According to statistics dug up by super TV website thefutoncritic.com, only one out of every three TV shows will make it to a second season. So, of the 34 new scripted series making their debut this fall, about 23 of them won’t be sticking around until fall of ’08. Why waste your time watching the pilot if the show isn’t going to be around in a couple of months (or weeks)? Good question.
Based on a sampling of previews, sneak peeks, television commercials, cast and crew breakdowns and random Internet buzz, I’ve passed summary judgment on the upcoming TV season, weeding out the best (maybe) and the worst (possibly) shows in contention for control of your TV remote. This is not a scientific assessment, and could prove quite inaccurate as the season progresses. ... But I doubt it.
“Bionic Woman” (NBC) There’s big hype behind this expensive retooling of the ’70s sci-fi action series. British looker Michelle Ryan takes over as Jamie Sommers. And since it’s from the same team who brought back that other ’70s success story, “Battlestar Galactica,” viewers can reasonably expect big things here.
“Pushing Daisies” (ABC) How about a whimsical romantic comedy about death? Seems nerdy baker Ted (Lee Pace) has the magical power to bring the dead back to life. He uses it to help a private eye (Chi McBride) solve mysteries. That is until he discovers his childhood crush (Anna Friel) is one of the victims.
“Dirty Sexy Money” (ABC) This provocative, tongue-in-cheek drama about a lawyer to a filthy rich New York family boasts one of the best casts on TV (Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh).
“Viva Laughlin” (CBS) This remake of the BBC series “Viva Blackpool” is (like the original) a musical murder mystery set in a seedy casino. The cast includes Hugh Jackman and Melanie Griffith. Sounds bold, bizarre and worth the risk.
“Celebrity Exposé” (MyNet) Where, oh, where could we possibly go for more damn paparazzi pictures of Britney Spears? That is to say, ones not already featured on “Access Hollywood,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “TMZ TV” and all the other gossip shows.
“Cavemen” (ABC) Producers apparently had to reshoot the pilot after the network deemed it “too confusing.” It’s about cavemen! And it’s based on the Geico insurance commercials. Man, this has sounded like a bad idea from day one. It’s like “Baby Bob” all over again!
“Cane” (CBS) This glitzy nighttime soap about a rich, backstabbing clan of sugar cane farmers (Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno among them) keeps giving me “Falcon Crest” flashbacks.
“Decision House” (MyNet) Troubled couples try to save their marriage by moving into a “Big Brother”-style reality show house. Maybe after the “Dr. Phil” show, but not in primetime.
“Online Nation” (CW) Like watching crappy low-res viral videos on your computer? Well, now you can watch them on your TV, too.