P.M “SUPERNATURAL”

Returning for its fifth season, this haunting series follows Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers bound by tragedy and blood to their dangerous, other-worldly mission. This past season, Dean was rescued from Hell by the angel Castiel, who told Dean he was meant to avert the impending Apocalypse, as well as Lucifer rising from Hell. As the brothers were caught up in the epic battle between angels and demons, Sam and Dean found their relationship was strained almost to the breaking point until ultimately, both brothers were betrayed. Now, in season five, they must battle the Devil himself. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Misha Collins as Castiel). SUPERNATURAL is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, with executive producers McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The O.C.”), Eric Kripke (“Boogeyman”) and Robert Singer (“Midnight Caller”).

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 P.M. “SMALLVILLE”

Returning for its ninth season, last season SMALLVILLE was filled with twists and surprises, starting with the disappearance of Lex Luthor. However, someone quickly arrived to take his place the enticing Tess Mercer. As Tess maneuvered her way through town, she flirted with her old flame Oliver Queen, discovered Clark’s true identity and unleashed a new world of danger. As if that hurdle wasn’t enough for Clark, he also met his greatest match Doomsday. SMALLVILLE explored the origins of Doomsday, revealing a sympathetic guy named Davis Bloome, who battled an inner demon the Doomsday character fans have loved to hate for years. When Clark wasn’t busy battling the beast, he was knee-deep in work at the Daily Planet. Last season threw Clark and Lois Lane together literally across the desk from each other. As Clark’s persona as the cub Planet reporter emerged, so did his feelings for Lois, the fated love of his life. The series stars Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen and Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer. Reinterpreting the Superman mythology from its roots, SMALLVILLE was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”), based on the DC Comics characters. Copy/pasted from Futon Critic Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson serve as executive producers, along with James Marshall, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. SUPERMAN was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL” (Encore Presentation).

MIDSEASON

“PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED” (New Series)

After spending all of her 15 years bouncing from one foster family to another in Portland, Oregon, Lux (Britt Robertson, “Swingtown”) has decided it’s time to take control of her life and become an emancipated minor. Her journey through the legal maze leads Lux to her biological father, 30-something Nate “Baze” Bazile (Kristoffer Polaha, “Mad Men”), who owns a bar, lives like an aging frat-boy with two slacker roommates, and is astonished to learn that he has a teenage daughter. Lux is equally astonished when Baze reveals that her mother is Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby, “E.R.”), a star on the local “Morning Madness” radio show, along with her on-air partner and real-life boyfriend, Ryan Thomas (Kerr Smith, “Eli Stone”). Lux has been listening to Cate’s voice on the radio as long as she can remember, so she feels an instant connection with the mom she’s never met. Baze takes Lux to meet Cate, who is shocked and saddened to learn that Lux has grown up in foster care, but thrilled to finally meet her beautiful daughter. When a judge decides that Lux isn’t ready for emancipation and unexpectedly grants temporary joint custody to Baze and Cate, they agree to try to get past the awkwardness and make a belated attempt to give Lux the family she deserves. PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED is produced by Mojo Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Liz Tigelaar (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) and Gary Fleder (“October Road”). Gary Fleder directed the pilot.

My thoughts:

Honestly, part of me just doesn’t care.  I mean, I know I should — this is scripted TV, right?  Well, some of it.  Sure, go spec 90210 or Gossip Girl.  I suppose I hold out some curiosity for Vampire Diaries and Melrose Place, but truly…I Just. Don’t. CARE.

Meh.

Posted under analysis, tv news

This post was written by Shawna Benson on May 21, 2009

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Upfronts 2009: CBS announces fall schedule

[The press release from CBS is below.  My thoughts are at the bottom]

CBS, the only major broadcast network to grow its audience in all key ratings measures this season, announced today the addition of four new series to strengthen its already top rated primetime lineup for the Fall 2009-2010 season.  

 

The new series include three dramas and one comedy.  Chris O’Donnell and LL COOL J star in NCIS: LOS ANGELES, a spinoff from the hit drama NCIS; THE GOOD WIFE stars Emmy® Award winner Julianna Margulies in a legal drama about a steadfast wife and mother who boldly returns to work as a lawyer when her husband is imprisoned for a high profile political scandal; THREE RIVERS, a medical drama  that stars Alex O’Loughlin as the head of  a  renowned transplant surgery team, and  ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE stars Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman in an ensemble comedy about a successful, single journalist who accidentally gets pregnant by a much younger man.

 

The freshmen series will join 18 returning series on the current CBS schedule.

 

CBS will return the season’s #1 drama/scripted program — CSI; #1 comedy — TWO AND A HALF MEN; #1 new series — THE MENTALIST and the #1 news magazine – 60 MINUTES, along with two franchise reality series — SURVIVOR and the six-time Emmy Award winner THE AMAZING RACE.

  

The other returning series include: THE BIG BANG THEORY, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CSI: MIAMI, NCIS,  THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE; GARY UNMARRIED, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: NY,  GHOST WHISPERER,  NUMB3RS, 48 HOURS MYSTERY and COLD CASE.

 

Ordered for midseason is a new fast-paced medical drama, MIAMI TRAUMA, from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer; the new police drama THE BRIDGE; the returning comedy RULES OF ENGAGEMENT; and the new alternative series ARRANGED MARRIAGE and UNDERCOVER BOSS.

 

On the strength of its scripted series, and the success of its two reality franchises, CBS will win the 2008-2009 television season in viewers, its sixth victory in the past seven years, and in adults 25-54 (projected tie with Fox). CBS is the ONLY network to post ratings gains over the last season in all key measures: +12% in viewers, + 3% in adults 18-49, and +8% in adults 25-54.

 

            This top-rated schedule will serve as the springboard to introduce four new series — all of which have established franchises as a lead-in.

 

The 2009-2010 schedule:

 

On Mondays at 8:00 PM, the critically acclaimed ensemble comedy HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER opens the night and serves as a strong lead-in for the new comedy ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE at 8:30 PM. From 9:00-10:00 PM, television’s top comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN and the genius comedy THE BIG BANG THEORY form a power comedy hour. CSI: MIAMI, a perennial time period winner, completes the night at 10:00 PM.

 

On Tuesdays, NCIS kicks off the night at 8:00 PM, providing a seamless lead-in for its spin off NCIS: LOS ANGELES at 9:00 PM, followed by new legal drama THE GOOD WIFE at 10:00 PM.

 

Wednesday returns intact with the comedy block THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE and GARY UNMARRIED from 8:00-9:00 PM, as well as the crime drama tandem of CRIMINAL MINDS and CSI: NY from 9:00-11:00 PM. 

 

On Thursdays at 8:00 PM, SURVIVOR returns to the time period it has won every year since 2004.   And from 9:00-11:00 PM, CBS is pairing television’s #1 drama, CSI, with television’s  #1 new series, THE MENTALIST. 

 

On Friday, CBS plans to add the popular drama series MEDIUM at 9:00 PM, starring Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette, to its top-rated Friday night lineup, forming a hauntingly compatible two-hour block with GHOST WHISPERER at 8:00 PM.  NUMB3RS caps the night at 10:00 PM.

  

The Saturday night lineup remains intact, anchored by the night’s highest-rated show, 48 HOURS MYSTERY.

 

As always, 60 MINUTES kicks off Sundays at 7:00 PM, followed by the six-time Emmy Award winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM, which leads into the new medical drama THREE RIVERS at 9:00 PM. The crime drama COLD CASE anchors at 10:00 PM.

 

The new DRAMAS:

 

NCIS: LOS ANGELES is a drama about the high stakes world of undercover surveillance at the Office of Special Projects (OSP), a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals that pose a threat to the nation’s security.  By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets.  Special Agent “G” Callen (Chris O’Donnell) is a chameleon who transforms himself into whomever he needs to be to infiltrate the criminal underworld.  His partner is Special Agent Sam Hanna (LL COOL J), a former U.S. Navy SEAL who has seen action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and a surveillance expert who uses state of the art monitoring equipment to look out for those in the field and feed them crucial information.  Both Callen and Hanna report to Special Agent Lara Macy (Louise Lombard), the OSP team leader responsible for directing the operations and making life-or-death decisions.  Assisting the team is Special Agent Kensi Lo (Daniela Ruah), the exceptionally bright daughter of a slain Marine who lives for the adrenalin rush that comes with undercover work, and Operational Psychologist Nate Getz (Peter Cambor), adept at getting into anybody’s head, profiling the target and monitoring agents’ states of mind before, during and after missions.  Armed with the latest in high tech gear and sent regularly into life-threatening situations, this tight-knit team relies on each other to do what is necessary to protect national interests.  Shane Brennan (“NCIS”) is the executive producer for CBS Television Studios.

 

THE GOOD WIFE  is a drama starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as a wife and mother who must assume full responsibility for her family and re-enter the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail.  Pushing aside the betrayal and crushing public humiliation caused by her husband Peter (Chris Noth), Alicia Florrick (Margulies) starts over by pursuing her original career as a defense attorney.  As a junior associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, she joins her longtime friend, former law school classmate and firm partner Will Gardner (Josh Charles), who is interested to see how Alicia will perform after 13 years out of the courtroom. Alicia is grateful the firm’s top litigator, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), offers to mentor her but discovers the offer has conditions and realizes she’s going to need to succeed on her own merit.  Alicia’s main competition among the firm’s 20-something new recruits is Cary (Matt Czuchry), a recent Harvard grad who is affable on the surface, but will use any means to ensure that he, not Alicia, secures the one full-time associate position that’s available.  Fortunately, Alicia finds an ally in Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the firm’s tough in-house investigator.  Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient career woman, especially for the sake of providing a stable home for her children, 14-year-old Zach (Graham Phillips) and 13-year-old Grace (Makenzie Vega).  For the first time in years, Alicia trades in her identity as the “good wife” and takes charge of her own destiny.  Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, Dee Johnson and David Zucker are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

 

THREE RIVERS is a medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts.  However, dealing with donor families in their darkest hour and managing the fears and concerns of apprehensive recipients takes much more than just a sharp scalpel.  Leading the elite team is Dr. Andy Yablonski (Alex O’Loughlin), the highly-skilled workaholic lead organ transplant surgeon, whose good-natured personality and sarcastic wit makes him popular with his patients and colleagues.  His colleagues include Dr. Miranda Foster (Katherine Moennig), a surgical fellow with a rebellious streak and fiery temper who strives to live up to her deceased father’s excellent surgical reputation; Dr. David Lee (Daniel Henney), a womanizing surgical resident who’s broken as many hearts as he’s replaced; Ryan Abbott (Christopher J. Hanke), the inexperienced new transplant coordinator who arranges the intricately choreographed process of quickly and carefully transporting organs from donor to patient; Dr. Sophia Jordan (Julia Ormond), the head of surgery and a dedicated medical professional; and Pam Acosta (Justina Machado), Andy’s no-nonsense operating assistant and best friend.  In this high stakes arena, in which every case is a race against the clock, these tenacious surgeons and medical professionals are the last hope for their patients.  Carol Barbee, Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

 

 

The new COMEDY:

 

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is a comedy starring Golden Globe Award winner Jenna Elfman as Billie, a single woman who finds herself “accidentally” pregnant after a one-night stand with a much younger guy, and decides to keep the baby… and the guy.  A newspaper film critic, Billie is barely surviving a humiliating breakup with her charming boss, James (Grant Show), who’s still trying to resume their relationship.  Suddenly expecting a child with her “boy toy,” Zack (Jon Foster), Billie and Zack make an arrangement: to live together platonically. Billie’s party girl best friend Olivia (Ashley Jensen), and Abby (Lennon Parham), her conventional, younger married sister, eagerly look forward to the new addition and offer their own brands of advice and encouragement.  But when Zack and his freeloading friends, including Davis (Nicolas Wright), start to turn her place into a frat house, Billie isn’t sure if she’s living with a boyfriend, a roommate, or if she just has another child to raise.  Lloyd Braun, Gail Berman, Gene Stein and Claudia Lonow are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.  Pamela Fryman directed the pilot.

 

 

The new MIDSEASON DRAMAS:

 

THE BRIDGE is a drama about a tough and dedicated police officer who is voted to become the police union’s dynamic leader.  To serve the public as well as his 8,000 fellow officers, charismatic Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas) battles criminals on the street, corruption in the ranks and his own bosses.  On the force is his able partner and confidante Tommy Dunn (Paul Popowich), who rides with Frank across the bridge that spans the divide between the rich and the poor in the area they patrol; Staff Sergeant Bernie Kantor (Frank Cassini), a voice of reason and moral sounding board; Jill (Inga Cadranel), a detective with a lot of attitude who is moving up the ranks; Billy (Theresa Joy), a young female cop who is determined to prove herself to the guys; and Ed Wycoff (Michael Murphy), the shrewd Chief of Police.  Abby St. James (Ona Grauer) is a sharp prosecutor who begins working with the police union, and shares a mutual attraction with Frank.  In his new position, Frank Leo takes on the politically-motivated department brass… and makes many powerful enemies in the process.  Craig Bromell, Adam J. Shully, Laszlo Barna, Alan Di Fiore and Robert Wertheimer are executive producers for E1 Entertainment, 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company and Jonsworth Productions in association with CTV and CBS Television Studios.

 

MIAMI TRAUMA is about a team of expert surgeons who work at one of the premiere trauma facilities in the country, where only patients with life threatening injuries are treated.  Dr. Matthew Proctor (Jeremy Northam) is new to the trauma team, after a tour of duty in a MASH unit during the Gulf war.  Dr. Eva Zambrano (Lana Parrilla) is a workaholic surgeon who is more comfortable in her scrubs than she is out in the real world.  Dr. Christopher Deleo, “Dr. C.,” is a playboy who thrives on the high-stakes of trauma medicine and is, by his own description, a genius redneck.  Dr. Serena Warren (Elisabeth Harnois) is fresh out of medical school, and head nurse Tuck Brody (Omar Gooding) keeps the doctors on track and the patients’ families updated in this chaotic corner of the medical profession.  Together, this team of doctors excels in the “golden hour,” the 60 minutes after being critically injured, when a patient’s life hangs in the balance.  Jerry Bruckheimer, Jeffrey Lieber and Jonathan Littman are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

 

 

The new MIDSEASON ALTERNATIVE series:

 

ARRANGED MARRIAGE is a series that brings the tradition of arranged marriages, which is still practiced successfully by many cultures throughout the world, to the U.S., where it is virtually an inconceivable option for most single Americans.  Three adults who are anxious to get married, but who have been unsuccessful in their own search for a mate, choose a life-altering path.  They rely on their closest family and friends, those who love and know them best, to choose someone for them to marry based on shared goals, values, experiences and the commitment to make it work.  The series intimately documents these three arranged marriages, starting with the first meetings of the families and the wedding day; and then follows the couple through the day-to-day joys, challenges, and emotional tumult that results from their arranged union.  Emmy Award nominees Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth are executive producers for Magical Elves Inc.

 

UNDERCOVER BOSS is a new reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the lowest level jobs within their companies.  Once undercover, they’ll get their hands dirty with the rank and file, find out what their employees REALLY think of them and discover how smoothly their companies are REALLY run.  In the process, these senior executives learn about themselves, the perception of their company and the spirit of their work force.  Stephen Lambert is the executive producer for Studio Lambert, Ltd. 

 

 

 

Following is the 2009-2010 CBS Television Network primetime schedule:

 

CBS TELEVISON NETWORK

2009-2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)

 

MONDAY

8:00-8:30 PM              HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (NT)

8:30-9:00 PM              ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (N)

9:00-9:30 PM              TWO AND A HALF MEN

9:30-10:00 PM            THE BIG BANG THEORY (NT)

10:00-11:00 PM          CSI: MIAMI

 

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              NCIS

9:00-10:00 PM            NCIS: LOS ANGELES (N)

10:00-11:00 PM          THE GOOD WIFE (N)

 

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 PM              THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE

8:30-9:00 PM              GARY UNMARRIED

9:00-10:00 PM            CRIMINAL MINDS

10:00-11:00 PM          CSI: NY

 

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              SURVIVOR

9:00-10:00 PM            CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

10:00-11:00 PM          THE MENTALIST (NT)

 

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              GHOST WHISPERER

9:00-10:00 PM            MEDIUM

10:00-11:00 PM          NUMB3RS

 

SATURDAY

8:00-9:00 PM              CRIMETIME SATURDAY

9:00-10:00 PM            CRIMETIME SATURDAY

10:00-11:00 PM          48 HOURS MYSTERY

 

SUNDAY

7:00-8:00 PM              60 MINUTES

8:00-9:00 PM              THE AMAZING RACE

9:00-10:00 PM            THREE RIVERS (N)

10:00-11:00 PM          COLD CASE (NT)

 

My thoughts:

 

The Good: I think CBS may finally have fixed their Friday night problem.  As goofy as it may seem to have Ghost Whisperer and Medium on the SAME network, they are very compatible shows.  They will continue to dominate on one of the weakest nights.  Recognizing that Without a Trace was near the end of the road was wise, and moving The Mentalist to Thursday, though it may seem risky is probably the smartest move on the schedule.

 

The Bad: New show Three Rivers (victory for the Moonlight/Alex O. fans) will have to go up against Desperate Housewives.  Is there enough weakness in that show to help build an audience for Three Rivers?  And really? Did the NCIS spin off have to follow the CSI naming practice?  Because really — isn’t it confusing enough with all the NY, Miami, etc on their schedule?

 

Bottom Line: CBS continues to project stability with its schedule.  They have embraced who they are and what they do well and are moving away from risks like Harper’s Island and Jericho.  They continue to give their audience what they want and respond to.

 

New Shows to Spec: The Mentalist, Gary Unmarried (?)

 

Still viable Specs: CSI:NY, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Medium (?)

 

Possibly too old to Spec: CSI, CSI:Miami, Numb3rs, Cold Case, Two and a Half Men

 

Posted under analysis, tv news

This post was written by Shawna Benson on May 20, 2009

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Upfronts 2009: ABC announces fall schedule

[Here is the ABC press release.  My comments are at the bottom.]

ABC UNVEILS 2009-10 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

New Series Include “Cougar Town,” “The Deep End,” “Eastwick,” “Flash Forward,” “The Forgotten,” “Hank,” “Happy Town,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family,” “Shark Tank” and “V”

“Better Off Ted,” “Castle,” “Scrubs” and “True Beauty” Join Previously Announced Returning Series “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “The Bachelor,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Private Practice,” “Supernanny,” “Ugly Betty,” “Wife Swap” and “20/20″

Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment Group, today outlined ABC’s plans for next season and unveiled the network’s 2009-10 fall schedule before the advertising and media communities at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

New fall and midseason series include “Cougar Town,” “The Deep End,” “Eastwick,” “Flash Forward,” “The Forgotten,” “Hank,” “Happy Town,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family,” “Shark Tank” and “V.”

“Better Off Ted,” “Castle,” “Scrubs” and “True Beauty” join previously announced returning series “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “The Bachelor,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Private Practice,” “Supernanny,” “Ugly Betty,” “Wife Swap” and “20/20.” “Saturday Night College Football” will also return.

“Our focus is always on delivering the best stories with the most memorable characters on TV, whether that’s established audience favorites or innovative new shows,” said McPherson. “This year we’ve got the best of both. We’re headed into the season with a strong slate of returning series as well as great new shows from one of our best development seasons ever.”

For the 2008-09 TV season, ABC claims four of the top 10 highest-rated TV series in Adults 18-49, including the top two scripted shows with “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” For the fourth straight season, the Network remains a top destination for upscale viewers, delivering five of the top 15 highest-rated TV series and three of the top four scripted shows among Adults 18-49 in homes w/$100K+ annual income. During the fall, the Net finished No. 1 in the November Sweep among Adults 18-49 for the fourth year in a row. ABC’s audience is growing in 2009, delivering across-the-board gains over the same point last year: Total Viewers +2%, Adults 18-34 +14%, Adults 18-49 +4% and Adults 25-54 +3%.

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. However “Shark Tank” will premiere over the summer following the special 10th anniversary primetime return of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and will then move to Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. Please note shows picked up but not listed on the schedule will debut later in the 2009-10 season.

ABC’s fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern):

DAY TIME SERIES

MONDAY:
8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (two-hours)
10:00 p.m. “Castle”

TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m.
“Shark Tank”
9:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00 p.m. “The Forgotten”

WEDNESDAY:
8:00 p.m. “Hank”
8:30 p.m. “The Middle”
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “Cougar Town”
10:00 p.m. “Eastwick”

THURSDAY:
8:00 p.m. “Flash Forward”
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Private Practice”

FRIDAY:
8:00 p.m. “Supernanny”
9:00 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
10:00 p.m. “20/20″

SATURDAY:
8:00 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”

SUNDAY:
7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10:00 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters”

“The Bachelor” will air Monday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. following the run of “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Scrubs” and “Better Off Ted” will air at 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., respectively, following the run of “Dancing with the Stars The Results Show.”

NEW FALL AND MIDSEASON SERIES

DRAMA

“THE DEEP END”

Each year one of LA’s most prestigious law firms recruits four young lawyers from the finest law schools worldwide. The only way for these first-years to survive is to support each othereven as they compete against one another in the cutthroat arena of high-end law. Sex, greed, romance, betrayal it’s all part of being a first year associate at Sterling Law.

“The Deep End” stars Matt Long as Dylan Hewitt, Ben Lawson as Liam Priory, Tina Majorino as Addy Fisher, Norbert Leo Butz as Rowdy Kaiser, Leah Pipes as Beth Bancroft, Billy Zane as Cliff Huddle, Sherri Saum as Susan Oppenheim and Clancy Brown as Hart Sterling.

The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television. David Hemingson is executive producer/writer. The pilot was directed by Michael Fresco.

“EASTWICK”

Three very different women find themselves drawn together by a mysterious man who unleashes unique powers in each of them, and this small New England town will never be the same. The series is based on the popular movie “The Witches of Eastwick” and on the novel of the same title by John Updike.

“Eastwick” stars Rebecca Romijn as Roxie Torcoletti, Lindsay Price as Joanna Frankel, Jamie Ray Newman as Kat Gardener, Paul Gross as Darryl Van Horne, Sara Rue as Penny, Veronica Cartwright as Bun, Johann Urb as Will, Jon Bernthal as Raymond and Ashley Benson as Mia.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Maggie Friedman is executive producer/writer. The pilot was directed by David Nutter.

“FLASH FORWARD”

When a mysterious event causes the entire world to black out, humanity is given a glimpse into its near future, and every man, woman and child is forced to come to grips with whether their destinies can be avoided or fulfilled.

Adapting award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer’s revolutionary novel, executive producers David S. Goyer (visionary co-writer of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”) and Brannon Braga (“24,” “Star Trek: Enterprise”) invite you to embark on a journey to answer the question, “if you knew what your future held, what would you do?”

“Flash Forward” stars Joseph Fiennes as Mark Benford, John Cho as Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Lloyd Simcoe, Sonya Walger as Olivia Benford, Courtney B. Vance as Stan Wedeck, Brian O’Byrne as Aaron Stark, Christine Woods as Janis Hawk, Zachary Knighton as Bryce Varley and Peyton List as Nicole.

The series is from ABC Studios. David S. Goyer is executive producer/writer/director. Brannon Braga is executive producer and co-wrote the pilot. Other executive producers are Marc Guggenheim, Jessika Goyer, Vince Gerardis and Ralph Vicinanza. Guggenheim will be the showrunner, along with Goyer.

“THE FORGOTTEN”

From executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer comes a crime show in which a team of dedicated amateurs work on cases involving unidentified victims. After the police have given up, this group must first solve the puzzle of the victim’s identity in order to then help catch the killer. They work to give the deceased back their names, lest they become — The Forgotten.

“The Forgotten” stars Rupert Penry-Jones as Alex, Reiko Aylesworth as Linda, Michelle Borth as Candace, Bob Stephenson as Walter, Anthony Carrigan as Tyler and Rochelle Aytes as Detective Grace Russell.

The series is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. Television. Mark Friedman is executive producer/writer, Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman are executive producers, KristieAnne Reed is co-executive producer and Danny Cannon is executive producer/director.

“HAPPY TOWN”

Haplin, Minnesota, “Happy Town,” is approaching almost a decade of peace after being riddled for years by unsolved kidnappings. But in the wake of this small town’s first crime in seven years, some dark truths are being revealed about some familiar faces. They say every town has its secrets that doesn’t even begin to describe Happy Town.

“Happy Town” stars Geoff Stults as Tommy Conroy, Lauren German as Henley, Amy Acker as Rachel Conroy, Dean Winters as John Haplin, John Patrick Amedori as Andrew Haplin, Sarah Gadon as Georgia Bravin, Jay Paulson as Larry Root Beer’ Rogers, Robert Wisdom as Roger Hobbes and Sam Neill as Merritt Grieves.

The series is from ABC Studios. Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg are executive producers and co-writers. The pilot was directed by Gary Fleder, who is also an executive producer.

“V”

“V” is a re-imagining of the 1980′s miniseries about the world’s first encounter with an alien race in which the aliens call themselves The Visitors, and have a seemingly friendly agenda that may or may not be a cover for something more malevolent.

“V” stars Elizabeth Mitchell as Erica Evans, Morris Chestnut as Ryan Nichols, Joel Gretsch as Father Jack Landry, Lourdes Benedicto as Valerie Stevens, Logan Huffman as Tyler Evans, Laura Vandervoort as Lisa, with Morena Baccarin as Anna and Scott Wolf as Chad Decker.

The series is produced by HDFilms in association with Warner Bros. Television. Scott Peters is executive producer/writer and Steve Pearlman and Jace Hall are executive producers. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Yves Simoneau.

COMEDY

“COUGAR TOWN”

Courteney Cox stars as a recently divorced single mother exploring the honest truths about dating and aging in our beauty and youth obsessed culture.

“Cougar Town” stars Courteney Cox as Jules, Christa Miller as Elle, Busy Philipps as Laurie, Dan Byrd as Travis, Brian Van Holt as Bobby, Josh Hopkins as Grayson and Ian Gomez as Andy.

The series is from ABC Studios. Bill Lawrence is executive producer/writer/director, Kevin Biegel is writer/co-executive producer, and Courteney Cox and David Arquette are executive producers.

“HANK”

Kelsey Grammer stars in this timely comedy as Hank Pryor, a titan of industry who suddenly finds himself out of work, almost out of money and around a wife and kids for whom he’s never made much time. Despite his recent setbacks, however, Hank is confident he’s on the road back to the top. He knows he is destined to return to greatness. And he is just not the greatness he imagines.

“Hank” stars Kelsey Grammer as Hank, Melinda McGraw as Tilly, David Koechner as Grady, Macey Cruthird as Maddie and Ryan Wynott as Henry.

The series is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with McMonkey Inc., Grammnet Productions, Werner Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. It is written by Tucker Cawley. Tom Werner, Tucker Cawley, Kelsey Grammer and Mike Clements serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by James Burrows.

“THE MIDDLE”

The Hecks are a middle class family living in the middle of Indiana, just trying to keep their heads above water. Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton stars as a wife and mother of three in a comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.

“The Middle” stars Patricia Heaton as Frankie, Neil Flynn as Mike, Eden Sher as Sue, Atticus Shaffer as Brick and Charlie McDermott as Axel.

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline are executive producers/writers and Werner Walian is producer. The pilot was directed by Julie Anne Robinson.

“MODERN FAMILY”

Today’s American families come in all shapes and sizes. Shot from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, this comedy takes a modern look at the complications that come with being a family in 2009.

“Modern Family” stars Ed O’Neill as Jay, Sofa Vergara as Gloria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron, Ty Burrell as Phil, Julie Bowen as Claire, Sarah Hyland as Haley, Rico Rodriguez as Manny, Nolan Gould as Luke and Ariel Winter as Alex.

The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are executive producers. The pilot was directed by Jason Winer.

ALTERNATIVE SERIES

“SHARK TANK”

From Mark Burnett, executive producer of “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” and Sony Pictures Television comes “Shark Tank,” an exciting new reality show that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and become successful and possibly wealthy business people. But the entrepreneurs must first try to convince five tough, multi-millionaire tycoons to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they need to jumpstart their ideas.

In these trying economic times, it’s difficult for an individual possessing a dream or even a working small business poised for growth to get a loan for a risky venture. Whether it be an imaginative enhancement for an existing product, a family recipe that has all the ingredients to become a profitable culinary treat, or the latest technological gadget that could take the world by storm, most of these dreams die an early death because no one dared take a financial chance on someone with an unproven and oftentimes outrageous proposal. Many of these people now see “Shark Tank” as their last chance at success. Some have been laboring on their ideas for years or even decades, have invested large amounts of money, and are being pressured to throw in the towel by friends and family. Others have simply never had access to the means to live out their dreams, until now.

Enter the Sharks of “Shark Tank” Barbara Corcoran (Manhattan real estate titan), Kevin Harrington (king of infomercials), Robert Herjavec (technology tycoon), Daymond John (fashion mogul) and Kevin O’Leary (venture capitalist) five multi-millionaires who lifted themselves up by their bootstraps to make their own entrepreneurial dreams come true and turned their ideas into empires.

Each week ambitious entrepreneurs from across the country will present their breakthrough business concepts, products, properties and services to the panel of ruthless investors. Their goal is to convince these merciless moguls to invest their own dollars in the concept. Convincing real-life millionaires to part with their own money is no easy task, because when the idea is poor, the Sharks will tear into the ill-prepared presenters and pass on the idea with a simple, “I’m out!” — sending them running for the exit.

But these Sharks aren’t just out for blood, they too have a goal: to own a piece of the next big idea. Entrepreneurs will be asked to give up a percentage of their companies’ equity to the Sharks in order to get the investment they need. But when the Sharks hear a really top-notch idea, and more than one of them wants to sink their teeth into it, a war between them will erupt. Then the once-desperate entrepreneur can rejoice when the Sharks reveal their true interest in the product and bid up the price of the investment.

RETURNING SERIES

DRAMA

“BROTHERS & SISTERS”

“Brothers & Sisters” continues to follow the California-based Walker family through the complicated maze of American life today. The compelling one-hour drama series is about a collection of five enmeshed and somewhat damaged adult siblings, their spouses and their strong and passionately devoted mother, Nora Holden (Oscar and Emmy Award winner Sally Field).

The Walkers’ lives have not been without challenge; romance, parenting, divorce, infidelity, addiction, war, birth and even death have pushed each of them to the limit, but they continue to work toward living their lives as individuals, while loving each other unconditionally and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy after the loss of their larger-than-life family patriarch, William Walker.

“Brothers & Sisters” stars Dave Annable as Justin Walker, Maxwell Perry Cotton as Cooper Whedon, Kerris Lilla Dorsey as Paige, Sally Field as Nora Holden, Calista Flockhart as Kitty Walker, Balthazar Getty as Thomas Walker, Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Whedon, Rob Lowe as Senator Robert McCallister, Sarah Jane Morris as Julia Walker, Matthew Rhys as Kevin Walker, Ron Rifkin as Saul Holden, Emily VanCamp as Rebecca Harper and Patricia Wettig as Holly Harper.

The series produced by ABC Studios. Ken Olin (“Alias,” “thirtysomething”), Greg Berlanti (“Dirty Sexy Money,” “Everwood”), Monica Owusu-Breen (“Alias”), Alison Schapker (“Alias”), Sarah Caplan and Molly Newman are executive producers.

“CASTLE”

When viewers first met Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) — a famous mystery novelist and divorced father raising his teenage daughter (Molly Quinn as Alexis), while being kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother (Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers) — he was bored with his own success. He then found out that a real-world killer was staging murder scenes depicted in his novels. Castle was questioned by NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), a bright and aggressive detective who kept her investigations under tight reins, especially the years-old unsolved murder of her own mother. Though they instantly clashed, sparks of another sort began to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance as Castle stepped in to help find the copycat killer. Once that initial case was solved, together Castle and Beckett built on their new relationship investigating more strange homicides in New York as much fun as one could have with death and murder. In the season finale, Castle, against Beckett’s direct order to stay out of her mom’s case, unearthed information in that homicide which may end his relationship with her forever.

Also starring in the series are Ruben Santiago-Hudson as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, Jon Huertas as NYPD Detective Javier Esposito and Seamus Dever as NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan.

“Castle” is produced by ABC Studios. Andrew Marlowe serves as executive producer/writer, along with executive producers Rob Bowman, Armyan Bernstein and Laurie Zaks.

“DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES”

After jumping five years ahead into the lives of the women of Wisteria Lane, critically acclaimed series “Desperate Housewives” returns for its sixth season on ABC. Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Mike (James Denton) are brought together by their worst fears; Lynette’s (Felicity Huffman) unexpected pregnancy tests her family; as Bree’s (Marcia Cross) marriage dissolves, she finds herself in the arms of another man; Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) is in for a surprise when she and Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) welcome their niece into their home; and Katherine (Dana Delany) struggles over the thought of losing Mike.

“Desperate Housewives” stars Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge, Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos Solis, Doug Savant as Tom Scavo, Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge, Dana Delany as Katherine Mayfair, Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van De Kamp, Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young, James Denton as Mike Delfino, Charlie Carver as Porter Scavo, Max Carver as Preston Scavo, Joshua Moore as Parker Scavo, and Kendall Applegate as Penny Scavo.

Marc Cherry serves as executive producer and creator. Sabrina Wind, George Perkins, Larry Shaw and David Grossman are executive producers. “Desperate Housewives” is produced by ABC Studios and is the winner of both the 2005 and 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy.

“GREY’S ANATOMY”

“Grey’s Anatomy” is the recipient of the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series Drama, and multiple Emmy nominations including two for Outstanding Drama Series.

The doctors of Seattle Grace Hospital deal with life-or-death consequences on a daily basis – it’s in one another that they find comfort, friendship and, at times, more than friendship. Together they’re discovering that neither medicine nor relationships can be defined in black and white. Real life only comes in shades of grey.

“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Katherine Heigl as Isobel “Izzie” Stevens, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, T.R. Knight as George O’Malley, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey and Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt.

“Grey’s Anatomy” was created and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”). Betsy Beers (“Casanova”), Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan”), Krista Vernoff (“Law & Order”), Rob Corn (“Chicago Hope”), Mark Wilding (“Jake: 2.0″) and Allan Heinberg (“The O.C.) are executive producers. “Grey’s Anatomy” is an ABC Studios production.

“LOST”

After Oceanic Air flight 815 tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island, its survivors were forced to find inner strength they never knew they had in order to survive. But they discovered that the island holds many secrets, including a mysterious smoke monster, polar bears, housing and hatches with electricity and hot & cold running water, a group of island residents known as “The Others,” and a mysterious man named Jacob. The survivors have also found signs of those who came to the island before them, including a 19th century sailing ship called The Black Rock, a downed Beechcraft plane from a failed drug run, the remains of an ancient statue, as well as bunkers belonging to the Dharma Initiative — a group of scientific researchers who inhabited the island in the recent past. They also encountered a freighter stationed off the island that some thought would lead to their rescue, but ultimately almost caused their extinction. The band of friends, family, enemies and strangers must continue to work together against all odds if they want to stay alive. But as they have discovered during their journey, nothing is what it seems, and danger and mystery loom behind every corner, with even those they thought could be trusted turning against them. Even heroes have secrets.

“Lost” stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Ken Leung as Miles, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet and Terry O’Quinn as Locke.

A 2008 recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, “Lost” was created by Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof. Abrams, Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender, Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Carlton Cuse serve as executive producers. “Lost,” which is filmed entirely on location in Hawaii and premiered on September 22, 2004, is from ABC Studios.

“PRIVATE PRACTICE”

From Shonda Rhimes, the Golden Globe-winning creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” comes a story about finding a way to begin the rest of your life. Addison Forbes Montgomery is a renowned neonatal surgeon at the pinnacle of her profession. Having left behind Seattle Grace Hospital and a broken marriage, Addison has moved to Los Angeles for sunnier weather and happier possibilities. Now reunited with her friends from medical school, Naomi and Sam Bennett, Addison has joined their co-op practice at Oceanside Wellness Group in Santa Monica. The practice’s resident pediatrician is Dr. Cooper Freedman, Dr. Pete Wilder is the alternative medicine specialist, psychiatrist Dr. Violet Turner and office manager/nurse, William Dell Parker, round out the tightly knit group of professionals. The doctors of Oceanside work together to find solutions to their patients’ needs, but along the way they encounter medical cases that challenge their ethical and moral ideals and their abilities as doctors. For Addison, an old friend’s invitation has brought her to a new city and a new life full of promise – now it’s up to her to take chances in dating and find her place in this new medical environment. At Oceanside Wellness Group, the doctors are dedicated pros; it’s their private lives that need a little practice.

“Private Practice” stars Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery, Tim Daly as Dr. Pete Wilder, Audra McDonald as Dr. Naomi Bennett, Paul Adelstein as Dr. Cooper Freedman, KaDee Strickland as Dr. Charlotte King, Chris Lowell as William Dell Parker, with Taye Diggs as Dr. Sam Bennett and Amy Brenneman as Dr. Violet Turner.

“Private Practice” was created and is executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes. Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Mark Tinker, Jon Cowan and Robert Rovner are executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Studios.

“UGLY BETTY”

In the superficial world of high fashion, image is everything. Styles come and go, and the only constants are the super thin beauties who wear them. How can an ordinary girl from Queens possibly fit in? Sweet, intelligent, hard-working and undoubtedly fashion-challenged, Betty Suarez dreams of a successful career in magazine publishing. After taking a job at Mode Magazine, the bible of the fashion industry, Betty’s indomitable spirit and bright ideas win over the respect of her Mode cohorts despite continuous predictions of failure. She thrives in the ultra-competitive environment in spite of her lack of fashion sense. Betty forms an unlikely team with her boss, Daniel Meade, the co-editor in chief of Mode Magazine, as they help one another navigate the choppy waters of NYC’s shark infested fashion scene. Now she must prove that she is not just a super assistant with no fashion sense, but an aspiring career woman and editor-to-be while balancing her tumultuous love life and her family responsibilities.

“Ugly Betty” stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, Ana Ortiz as Hilda, Tony Plana as Ignacio, Becki Newton as Amanda, Mark Indelicato as Justin, Michael Urie as Marc and Judith Light as Claire Meade.

Based on “Yo Soy Betty La Fea,” the groundbreaking Colombian telenovela that became an international phenomenon, “Ugly Betty” is from ABC Studios. The series has been awarded the Golden Globe, Peabody, NAACP, ALMA, GLAAD and Imagen awards and earned 3 Emmy awards and 17 nominations. Executive producers are Silvio Horta (“Urban Legend”), Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award winner Salma Hayek, Jose Tamez, Richard Heus, Ben Silverman, Teri Weinberg, Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally.

COMEDY

“BETTER OFF TED”

“Better Off Ted” is a satirical office comedy about successful good guy, Ted, who runs research and development at the morally questionable Veridian Dynamics. No achievement is too far-fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need cow-less meat grown in a test tube? Done. Need pumpkins that also double as weapons of mass destruction? No problem. Ted’s a single dad to a seven-year-old girl, and he loves his job, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely dubious practices. Do you manufacture the best teeth whitener ever if it could also kill off all of the planet’s fish? Probably not, but…

Ted’s also fighting an attraction to co-worker Linda, who enjoys small acts of rebellion against Veridian (she’s secretly stealing and hoarding all the company’s creamer packets). But he holds back about his true feelings. He’s already had his self imposed “one office affair” with berboss Veronica. Incredibly beautiful (if seemingly devoid of conscience and also emotion-free), Veronica lets nothing get in her way when it comes to serving Veridian’s needs even if it means doing something like cryogenically freezing an employee for testing purposes. And after all, the employee, research scientist Phil, survived (after he thawed out). So what if he screams like an eagle at the slightest provocation? He and his best friend, fellow research scientist Lem, are both geniuses and when they’re not bickering, they’re responsible for many of Veridian’s miracles of weird science.

“Better Off Ted” stars Jay Harrington as Ted, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Andrea Anders as Linda, Jonathan Slavin as Phil, Malcolm Barrett as Lem and Isabella Acres as Rose.

“Better Off Ted” is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television. Victor Fresco (“My Name Is Earl,” “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”) is executive producer and creator of the series.

“SCRUBS”

This irreverent and offbeat comedy received two consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2005 and 2006, and was named TV.com’s “Best of 2007″ in Comedy.

“Scrubs” focuses on the unique point of view of Dr. John Dorian, or “J.D.” (Zach Braff). After surviving his internship and residency, and year as an attending physician with his own class of unmanageable interns at Sacred Heart Hospital, J.D. is moving on to greener pastures. He continues to face many challenges in his personal and professional life trying to balance his roles as doctor, father to Sam, devoted live-in boyfriend and friend to his very quirky companions at Sacred Heart.

In its debut year, “Scrubs” was nominated for two Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award. It has received a total of 16 Emmy nominations, and it won an Emmy for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing in 2005 and another for Outstanding Sound Mixing in 2007. In 2004 the series was honored with a prestigious Humanitas Prize. Beginning that same year, it received three consecutive Producers Guild Award nominations, from 2004-2006.

“Scrubs” is produced by ABC Studios. Bill Lawrence (“Spin City”) is the executive producer and creator.

ALTERNATIVE

“AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS”

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” will celebrate its 20th season when it returns in the fall. Hosted by Tom Bergeron, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is the longest-running primetime show in ABC history and has been entertaining viewers for decades by showing what happens when adults, children and even inanimate objects are at their spontaneous best, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has given away over $10 million in prize money and evaluated more than half a million videotapes from home viewers. Viewers wishing to submit home videos to “America’s Funniest Home Videos” should visit www.ABC.com for details.

Vin Di Bona is executive producer, with Todd Thicke and Michele Nasraway serving as co-executive producers.

“THE BACHELOR”

ABC’s “The Bachelor” is the original primetime romance reality series that offers one lucky man and 25 lucky women the unique opportunity to find true love. The new Bachelor will get to know 25 women via a series of social gatherings and exotic, romantic dates some in groups, some individually. He will introduce some of the women to his family, and will visit their hometowns for a slice of their life in an effort to determine the woman with whom he is most compatible.

“The Bachelor” is hosted by Chris Harrison and produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

“DANCING WITH THE STARS”

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Samantha Harris (“The Insider”), “Dancing with the Stars” challenges celebrities from the worlds of Hollywood, sports, and beyond, to perform choreographed ballroom routines ranging from the foxtrot to the cha cha cha. Celebrities are paired with some of the top professional ballroom dancers in the world and their live televised performances are judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

“Dancing with the Stars” is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, “Strictly Come Dancing.” This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Americas. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Rob Wade and Matilda Zoltowski are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs.

“EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION”

Put together one very run-down house, a deserving family, several opinionated designers, seven days and what do you get? The answer is “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The show has won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program, plus the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show/Makeover and the Family Television Award for Best Alternative/Reality Program. Each episode is self-contained and features a race against time on a project that would ordinarily take at least four months to achieve, involving a team of designers, contractors and several hundred workers who have just seven days to totally rebuild an entire house every single room, plus the exterior and landscaping. The lives of the lucky families are forever changed when they learn that they’ve been selected to have their home walls moved, their floors replaced and even their facades radically changed. The result should be a decorator’s delight if it can be done in time.

The design team includes team leader Ty Pennington, with designers Paul DiMeo, Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney, Ed Sanders, Tracy Hutson, Eduardo Xol, John Littlefield, Rib Hillis and Didiayer Snyder.

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The executive producer is Anthony Dominici (“America’s Next Top Model,” “The Amazing Race”).

“SUPERNANNY”

“Supernanny” is in its fifth season with Jo Frost criss-crossing America, taking on some of its toughest parenting challenges. She can tame the wildest toddler, soothe the savage six-year-old and get the most difficult child to overcome problems with behavior, sleep, mealtime, potty training and other challenges that have vexed parents around the world for centuries. The series debuted in America in early 2005 and captivated the country with Jo’s practical, no-nonsense style, honed over 20 years of nannying. “Supernanny” is now an international phenomenon; it airs in 172 territories, almost all of them with Frost as Supernanny. The series has been nominated for a People’s Choice Award.

Nick Powell is the creator and executive producer of both the American and British versions of the show. Nick Emmerson and Stephanie Schwam are executive producers of the American version. “Supernanny” is produced by Shed Media US.

“TRUE BEAUTY”

What makes a person truly beautiful? From executive producers Tyra Banks (“The Tyra Banks Show,” “America’s Next Top Model”) and Ashton Kutcher (executive producer of “Punk’d” and “Beauty and the Geek”), beauty is redefined in the popular ABC series “True Beauty.”

Gorgeous female and handsome male contestants assume they’re being judged solely on their outer appearance, but they’re only half right; outer beauty is just one component the judges are looking for. Contestants, unbeknownst to them, are also being evaluated for their INNER beauty as they’re tested in challenging situations that require them to make moral decisions.

Each episode will showcase an outer beauty and an inner beauty challenge, during which contestants will be judged on everything from how well they perform in photo shoots to how well they respect their elders. The three judges will observe and critique the contestants’ behavior and eliminate one person each week. Only after someone is eliminated will the truth about the show be revealed to him/her, as they watch a video montage of their behavior captured by a hidden camera during the shoot. At the end of eight episodes, one winner will be declared, a person who is truly beautiful inside and out. That person will receive a cash prize and a spot in PEOPLE magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People issue.

Executive producers of “True Beauty” are Denise Cramsey (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”), Tyra Banks and Laura Armstrong for Bankable Productions, and Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg, Karey Burke and Rod Aissa for Katalyst Productions. The series is a production of Warner Horizon Television.

“WIFE SWAP”

Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.

In the first week of the swap, the wives move in and adopt their new family’s lifestyle, no matter how different it may be. They agree to follow a manual written by the departing wife that sets out the rules of their new household how they parent, shop, do the house work, manage their budgets and their social life. In the second week, everything changes. The new wives take charge. They introduce their own set of rules and get to run the new household their way. It’s a radical shock to both families. The results are explosive, enlightening, emotional and often comical.

At the end of the show, the two couples meet for the first time. In a highly-charged exchange of views, both couples make a frank assessment of each other and talk about what they’ve learned from the experience.

“Wife Swap” is an RDF USA production. The show was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Mike Gamson, and Michael Davies of Embassy Row (“Who Wants to be a Millionaire”). Neil Regan, Julie Cooper and Will Nothacker are co-executive producers.

“20/20″

ABC News’ acclaimed series “20/20″ has distinguished itself as one of the most esteemed news programs in broadcast journalism. Amid the heated, competitive environment of primetime entertainment, “20/20″ has demonstrated its ability to consistently attract a significant segment of the viewing audience by offering viewers more choices and more chances to learn about the world around them. Copy/pasted from Futon Critic For over three decades, “20/20″ has continued to combine hard-hitting investigative reports, newsmaker interviews and compelling human interest and feature stories that have changes lives.

The program is co-anchored by the broadcast team of Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel, both award-winning journalists.

My thoughts:

The Good: ABC has really shaken up their schedule from last year.  Not only did they lose the most shows due to cancellations, etc but they also got aggressive with their comedy development this season, re-establishing a comedy night on Wednesday with four half hour shows.  I see a lot more diversity in this schedule than in the past, though they are still looking for another procedural to work.  Still, ABC seems committed to genre with ‘Flash Forward’, ‘V’ and ‘Eastwick’.  You gotta like that.  And, yay, Castle is back!

The Bad: A new fall reality series, Shark Tank?  Ugh. I don’t mind when they premiere unscripted/reality during the summer or even midseason, but the fall?  This one is a little bit like ‘The Apprentice’ crossed with ‘The Inventor’ so not sure how to feel about it.  Samantha Who? fails to make the cut.  I can’t imagine Ugly Betty fans are at all happy about that show’s move to Friday.

Bottom Line: Stability on Sunday and Thursday help anchor this very green schedule.  Hard to say at this point how this strategy will pay off, but ABC needed fresh blood, and they certainly have it.

New Shows to Spec: Castle, Better off Ted

Still viable Specs: Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters

Possibly too old to start a new spec: Lost, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives

Posted under analysis, tv news

This post was written by Shawna Benson on May 19, 2009

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The 2007-08 Season TV Watch List

Updated on 06/10.

New Series Premiere Dates / Status:

NETWORK:

  • Dance War (ABC) (could return next year)
  • Farmer Wants a Wife (CW) Wed 9 PM
  • Swingtown (CBS) Thurs 10 PM
  • Fear Itself (NBC) Thurs 10 PM
  • The Mole (ABC) Mon 9 PM
  • When Women Rule the World (Fox) TBD 9 PM
  • Celebrity Circus (NBC) 6/11 9 PM
  • Wipeout (ABC) 6/24 8 PM
  • I Survived a Japanese Gameshow (ABC) 6/24 9 PM
  • The Baby Borrowers (NBC) 6/25 8 PM
  • Hopkins 24/7 (documentary series) (ABC) 6/26 10 PM
  • Dance Machine (ABC) 6/27 8 PM
  • High School Musical: Summer Session (ABC) 7/20 8 PM
  • Wanna Bet? (ABC) 7/21 9 PM

CABLE:

  • Tell Me You Love Me (HBO) Sun 9 PM
  • America’s Psychic Challenge (Lifetime) Fri 10 PM
  • Girl Meets Cowboy (We) Sun 10 PM
  • The Shot (VH1) Sun 10 PM
  • It’s My Party (Lifetime) Fri 10 PM
  • In Treatment (HBO) Mon 9:30 PM
  • Step It Up and Dance (Bravo) Thurs 10 PM
  • Sarah Jane Adventures (SciFi) Fri 8 PM
  • The Alaska Experiment (Discovery) Tues 10 PM
  • In Plain Sight (USA) Sun 10 PM
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime) 6/16 10:30 PM
  • The Starter Wife (series) (USA) October TBD

Renewed for 2008-09 Season (New shows for 07-08 indicated in bold):

  • Damages (FX) (Also renewed for 2009-10)
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) Mon 8:30 PM
  • Dexter (Showtime) Sun 9 PM
  • Ugly Betty (ABC) Thurs 8 PM
  • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) Thurs 9 PM
  • Desperate Housewives (ABC) Sun 9 PM
  • Brothers & Sisters (ABC) Sun 10 PM
  • Lost (ABC) Thurs 9 PM
  • Dancing With the Stars (ABC) Mon 8 PM/Tues 9 PM
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) Sun 7 PM (19th season)
  • Supernanny (ABC) Wed 9 PM
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) Sun 8 PM
  • Wife Swap (ABC) Wed 8 PM
  • The Bachelor (ABC) Mon 9:30 PM
  • WWE Smackdown (CW) Fri 8 PM (moving to MyNetwork TV next year!)
  • Heroes (NBC) Mon 9 PM
  • Gossip Girl (CW) Wed 9 PM
  • America’s Next Top Model (CW) Wed 8 PM
  • Smallville (CW) Thurs 8 PM
  • Everybody Hates Chris (CW) Mon 8 PM
  • Supernatural (CW) Thurs 9 PM
  • Survivor (CBS) Thurs 8 PM
  • The Amazing Race (CBS) Sun 8 PM
  • 60 Minutes (CBS) Sun 7 PM
  • CSI: Miami (CBS) Mon 10 PM
  • CSI: New York (CBS) Wed 10 PM
  • C.S.I. (CBS) Thurs 9 PM
  • NCIS (CBS) Tues 8 PM
  • E.R. (NBC) Thurs 10 PM (renewed for 15th and last season)
  • 24 (Fox) 9 PM (Won’t air until January 09)
  • One Tree Hill (CW) Tues 9 PM
  • Big Brother (CBS) Tues 9 PM
  • Prison Break (Fox) Mon 8 PM
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) Mon 9:30 PM
  • Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) Wed 10 PM
  • Chuck (NBC) Mon 8 PM
  • Life (NBC) Wed 10 PM
  • Private Practice (ABC) Wed 9 PM
  • Pushing Daisies (ABC) Wed 8 PM
  • Kitchen Nightmares (Fox) Wed 9 PM
  • Law and Order (NBC) Wed 9 PM
  • Friday Night Lights (NBC) Fri 9 PM
  • Lipstick Jungle (NBC) Thurs 10 PM
  • How to Look Good Naked (Lifetime) Fri 9:30 PM
  • 30 Rock (NBC) Thurs 8:30 PM
  • Deal or No Deal (NBC) Wed 8 PM
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) Thurs 8 PM
  • The Office (NBC) Thurs 9 PM
  • Medium (NBC) Mon 10 PM
  • Celebrity Apprentice (NBC) Sun 8 PM
  • Law and Order: SVU (NBC) Tues 10 PM
  • Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox) Mon 8 PM
  • Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style (Bravo) Wed 10 PM
  • Project Runway (Lifetime) MOVING TO LIFETIME!!
  • Sunday Best (BET) Sun 8 PM
  • American Gangster (BET) Thurs 10 PM
  • Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo) 10 PM
  • Top Chef (Bravo) Wed 10 PM
  • Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo)
  • Top Design (Bravo)
  • Shear Genius (Bravo)
  • The Millionaire Matchmaker (Bravo)
  • Million Dollar Listing (Bravo)
  • Breaking Bad (AMC) Thurs 10 PM
  • American Idol (Fox) Tues/Wed 8 PM
  • House (Fox) Mon 9 PM
  • Bones (Fox) Tues 8 PM
  • Lincoln Heights (ABC Family) Mon 8 PM
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) Mon 9 PM
  • Ghost Hunters (SciFi) Wed 9 PM
  • The Game (CW) Mon 9:30 PM
  • Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? (Fox)
  • Don’t Forget the Lyrics! (Fox)
  • Cops (Fox)
  • America’s Most Wanted (Fox)
  • The Simpsons (Fox) Sun 8 PM
  • Family Guy (Fox) Sun 9 PM
  • Boston Legal (ABC) Wed 10 PM
  • The Ghost Whisperer (CBS) Fri 8 PM
  • The Tudors (Showtime) Sun 9 PM
  • Eli Stone (ABC) Thurs 10 PM
  • The Moment of Truth (Fox) Wed 9 PM (returns 6/12)
  • Reaper (CW) Tues 9 PM
  • The Unit (CBS) Tues 9 PM
  • Cold Case (CBS) Sun 9 PM
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) Mon 8 PM
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) Mon 9:30 PM
  • Criminal Minds (CBS) Wed 9 PM
  • Without a Trace (CBS) Thurs 10 PM
  • Numb3rs (CBS) Fri 10 PM
  • 20/20 (ABC) Fri 10 PM
  • Scrubs (NBC) Thurs 9:30 PM (moves to ABC)
  • According to Jim (ABC) Tues 9 PM (returns midseason)
  • 10 Items or Less (TBS) 11 PM
  • Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (TBS) 10 PM
  • Frank TV (TBS) Tues 11 PM
  • The Bill Engvall Show (TBS)
  • King of the Hill (Fox) Sun 8:30 PM
  • American Dad (Fox) Sun 9:30 PM
  • Torchwood (BBC America) Sat 9 PM [Season 3 only 5 eps no date]

Series Death Watch (New shows for 07-08 indicated in bold):

  • Online Nation (CW)
  • Nashville (Fox)
  • Viva Laughlin (CBS)
  • Kid Nation (CBS) Wed 8 PM
  • Las Vegas (NBC) Fri 10 PM
  • Girlfriends (CW) Mon 9 PM
  • Jericho (CBS) Tues 10 PM
  • The Return of Jezebel James (Fox) Fri 8:30 PM
  • Journeyman (NBC) Mon 10 PM
  • Bionic Woman (NBC) Wed 9 PM
  • Phenomenon (NBC) Wed 8 PM
  • Clash of the Choirs (NBC)
  • Secret Talents of the Stars (CBS) Tues 10 PM
  • Exalted! (BET) Sun 9 PM
  • Amne$ia (NBC) Fri 8 PM
  • Men in Trees (ABC) Wed 10 PM
  • Battlestar Galactica (SciFi) 9 PM (Series Ending)
  • Back to You (Fox) Wed 9:30 PM
  • October Road (ABC) Mon 10 PM
  • Aliens in America (CW) Mon 8:30 PM
  • Beauty and the Geek (CW) Tues 8 PM
  • New Amsterdam (Fox) Mon 9 PM
  • K-ville (Fox) Mon 9 PM
  • Big Shots (ABC) Thurs 10 PM
  • CW Now (CW) Sun 7 PM
  • Cavemen (ABC) Tues 8 PM
  • Carpoolers (ABC) Tues 8:30 PM
  • Cane (CBS) Tues 10 PM
  • Life is Wild (CW) Sun 8 PM
  • American Band (Fox) Fri 8 PM
  • Crowned (CW) Wed 8 PM
  • Women’s Murder Club (ABC) Tues 10 PM
  • Welcome to the Captain (CBS) Mon 8:30 PM
  • Oprah’s Big Give (ABC) Sun 9 PM
  • Shark (CBS) Sun 10 PM
  • Power of 10 (CBS) Wed 8 PM
  • Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious Wed 9 PM
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) Mon 9:30 PM
  • Duel (ABC) Fri 9 PM
  • Moonlight (CBS) Fri 9 PM
  • Cashmere Mafia (ABC) Wed 10 PM
  • Canterbury’s Law (Fox) Fri 9 PM
  • The Singing Bee (NBC) Tues 9:30 PM
  • Miss/Guided (ABC) Thurs 8PM
  • quarterlife (Bravo) Tues 10 PM
  • Unhitched (Fox) Sun 9:30 PM
  • Dirt (FX) Tues 10 PM

Returning Series Premiere Dates:

NETWORK:

  • Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) Tues 9 PM
  • The Bachelorette (ABC) Mon 9 PM
  • Last Comic Standing (NBC) Thurs 8:30 PM
  • So You Think You Can Dance? (Fox) Tues 8 PM
  • Nashville Star (NBC) Mon 8 PM
  • America’s Got Talent (NBC) 6/17 9 PM

CABLE:

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) Sun 10 PM
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) Thurs 10 PM
  • The Ultimate Fighter (Spike) Wed 10 PM
  • Stargate Atlantis (SciFi) Fri 10 PM
  • Brotherhood (Showtime) Sun 10 PM
  • South Park (Comedy Central) Wed 10 PM
  • The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central) Wed 10:30 PM
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent (USA) Sun 10 PM
  • Drawn Together (Comedy Central) Fri 10:30 PM
  • Nip/Tuck (FX) 10 PM
  • The L Word (Showtime) 10 PM
  • Hotel Babylon (BBC America) Wed 9 PM
  • The Riches (FX) Tues 10 PM
  • Greek (ABC Family) Mon 8 PM
  • Deadliest Catch (Discovery) Tues 9 PM
  • Doctor Who (SciFi) Fri 9 PM
  • Workout (Bravo) Tues 10 PM
  • Robin Hood (BBC America) Sat 9 PM
  • Wildfire (ABC Family) Mon 9 PM
  • Burn Notice (USA) 6/10 10 PM
  • Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List (Bravo) 6/12 9 PM
  • Weeds (Showtime) 6/16 10 PM
  • Flipping Out (Bravo) 6/17 9 PM
  • Monk (USA) 6/18 9 PM
  • Psych (USA) 6/18 10 PM
  • 30 Days (FX) 7/3 10 PM
  • The Shield (FX) 9/2 10 PM

A brief explanation of the watch list:

New shows premiere dates / status – consider this the neutral zone, detailing the premiere dates for new shows and tidbits of info which could forecast a move to another category.

Shows likely to be axed – their numbers aren’t good, news stories point to it being yanked, it may soon end up in the cancelled category.

NEW Series Pickups- this doesn’t mean it is renewed for next year, just that the series has gotten a full season order. (e.g., ‘back nine’ pickup).

Likely pickups – the numbers are good, all we need is the confirmation from the network (again, this is for full season orders, not renewals).

Renewed – Will be back next season (new or older shows).

Series death watch – they’ve been on the air and their time may be coming. We watch and wait… (new or older shows)

All other series premiere dates – Just what it says. These aren’t new series, but their premiere dates are listed and updated, just as an added service to you, my loyal readers and googlers passing by…

** New this year, I will be tracking the reality shows as well as scripted

Posted under watch list

This post was written by Shawna Benson on June 10, 2008

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The fall schedules 2008-09

So, now that upfronts are over, let’s take a look at how the networks stack up against each other next year. Keep in mind that now everyone has shown their cards, there may be a tweak here or there to move shows away from each other.

MONDAY

8 PM

ABC Dancing with the Stars
CBS The Big Bang Theory / How I Met Your Mother (8:30)
NBC Chuck
Fox Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
CW Gossip Girl

9 PM

ABC Untitled Tyra Banks&Ashton Kutcher / Samantha Who (9:30)
CBS Two and a Half Men / Worst Week (9:30)
NBC Heroes
Fox Prison Break
CW One Tree Hill

10 PM

ABC The Bachelor / Boston Legal (after Bachelor ends)
CBS CSI: Miami
NBC My Own Worst Enemy

TUESDAY

8 PM

ABC Opportunity Knocks
CBS NCIS
NBC The Biggest Loser: Families
Fox House
CW 90210

9 PM

ABC Dancing Results Show / Scrubs/The Goode Family(9:30) (after Dancing ends)
CBS The Mentalist
NBC The Biggest Loser: Families / Kath & Kim (9:30)
Fox Fringe
CW Surviving the Filthy Rich

10 PM

ABC Eli Stone
CBS Without a Trace
NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

WEDNESDAY

8 PM

ABC Pushing Daisies
CBS The New Adventures of Old Christine / Project Gary (8:30)
NBC Knight Rider
Fox Bones
CW America’s Next Top Model

9 PM

ABC Private Practice
CBS Criminal Minds
NBC Deal or No Deal
Fox ‘Til Death / Do Not Disturb (9:30)
CW Stylista

10 PM

ABC Dirty Sexy Money
CBS CSI:NY
NBC Lipstick Jungle

THURSDAY

8 PM

ABC Ugly Betty
CBS Survivor
NBC My Name is Earl / 30 Rock (8:30)
Fox The Moment of Truth
CW Smallville

9 PM

ABC Grey’s Anatomy
CBS CSI
NBC The Office / The Office/SNL Thursday Night Live (9:30)
Fox Kitchen Nightmares
CW Supernatural

10 PM

ABC Life on Mars
CBS Eleventh Hour
NBC ER

FRIDAY

8 PM

ABC Supernanny
CBS The Ghost Whisperer
NBC Crusoe
Fox Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
CW Everybody Hates Chris / The Game (8:30)

9 PM

ABC Wife Swap
CBS The Ex List
NBC Deal or No Deal
Fox Don’t Forget the Lyrics!
CW America’s Next Top Model (Encore Presentation)

10 PM

ABC 20/20
CBS Numb3rs
NBC Life

SATURDAY

8 PM

ABC College Football
CBS Crimetime Saturday
NBC Dateline NBC
Fox Cops / Cops (8:30)

9 PM

ABC College Football / Movie
CBS Crimetime Saturday
NBC Knight Rider (Encores)
Fox America’s Most Wanted

10 PM

ABC College Football / Movie
CBS 48 Hours Mystery
NBC Law & Order: SVU (Encores)

SUNDAY

7 PM

ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
CBS 60 Minutes
NBC Football Night in America
Fox The OT (NFL post-game)

8 PM

ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
CBS The Amazing Race
NBC NBC Sunday Night Football
Fox The Simpsons / King of the Hill (8:30)

9 PM

ABC Desperate Housewives
CBS Cold Case
NBC NBC Sunday Night Football
Fox Family Guy / American Dad (9:30)

10 PM

ABC Brothers & Sisters
CBS The Unit
NBC NBC Sunday Night Football

Posted under tv news, watch list

This post was written by Shawna Benson on May 16, 2008

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