You’ve seen the teasers. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows midseason offerings are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season. Which will be the next GREY’S ANATOMY… and which will be the new JOEY? Next up, an early look at the CW’s LIFE UNEXPECTED (or as the CW insists on presenting it as “Life UneXpected”)

Why We’ll Watch: It may have taken four years, but the network that GILMORE GIRLS and 7th HEAVEN built finally seems to have remembered how to produce a quality drama that doesn’t revolve around vapid, self-involved high school students with problems very few people outside of the cast of Bravo’s NYC PREP can relate to. In fact, thanks to LIFE’s plucky young protagonist, 15-year old Lux (SWINGTOWN’s Britt Robertson) and her genetically blessed bio-parents (played by Kris Polaha and Shiri Appleby) who she decides to track down after tiring of being shuffled around Portland’s Foster Care system — LIFE UNEXPECTED is quite possibly the most unexpected new treat of the season. And, with apologies to ABC Family, not only a new kind of family, but a welcome one on the network that we had incorrectly assumed parenting forgot (see: ONE TREE HILL and GOSSIP GIRL)

What We’ll Fast Forward Through: Nothing, assuming creator Liz Tigelaar doesn’t cave into pressure from the higher ups to shy away from the show’s core group of adult characters in order to make room for a more demo-friendly gang of Lux’s high school friends.

Watch Live or DVR: As long as LIFE UNEXPECTED continues to deliver on the promise of more GILMORE and less GOSSIP, consider this series a lock for a slot on this TV Addict’s coveted “can’t miss” list.

  • Elleesttrois

    Wow. What a diverse cast.

  • This really looks interesting, I miss this kind of shows. CW is already saturated with “scandalous, wild’ teen-oriented shows

  • Nick

    I agree, most interesting midseason show of the year. Hands down, I can see why this was chosen over the Politico show. Very winsome cast, and a relatable story. I have very high hopes for this and The Beautiful Life. Not to say I’m not anxious for MP or VD, but these two shows were standouts for me right away.

  • cam3150

    I haven’t heard of this one before now but it looks like I’ll be adding another show to my ever growing list. I LOVE Kris Polaha and Shiri Appleby. Espcially Kris. I fell in love with him during the short lived North Shore and have followed him through several of his recent misses. I hope this show works out for him.

  • TVFan

    What an unexpected surprise! But seriously, thanks for the great first look. Nice to know the CW isn’t going to be 100% Gossip Girl clones

  • Shiri and Kris are the PARENTS? Man time flies…

  • NikkiHolly

    can’t wait for this one.

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  • I’m with Vance. Shiri Appleby and Kris Pohala are not old enough to be playing a teenager’s parents. I’ve worked with Shiri before, the idea of her being a teen’s mom is weird.

  • D-1

    16 years ago Shiri played a character who was pregnant in the Pilot of E.R. So in a televisionesque kind of way, it makes sense that she would be the mother of a teenager.

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  • Matt E.

    Wow – this show looks really good, cannot wait.
    Kerr Smith is a real pleasure to watch!!
    Cheers! – Matt E

  • Alison

    I agree. Kerr Smith sure is a pleasure to watch!! Can’t wait to see him in action. What a hottie!

  • Del

    This show will surely be a big hit with Kerr Smith. Considering the field of up and comers for supper stars, Kerr trumps them all and will skyrocket to the top spot…………Way to go Kerr!

  • After My Bloody Valentine… I will definitely be watching all of Kerr’s future movies/shows. Awesome actor.

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  • kirsten

    There filming this at my school!
    your all soo jealous!

  • kirsten

    There filming this at my school.

  • Christine

    Of course I’m gonna check this out…I miss the old WB…I have no interest in watching shows about spoiled rich kids, so let’s hope The CW doesn’t mess with this one to make it fit in more with their current crop of crap.

    This show has a lot of connections to previous shows I’ve enjoyed. I’ve read that the creator of Life Unexpected has worked with Winnie Holzman (creator of the best TV series EVER, My So-Called Life), Shiri Appleby was on Roswell (created by Jason Katims, who wrote for My So-Called Life), and Kerr Smith was on Dawson’s Creek, (hey did you know that the creator of D’Creek, Kevin Williamson, was encouraged by The WB to watch My So-Called Life? No foolin’, and you can see the influence it had on his own show, although he based it on his life too).

    Okay, so clearly I have high hopes for Life Unexpected.

    Yeah it’s ridiculous that Shiri’s graduated into mom roles already, but that’s Hollywood for you. This is why older actresses have a harder time getting work. They always want their moms to look young and sexy… and I suppose it’s the only way The CW would allow any adults/parents on one of their shows at all. (Just look at how they phased out most of the parents on One Tree Hill… I stopped watching when Moira Kelly, my only reason for tuning in – she was so great in The Cutting Edge – departed. Same with Smallville…they lost some of their best actors when they got rid of Clark’s parents and Lionel Luthor. But all they care about is youth and eye candy. But I digress.)

    I’ll try not to get too excited ’cause, hey if The CW was really behind this show, would it be a midseason replacement? And sure it’s already critically acclaimed, but if The CW cared about *that*, why did they cancel Everwood? Negative reviews of Gossip Girl haven’t mattered to them either. But I suppose there’s a chance the execs have decided they have room for critical darlings after all… it’s not like any of their shows can compete in the ratings with the big networks, so why *not* be satisfied with critical acclaim and modest ratings?

  • Nicole

    This show so far is awesome. Its very engaging to me because it is realistic. Its not overly sexual…(at least so far), it is an interesting view point to see a young mother learning how to be mom for the first time to a teenager, and the past two episodes have very heart-warming at times I Love It!