May 18, 2012

My Two-Cents on the 2012-2013 Upfronts

Upfront Week's finally over, so I've decided to take a step back to reflect on what the major networks did this past two weeks.

Most Surprising Renewal: Nikita (The CW)
While I'm still a fan of Nikita, I was pretty sure that it was going to be canceled after another low-rated season, but its renewal could be a case of Fridays being both a blessing and a curse. Sure, its numbers were going to be horrible, but Friday shows tend to have lower expectations, which could have been how The CW justified bringing back our favorite assassin.

Most Disappointing Cancellation: The Finder (FOX)
I made my peace with The Finder's inevitable cancellation weeks ago, but knowing that Walter Sherman will not be back still stings. I've said it multiple times on "The Small Screen Podcast," but I'll say it again; I really want this character to live on, and if that means he's shoe-horned into Bones, then that's fine by me. That being said, the series finale was appropriate, and I'm sorta OK with that being it, but I need more Walter. I don't even need the rest. Just Walter.

Most Anticipated New Comedy: Go On (NBC)
I'm a Matthew Perry fan, so I want Go On to be successful for NBC because the world's a little bit better when he's on our screens. Now, I don't know if Go On will be the savior that the Peacock needs, but the premise sounds interesting enough, and it looks like a role tailor made for Perry. The thing is, the same could have been said about Mr. Sunshine, and the tone might be too dreary for those looking for light-hearted laughs. It also doesn't help that it's going to be on one of the most competitive nights for comedy, but more on that later.

Most Anticipated New Drama: Elementary (CBS)
OK, I'm going to be honest. The only reason I'm looking forward to Elementary is to mock it for ripping off Sherlock. Now, I'll admit that I could be surprised and the CBS version could be just as good as the BBC/PBS one, but it's highly unlikely. I'm also vaguely intrigued to see how this show justifies making Watson a female. We all know it's for unresolved sexual tension, but sometimes that's enough to keep things interesting (see Castle, Bones, Psych and on and on and on).

Least Anticipated New Comedy: The Neighbors (ABC)
ABC has the single-cam, family sit-com on lock down with its Laugh On Wednesday night block, but it's always been tricky to find the fourth piece to the puzzle. So what's the plan this year? How about giving us a show about a family moving into a suburb filled with aliens. Not other worldly humans like Suburgatory, but real extra-terrestrials. I can't believe ABC passed on Mandy Moore for this.

Least Anticipated New Drama: Mistresses (ABC)
I might be wrong, but I think I remember reading online that Mistresses will be held off until summer, so it technically should not be eligible for this post, but the trailer was truly horrendous and it made me feel dirty while watching it (there was a snippet where a woman's upset because the guy picked his wife). I seriously think it's about a club for women who sleep with other women's men. At least there's truth in advertising, but this show's obviously not meant for me.

Most Surprising New Comedy: Partners (CBS)
By "surprising," I mean a show that I had zero interest in before watching clips/trailers/previews, but was won over by something. I've soured on most of CBS' comedies (How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls), so I didn't expect much from its newest sit-com, but I found myself chuckling at the preview for Partners. Since I cannot quit HIMYM, I'm willing to give this show a few episodes to win me over.

Most Surprising New Drama: Vegas (CBS)
Another CBS show that I was mostly uninterested in until I watched the preview. I'm a sucker for westerns and gangster movies, so this should be right up my alley since it combines both, but I also find period dramas about the 60's to be mostly boring (yes, I'm including Mad Men). I'll probably check out a few episodes, which would be the first time I've made it a point to watch a CBS drama in ages, just to see what it has to offer.

Most Shocking Schedule Move: Two and a Half Men (CBS)
When you have two shows as successful as The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, logic dictates that you spread them around the schedule as a way to help prop up your line-up. Apparently, CBS felt that dominating Thursday nights is more important than spreading the wealth, so they doubled up on Chuck Lorre shows. I kind of understand the move, but I don't think 2 Broke Girls is strong enough to anchor Mondays, but we'll have to see if this ends up being a calculated risk or a huge gamble on CBS' part.

Biggest No-Brain Schedule Move: Glee (FOX)
It's quite simple when you think about it: Glee needs help since its ratings have taken a hit, The X-Factor/American Idol really haven't helped launch any new shows, and Glee's best ratings came when it had Idol as a lead-in. Moving Glee to Thursday's is win-win for FOX.

Most Logical Schedule: The CW
Say what you will about The CW, but its 2012-2013 makes the most sense from a thematic standpoint. You have your spoiled rich kids on Mondays (90210 and Gossip Girl), your cute female doctors on Tuesdays (Hart of Dixie and Emily Owens, M.D.), your old-school WB block on Wednesdays (Arrow and Supernatural), your supernatural soaps featuring brunettes on Thursdays (The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast) and everything else on Fridays (America's Next Top Model and Nikita). You have to admit, every night have a clear direction and the show's do complement one another.

Least Logical Schedule: NBC
I guess we're supposed to think that scheduling five hours on comedy on four nights was a bold move, but it's hard to wrap my head around some of the moves. The pairing of Animal Practice and Guys With Kids makes zero sense, as does the combo of Whitney and Community. If anything, they should swap partners, but I doubt NBC would want to banish a new comedy to Fridays just so it could be a better match with Whitney. NBC conceding Thursday nights also felt a bit odd since it should be the time for them to rebuild the brand, but it hasn't worked yet so I guess they're throwing in the towel.

Busiest Night of the Week: Tuesdays
For me, Tuesday nights are going to be the busiest when it comes to TV watching because NBC, FOX and ABC all decided to schedule comedy blocks containing show's I'm interested in against one another. We have Go On/The New Normal going up against New Girl/The Mindy Project and Happy Endings/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. While I like New Girl well enough, and I want Matthew Perry to be a hit, my heart belongs to Happy Endings, so I'll be watching ABC live and catching up on everything else later.

So there you have it; my random thoughts about what happened during this year's Upfront Week. On a whole, I have to admit that nothing really wowed me, and next season's shaping up to be somewhat of a bore, but I'll definitely be tuning in regardless.


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