My husband and I watch quite a bit of TV. Although it's usually while multitasking, but we do enjoy the time together in the evenings, making silly comments about the shows while also on our laptops. So we always look forward to the fall, when the majority of the new series come out.
However, usually we're a lot more excited about all the new shows the networks are coming out with. See, at the beginning of September every year, we check out The Futon Critic's Fall Show Grid and show descriptions, to see which new shows we want to set up on our DVR.
Then I make a spreadsheet and sort it by the premier date, so I make sure we don't miss anything.
But see those little asterisks to the right of my spreadsheet? There's only 6 of them, and they indicate the new series that are premiering this fall. Only 6!
I must say, I'm a little disappointed. I pulled up my spreadsheet from last year and there were 11 new shows in fall 2010 that we had an interest in (although we only ended up keeping only 3 of those shows on our DVR, which usually happens--the majority of new shows just don't hold our interest for very long).
So this year, with only 6 new series to add to our DVR, I'm guessing only 1 or 2 of them will make the final cut with us (or just be plain canceled, since that happens all the time too). I wonder which of our shows we've picked to check out will survive?
Up All Night
I've got high hopes for this one, based on the cast.
(from NBC's press release, May 2011) From Emily Spivey (NBC's "Parks and Recreation," NBC's "Saturday Night Live") and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes "Up All Night," a modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate ("Samantha Who?") stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") plays Chris, Reagan's supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents - a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults -- for the most part. Maya Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live," "Bridesmaids") stars as Ava, Reagan's outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan's former carefree life. James Pumphrey ("High Road") portrays Brian, Reagan's socially awkward hipster assistant. "Up All Night" is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC's "30 Rock").
I'd put this show under the "we'll see" category, based on the plot. Although I do like everything that Kathryn Hahn has been in.
(from NBC's press release, May 2011) "Free Agents" is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom ("Party Down") and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, "The Simpsons," "Huff") is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, "Hung") thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex's co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, "Love Bites," "Modern Family") and Gregg (Al Madrigal, "Wizards of Waverly Place," "Gary, Unmarried"), and Stephen (Anthony Head, "Merlin," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started -- in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio ("Backwash," "Mad Love") and Natasha Leggero ("Ugly Americans," "'Til Death"). "Free Agents" is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke ("Miss/Guided") executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions' Kenton Allen ("Free Agents," BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.
This show looks cute. Although I'm not as head-over-heels in love with Zooey Deschanel as everyone else seems to be. But Damon Wayans Jr. was great in Happy Endings, so I think this show might be pretty entertaining.
(from FOX's press release, May 2011) NEW GIRL (working title) is a new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether ("No Strings Attached") that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel, "(500) Days of Summer") is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't. Although she's dorky and awkward, she's comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she's not used to hanging with the boys - especially at home. Of the three male roommates, NICK (Jake Johnson, "No Strings Attached") is the most grounded. He had big plans for life, but somewhere along the way, he stopped caring and became a bartender. Usually the smartest guy in the room, he has an uncanny knack for reading people and uses humor to deflect everyone and everything. SCHMIDT (Max Greenfield, "Ugly Betty") is a hustling young professional who fancies himself a modern-day Casanova. Though his heart is usually in the right place, he's always scheming ways to climb the social ladder and is driven by an immature and almost obsessive urge to be on "the scene." Viewing Jess as a gateway into the elusive female mind, as well as a personal project, Schmidt encourages the guys to bring Jess into the apartment. The third roommate, COACH (Damon Wayans Jr., "The Underground"), is a former high school athlete who currently makes his living as a personal trainer. Set in his ways and with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to dating, Coach is most comfortable when he's in the gym. Though he'll never admit it, Coach's macho athletic exterior is actually a cover for his shyness around women, and he struggles to translate his personal confidence into conversation, preferring to speak in sports metaphors - or not at all. Rounding out this group is Jess' childhood best friend, CECE (Hannah Simone, "Beautiful People"), a deadpan, somewhat cynical model who blossomed after outgrowing her promiscuous adolescent years. She has the street smarts Jess lacks and spends a lot of time doling out no-nonsense relationship advice that only a professional model could give. She and Jess balance each other well and accept each other despite their faults, making Cece the perfect complement to Jess. As their relationships progress, the five friends come to realize they need each other more than they ever thought they would and end up forming a charmingly dysfunctional family.
This is another "we'll see" show. Some of the previews make it look completely annoying, but then again, it did make the cut for NBC's Thursday night lineup, so maybe it has potential.
(from NBC's press release, May 2011) A hilarious look at modern love, "Whitney" is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, "Chelsea Lately") and Alex (Chris D'Elia, "Glory Daze"), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends' weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends -- including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, "The Other Guys") and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, "The Starter Wife") -- and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other -- and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC's "30 Rock") as Lily's perfect boyfriend, and Dan O'Brien ("How I Met Your Mother") as an eternal bachelor. "Whitney" is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber ("The Break Up"), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas ("My Boys") and Barry Katz ("Last Comic Standing") are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman ("Seinfeld," "The New Adventures of Old Christine") is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
This show is on the list because it's scheduled right between The Middle and Modern Family, which are two shows we really enjoy. That said though, the plot still puts it in the "we'll see" zone, because I don't have that high of hopes for it.
(from ABC's press release, May 2011) Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the 'burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they've ever been. Tessa (Jane Levy) and George (Jeremy Sisto) have been on their own ever since Tessa's mom pulled a "Kramer vs. Kramer" before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly he's feeling a little out of his league. So it's goodbye New York City and hello suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the 'burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they're really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast. The show stars Jeremy Sisto ("Law & Order") as George Altman, Jane Levy ("Shameless") as Tessa Altman, Carly Chaikin ("The Last Song") as Dalia Royce, Allie Grant ("Weeds") as Lisa, Alan Tudyk ("V") as Noah Lerner and Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") as Dallas Royce. Ana Gasteyer ("Saturday Night Live") guest stars. Emily Kapnek ("Hung") writes and executive-produces this bitingly ironic single-camera comedy. "Suburgatory" was directed by Michael Fresco ("Raising Hope"), who also executive-produced the pilot. It is produced by Warner Bros. Television.
Once Upon a Time
The plot sounds pretty crazy, as does the styling in the previews I've seen, but come on, it's from the writers of Lost, 'nuff said.
(from ABC's press release, May 2011) From the inventive minds of "Lost" executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide. And they all lived happily ever after - or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She's a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who's been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma's help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming's missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen's curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn't believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It's a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close... where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don't remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell. "Once Upon a Time" stars Ginnifer Goodwin ("Big Love") as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison ("House MD") as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle ("The Full Monty," "Trainspotting," "SGU Stargate Universe") as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore ("Mad Men") as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie. "Once Upon a Time" was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC's "V"). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod ("Entourage"). "Once Upon a Time" is from ABC Studios.
So yeah, not exactly a great outlook for new fall TV series, in my opinion. But on the upside, a lot of really good series are returning, so we do have something to look forward to. I especially can't wait for the premier of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (in 2 nights, yay!) and Glee (next week), along with NBC's Thursday nights.
**Side note, If you've never seen Always Sunny, go watch this short clip: Kitten Mittons. My sister sent it to me a few years back, and that alone prompted me to rent the whole series and become addicted (although if you do that, keep going after season 1, which was weak in my opinion. Season 2 is where it really comes to life, when Danny DeVito joins the cast).**
Thank goodness we have a DVR, so we can record multiple shows at once, and fast forward through commercials!
What new TV shows are you looking forward to this fall? Anyone else research and over analyze their show selections like we do?