Fall Television Predictions: The Good, the Bad and the Reality

Seems to me like a disappointing season for the new fall lineup of television, especially ABC. The new season’s hit reality series’ like Dancing With the Stars and America’s Next Top Model may have the last laugh in the ratings game. Nonetheless, This fall, I believe television has developed it’s own intricate formula for TV drama/comedy success that I, as a loyal viewer, will break down. This formula is called using “The Pull.”

New Shows
Starting with America’s “D-student”, FOX, you can’t help but wonder if the the once innovative network is slipping further down the creative poll. Their Pull: New shows premiering on this network tend to prove writers laziness to actually come up with real shows yet instead take a successful character or actor from another network and turn him into crap.

Justice
Premiere: August 30
Scheduled: Wednesdays, 9PM
Justice, set to premiere the last day in August, and it’s writers are going to take full advantage of their “Pull:” Alias’ Victor Garber ,who, if isn’t carrying the show, better be a major part of it. A court/cop drama, cut and dry, just more in depth than most and, I predict…mid-success, maybe a second season if stupid people actually think that the fancy lights and computer graphics make it any different than Law and Order or CSI.

‘Til Death
Premiere: September 7
Scheduled: Thursdays, 8PM
Scheduled an hour earlier and set to premiere a week later is ‘Til death starring it’s “Pull:” Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brad Garrett. The series is about the “hidden beauties” of a long-term marriage which stain in my mind as just a really long stand-up joke. I can’t honestly say that I would sit down and watch Ray’s brother try and outdo him as a different character. The pull is weak and the show, I predict, won’t last a full season unless Brad is actually funny then, I’ll give it one season.

Vanished
Premiere: August 21
Scheduled: Mondays, 9PM
Now Fox’s new brainchild Vanished intrigues me. This shows pull is not a “born again” actor, but an unknown character whose not at all what we think she is. Interesting Fox would challenge themselves in such a way as to either completely fail or bloom success. Usually, Fox’s crap shows cancel themselves into obscurity i.e. That 80’s Show and Firefly, but maybe Vanished will stand out, still get cancelled after one season, but stand out as a semi-good idea.

Celebrity Duets
Premiere: August 29
Scheduled: Thursdays, 9PM
The reality show Fox choose this season to back is one from the raised eyebrows of their own hit Idol’s Simon Cowel, Celebrity Duets, set to premiere the last day of August. If nothing gets you, it’s pull, the list of appalling celebrities set to sing, will. Cheech and Chong’s Cheech Marin, Zena Legend Lucy Lawless, Fresh Prince counsin Alfonso Ribeiro, Jai Rodriguez, VH1’s Hal Sparks, Actress Lea Thompson, 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Carly Patterson and wrestling champion Chris Jericho are among the few and semi-famous. I predict it to be a jumbled mess of “So you Think you Can Sing?” mixed with a little “Surreal Life….” and unfortunately, might last for a season or two.

Next is the eternal sibling rivalry of ABC and NBC choosing to use the simultaneous “pull” of premiering “Made from Movie” TV shows along with the usual ho-hum fall lineup of boring, relatable TV dramas and sequel reality shows.

The Nine
Premiere: October 4
Scheduled: Wednesdays, 10PM
&
Six Degrees
Premiere: September 21
Scheduled: Thursdays, 10PM
ABC’s drama’s The Nine and Six Degrees can be slumped together as the writers last ditch attempt to relate to “strangers meeting strangers.” The Nine is situational coincidence involving the happenings of nine strangers to a bank robbery while six degrees is just plain ‘ole boring coincidence. It’s a far stretch and a nice try, but people are more interested in social abnormalities like Sex in the City rather than seeing actors trying to pull relatable characters out of their ass… like Friends. I predict death before second season.

Ugly Betty
Premiere: September 28
Scheduled: Thursdays, 8PM
ABC’s “made from a movie” comedy Ugly Betty is destined to fall flat unless there is something or someone that will save it. The Devil Wear’s Prada had the celebrity edge and Hollywood following to actually put at least a small blimp on the movie radar, but making into a series- you’re asking for mid-season cancellation and putting a lot a faith in either the star or the ensemble.

Friday Night Lights-
Premiere: October 3
Scheduled: Tuesdays, 8PM
I predict that NBC’s take on Friday Night Lights will be either like a football based Laguna Beach or Everwood. How many shows can throw a bunch of horny, beautiful teenagers in high school on television. It was great with 90210 and the whole Spelling legacy, but now beautiful little people are just annoying and putting pressure on older actors to get on self-deprecating shows like Desperate Housewives to renew their career.

The Megan Mullally Show
Premiere: September 18
Scheduled:
If Megan can actually stand a full hour without reminding everyone about Karen walker, I will actually crack a smile, but my heart goes out to her, the cast of Will ad Grace, Friends and Sex and the City. This too will pass and she will end up either on Bravo with Kathy Griffin or in a security suit under the management of Gary Coleman.

Dancing with the Stars 3
Premiere: September 12
Scheduled: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8
Another season, another semi-successful clump of D-list celebrities like Mario Lopez and Vivica Fox trying to get their last fifteen minutes of fame before the scurry off into “Remember Her/Him?” status. I mean, really, can you actually say you see commercial endorsements of Drew and his dancing partner after last season? I think this whole “seeing celebrities act like real people” fad is getting old and I hope will stop after this season, but most likely will hold out til spring.

New Networks:
My Network TV
Premiere: September 5
Desire: September 5, M-F, 8PM
Fashion House:
Lately, sexy new networks are coming out with risque tv dramas starring aging personalities. My Network TV, set to premiere in September, is trying it’s best to compete with the success of The OC and sensuality of Nip/Tuck by coming up with the garbled mess that is Desire, a bunch of no-names attempting to make a name for themselves, and Fashion House which doesn’t look like it’s worth the publicity of it’s aging stars Morgan Fairchild and Bo Derrick. I personally could barely stand Morgan in those cheesy Old Navy commercials, so seeing her for and half or full hour slapping and bitching at someone as washed up as Bo Derrick doesn’t sound as appetizing as it may seem.

The CW
America’s Next Top Model 7: September 20, Wednesdays, 8PM
Runaway: September 25, Mondays, 9PM
One unlucky new network making it’s television debut with a bang is the CW, which I have yet to know exactly what that means. I say unlucky because America’s Next Top Model has become so unpopular that it had to get on a new network that has to gather it’s own fan base before taking on any previously hit show and the CW’s new show, Runaway, unfortunately doesn’t have the staying power in the either the plot nor the pull: Donny Walhberg, whose war against his brothers new Disney movie has clouded his judgement.

What I’m Waiting for in CELEB REALITY:
MTV- Moves – Due late 2006 – Jennifer Lopez’ multi-tasking, copycatting skills are put to work in this series of six young dancers and their dreams to dancing stardom which, by the way, happens to not exist unless you are either her ex-husband or Britney’s baby’s daddy.
E!- The Carters – Due Fall 2006 – Aaron and Backstreet Boy brother Nick Carter team up with their three sisters in hopes to completely set fire to the rest of their and their children’s careers.

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