What to Watch?
We prejudge TV’s fall season
It’s barely September and the new TV season is already getting underway in force. Are networks finally realizing that we watch TV all year long? Mmm, could be.
The broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW) have lined up 25 new shows that will debut in the next couple of months. (And when half of those fail, there are plenty more ready and waiting for midseason replacement.) So which ones should viewers keep their eyes peeled for around the dial this fall? Well, based on snap judgments, long-standing prejudices and a wealth of sneak preview trailers, we here at the Alibi are prepared to issue our opinion on the upcoming TV season. Set your TiVos, break out your FLO TVs or just plain tune in: These are looking like the hottest new shows on the Idiot Box.
“The Event” (Mondays, NBC) With “Battlestar Galactica,” “Lost” and “24” gone, there’s a major gap in most folks’ episodic-TV-watching schedule. If you’re itching to commit to another deep mythology TV series (and the now-canceled “FlashForward” just didn’t cut it), “The Event” is looking like the choice for you. It’s still unclear what ground this epic conspiracy thriller will cover (I’m betting alien invasion), but the trailers alone make it look like must-see-TV. (Premieres Sept. 20)
“Hawaii Five-0” (Mondays, CBS) The timing just seems right for a reboot of the classic 1968 cop show. Everybody loves cop shows. And this one is set in sunny Hawaii. Throw in a solid cast (Alex O’Loughlin from “Moonlight” as Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan from Ocean’s Eleven as Danno, Daniel Dae Kim from “Lost” as Chin Ho and Grace Park from “Battlestar Galactica” as Kona), and you’ve got one good-looking show. Will it be an improvement over the original? Just try to imagine the original Kono (Zulu) in a tiny red bikini and you have your answer. (Premieres Sept. 20)
“Raising Hope” (Tuesdays, FOX) The buzz has been quiet on this, but it’s from the folks who gave us the criminally underrated “My Name Is Earl,” so we’ve gotta give it a go. In this single-camera sitcom, a young slacker (newcomer Lucas Neff) finds out he’s got a baby daughter and is suddenly obliged to raise her. The supporting cast is impressive (Cloris Leachman, Martha Plimpton, Bijou Phillips) and the writing feels pitch-perfect. (Premieres Sept. 21)
“Undercovers” (Wednesdays, NBC) Buzz on this, on the other hand, has been high, mostly because it’s created by TV guru J.J. Abrams (“Alias,” “Lost”). The plot sounds awfully overworked these days (sexy married spies), but we’ve come to trust Abrams and his instincts. If this is as fun as it is fluffy, we’ve got a hit on our hands. (Premieres Sept. 22)
“Nikita” (Thursdays, The CW) It’s like the fifth time Luc Besson’s 1990 female assassin flick La Femme Nikita has been brought back to life. Peta Wilson starred in a USA Network spin-off from 1997 to 2001. Even so, this version starring Maggie Q (Live Free or Die Hard) looks hotter than a two dollar pistol. (Premieres Sept. 9)
“$#*! My Dad Says” (CBS Thursdays) Yup, it’s a TV series based on a Twitter feed. Still, the idea of William Shatner as an irascible dad seems priceless. C’mon, when has The Shat ever let us down on TV (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Rescue 911,” “Boston Legal”)? ... And no, I do not concede “TekWar.” (Premieres Sept. 23)