Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Upfront Review

Since I missed the boat on all the upfront news while I was away, I'll spare you all with the endless recap of all the schedules and pickups. I'm sure you all have seen the list and grids 10 times by now anyway. But, I will highlight some things I found interesting and newsworthy.

First of all, one of the biggest surprises came with the pick of 7th Heaven, which will be back on the CW in its 8pm eastern slot on Mondays. After the super lame finale I am a little glad that the show will be back in hopes of a decent ending but I'm upset that we were tricked into thinking this was the real series finale we saw. Too bad for the Everwood fans who got the shaft with this move but we'll have fun watching the writers get out of the hole they wrote themselves in with the multiple twin pregnancies and the ambiguous Sandy-Simon storyline. I should also not that I heard that there may only be 13 episodes of 7th Heaven's eleventh season. That makes no sense to me at all since I have no idea why they would bring this show back from the dead for half a season. But, its something to keep our eyes and ears open for nonetheless.

Another pickup that was a surprise is that What About Brian will be back in the fall. I like that the show is sticking around in its 10pm eastern slot on the ABC Monday schedule and I'm glad that the network decided to give the show another chance. What About Brian seemed to get stronger as the season went on so I have high hopes for the next season. No word yet about what will become of the 3 unaired episodes.

It was interesting to see ABC move Grey's Anatomy to the ultimate competition spot at 9pm eastern on Thursdays. I will be fun to see if this mega hit show will be able to knock CSI down a peg. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy CSI but it could stand to lose a little hype and actually have to work a bit harder to captivate the audience.

The OC will also remain in 9pm eastern Thursday slot for FOX but its going to be impossible to get better ratings against both Grey's and CSI. I'm just hoping that the fourth season's storylines will be better than the ones we had to endure this season. It will be also fun to wait and see how long it will take before the inevitable Marissa flashback/dream/alternate universe scenes happen once Mishca Barton realizes her movie career isn't going to take off. I heard that Volchok will be back for the aftermath, I wonder where they are going witht that one. Its also important to note that rumor has it that season four of the OC will not premiere until after the World Series concludes, which means mark your calendars for November.

Going back to the CW, I like the pairings for the most part. Especially Gilmore Girls with Veronica Mars on Tuesday. America's Next Top Model with One Tree Hill should work out nice too. I was a bit disappointed to see the pilot "Split Decision" did not make the cut but maybe it will be resurrected at some point.

Over at NBC, the one of only interesting things going on is Sunday Night Football begins fall this season. I still don't understand which game will be the "big game of the week". Is it the Sunday one on primetime national television or the one on the traditional Monday night slot on ESPN? My gut tells me the Sunday night one will end up getting the biggest billing and hype, thus becoming the big game of the week but its still a toss up.

Also on NBC, I like the concept of the Heroes pilot. I'm not big into Sci-Fi or anything that is too high concept but I know that Heroes sounds like a good character study so I'm going to give it a chance. Anyway, I'm going to review the pilot script and post about it sometime soon. Its not exactly a spoiler per se but since it has not aired yet some of you might find it interesting to read about anyhow.

Another thing to note about NBC is that they are only going to have one cycle of the Apprentice next season as it will not premiere until the spring and will be one of the shows to replace Sunday Night Football. I wonder how the Donald feels that his "hit show" is getting reduced to once a year. I'd love to hear his ridiculous spin on this issue.

Another show that is moving to Sundays is The Amazing Race. I like that the show is still in a 8pm eastern slot but being against football is not going to be pretty. I like its chances better once football is over and makes a nice combo with Desperate Housewives on ABC at 9pm. The Amazing Race is one of my absolute favorite reality shows and I hope it will be on for a very long time. Here is to hoping it can find a good home on Sunday.

Just a last general comment is that I am surprised that the networks are trying to block program their shows more. Meaning that some are being rolled out late or held off until midseason in order to keep the audience's attention and repeat less. I also noticed less new shows will premiere this fall and more favorites with less than stellar ratings given a chance. If all this means less cancelled shows, I am all for it. So far it is shaping up to be a great fall!