November 2, 2009

a few programming bits

Premieres this week:
  • V premieres on Tuesday at 8:00 ET on ABC. According to my research (Wiki), V was a two-part miniseries written by Kenneth Johnson that aired in 1983. Johnson wrote a sequel miniseries called V: The Final Battle to conclude the story. As networks often do, NBC decided to keep it going by creating a series in 1984. Johnson parted ways with the project, and the show only lasted one season. The new series is a remake/reconceptualization of the story - an extraterrestrial race arrives on Earth with seemingly good intentions, only to slowly reveal their true machinations the more ingrained into society they become. You'll see many familiar faces like Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Scott Wolf (Everwood, Party of Five), Morris Chestnut (The Best Man, Ladder 49), and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, A Knight's Tale). I'll be posting a review of the first episode in the next few days, so stay tuned.

  • The original Real Housewives, the girls of the OC, premieres on Thursday at 10:00 ET on Bravo. I remember thinking the last season of OC was a little depressing. Maybe in comparison to the newer versions? There's another new girl this season, Alexis. Gretchen is back again, and if the gossip rags have it right, she's now dating Jo's Slade. Please read this amazing piece by Hank Stuever for Washington Post. He describes the moral compass that has become Brave reality programming perfectly. My favorite line:
"The channel is a sort of ESPN for gay men and their simpatico BFF divas, all of it so neon-pink and deceptively shallow-seeming, with its relentless devotion to documenting the deflation of inflated-egos. It's something the network hardly talks about or analyzes (why would it? Bravo succeeds by its ability to tantalize and scandalize, not hypothesize) but season after season, it's strongly there: an ethos. People on Bravo, one way or another, always get what's coming to them."
Other new show reviews coming up:

  • White Collar, Friday nights on USA. Two episodes have aired so far, and reviews have been quite strong. But I haven't had time to sit down and watch it. It's a Catch Me If You Can kind of story about a conman who reluctantly crosses to the other side to help solve cases. You'll recognize Matthew Bomer as Bryce Larkin from Chuck.
  • The League, Thursday nights on FX. A new half-hour comedy that premiered last week about a group of friends in a fantasy football league. Thursdays are a tough night for me, but I'm planning to catch this one online. Mostly due to promising comedic talent like Nick Kroll, Stephen Rannazzisi , and Paul Scheer.
Mark your calendars:

  • ABC is premiering a new reality competition show called Let's Dance on Monday, November 23rd at 9:30 ET. Most importantly, Kathy Griffin will host. Celebrities will perform famous pop dance routines. Hopefully, they take it for what it is and make it silly, and it's not horrible like that unfortunate circus performer competition last year. (UPDATE Nov. 10: ABC scrapped this show because producers couldn't find a cast "acceptable to ABC". Shocker.)
  • One of the new shows I'm most intrigued about is coming up sooner than I realized. Men of Certain Age will premiere December 7th on TNT. You've probably started to see previews. It's the new drama starring Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher (a trifecta of television success). They're a group of aging college buddies. I wasn't interested at first, but the previews are really well done. In fact, here's one:


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