By: Aleks Chan
Last week the five major broadcast networks outlined their new fall schedules and previewed clips of new series for advertisers at their annual Upfront presentations. After taking a look at these clips myself, I’ve compiled a list, divided into what’s most promising, what’s roughly in the middle, and what looks horrible. These aren’t reviews per se, they’re just immediate reactions to very brief footage – I’ll reevaluate after I’ve screened the pilots later this summer. First up, least promising of the bunch… Alex O’Loughlin fans, please don’t hurt us.?
100 QUESTIONS (NBC)
Buzz was that NBC was high on this comedy before its Upfront presentation and that it was being touted as “the next FRIENDS.” Highly doubtful, and I’m pretty sure the laugh track was the only thing laughing during the dreadfully unfunny trailer.
Starring former New York Giant Michael Strahan…plays former NFL player Mike Trainor, who returns home to help his brother’s struggling restaurant business. CCH Pounder from The Shield and Carl Weathers also star as their parents. Strahan does fine, but what would really be great is if the whole thing didn’t feel so strained and dated.
THE DEEP END (ABC)
GREY’S ANATOMY with lawyers. Because it refuses to stop.
THE FORGOTTEN (ABC)
A band of amateur detectives work to identify victims and solve their murders. Looks like a COLD CASE lookalike CBS passed on – and with good reason.
Kelsey Grammer plays a CEO who loses everything in the stock market, forcing him and his family to relocate to suburban Virginia. It’s the recession comedy of the year: humble, and kind of cheap.
HAPPY TOWN (ABC)
I demand a moratorium on prefacing previews with “from the network that brought you [insert cult favorite here].” Just because you mention TWIN PEAKS, doesn’t make this murder mystery set in a town Where Bad Things Don’t Happen Twin Peaks. Got it?
MELROSE PLACE (The CW)
Sydney Andrews, of the original Melrose, inexplicably survived her seemingly fatal death and has returned to collect rent from a whole new gaggle of tenants, which include Ashlee Simpson-Wentz in her return to TV. Like the 90210 remake, it seems to lack the balance of soap and melodrama. Needs a Heather Locklear sooner than later.
PAST LIFE (FOX)
Honestly, it’s the silliest sounding show I’ve heard in a while. About “an unlikely pair of past-life detectives who investigate whether what is happening to you today is the result of who you were before,” I couldn’t decipher from the clips previewed whether this reincarnation drama was a joke or a sadly mistaken idea for a procedural.
THREE RIVERS (CBS)
MOONLIGHT’s Alex O’Louglin is a star dammit! It’s great CBS is so enamored with him, but could they find a role any more thankless than as a surgeon at a organ transplant hospital? I don’t even like him that much I know he deserves better than this.
It’s THIRD WATCH, with a bigger budget (so more explosions) and about paramedics. Already I’m feeling medical drama fatigue.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW)
Twilight = icky. Twilight x Dawson’s Creek’s Kevin Williamson = slightly less icky, but still pretty icky.