September 9, 2009

2009 fall schedule: fridays

Fridays usually serve two purposes for networks 1) a programming spot for older audiences, or 2) a grazing pasture where shows are sent to die. There are a few curious decisions on the schedule for Fridays this fall, so I think it's worth a look.


Law & Order: The original L&O has been on forever and bopped around to several timeslots. Two seasons ago, the show hit a rough patch and came close to cancellation. In the past two season, however, with the addition Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, Linus Roache as the new ADA, and Sam Waterston in the DA spot, the quality is near the heyday of the show. I hope the Friday timeslot doesn't spell disaster. (premieres Sept. 25)

Southland: I wrote a review of Southland at the end of its run last spring. There are a few issues that need to be addressed, but overall, I came to really like this show. Apparently, they're narrowing the focus to fewer characters - more Regina King and Ben Mackenzie. Still no leaks about what happens to Tom Everett Scott's character who received a swift shot to the chest in the season finale. I really question NBC's decision to stick this on Friday nights, but I guess they're just working with limited space. Thanks Jay. (premieres Oct. 23)

The Jay Leno Show: Every Monday through Friday starting September 14th.


Supernanny: I've seen this show a few times, and it always disturbs me. I recommend putting teenagers in front of it from time to time as a means of birth control. (premieres Oct. 16)

Ugly Betty: Super sad to see Betty relegated to Friday. Last season wasn't my favorite, but I still think this show is so much more original and funny than so many other shows out there. And not to sound preachy, but you don't get that family values message much anymore, and Betty does it so well without beating you over the head. I hope loyal fans will stick with it on this new night. I'm excited to see Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Kristen Johnson as guest stars this season. (premieres Oct. 9)

20/20: Told you it was old people night (sorry).


Ghost Whisperer: You have to give CBS credit for really knowing their audience and planning their nightly schedules well. At the opposite end of their Monday comedy night, Fridays have been a successful night for programming to an older audience on CBS. Ghost Whisperer has had a loyal following from the start. The show has never interested me personally, but more power to J-Love. (premieres Sept. 25)

Medium: After NBC somewhat mysteriously dropped Medium at the end of last season, CBS quickly scooped it up. All seems right with the world, however, as NBC is really pushing the comedy this season, and Medium seems a perfect fit for CBS, especially in this timeslot. I'm sensing the same success as JAG - a nine-year series that spent just one season at NBC before migrating to a happier home at CBS. (premieres Sept. 25)

Numb3rs: I've never seen this show, nor does it really interest me, but I was surprised to learn two things on IMDB: it's been on for 6 seasons and Judd Hirsch is in it. Who knew? (premieres Sept. 25)


Brothers: A new comedy starring Michael Strahan, former defensive end for the Giants, and Daryl Mitchell, favorite of mine from Ed and 10 Things I Hate About You (the movie). They play brothers, the first of which just finished his NFL career. Unfortunately, I've heard less than stellar reviews of the pilot. I'll probably skip this one. (premieres Sept. 9)

Til' Death: I cannot believe this is still on. (premieres Oct. 2)

Dollhouse: Joss Whedon's spring 2009 premiere drama staring Eliza Dushku. I had every intention of watching this last year, but sort of forgot about it and didn't feel motivated to catch up over the summer. I may try to catch it this year, but I know there was a general disappointment among diehard Whedon fans. (premieres Sept. 25)


Smallville: This sort of "fringe" WB turned CW show is actually going into its 9th season. I say fringe because it never really fit the WB mold, and it probably fits the CW mold even less. Still, the ratings are always strong. Superman must be middle-aged by now. (premieres Sept. 25)


Stargate Universe: In case you're wondering about that jumble of words above, the former SciFi network recently rebranded to SyFy. I think it has something to do with trying to broaden their appeal. I've enjoyed a few Syfy originals, but I always seem to forget about this network, so I wanted to be sure to highlight this new show. Stargate Universe is the latest in the Stargate franchise (Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, etc.). I've never seen any of these shows, but this one is billed for newcomers to the Stargate story, and the cast is really compelling. From what I've learned, a Stargate is a ring-shaped alien device that creates a teleportation wormhole. There are a network of Stargates investigated over the course of the franchise. Are you still with me? Stargate Universe is about a team of scientists and soldiers who board an abandoned ship called Destiny after their base is attacked. Aboard Destiny, they are unable to return or Earth or man the ship, but they can travel through planets that have Stargates. Woah. I think I'm geeked out. The cast includes Lou Diamond Phillips, David Blue (played Cliff on Ugly Betty), Ming Na (ER), and Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore's Shooter McGavin). (premieres Oct. 2)


White Collar: USA keeps cranking them out. This one is about an unlikely partnership between con artist Neil Caffrey (Matthew Bomer who played Bryce on Chuck) and an FBI agent Peter Stokes (Tim DeKay, a face you'll recognize as a serial guest star). Stokes catches Caffrey after chasing him around for years, Caffrey then breaks out of prison, but is soon captured again by Stokes. Got that? Caffrey manages to convince his nemesis that his talents would be wasted in prison. They agree to partner up to catch other big-time elusive criminals. (premieres Oct. 23)


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