Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall 2011 TV

Fall TV is right around the corner, and the networks are geared up to inundate you with around 30 new shows -- a pretty heavy slate.

I'll be watching a lot of it, because (A) I'm supposed to "as a actor", to see what's trending, and where there might be dayplayer or co-star roles for me, and (B) because I likes it.

So, outside of college/NFL football and hockey, below is my subjective list of most-anticipated new and returning TV shows. Let me know in the comments which shows to which you're looking forward.

I've got a Google calendar I'll share with "select" folks if you request it (if I know/trust you; I don't like how Google exposes my Email in a shared calendar, so I'm not going to make the calendar public).

CliqueClack TV has a decent iCal / Google calendar of the entire fall lineup, though I did notice a few of the start dates/times are bit off.

Here's my list, organized by network (check local listings for final dates/times):

New Shows:

  • ABC
    • Charlie's Angels -- Yeah, I am looking forward to this TV treatment of a movie treatment of a TV series. TV life's come full circle, and this could be a fun, Alias-lite type show. (Sept. 21)

    • Last Man Standing -- Tim Allen returns to TV, along with Nancy Travis. I'm hopeful Allen has matured as a TV actor beyond the endearing schlock of "Home Improvement", and I like (and identify) with the conceit of a parental-role-switch-cum stay-at-home dad trying to maintain his manliness in the midst of raising daughters. (Oct. 11)
    • Man Up! -- There are a few shows that make me angry for missing the pilot season casting call, and"Man Up!" is one of those. The log line sounds like someone's been following me and two of my friends with spy cams: "Three best friends -- all in various stages of relationships -- struggle to define their lives as modern men. They're sensitive, play video games and use body wash, but strive to maintain they are are still manly men." It's not a sitcom -- it's a reality TV show of my life. (Oct. 18)

    • Once Upon a Time -- Dunno why I so like Jennifer Morrison, but there it is. This is one of two fairy-tales-are-real TV series this fall (coincidence? Leaky pitch?). The premise is Morrison is the daughter of Snow White and her Prince Charming, and the various other princesses, prince charmings, and villains of what feels like live-action treatments of largely Disney-esque  fairy tales (it is ABC, after all) have been moved forward and trapped in time in the little town of Storybrooke (hopefully, the rest of the series will be less heavy-handed). (Oct. 23)

  • CBS
    • Person of Interest -- OK, it's a suspense series with Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel, backed by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan? I predict strong characters and edge-of-seat moments, sub-threads that twist and resurface, and my butt in a seat watching it Sept. 22. (Sept. 22)

  • CW
    • Ringer -- Sarah Michelle Gellar is pretty amazing, and gutsy as an actress; I'm hopeful this network-homecoming-of-sorts really stretches her, and shows critics what she can do. Part of the magic is she's in dual roles as a Vegas showgirl ditching the mob and fleeing to New York (oh, the irony!) where her socialite twin has just disappeared. Sexiness! Suspense! Mystery! Sanctioned actress split-personalities! (Sept. 13)

    • Hart of Dixie -- I could pawn this one off as a concession I'm making to watch at least one show with my wife this fall, but the truth is, I'm looking forward to this. Rachel Bilson stars, and she made a good impression on me in "How I Met Your Mother" and "Chuck", so I'm I'm glad she's getting a leading role. "Friday Night Lights" Scott "he-should-have-been-cast-as-Green-Lantern" Porter plays a possibly predictable love-triangle interest, but I'm excited to see him show off another facet of his beefy acting chops. (Sept. 26)

  • FX
    • Terra Nova -- I'm thinking this is "The Lost World" / "Land of the Lost" (minus the cheese) for our generation, and Steven Spieldburg is the name Executive Producer attached to the show. But there's a strong production pedigree for this show with the likes of Craig Silverstein, who EPed "Nikita" (also back for another season), and has his hands in "Bones"; co-producer Livia Hanich, who was involved in "Pushing Daisies"; RenĂ© Echevarria, who EPed everything from "Dark Angel" to "The 4400"; and Peter Chernin just came off of producing the Rise of the Planet of the Apes film.  (Sept. 26)

    • American Horror Story -- Okay, if I can withstand the creepiness factor (teaser trailers are freaky), I'm on-board for this Dylan McDermott / Connie Britton / Jessica Lange family drama / TV occult suspense show about a family that moves from Boston to LA, and finds their new house haunted. This is going to be a tough conceit to hold onto for the long haul, so I hope they find a way to give it legs. (Oct. 50)

  • NBC
    • Up All Night -- Granted, my main interest in this is cathartic, but this Will Arnett / Christina Applegate comedy about sleep-deprived parents is getting great early buzz. (Sept. 14)

    • Prime Suspect -- I'm worried about the staleness of the backdrop (lady dick trying to make it in a male-dominated police workforce), but it's Maria Bello, for crying out loud (A History of Violence). And not to be creepy, but I could watch her just sleep every episode. (Sept. 22)

    • Grimm -- Show number 2 of the fairy-tales-are-real TV fall series sees "Privileged" alumn David Giuntoli as a homicide dick who can see dead mythical (mythological?) people through their faux human skins. I'm hopeful this is "Fringe"-fun-esque, but I'm mostly interested in "Prison Break" ex Silas Weir Mitchell playing a wolf (he looks like a wolf, so I'm glad he gets to play one). (Oct. 21)

  • Starz
    • Boss -- Kelsey Grammer is a loud, cruel, secretive Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, and playing deliciously against type. (Oct. 21)
Returning Shows:
  • ABC
    • Dancing with the Stars -- I can't say why; I just might have to watch this season. (Sept. 19)
  • CBS
    • Survivor -- I've watched every season since this show started, and it's become more of a curiosity endeavor, and not really borne of any fandom. They just ... keep doing it. Is Jeff Probst enjoying the gig while it lasts, or living in desperate fear of it ending? I hope it's the former; good for him. (Sept. 14)
    • How I Met Your Mother -- It hasn't jumped the shark yet, and if you're not a fan of the series, that's fine. But let's never talk about it together if that's the case. Ever. (Sept. 19)
    • Hawaii 5-0 -- Haters dog the series as "CSI"-lite, but I have trouble staying engaged in the 18+ series around that franchise. Occasionally, though, "Hawaii 5-0" does something great, and I'm all in. Besides, the Season One cliffhanger did enough to hit "reset", while keeping the bigger story arcs intact, that I'm looking forward to what they do with the series's new headroom. (Sept. 19)
    • Big Bang Theory -- Polished sitcom material dressed in a comfy geek housecoat, how I miss you. Costant digs at geekdom, nerddom, intelligentsia, and failed acting all keep me entertained ... and humble. (Sept. 22)
    • The Amazing Race -- As far "Reality TV" goes, here's a PSA: It's not real, it's scripted, staged, and hermetically edited. "The Amazing Race" is tolerable for me, because it's really more competition-esque, with less drama than others of its ilk, and I get a free travelogue with interesting happenings in between. Plus, I like Phil Keoghan; seems like a really nice guy, passionate about not wasting any moment in his life. (Sept. 25)
    • Rules of Engagement -- I've not been following this show lately, but I want to get back onto it. I so dig Patrick Warburton, and Megyn Price is a seriously under-appreciated actress. (Sept. 24? Oct. 8?)
  • NBC
    • Community -- Consistently under-the-radar, and consistently great, it keeps reminding me I shouldn't think I know what to expect from a caliber sitcom. (Sept. 22)
    • Chuck -- I so love this heartistic series (that's right, I'm using "heartistic", and applying it to  "Chuck"; deal). Sure, they've already said this is the final season, and yeah, the log-line for the season sounds like an entire season of jump-the-shark. But before they announce the world's greatest flawed super spies are going to have a baby, I'm all in with Chuck, Sarah (she does all that emoting .. in a second language), Morgan, Casey, Ellie, Captain Awesome, and Jester. (Oct. 21)
  • TV Land
  • USA
    • Psych -- I'm late to the party, but I so follow a show I passionately believe I could do. I'm more than midway through catching up on the entire series, and as fun and goofy as this series can be, every once in a while James Roday, Corbin Bernsen, Maggie Lawson give these moments of absolutely brilliant acting ("I'm close-talking") that makes the series so, so much more fun. (October 12)
That's my list. Tell me in the comments what shows have you stoked for this fall.

Other TV/Episode links:
(And, yes, I did say, "lady dick" up there. I'm prepared for disappointed Google landers.)