Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Series Debuts – Week of September 7

Even though the "official" start of the 2009-10 season is two weeks away the first of the new fall shows are debuting this week. Well sort of, given that Glee aired its pilot back in May and FOX has been re-airing it at least twice in the last week or two, and ABC has been running The Shark Tank on Sundays since the middle of August, but in the latter case the show seems to be more of a placeholder for ABC's revival of the science fiction cult favourite V. With that in mind we really do have several shows starting this week, mostly from The CW a network which, in terms of getting people to watch their shows, needs every advantage they can get.

Here are this week's new shows:

Tuesday September 8th

  • 90210 The CW – The revival of Aaron Spelling's FOX "classic" returns for its second year. I watched the pilot for the first season and found it to be less than I expected... or hoped for. I gather that the stories got a bit more adult than they had been in the first few episodes but it was never a high priority on my "to watch list." It won't be again this season.
  • Melrose Place The CW – Having had a certain amount of success in reviving one of Aaron Spelling's FOX hits, The CW has gone back to that well again by reviving Melrose Place. This version of Melrose Place follows much the same path that 90210 did by bringing on a mix of new and old characters – notably Laura Leighton reviving (literally) her character of Sydney Andrews (who had apparently been the end of the fifth season of the original) and Thomas Calabro in his role of Dr. Michael Manicni. Other cast member from the original expected to appear on the show in later episodes are Daphne Zuniga and Josie Bissett. Still the focus will be on the younger cast members, notably Katie Cassidy, Shaun Sipos and Ashley Simpson-Wentz. From the description of early episodes it sounds just as "soapy" (in a good way) as the original. Still, while I'll probably look at the pilot, I doubt that it will be a permanent part of my viewing diet.

Wednesday September 9th

  • America's Next Top Model The CW – The CW's big reality-competition hit. Actually it may be the networks biggest hit of any genre, drawing an average of 4.35 million viewers last season. It's a two hour episode this week, cutting back to its usual one hour next week with the debut of new series The Beautiful Life. I've never watched an episode of any national version of Top Model (and there are a lot of them) but we can expect the usual mix of catty diva-ish bitchy behaviour that gathering a covey of models together inevitably produces.

Thursday September 10th

  • Vampire Diaries The CW – When you think about it this show is a perfect fit for The CW. The current "Vampire Chic" trend exemplified by the HBO series Tru Blood and the Twilight movie franchise is a perfect fit for The CW's target young female target demographic. Like Gossip Girl the series is based on a popular "Young Adult" book series targeted at teenage girls which actually predates the Twilight series of novels. The CW is putting a lot of stock into the series by moving long-time Thursday favourite Smallville out of the first hour time slot to create a "supernatural" night by pairing the series with the more male oriented Supernatural. Descriptions of the show seem to have elements of Twilight/Tru Blood mingled with a slightly sinister Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls with maybe a touch of Buffy The Vampire Slayer added for flavouring. While The CW has been giving a lot of promotion to Melrose Place, this could be the most interesting of the network's new series.
  • Supernatural The CW – One of only two male-oriented series on The CW – the other is former Thursday series Smallville, this is the series fifth season and there are rumours that it is the final one (although the Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki are under contract for a sixth season). It's another season of the Winchester Brothers (along with this Blog's favourite character actor Jim Beaver) battling demonic forces. It's not a show that I watch but I do understand the mass appeal.

Saturday September 12th

  • Cops Fox
  • America's Most Wanted Fox – I'm lumping these two together. The doyens of the Reality genre, these two shows will probably outlast us all.

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