Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fall TV Preview

Every fall we are bombarded with new and returning series to the TV landscape. Some networks have already begun airing the new and returning series. ABC, CBS and NBC are launching the majority of their new season of shows over the next two weeks.

I always looked forward to this time of the year, so I could find out what was happening on my favourite shows and add a few rookie shows to my list of shows that I couldn't miss. I would devour the Fall Preview issues of TV Guide and our Winnipeg Free Press TV Scene magazine to see what every show was about and use a high mark pen to mark the shows I wanted to check out! Some nights, I'd use both VCR's and watch a third channel - at least until I figured out what shows I wanted to follow for the season!

Well, the 2008-2009 season is a bit different. For the first time that I can remember, I'm not interested in or even tempted to watch ANY of the new shows that are launching! There are a few returning shows that I'll still watch - I'll get to them shortly. Usually there are at least a couple that sound good or have actors/premise that I like, but not this fall.

I'm not sure if I'm just getting old and cynical or the choices are just that bad. I tend to think it is a bit of both! The writers strike last winter really didn't help matters. Fewer scripts were written for the spring pilot season which meant that fewer shows were produced. Apparently some of this fall's offerings got picked up just by script or a few minutes of rough video that gave the networks a taste of what to expect. From what I've read, most of the TV critics still haven't seen more than clips of a lot of shows. That doesn't sound very encouraging, does it?

Just to add a little more frustration to the new season, is the fact that the actors are now in a position to strike. Negotiations aren't going well, which means that this new season is already under a dark cloud. If the actors decide to walk, all scripted and many talk/entertainment shows will cease production. New/returning shows began filming in July, so they have a few in the can already, but that will only take a few weeks to air those episodes. Then we would be in limbo - again! The writers strike lasted almost 4 months. Who knows how another possible prolonged strike could effect the future of TV.

Personally, I'm still mourning the loss of ABC's "Men In Trees" (which suffered through countless schedule changes through it's two year run) and my favourite rookie show of last season -"Women's Murder Club" (ABC). ABC never really gave either show a fair chance to succeed.

So what, you may ask, is returning that I actually like? Not much - only a handful of shows that I still bother keeping track of!

"Desperate Housewives" (ABC/CTV Sunday 8:00PM central): The fourth season ended with Lynette being accused of child abuse, Susan giving birth and Katherine's secret being revealed. The last scene was five years in the future and much had changed on Wisteria Lane. The shows creator, Mark Cherry, has said that much of season five will be told in flashbacks to explain what happened over those missing years. Sounds interesting! Premieres: Sunday, September 28.

"Without A Trace" (Tuesday CTV 7:00PM/CBS 9:00PM central): Last season ended with Sam having her baby all alone and Jack still trying to recover from his injuries. I haven't heard much about where the seventh season is going, but I do like the way the show has continued to flesh out the main characters. It will be interesting to see what the show comes up with. Premieres: Tuesday, September 23.

"Criminal Minds" (CBS/CTV Wednesday 8:00PM central): The third season ended with one of the BAU's team members black SUV exploding due to a terrorist attack. The fourth season opens in the aftermath of that explosion. Word has it, that one member does not make it out alive but I haven't read/heard who isn't coming back! Apparently the actress who plays JJ is pregnant in real life but is reportedly only taking "time off" for the birth so we will have to tune in to see how all this goes down! Premiers: Wednesday, September 24.

"How I Met Your Mother" (CBS Monday 7:30PM central): The third season ended with Barney in an accident and Ted proposing to Stella after a near death experience of his own. The fourth season will have Barney exploring his feelings for Robin and Stella's answer. Premieres: Monday, September 22.

"The Amazing Race 12" (CBS/CTV Sunday 7:00PM central): I've loved this show from the first season, and there always seems to be a real cast of characters in the teams. You always end up cheering at least one team and booing several! TAR, as it is affectionately known, is a race around the world that requires teams of two to work well together. The ability to follow directions, read maps and stay calm is essential to staying ahead of the pack, but even the best of teams can fall behind in a split second! Premieres: Sunday, September 28.

"Survivor: Gabon" (CBS/Global Thursday 7:00PM central): This is the 17th season and I'm still sort of watching. Some seasons are better than others. I've found that if there aren't people that I can start to root for within the first couple of episodes, then I tend to multi task while the show is on. There have been several Survivor's that I have cheered for over the years but the only names I can think of, are Rupert and Yau-Man! Premieres: Thursday, September 25.

So that is what I'll be watching this fall. If you'd like to check out the buzz on the new and returning shows go to:
Scroll down to any night of the week and click on the show that you want to find out more about.

Happy viewing!


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