Saturday, May 22, 2010

Predicting the Future of TV: Ok, Just Next Fall

Good to start with a wonderfully snarky quote:
Jeff Zucker [NBC honcho], who, as is widely acknowledged, will one day be the subject of B-school presentations on how to fall up.
I have been following the "upfronts" via those who tweet and post, especially Alan Sepinwall and Tim Goodman.*  Anyhow, my wife always looks forward to the new season with trepidation--that her favorite programs will be crushed yet she may find herself addicted to yet more shows.  I am usually less concerned.  The new TV season will be Lost-less, which should free up heaps of time but subtract blog opportunities.  What other changes are in store?  Keep in mind that we don't get FX or TNT directly up here, so I have not been able to follow Closer/Weeds/Justified.  I am starting to rent last season's Weeds and hope to finally watch The Wire this summer on DVD if they still have the older seasons at my local blockbuster (and, yes, we are going to venture into the CA equivalent of netflix soon but slowly).  And no HBO/AMC/Showtime stuff here since they did not have any standups (although I am, of course, looking forward to Mad Men, various new programs on HBO, etc).

  • Shows that survived
    • Chuck which is probably entering its last season.  It is heaps of fun, but NBC lost its faith early.  Too bad, it could have gone for six or seven years easily.
    • Friday Night Lights--it has a two year deal to wrap up with Direct TV and NBC;
    • How I Met Your Mother, perhaps not its best season, but enjoyable nonetheless;
    • Castle where chemistry trumps the very predictable "mysteries";
    • Smallville: Thankfully entering its final season.  As usual, it is hard to let go even after repeated shark-jumping.
  • Shows that we knew were coming back:
    • Big Bang Theory, which is moving to Thursdays.  Complicates things as I like Community, which is staying in the same slot as last year.
    • Mentalist will continue to rock.
    • Community: I love a good pop culture reference plus it is the closest I can get to a university comedy. 
    • The Office: Not a great season but heaps of fun moments
  • Shows that I will seek out next year:
    • No Ordinary Family, about a family of superheroes.  Yes, I am a sucker for super-stuff.  And it has Michael Chiklis who can do no wrong (yes, I need to catch up on The Shield as well)
    • The Cape, where a cop fights a corrupt police force by donning a cape (apparently, he did not see the Incredibles).
    • Undercovers, an NBC spy couple show from JJ Abrams.
    • Parks and Rec.  I finally got into it late this season and now they are pushing it back as a mid-season replacement.  Oy.
  • Shows that I might watch by accident:
    • Bleep my Dad Says, with Shatner.
    • The Event, NBC's new conspiracy serial.
    • Maybe Hawaii 5 O, to replace the beaches of Lost. 
    • Running Wilde with Keri Russell and Will Arnett.  I like the actors.  Not much else yet.
  • Shows that I will avoid like the plague or H1N1:
    • Anything with Law in the title or with lawyers as major characters.
    • Same thing for doctors (unless they are doctors by degree, professors by profession).
    • Most of the new sitcomes and all of the reality programs.
I am not upset at the cancellations.  Overall, with Lost going away and the short seasons of Chuck and FNL (13 and 10 episodes, I think, plus a belated Parks and Rec), I don't think my network TV watching is going to increase or decrease much.  MyDVR-ing will certainly increase as I master our new device.  Speaking of which, I now am going to watch last night's Lost-focused Kimmel and then last night's FNL.

*  You can follow both on twitter.  Each podcasts with others. Alan's podcast is very TV-focused, whereas Tim's is more amusing and much less focused. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I need to watch FNL. I've heard about it and by the time I was going to get on board, it went to Direct TV (which I don't have). I am going to look for the DVDs.

I love those CBS Monday night comedies too (HIMYM and Big Bang) - didn't realize BB was moving to Thursday. I'm guessing it's going up against Community based on your comment (I watched the first couple episodes of that, it was ok).

I agree, The Office isn't AS great as usual this year, but still one of my favorite comedy shows and Parks and Rec is GREAT. So is 30 Rock which you didn't comment about - do you hate it or just never watched it?

Also missing from the list is Modern Family. If you liked Arrested Development, you'll love it. It's one of the best comedies on TV right now. And coming from someone who watches a lot of TV, I would know!!!

Since you don't get FX, I insist that you rent the DVDs for "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" - a comedy in the Seinfeld mold.