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21 July 2006

Previews of Upcoming TV Shows (2006-2007), Part 2

Following my post earlier - Previews, Part 1, here's an early peek at more new shows premiering in Fall 2006-2007.

The Class
To air: September 2006
Network: CBS


They say it will be the new FRIENDS.

I say crap.

In a nutshell: The first episode starts off with a guy calling his classmates from the 3rd-grade. Apparently, just a year or so ago he re-met and fell in love with one of them, and now wants their engagement party to be meaningful. So he decides to call his 3rd-grade class for the engagement party/reunion, and even managed to track down and invited one of their former teachers.

Additionally the other characters include:


Duncan (Jon Bernthal), who's still living at home with his mother, wants to see his first love Nicole (Andrea Anders), who's now married to a football star (Eric Allen Kramer); Holly (Lucy Punch) has some harsh words for her then boyfriend but now gay Kyle (Sean Maguire); Richie's (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) suicide is literally interrupted by Ethan's call; Kat (Lizzy Caplan) goes just to mock people; and Lina (Heather Goldenhersh) looks to recover from been dumped by her boyfriend. At the party, the group more or less reconnects - Duncan and Nicole discover they still have chemistry (and that her marriage is on the rocks); Kyle apologies to Holly, just as we meet her closeted husband; Richie finds a reason to keep going in Lina; and Kat finds herself in damage control after Ethan's girlfriend dumps him in front of everyone. Presumably, said events will now cause the group to cross paths on a regular basis

--- The Futon Critic

Why it will be hit: All signs point to it being not (a hit). On top of the annoying laugh track, the comedy is old school sitcom style, one that's already getting outdated.

Why it may not work: see above.

It's a lot like: Just about any sitcom about a group of friends.

Boo.

************

The Nine
To air: October 2006
Network: ABC


The first few lines of the opening scene led me to think it's something ala-Lost. Am I right or am I right?

In a nutshell: Nine people are held hostage for 52 hours in a bank. Some of them know each other because they are either: officemates or clients; a relative; or a couple who came to the bank together.

The first 10-15 minutes of the show is all about establishing the characters. What follows next is the rescue scene already. The actual hostage scene, all 52 hours of it, is deliberately not unfolded in the first episode. Which will leave viewers wondering what happened inside the bank and among these nine people. Because when they all got out, it seemed like their lives and their relationships have taken a 180-degrees turn. Where there was once love, it's now indifference. Where there was once fear, it's replaced with confidence and zest.

Why it will be hit: Again, like Jericho (see Preview, part 1) there's that element of mystery. A viewer would want to know what really happened within those 52 hours and why these people have changed because of it. it makes quite an interesting story, doesn't it?

Why it may not work: Obviously, this is a type of show where, if the story is not developed well, it will end up being one big mess. Also, the preview hints of bad writing.

It's a lot like: Clearly, it is capitalizing on the success of Lost. But who knows how this one will end up. And yes, clearly, we will get a lot of flashbacks.

************

Shark
To air: September 2006
Network: CBS


I thought it was about lifeguards or Jaws TV. Boy, was I so wrong.

In a nutshell: Shark is a defense lawyer who has a reputation for winning his cases all the time. He handles a lot of high profile cases, mostly involving high profile people. His most recent case involved defending a wife beater who was found "not guilty" of attempting to murder his wife because, as Shark defended, he did beat her but did not plan on killing her since husband himself called 911 for help upon realizing wife was beaten up badly (gago no?). One week after winning the case, the husband, who is, by the way, a professional hockey player, ended up beating his wife yet again...leading to her death.

Carrying this guilt of letting a killer off the hook, Shark went on indefinite leave. Until the system beckons him and he is back on his feet, this time with an army of misfit lawyers to help him with his cases. Apart from getting back into the game, he also has to teach his team to learn to work with him and win cases. Predictably, he wins the latest and very first case his team and him handles together.

As a supplemental story, Shark has a 16 year old daughter who, in this preview, had to choose between living with her mother or her father (Shark is a divorcee). This relationship shows the softer, human side of Shark the cutthroat lawyer, and therefore creates the balance to his character.

Why it will be a hit: Actually, to me, it is just your garden variety courtroom drama. That is always a sure bet, though.These types of stories do well in the ratings.

Why it may not work: There's nothing new here.

It is a lot like: Shark is like the House (another TV Show) of the Justice system.

************

Runaway
To air: September 2006
Network: The CW (formerly UPN)


Are you familiar with The Fugitive (Harrison Ford)? Well, this one involves a whole family.

In a nutshell: Dad is accused of murder. He didn't do it, of course. The ones who really did it are putting a mark on his wife and their 3 kids if he talks. But the police doesn't know that and still believes he is the murderer. So he moves his whole family to another town. There the family assumes another name, another identity and tries to fit in. And they have no records whatsover, saying to curious neighbors, it all got destroyed by the Katrina tragedy. In the meantime, the FBI continues their manhunt for Dad (played by Donnie Wahlberg) and his family.

Why it will be a hit: Mildly interesting premise, cleverly written plot. And you gotta love Donnie Wahlberg's performance. It really has a potential to become a hit.

Why it may not work: I doubt that it won't. I have nothing but good vibes for this show.

It is a lot like: It could become a lot like Prison Break - Season 2, which actually starts it's fugitive premise a week earlier when this show premiers.

On my next blog time, previews of:
Our Thirties
Secrets of A Small Town
The Angriest Man in Suburbia
Hidden Palms
Rules of Engagment

20 July 2006

Previews of Upcoming TV Shows (2006-2007), Part 1

Found some interesting Pre-Air episodes the other day and wasted no time checking it out. I sampled seven and liked one very, very much (Traveler). Here's a sneak peek:

Traveler
To air: January 2007
Network: ABC


This has the makings of a hit. Mark my words.

In a nutshell: The story starts with three college friends, off on a roadtrip, the last summer, last opportunity to goof around, before they start real jobs and forget about having fun. Jay, Tyler and Will Traveler goes to a famous museum and dares each other to pull a prank and rollerblade inside the museum's premises (where any form of goofing around is prohibited, as one should know).

Will Traveler did not take on the dare but suggested instead to follow them while he videotapes his friends.... He didn't.

While the other two caused a stir inside the museum and was even chased by the guards for rollerblading (and they were able to get out laughing and quite pleased with their juvenile attempt)...Will Traveler remains inside the museum.

A call on Jay's cellphone... Will saying "I'm sorry"... then a bomb going off... marks the beginning of hell for these friends.

The entire 2nd floor of the museum is caught on fire, prompting officials to think it was a terrorist attack. And the two who rollerbladed through the premises --- Jay, a budding lawyer and Tyler, a magnate's son --- become the prime suspects.

And Will Traveler? FBI records show he does not exist. Jay discovers that all pictures he keeps of Will from their college parties are quite odd --- Will's face is either covered or he made it a point to hide from the camera. Jay doesn't have a decent picture of Will Traveler.

Who is Will Traveler? And who is behind this conspiracy?

Why it will be hit: Who doesn't love a conspiracy? The story is potentially enthralling and absorbing. It has a cinematic feel. The pilot episode seems well-thought of and everything just falls properly, storytelling is the key. And these boys are so good looking (and good actors too boot!) it's perfect TV.

Why it may not work: It will work.

It's a lot like: Because there's some edge-of-your-seat action, watching this show will leave you wanting for more, much like 24 and Prison Break.

************

Jericho
To air: September 2006
Network: CBS


I'm not actually a fan of disaster stories. But hey, I tune to Lost even as I don't understand it half the time. I might tune to this one.

In a nutshell: Jericho is a small Kansas town, the everybody-knows-everybody sort. Peaceful, provincial and laid-back, it is the setting for what is soon to be the after-effect of a national disaster. Elsewhere, American cities have supposedly vanished because of a nuclear attack and Jericho townfolks have no idea they are the only ones who remain.

The episode opens with the main character, Jake Green, who just got back to his hometown for a short visit. His character is a mystery, he was supposedly away for five years. Where did he go? He vaguely evades this when townfolks ask him.

Jake has baggage. He has an issue with his Mayor-father and upon his return to Jericho, he sees the former love of his life and discovers she has a boyfriend.

Among other problems....

--- a bus load of kids and their teacher have gone missing and the locals are calling for the mayor's head; Dale Turner, a latchkey kid, gets a message that his mother has died in the blast - from a nuke on the other side of the country; Mayor Green's rival Gray Anderson is caught in the middle of potential looters at a gas station where a mysterious ex-cop (Lennie James) offers assistance; another bus - this time carrying convicts from a nearby prison is found empty; and Jake himself is injured in a car wreck with a rubbernecking driver. As one would expect, the various plots begin to cross paths with Jake being forced into the reluctant hero role as he stumbles across the missing children.

--- The Futon Critic

Why it will be a hit: There's mystery. It obviously is not just a family drama. Finding out what happens to the characters after a nuclear attack, and what that attack is all about, might just make viewers want to tune into this story more and more.

Why it may not work: Yeah, too cliche.

It's a lot like: For it's mysterious plot it has an Xfile-ish feel and for it's mysterious plot + mesh of characters, it's a lot like Lost.


************

Heroes
To air: September 2006
Network: NBC


Xmen on TV? Oh wait, there was a Mutant X, a Birds of Prey and a score of other superhero TV shows. What makes this one any different?

In a nutshell: There are too many characters, which should not be a surprise, this is Justice League 2006...let's see if I've remembered all of them:

- There's the nurse who tells his policitian brother he can fly and big brother dismisses this. The previews show he tried to demonstrate to his brother, but in turn got surprised himself, his kuya actually flew!
- There's this very gorgeous but problematic mother of an 8-year old gifted kid. Sexy Mom is in debt and out of a real job, she makes a living stripping on the internet. Her special powers: quite unclear to me as of yet, but it seems she and the reflection of herself on the mirror are two people. Her reflection is a much more feisty version of her.
- There's the high school cheerleader who has great healing powers, similar to Wolverine. She just can't get hurt, physically. On the personal side, she belongs to what seems like a typical suburban family and has normal teen angst.
- There's a Japanese geek who can travel through space and time and may provide the comedy factor for this show.
- There's this gifted artist who paints what he sees in the future and does not like what he can do. So, in this preview, he cuts his hand in an attempt to stop this ability.
- There's the Indian guy, a professor who does not show any mysterious power yet, but is an expert in genetics and he could be the one person to bring them all together.

All this manifested on the day a total eclipse is about to happen...

Why it will be a hit: It's got a following already. There's a big market for superheroes out there. Also, there's that cinematic feeling once again. It's something you'd expect from a movie trilogy, the presentation is just awe-inspiring. How they will try to make this work on TV is something to look forward to.

Why it may not work: It could get messy. Too many characters to develop, too many plots to explain. It has to do a good job of telling a story.

It's a lot like: Any other mutant Sci-fi series or movie.

On my next blog time, previews of:
The Class
The Nine
Shark
Runaway
- Review of these four shows found HERE

11 July 2006

Emmy Race: Supporting Actress Comedy

The nominees are:

Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Cheryl Hines as Cheryl David

Desperate Housewives • ABC • Touchstone Television
Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite

My Name Is Earl • NBC • An Amigos de Garcia production
in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Jaime Pressly as Joy

Weeds • Showtime • Showtime Presents in association
with Lions Gate Television and Tilted Productions
Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes

Will & Grace • NBC • KoMut Entertainment in association
with NBC Studios and Three Sisters Entertainment
Megan Mullally as Karen

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Out: Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm). Her character is not competitive enough, I wonder how she got the nomination nod. Ditto Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds).

I have stopped watching Desperate Housewives so I cannot comment on Alfre Woodard's performance.

So this race is a fight between a fresh face in the category, Jaime Pressly, who, as Joy in My Name is Earl, is utterly hilarious; versus a veteran and former winner, Megan Mullally. And because this is Will & Grace's final year at the Emmy's, I will not be surprised if Megan wins it...none so fitting as a trophy to cap 8 Seasons of playing Karen so effectively.

Complete List of Emmy Nominees
Eligibility Period: Episodes airing June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006
Emmy Awards airs on September 2006

10 July 2006

Emmy Race: Reality Competition Series

The nominees are:

The Amazing Race • CBS • Amazing Race Productions, Inc. and Touchstone Television Productions, LLC in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and WorldRace Productions, Inc.

American Idol • FOX • FremantleMedia N.A., Inc. & 19TV Ltd.

Dancing With The Stars • ABC • BBC Worldwide Productions

Project Runway • Bravo • Magical Elves for The Weinstein Company/Miramax, Full Picture, Bravo

Survivor • CBS • Mark Burnett Productions in association with SEG Productions

---------

With the show also nominated for Outstanding Art Direction For A Variety, Music Program, Or Special (the very first time it happens to a reality-competition!), and add to the fact that American Idol's most recent season (Season 5) was a huge success, with increased viewership and remaining constant in it's number one spot at the ratings, this year's winner could be American Idol.

Three-time winner, The Amazing Race, which had it's poorest run with The Family Edition during the start of last Season, may fail to win the fourth time.

What's missing this year? Donald Trump's The Apprentice, which was nominated for the last three seasons but has now been snubbed and is also suffering from a drop in viewership.

Complete List of Emmy Nominees
Eligibility Period: Episodes airing June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006
Emmy Awards airs on September 2006

01 July 2006

Eddie has left the building

I would've wanted to post this a few days ago, but I didn't have good internet connection.


Goodbye, Eddie...
This Frasier fan/dog-lover will miss you lots.



Moose, the feisty Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie on TV's Frasier, has died, his trainer, Mathilde Halberg, tells PEOPLE.

"He was 16-and-a-half years old, and he just had an incredible charisma and was a such a free spirit," said Halberg. Moose, considered the Lassie of the '90s, died Thursday night of old age at Halberg's Los Angeles-area home.

Moose retired from showbiz when he was 10 and was replacd by a younger lookalike named Enzo for the final two seasons of Frasier.

Although he also starred in the 2000 Frankie Muniz-Kevin Bacon feature My Dog Skip (as the older Skip), he was best known for stealing scenes from Kelsey Grammer on the long-running Emmy-winning NBC sitcom.

"He was always trying to put Frasier in uncomfortable circumstances," said his trainer, who had rescued him in the early 1990s.

"I saved him from the pound. His owners called me as a last resort," Halberg recalled. "He was extremely mischievous, always escaping, chewing up things and running off. When he killed a neighbor's cat and chased some horses, that was it."

Not that anyone who owns a Jack Russell would find such behavior surprising. "But then," remembered his trainer, "he began his career, and he will never be forgotten."


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