And so it begins.
While people in the business like Media Week's Marc Berman will tell you that the new TV Season doesn't officially start for another three or four weeks, the truth is that at least two of the networks are getting a jump on the game by running their shows out early. This week we'll see the return of three (or is it four) series on FOX with two hour season openers, the return of three series, and the highly anticipated series premier of 90210 on The CW. Here's what the week looks like in terms of shows starting up for the year:
FOX has the two hour season debut of Prison Break, which is back for its fourth season, with Lincoln and Michael out to avenge the death of Sarah Tancredi. Boy Is he in for a widely reported spoiler.
The CW has the one hour season premiere of Gossip Girl. With the high end students back from summer vacation there's the usual teen angst and rebellion design to aggravate the crap out of the PTC. This time around it includes Nate having an affair with a married older woman (played by Madchen Ammick who did much the same thing in Twin Peaks about 20 years ago), while Serena is mourning her relationship with Dan and Dan is wondering where his relationship with Serena stands after the break-up. And I bet you can tell that I don't watch this show.
Also on The CW is the one hour season premiere of One Tree Hill another show that I don't watch. Lucas's dream girl shows up at the airport; Nathan's comeback is halted by potentially career-changing news and Brooke and Victoria's struggle over "Clothes Not Bros" comes to a head. Whatever the hell that all means.
The CW has the highly anticipated debut of 90210 – not highly anticipated by me mind you but that's beside the point – in a two hour season opener. Harry Mills returns to Beverly Hills to take care of his mother, former TV star and Betty Ford Clinic graduate Tabitha Mills. He's the new principal at West Beverly Hills High, where his daughter Annie and adopted son Dixon will be navigating their new clique-heavy surroundings. The CW is hoping that their target youth demographic will tune in for the teen angst elements, and that fans of the original TV show will tune in to see what's new at West Beverly High and maybe reconnect with Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh (and maybe, just maybe, Donna Martin if Tori Spelling can get a deal equal to what Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty got) from the original series. Reportedly The CW has a lot riding on this show – like its very existence. If it means anything, the Parents Television Council has already notified advertisers that they shouldn't even consider buying time on the series because the network has refused to allow advertisers to prescreen the series. According to the PTC, "CW's Gossip Girl has recently solidified the network's reputation for turning out reprehensible content targeted directly at teen and pre-teen viewers. Advertisers must bear in mind CW's track record when considering whether they trust the network enough to blindly sponsor another program targeted at teens. If Gossip Girl is any indication of what 90210 will look like, advertisers have plenty of reason to steer clear of the show. 'Gossip Girl' storylines have glamorized drug and alcohol use along with casual teen sex, including threesomes. Apparently, CW believes this type of content is appropriate to include in the most-watched show among girls ages 12-17, and advertisers shouldn't expect any restraint with 90210." Well if thumbing our noses at the PTC isn't a good enough reason to watch I don't know what is.
FOX has the two hour season premiere of Bones, which has Booth and Brennan in London. Brennan is lecturing at Oxford and Booth is consulting at Scotland Yard. Naturally enough they get drawn into the murder of a young heiress.
The CW has the debut of the new rotation of America's Next Top Model. Thirty young women seeking to become models are reduced down to the "Notorious Fierce Fourteen" (that's the episode title) but one of them has a secret. Isis is a trans-gendered individual.
FOX has the two hour season opener of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay. Actually this episode looks at six of the twelve restaurants that Ramsay helped – or tried to help – in the first season. Actually two of the restaurants from the first season have closed since the episodes they were on aired while a third was sold.
FOX has the two hour season premiere of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? The episode features special guest contestants model Kathy Ireland and the State Superintendent of Georgia (I assume this is the State Superintendent of Schools) as well as the introduction of the new class of Fifth Graders