A Second Opinion: Least Promising Fall Shows

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.?

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.

GREY’S ANATOMY with lawyers. Because it refuses to stop.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Twilight = icky. Twilight x Dawson’s Creek’s Kevin Williamson = slightly less icky, but still pretty icky.

  • Debbie

    I love Alex O’Loughlin and I know he is destined for better things. Yet, not one new show on the CBS roster for fall is as good as Moonlight was. Everything that has been shoved in it’s time slot has failed miserably. Moonlight had higher ratings than the shows that replaced it and won that time slot on Friday nights. Let’s face it, nothing on Friday night is going to equal Idol’s ratings on a Tuesday night when most people are home. But I still don’t get the decisions CBS makes. Whoever is in charge of programming needs to get a clue. And ratings are not the be all end all. A lot of people record and watch later which probably isn’t taken into account. And who are the Nielsen families? Have you ever met one? I certainly haven’t. Yet CBS can make room for NBC’s cast offs like Medium which NBC was right to cancel as far as I am concerned. If no one watches it on NBC, who does CBS think will watch it on their network. They should have just saved a promising show like Eleventh Hour! And Alex O’Loughlin fans would have been happier with a return to Moonlight instead of another overly dramatic medical drama that will probably fail.

  • Ace

    I try not to judge a show until I’ve seen at least 10 minutes of it for real, so I don’t have anything to add there.

    But I completely agree that it annoys me when networks bring up some wonderful show that we all loved and they cancelled prematurely. Like using Arrested Development’s name in vain when talking about the crap that was Sit Down, Shut Up. I get that it was more than the network on that one, writers and actors were involved in both too. But it should be against the rules to use the name of a show when they abused it so much.

  • Mel

    I want to like Vampire Diaries. I somehow don’t think I will, but I’ll give it the old college try. As for the rest of the tripe — I’ll pass.

  • Bianca33

    I think that to judge a show on just a few minutes is simply not fair. I However, I will watch “Three Rivers” because of the extremely talented Alex O’Loughlin and will love it for the same reason.

  • Josh Emerson

    I completely agree with your list. I’m most disappointed about The Deep End, because it stars Tina Majorino who I loved on V.Mars. But I could barely make it through the trailer. It looks so awful.

    Hank bugged the hell out of me. How am I supposed to care about a former rich guy and his family who are bitching because they have to live in a house that is still nicer than what a majority of the country lives in? This is supposed to be a weekly comedy?

    I think 100 Questions is the least bad out of this list. But I still won’t watch it.

  • MariaMoonlight

    I’ll watch Three Rivers because Alex O’Loughlin is in it .. how could I not? Hopefully it will be a great show.

  • SD Sioux

    So who is Aleks Chan and has he watched the complete pilots of any of these new shows? I am one for recording and watching later, but I think I will watch Three Rivers and skip the rest until I see some more info on them. Gotta give a show time to develope! Remember Seinfeld? No one watched it the first season! One episode or pilot barely has a chance to introduce characters let alone develope them fully. So lets give some of them a chance!

  • KaeDee

    I wish Alex O’Loughlin had been cast in something besides this hospital drama. I’d think the concept of one person having to die every week in order for another to live would be difficult to pull off. Kinda depressing, isn’t it? Regardless, I’ll not be tuning in because medical dramas just don’t appeal. I wish him success, though!

    I plan on tuning in to “Past Life,” “Happy Town” and “Vampire Diaries” to check them out, the later of which pre-dates Twilight, so that franchise shouldn’t be held against it. Like Ace said, I don’t pass judgement on shows and show concepts I might find interesting because of weak titles or such. I check out the show, allow enough time for the first-season-rough-road to smooth out, then stay watching if it remains interesting to me!

  • Read the first paragraph — it’ll clarify things!

  • I will watch Three Rivers simply because Alex is in it. I hope it will be good, but I know it won’t be what I loved about Moonlight. Here’s hoping its successful. I would love to see them replace Katherine Moennig. I wasn’t impressed with her in the clip I saw and not much chemistry with Alex who has tons of persona…

  • Carol H

    I really hope Three Rivers is a hit … Alex O’Loughlin really deserves it after all the hard work he’s done the past year. I, too, believe Moonlight should still be on the air … going into its third season this fall. CBS really made a bad decision last year cancelling Moonlight, and they know it. Now they’re trying to make up for their mistake, but at what cost to Alex’s career? I’ll be watching Three Rivers, until it too gets the axe.

  • ElleMc

    I agree with Silverchex and most of what Debbie stated. Hopefully, after seeing Three Rivers it will balance out between drama, humor and romance (MOONLIGHT had it all plus more). Hopefully, they will not try to force a relationship between the Alex O’Loughlin character and Katherine Moennig, since it was obvious from the clip that she was of a different persuasion and would not be interested in the Alex character. Alex is such a great actor that I will definitely give this show a chance and hope it is successful. I think CBS knows it made a HUGE mistake cancelling MOONLIGHT, but will never admit it. Please give Three Rivers a fair chance!!!

  • joanie3mc

    A lot of things can change between the pilot, the upfront clip and the first episode of the season. I will watch Three Rivers because Alex O’Loughlin is in it and I hope I will like it even though I don’t care for medical shows as a rule.
    I have watched every episode of Criminal Minds because someone in my household loves it. I don’t but I think that The Big Wheel episode with Alex as guest star was outstanding. I think he elavates the material he’s given and I’m interested to see what he does with Three Rivers.

  • I’m looking forward to THREE RIVERS. It will make people aware of the challenges the field of organ donation faces, and ALEX O’LOUGHLIN has had a wonderful experience preparing for the role of Dr. Andy Yablonski. There obviously is so much hard work involved by everybody who participates in the making of this show and THREE RIVERS deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  • I wish I had a comprehensive list of all shows right in front of me, but off the top of my head, I’d say that Eastwick looks pretty horrible and could easily fit into this list too.

    Out of the ones already listed, The Deep End looks mega-dull.

    On the other hand, I think Hank has a chance. Four-camera, live-audience sitcoms are a dying art, but at least Kelsey Grammar is a veteran. I’m not saying the show will go far, but for the demographic who might still enjoy classic sitcoms, I think the show might at least earn a back nine and maybe even a second season.

  • Lourdes

    CBS will regret cancelling WaT and Eleventh Hour. Just wait and see.

  • Sheindie

    Moonlight was wonderfully written/acted and did well …and now that Vampires are all the rage why doesn’t the network just have ‘Mick St. John’ come back for Season 2 of Moonlight? why stick him in something like Three Rivers? he’s MICK ST. JOHN for heaven’s sake! …this show will crash and burn

  • Kellie

    CBS may have been shortsighted enough to cancel Eleventh Hour, but the Campaign to bring it back is not over. If you love EH like we do, check out this new link at our new site. There are still possibilities to save this show but we need each and every fan to help! CBS is not the only network out there, and there are also wonderful cable stations such as TNT and USA. Let’s find out which one is smart enough to grab this show up!


  • Ferret

    I’m checking out “The Vampire Diaries” solely because I need a supernatural series to watch each week. I watch “Supernatural” on dvd, but can never get the newest season on time.
    “Melrose Place” looks a million times better than 90210. I love the cast, so, hopefully it won’t be as much as a disappointment as 90210.
    100 Questions looks cute, but i can never stick with a comedy series. They just don’t hold my attention. The last comedy series i watched was “Out of Practice” back in 2005 and that was canceled during it’s debut season.
    “Past Life” looks eerie and creepy and dark toned like ABC’s short lived gem “Miracles”. Hopefully it’ll be good.
    I’m not sure about “Happy Town”. By the look of the previews, it looks like it could go either way. But Amy Acker is in it, so, I have to check it out.
    “The Deep End” looks cute. I love Tina (Veronica Mars) and will tune in.

  • Kellie

    All Eleventh Hour lovers, please come check out the Campaign to get it back on the air. We have made a lot of progress, and just re-organized to make everything much simpler. If you haven’t already, take a look. If you have, come and take another look. You will like what you see!


  • Radiant

    One cannot judge a new pilot without seeing it first. I believe that young and very talented Alex O’Loughlin will be superb as the cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr. Yablonski in Three Rivers. CBS knows that it has a shining star in casting Alex O’Loughlin to portray the leading role in Three Rivers. Three Rivers will be a highly watched weekly medical drama for CBS! It will win many awards!

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  • Lisa

    I really want to like Trauma because I am still in ER withdrawl so I will latch on to any semi-doctor-drama out there and I really want to see Vampire Diaries just cuz’ well, its my secret shame that I happened to love Dawson’s Creek and will watch anything that Kevin Williamson does. Brother’s just sounds awful and so does 100 Questions no one will ever replace/remake Friends but alas I will still watch them because I am an addict and i will give every show at least 2 episodes to win me over after that I go back to my standards:The Law & Orders, The Big Bang Theory, Numbers and Bones! ( I love em’ all) cant help it Im and addict!