Upfronts 2011: CW Unveils Its Schedule for Next Season

So Upfronts Week ends for the broadcast networks with The CW announcing its schedule for next season. The network adds 6 new shows to its lineup: 3 dramas and 3 reality shows. Helped by the fact that CW only picked up 3 scripted shows, all 3 look really good.

  • Hart of Dixie [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: City girl Dr. Zoe Hart finds herself moving to a small town in Alabama to take over a medical practice. I’m typically over the whole medical drama thing, but it’s a show on CW. And its got Rachel Bilson (yes Summer Roberts!) But really, Rachel Bilson back in a show produced by Josh Schwartz, is pretty much a no brainer for me to watch.
  • Ringer [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9]: Do you really need to know anything else other than the fact that Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on TV and on CW on Tuesdays where Buffy used to air (in the good ol’ WB days of course)? Just kidding, of course you still need to know something about the show. SMG stars as Bridget, a woman who becomes witness to a murder, and while fearing for her life, takes on the life of her well-off twin sister Siobhan, only to find out that her sister’s life is just as dangerous and complicated as hers. How’s that for complicated? CBS passed on the show feeling that it wasn’t the right fit for the network, so they gave it to CW (a division of CBS). Like I said, SMG back on TV is a lock on my schedule.
  • The Secret Circle [Drama – Thursdays @ 9]: A teenage girl moves to a new town after the death of her mother and finds out she’s a witch that’s part of a secret coven. Because simply having The Vampire Diaries wasn’t enough for CW, they now have this show which is also based on a series of books by L.J Smith (the author of TVD series) and executive produced by Kevin Williamson. Naturally, they pair this with TVD, creating a 2 hour block of supernatural beings by Kevin Williamson. I was hesitant about TVD when I first heard about it, partially from not reading the books, but now I love it. So I’m sure Secret Circle will suck me in as well – no hesitations this time.
  • H8er [Reality – Wednesdays @ 8]: From the CW press release, “Celebrities go head-to-head with civilians who hate them to win their ‘haters’ over.” Not interested.
  • Re-Modeled and The Frame [Reality – Midseason]: I don’t care enough to even write what they’re about. I just never like CW reality shows, but that’s just me.

Other Scheduling News/Changes:

  • Gossip Girl changes its time slot from 9 to 8 on Mondays, making Mondays a Josh Schwartz/Stephanie Savage produced 2-hour block of TV.
  • Subsequently, 90210 now moves back to its former Tuesdays time slot @ 8.
  • America’s Next Top Model moves to the 9:00 slot on Wednesdays.
  • Nikita got renewed for a 2nd season and will now be airing on Fridays @ 8. Great, so I went from practically having nothing to watch on Fridays to having 3 of my favourite shows on the same night.
  • One Tree Hill also got renewed. The 9th and final season will air midseason. Although I must say, the season finale that aired would’ve been a perfect series finale because everybody’s happy now. But sure, I’ll take a final season.
  • Officially cancelled – Hellcats. I’m actually kind of okay with the cancellation. I mean it was a fun show to watch, but I’m sure I’m not gonna miss it, especially with that season/series finale which was a little all over the place. Plus we got 3 new shows that look pretty awesome, so there’s that.

…And we’re done for Upfronts!

Random TV Watching Thoughts #7

I’ve blogged on many occasions about my TV watching habits, but for some reason, I’ve been really thinking about it the past week. It started while I was watching Hawaii Five-0 on Monday. The episode’s promos highlighted the fact that Vanessa Manillo and Nick Lachey were guest starring. They showed up somewhere in the beginning, when the case of the week was being set up and sort of disappeared. Then about halfway through the hour, it just popped into my head: “I bet Nick Lachey’s the bad guy.” Turns out I was right – again (when Kevin Sorbo guest starred in an episode earlier in the season, I knew straight up he was the bad guy). First of all, I totally blame my professor from my Music in Film class for making me notice all the stuff that happens at the beginning of TV shows and movies now. But back to the point, despite its complete and utter predictability, I still like watching Hawaii Five-0.

How is that possible? Why would anyone want to watch something (especially a crime show) where you can easily guess who the villain is, 5 minutes into the episode? My justification for Five-0 is that its got an extremely likeable cast, who have great chemistry together. Thinking about it now, I’m really watching the show to see this cast interact with one another – they look like they’re having a good time. Plus the show itself, doesn’t really take itself too seriously; it can be cheesy and fun, but also serious in getting the bad guys and giving us some action.

On the other hand, also on Monday was Gossip Girl. I expressed my feelings about it at the beginning of the season, wherein I pretty much watch this show out of habit. This past episode made me think numerous times: “Why am I watching this? I. AM. SO. BORED.” I should’ve given up on this show already, but no matter what they do, there’s always one thing/plotline that keeps me hanging. Currently, it’s the Blair and Dan relationship/friendship storyline. It’s the ONLY interesting thing going on in that show right now. The Bass Industries business deal storyline? BORING. Serena and her former teacher storyline? BORING. And Nate has NO storyline! He’s lucky if he even gets to say 2 lines in an episode.

Something else I realized this week: I haven’t been watching Parenthood. Don’t get me wrong, the show is amazing. The cast is awesome and the writing is great. There are not a lot of shows like this anymore. While I do want to watch the show, I guess the past few weeks, I haven’t felt motivated to watch. I appreciate how real and grounded the show is, but at the same time, when your life’s sort of a downer, you want to watch something that will distract you (hence the watching of something like 5-0).

Then there are times when I think about shows that have been on the air for a while, and despite still loving these shows, I kind of hope they end this season simply because its run its course. Does that make me a bad fan? By shows I love but think they should end, I mean One Tree Hill and The Office. With OTH, there were times over the years where they might have been cancelled and the writers gave a pseudo-ending just in case. They would come back for another season and the writers would do something to re-energize the series, whether it be a time-jump or introducing new characters. As of late, I feel as though everybody’s happy now and they’re just grasping for new storylines each episode. The last thing I want is for OTH to end on a bad note. Let’s not drag anything out and just finalize the show. Speaking of grasping for new storylines, The Office is sort of the same way. It’s just not the same anymore. Writing’s not that sharp anymore; there’s little things in every episode that’s funny but it’s not the same. And knowing that Steve Carell is leaving near the end of the season, it just feels like it’s time.

So what’s the gist of all this? For me personally, TV acts as a distraction for me from my dismal/boring life. Because of that, I like TV that, well, keeps my interest. The writing doesn’t always have to be great, but the show has to be entertaining on some level (a la Hawaii Five-0). A show can be incredibly well-written, but if its depictions of real life are almost too real, it doesn’t serve as great distraction (unfortunately like Parenthood). Sometimes despite being a fan of a show, you kinda hope it’ll end on a good note and not drag things out just for the sake keeping the show on the air.

2010 Fall TV Season – Week 1 Roundup

Although some TV shows (namely CW shows and a few here and there) had premiered since early on in the month, this past week (beginning Sept. 20) was truly the official start of the fall TV season. In lieu of posting every day for the past week, this is going to be just one big megapost on the first full week of the new season. [Note: this may just end up being my thoughts on the shows than the particular episode that aired]

MONDAY

  • Dancing With The Stars: The 11th season started…and I don’t really care. I think it has a lot to do with the cast this season, which sure, got a lot of people talking but I’m not that excited to be watching it every week. If it wasn’t for the fact that we watch this sort of as a family over dinner, then I’d probably just watch it later and watch my other Monday shows in their actual time.
  • Chuck: It’s so nice to have Chuck back! So at the end of last season, Chuck promised Ellie that he was quitting the spy game for good, but that was before he was sent on a mission from his dad to search for his mom. With this first episode, it really set the story of the season. The Buy More has been rebuilt and is now CIA-operated. Chuck and Morgan are on the search for Chuck’s mom. Sarah and Casey are now on missions without Chuck, but of course, it didn’t take long for Team Bartowski to be reunited. While the quality of some shows suffer as they continue, Chuck just keeps getting better. Constant fear of cancellation assures that the writers are always on their A-game?
  • How I Met Your Mother: We’re back to actually looking for the mother! It’s an interesting dynamic to consider that the show’s about looking for the “mother” and logically speaking, when we meet the mother and Ted gets married for real, the show will be over. We want to know who the mother is, but we don’t want the show to end. With shows like this, I almost feel like they should set an end date (like Lost did), so we know it’s coming and the writers can work on getting to that end point.
  • The Event: I wanted to watch this new NBC show because of the overlying mystery surrounding it. I love watching mystery thrillers. That’s why I watched FlashForward last season…and then it got increasingly worse and eventually cancelled. It’s hard to explain the show, because the show is about finding out “What is the Event?” The style of the show is slightly different as well, in that they show what is happening in the present, and then they jump the story back to show something that led to what is happening now. With a lot of characters and individual stories, jumping back for all of them seemed like overkill. It could take some getting used to. Plus I don’t feel much for the characters. The only one that’s connected is Jason Ritter’s character, Sean. Everyone else is more like caricatures or just structures of characters; there’s no sense of character development. I’ll continue watching for a couple weeks to see if it hits its stride, but if it doesn’t pick it up and make us care, I’m gonna have to leave by the wayside.
  • Hawaii Five-O: There’s action and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I don’t watch a lot of the other CBS cop shows, so I can’t really judge them fairly. But the look and tone of the other shows seem so serious. With this show, maybe it’s the fact that it’s located in Hawaii so it gives it a more vibe-y, less serious feel, but there’s a natural humour/lightness with the chemistry of its stars, which makes the show fun to watch.
  • Gossip Girl/90210: It’s kinda hard to believe that already, in their 4th and 3rd seasons, these shows are now shows I watch out of habit. I think the thing that’s getting me to come back right now are the guest stars – Katie Cassidy on GG, Kyle Riabko on 90210.

TUESDAY

  • Glee: I’ll write more on Glee later when I discuss the Britney episode, but I’m happy it’s back. New music every week. Ryan Murphy did say that this season will go back to learning more about the characters and I really hope that’s true. But at least in the first episode back, they had a sense of humour and poked fun at themselves by addressing what others have critiqued them on (i.e. Mr. Schue’s rapping).
  • One Tree Hill: Only in the world of OTH do two people get shot, don’t get discovered for 2 days and still survive. It’s one of those things that fans of the show have come to love about it – the sometimes ridiculousness that comes with a lot of heart. Speaking of the heart of the show, the theme song’s back! I honestly forgot how much I missed hearing Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” during the opening credits. And now as much as it pains me to say it, I kind of hope this season’s the last one. I love OTH, I really do, but I sort of feel like it’s time to move on. I’ll still watch if it continues obviously, but the thought of it getting a nice send-off lingers in the back of my brain.
  • Life Unexpected: The thing that gets me watching this show are the relationships. Said it before when it first premiered, but it’s like a throwback to the old WB days with shows like Felicity and Gilmore Girls. You don’t get those types of shows that often anymore. It also helps a little that Shaun Sipos is a recurring guest star this season. Melrose Place might have been predictable at times, writing decent at best, but it was a guilty pleasure.
  • Running Wilde: Will Arnett + Keri Russell + the creator of Arrested Development = comedy gold? It wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, but I’m willing to stick it out for a while and see if it gets better. Community was hit and miss for the first half of its freshman season, and then it hit its stride and was so consistently funny for the rest of the season. I’m holding out hope.
  • No Ordinary Family: So it didn’t premiere until last night but I look forward to watching more of it. The big thing with this show is how they find the right balance between family drama and superhero concept. And we’ve got more O.C. people back on TV; this time, Autumn Reeser aka Taylor Townsend!
  • Parenthood: Great writing, great acting, great to see it come back for a second season. Tuesday’s really become a night for some great family dramas.

WEDNESDAY

  • Survivor: It’s gonna be hard for this season to beat the Heroes vs. Villains season, but they’re trying. 2 weeks, and 2 people who got sent packing because they dug their own grave by not shutting up. Self-destruction, bad for the person, great for the game.
  • Undercovers: It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with more humour. Well, this is JJ Abrams, so let’s rephrase that. It’s like the next chapter of Sydney & Vaughn. The pilot was a little all over the place, but it’ll get better hopefully.
  • Better With You: New ABC comedy starring Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan. I want to like the show, honestly, because of the actors involved. And again, I hope it gets better because judging by the pilot alone, for one thing, they overdo the laugh track. It’s really noticeable. The writing is pretty standard relationship comedy; there’s nothing really new to it.
  • Modern Family: So full of laughter and heart, with amazing writing and acting. I mean seriously, the show completely deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy. Gloria the protective Colombian mother. Mitchell, the not-so-handy man. Cameron reading celebrity gossip to Lily because he’s tired of reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Too funny.
  • Cougar Town: A show that has become something more than what it started out to be. One-two punch of Modern Family and Cougar Town is so perfect for Wednesday night. There’s just nothing else to really say about it.
  • Hellcats: I talked about the premiere and now I can honestly say, I’ve really enjoyed watching it so far. After seeing so many high school shows, it is sort of nice to have a show set in college, and to give it a different depth, set in the world of cheerleading. I think that’s what makes college-set shows stand out a little because there’s so many options as to what the back ground can be. Like Greek is settled in the world of frats and sororities, along with the usual relationships and what not. So yeah, Hellcats, will definitely keep watching.

THURSDAY

  • The Vampire Diaries: Definitely keeping things interesting with not only the return of Katherine but Caroline’s now a vampire too. Plus the werewolf storyline.
  • Nikita: I love the show for the fact that we’ve got Maggie Q kicking ass every week. My only concern is the style of the episodes. For 3 consecutive episodes, it seems like the episodes are very procedural-like. Alex finds out the mission for the week, feeds it to Nikita, Nikita attempts to beat Division to the punch, some sort of altercation between Nikita and Michael, and end. There’s bits here and there of development, but I’m hoping they get further along in the storytelling.
  • Fringe: Fringe is back and soooo good. The first episode back was set “Over There” with our Olivia trying get back to our world. Our Olivia has been dosed with the memories of Other Olivia, so now she’s not entirely sure who she is. The ending minutes showed our world with Peter kissing the Alt-Olivia, so obviously he has no idea that she’s not the right Olivia. Oh Fringe, and all you’re mind-twisting and alternate universes. Just awesome.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Continuing the nerdiness of Thursdays, Big Bang is back and still funny. The awkward “date” between Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler, with Penny ‘chaperoning.’ Wolowitz’s robot arm used for something that it shouldn’t be used for, which resulted in a slightly overdone but still funny sight gag. The one thing I enjoy most about BBT is the slight references to things that have been mentioned in the past (i.e. the Check Engine light in Penny’s car).
  • Community: I kind of hate that Community and Big Bang are on at the same time, but thinking positively, maybe that’ll make writers of both shows stay on their A-game to see who can be funnier. Which is really hard to determine because BBT is funny for all its nerdiness and Community is funny for all its snarkiness and constant pop culture references. The premiere featured Betty White as the anthropology professor (who by the way, would also make a fantastic memaw for Sheldon) and again the ending bit during the closing credits just is so funny on so many levels.
  • The Office: It’s Steve Carrell’s last season but you couldn’t tell by the premiere that that was happening. Same old Office shenanigans with new pranks by Jim and Pam. Like OTH, I kind of hope Office ends this season. Because again, as much as I love it, it has sort of run its course. And whoever ends up replacing Michael Scott, it just won’t be the same.

SUNDAY

  • The Amazing Race: Still entertaining because you never know what’s gonna happen to these racers. First of all, producers, you gave them SMART cars to race out of Boston?! Seriously?! LOL. SMART cars are not a very smart choice for RACING. Just no. Second of all, did you see that girl get hit by the watermelon? And then she picked right up and finished the task. Crazy awesome. If the rest of the season is as good as this leg of the race, we’re in for a very fun ride.
  • Brothers and Sisters: Back to the drama of the Walker clan. Still watch this show out of habit but it was a return to form with the first episode back. We jumped forward a year after last season’s car accident and everyone’s lives has changed. And you know it had been a rough year full of change when Nora’s house had not a single bottle of wine. Walkers with no alcohol? As Justin pointed out, they were not the same Walkers. I don’t know how this season will hold up, but it was kinda nice to see the whole Walker clan back on my TV.

Other notes:

  • I forgot to watch Blue Bloods on Friday. Seriously, new show, on a Friday? That’s hard man.
  • Didn’t watch Lonestar. Didn’t intend to. Reviews were good. Ratings were weak. First cancellation of the season.
  • On the other hand, $#*! My Dad Says got good ratings, which is a little hard to believe. I guess the return of Shatner does wonders for a show that doesn’t look all that good?
  • After passing on the majority of last season, Desperate Housewives might be able to pull me back in, what with Vanessa Williams moving onto Wisteria Lane, plus Brian Austin Green romancing Marcia Cross (original 90210/Melrose Place, what what? ahaha).

CW 2010-2011 Primetime Schedule

The last of the major network upfronts, the CW announced its new schedule for next season, which includes a lot of shows being moved around the schedule and 2 new shows.

  • HELLCATS [Dramedy? – Wednesdays @ 9] – The show is about a pre-law student who loses her scholarship, and is forced to enter the world of cheerleading. It stars Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale. I’m ready for the Bring It On references that are bound to come up in the show. I think this is another show where I’ll have to wait and see.
  • NIKITA [Drama – Thursdays @ 9] – A reboot/remake of La Femme Nikita. I am so ready to watch this. For one, Maggie Q is starring as the title character and she is awesome. And come on, an Asian actress in the lead role of a TV show? Finally some diversity! Also, Shane West in the show is a plus.

So as previously mentioned, the CW moved some of the shows around the schedule. 90210 is now on Mondays, One Tree Hill (YAY for season 8!) and Life Unexpected will be on Tuesdays, and Supernatural will now be paired with Smallville on Fridays.

Complete schedule, plus full descriptions on the new and returning shows (which include some spoilers) can be found here.

One Tree Hill/Gossip Girl Season Finales

To save time and space, I figured I’d combine the posts about the One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl finales into one (not to mention my brain is not fully functioning with being sick and all).

ONE TREE HILL: The season finale took place mostly in Utah, where the entire gang went to see Julian’s movie premiere. There were nice moments all around. Haley was coming out of her depression following the death of her mom. Mouth and Skills were getting their friendship back together. Julian was nervous as hell about his movie premiere, and ended up getting advice from Jamie. The episode was nice, moving things along with a lot of optimism – how I like my OTH, with no drama. But then again, OTH wouldn’t be the same and it wouldn’t be a finale without some huge moments and drama. Julian proposed to Brooke (yay!). Haley’s pregnant! Crazy Katie came back and shot Quinn and Clay!…WAIT WHAT?! How the hell did Katie get out of jail/the psych ward? She shot Quinn and Clay??!! Mark Schwann, what the hell are you doing to us???!!! Leaving their lives in the balance like that?! The show better get picked up for another season, because I refuse to have it end like that.

GOSSIP GIRL: Let’s go straight to the point with all that happened in last night’s finale. Dan and Serena feel asleep after drinking too much the night before (and one kiss), and were then found in their compromising position by Jenny, who took a picture and sent it to Gossip Girl. Fallout between Nate & Serena, and Dan & Vanessa. Blair was adament on not going to the Empire State Building to meet Chuck, but then changed her mind and went to find him, only she was late because Dorota was in labour. Chuck, distraught, went and had sex with the first girl willing, which just happened to be Jenny when she showed up looking for Nate. Blair then showed up at the hotel, her and Chuck made up, he was about to propose when Dan punched him over having sex with Jenny. One week later, Blair and Serena are on their way to Paris for some retail therapy. Jenny’s headed to Hudson to stay with her mom. Nate was having a threesome to get over Serena. Dan was about to write an e-mail to Vanessa explaining everything that happened, then went looking at flights to Paris (he might have feelings for Serena still?). Georgina showed up at the loft, showing Dan that she’s pregnant and apparently it’s his baby. Chuck was in Prague where he got mugged and shot when the robbers took his gorgeous engagement ring for Blair. GG season finale in a nutshell.

So there we have it. Two shows, two season finales. Characters’ lives left hanging in the balance and we gotta wait until September to find out what happens to them (hopefully for OTH – we know GG is coming back).