theTVaddict Sizes Up the CW’s New Shows

gossip girl cw

Who’d have thought that a project called GOSSIP GIRL would quickly become the least talked about new series on the CW’s fall 2007 slate. While the show, from OC creator Josh Schwartz definitely looks to be a winner — after-all, who doesn’t love glitzy New York socialites and OC levels of melodrama — the real talked about shows were some of the CW’s more offbeat and original offerings.

aliens in america cw

Namely, ALIENS IN AMERICA. Now I know what you’re thinking — EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS aside, ‘funny’ and the CW are two words that don’t generally go together. Well, if the reaction from the UpFront audience was any indication, the CW may have its first bona-fide comedic hit on its hands (translation: people actually laughed).

ALIENS IN AMERICA tells the story of Justin Tolchuk, a sensitive 16-year-old just trying to make it through the social nightmare that is high school. Realizing that her son needs a friend, Justin’s mom signs the family up for the school’s international student exchange program. Needless to say, if BORAT taught us anything, it’s that America loves its foreigners. Come fall 2007, the next big CW star is going to be a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslin named Raja.

life is wild cw

Moving away from comedy comes LIFE IS WILD, a family drama that sounds a touch familiar. When the wife of a heart surgeon veterinarian dies, father Andy Danny drags his entire blended family out of New York city to spend a year living in Everwood Colorado South Africa. Berlanti levels of drama, lush African scenery and adorable lion cubs means we’re willing to give the show a try. As long as the family’s last name doesn’t happen to be ‘Camden.’

reaper cw

Finally, there’s REAPER. And no, the title doesn’t refer to the fact that the hour long comedy/action/drama hybrid just killed off VERONICA MARS. REAPER is exactly what twenty-one year old Sam (Bret Harrison, THE LOOP) discovers he is when Satan shows up at his door and informs him that his parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Turns out, it’s payback time and Sam must spend the rest of his life capturing hell’s escapees on earth. One part BUFFY, one part SUPERNATURAL, REAPER looks to be a winner. And no, I’m not just saying that because Satan told me to.

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  • Josh

    Where was Gossip Girl the least talked about new show? At the upfronts? Online, all the buzz I’ve read has been surrounding GG. I’ve also heard a few good things about Reaper. Nothing but cancellation talk over Life Is Wild though.

  • Until I see the pilot, I’m not about to pass judgement on GOSSIP GIRL. But I will say this. Going into the UpFronts, I was most excited for GOSSIP GIRL, but the preview clips didn’t impress.

    Wealthy spoiled teens acting horribly towards eachother…. the concept’s getting old. How many variations of THE OC / MEAN GIRLS do we need?

    Quite honestly, I found REAPER, ALIENS and yes, even Life in Africa far more intriguing. But again, I’ll withhold judgement until I actually see the pilot. Stay Tuned…

  • Alyssa

    Gossip Girls is the show that all of the television journalists are talking about off of the CW slate. Even more than Reaper, which surprised me.

  • Jim

    I have a friend over at the CW, and from the sounds of it and your write up this is definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye out for. Though I do think the name could use a tweaking.

  • David D.

    I agree with Jim! I think the CW is rude naming a show with the initials of “GG” right after they end Gilmore Girls….THE ORIGINAL AND BEST “GG”!!!! The CW has disappointed me, almost as much as fox! HONESTLY…First Everwood (RIP!), then Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, what next… Cancel supernatural for the third season of who wants to be a Pussy **** Doll? I love One tree hill and Smallvile but honestly they treat one tree hill like an ugly step chiled and smallvile is (according to the cast) only going to last one maybe 2 more seasons! … … …. .. . . . . . . . . . what is left on tv worth watching…….Scrubs, L&O SVU, Lost, The Unit and Family Guy? ….The 4400 and South Park? …thats it…I mean Las Vegas is getting ruined, Prison Break and 24 are going nowhere, and Futurama doesn’t premier on Comedy Central till 08′!!!! I dont know…I just don’t know! WoW that was a rant sorry bout that! lol but the name should change. 😉

  • Common Sense

    Between the reviews of ALIENS IN AMERICA from you and Ausiello, I’m actually looking forward to the show. Still wondering why it took over a year to finally get it on the air? Same with Hidden Palms…which I still haven’t heard an answer to (is there a future for it, if it rocks?).

  • I’ll admit that REAPER sounds interesting – but why in the world did they name the main character of a show about hunting/capturing demons “Sam,” when they’ve already got a show about a Sam that does the same thing? Do they *want* to confuse people? It’s the cute!dean/hot!dean mess all over again…

  • I’m excited for ALIENS IN AMERICA.

  • Marjorie K

    I watched both screeners last night.
    Aliens in America is awesome! Freaks and Geeks meets The Wonder Years. Better than the clips suggest. The only reason why this show won’t succeed is because it’s too good.

    Gossip Girl was again, way better than the clips suggested. It’s definitely an OC/Cruel Intentions ripoff. However, and perhaps it’s because I grew up hanging out with those folk, I found it really enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way. Blake Lively who was in Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, does a nice job. Leighton Meester plays the upper east side version of Summer. And there’s the token geek boy who’s into really good music, totally shy, and yet underneath it all, really hot. (remind you of anyone?) The production values were great as was the soundtrack, (vintage Schwartz). It’s definitely got a fighting chance. Like the aughts version of Less Than Zero.

  • Mel

    I might watch Gossip Girl — I haven’t really looked at the grid yet, but I am shopping for my viewing on Wed. I dunno if Reaper can pull me away from the Unit on Tuesdays. Probably not. With the impending demise of VM, I will have a DVR timeslot open — but CHUCK looks interesting too. And, I’m having a hard time imagining Kevin Smith humor w/out the R rating and just thinking its not going to be funny.

  • Steph

    About Gossip Girl the idea of it isn’t like being ripped off from the OC, it is actually on the book series, “Gossip Girl”. It’s a really popular Young Adult/teen series.

  • Juff

    How is Reaper responsible for cancelling Veronica Mars? It’s filling in the hole after CW cancelled it due to poor ratings. Not the cause of VM’s demise. You’d think that a “TV Addict” would understand that it’s how the process works.

  • Hallie

    I’m surprised Gossip Girl is considered one of the least talked about show. I watched the first two episodes and the series looks very promising. The cast members are all gorgeous paired with a juicy storyline. People will get sucked right in once they watch a episode.