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13 November 2008

Mid Season Report: New TV Show Premieres Dec 2008 to April 2009

Mid season replacements on the way, couch potatoes!

This section will be regularly updated as new schedules and new television series for airing December 2008 are being released by the networks this month. Old favorites like 24, Lost, Damages, Burn Notice or Friday Night Lights are returning, but we'll keep tabs on those new to television.

What will you be watching from this new line-up?

DECEMBER

secret_millionaire SECRET MILLIONAIRE (FOX) Premiere: 12/3/08 at 8:00 PM Schedule: Wednesdays 8:00 PM-10:00 PM EST FOX reveals a wealth of millionaires participating in SECRET MILLIONAIRE, the inspirational new unscripted series premiering Wednesday, Dec. 3 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The millionaires include an internet mogul worth $300 million, a husband-and-wife team who own a multi-million dollar magazine-publishing business, a successful Southern California lawyer, an owner of a restaurant empire, a Baltimore socialite and former NFL cheerleader as well as a software inventor worth $50 million. The secret millionaires will leave their opulent lifestyles and go undercover to experience life in some of the most impoverished areas of the country including a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina, an old coal-mining town in Schuylkill County, PA, and areas outside of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, where people in need live just minutes from those in upscale, gated communities. Challenged with living on minimum wage, the millionaires will immerse themselves in situations beyond their comprehension. They will work side-by-side with community members and befriend those in need. During their stay, they decide who of their new-found friends, neighbors or co-workers should ultimately receive their extraordinary gifts of a lifetime at least $100,000 of their own money.

LEVERAGE (TNT) Premiere: 12/7/08 at 10:00 PM Schedule: Tuesdays 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST TNT has given the greenlight to the thrilling, action-packed drama series LEVERAGE, starring Oscar® winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Nero Wolfe) and executive-produced by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT’s The Librarian) and John Rogers (Cosby). The series follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who act as modern-day Robin Hoods, taking revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize others. TNT has ordered 13 episodes of LEVERAGE, which comes to the network from Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. Devlin makes his directorial debut on the pilot, which was written by Rogers (Transformers) and Chris Downey (The King of leverage_01_512x341Queens). LEVERAGE is slated to premiere on TNT later this year. “LEVERAGE is great entertainment,” said Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the content creation group for TNT, TBS and TCM. “It’s fast-paced, smart and just great fun. Dean Devlin directed the pilot to perfection. Timothy Hutton is outstanding, and he and the cast around him have a great chemistry. This is a new genre for us in our series efforts, and it’s great to be able to tackle it with Dean. His Librarian movies for TNT have been huge successes. We couldn’t be happier having him and John Rogers bring that same sense of style and storytelling to us in series form.” In LEVERAGE, Hutton plays former insurance investigator Nate Ford, a once-loyal corporate employee who had recovered millions of dollars in stolen goods for his employer. But when that employer denied his son’s insurance claims and allowed the boy to die, he realized he could no longer work for such an entity. Out of work and descending into alcoholism, Ford is hired by an aeronautics executive to recover airplane designs the executive claims were stolen by a rival company. Helping him are four highly skilled team members: Parker (Beth Riesgraf – Alvin and the Chipmunks), an expert thief; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge – Friday Night Lights), a specialist in Internet and computer fraud; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane – Into the West), a high-octane “retrieval specialist” who can take out a gang of henchmen without breaking a sweat; and Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman – Coupling), a grifter who could win awards for her acting skills during difficult scams. At first the newly formed team is hesitant to trust each other after so many years working alone but being double-crossed changes the dynamic, ultimately forcing them to unite. They emerge from the job realizing they are far better working together than apart. Once they discover they can trust each other the group targets their cons toward the richest, the greediest and the most unjust.

MOMMA'S BOYS (NBC) Premiere: 12/16/08 at 10:00 PM Schedule: Mondays 9:00 PM-10:00 PM EST WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WOMAN IN A MAN'S LIFE? "Momma's Boys" centers on a group of mothers who must help choose the perfect woman for their complacent sons. Ultimately, the series poses the question: Who is really the most important woman in every man's life? In "Momma's Boys," love is in the air, but the story is told from a new television perspective because first, the women will have to get by Mom. Drama ensues when numerous mothers and their eligible bachelor sons are housed together with several single women. As the tension mounts, viewers will watch as possessive mothers influence their sons' search for the perfect mate. Some of the possible brides are "nice girls" while others might not be as presentable. As expected, rivalries are formed, drama mounts and emotion builds as crucial choices are made.

JANUARY

293.collette.ust.060508 UNITED STATES OF TARA, THE (SHOWTIME) Premiere: 1/18/09 at 10:00 PM Schedule: Sundays 10:00 PM-10:30 PM EST Showtime Networks has fast-tracked the pickup of THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, a new 12 episode half-hour comedy series starring Academy Award(R)-nominated actress Toni Collette ("Little Miss Sunshine") as a wife and mother who suffers from disassociative identity (formerly multiple personality) disorder, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment for Showtime. The comedy series, a co-production of Dreamworks Television and Showtime Networks, will delve into how a dysfunctional family, including Tara's working husband played by John Corbett ("Sex and the City"), copes with the various identities that may appear on any given day and range in age, temperament and even gender.

lie_to_me LIE TO ME (FOX) Premiere: 1/21/09 at 9:00 PM Schedule: Wednesdays from 9:00 PM-10:00 PM EST FOX has given a series commitment to LIE TO ME, a compelling new drama from Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television. Tim Roth ("The Incredible Hulk") and Kelli Williams ("The Practice") star in this fascinating character drama inspired by a real-life specialist who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth behind the lies in criminal investigations. LIE TO ME is scheduled to premiere midseason. When you scratch your chin, wring your hands, wrinkle your nose or swallow too much, Dr. Cal Lightman (Roth) knows you're lying. He doesn't just think so he knows so. As the foremost deception expert in the country, Dr. Lightman can uncover the deepest secrets and crack the hardest cases. More accurate than any polygraph, he knows whether those in front of him be they family, friends, criminals or complete strangers are honest or not. Dr. Lightman heads up The Lightman Group, a private agency contracted by the FBI, local police, law firms, corporations and private individuals when they hit roadblocks in their searches for the truth. Joining him at the agency are a variety of experts in the field of behavioral evaluation: Dr. Gillian Foster (Williams) is a gifted psychologist and Lightman's professional partner, a woman whose guidance he needs whether he knows it or not; Will Loker (Brendan Hines) is Lightman's lead researcher who practices "radical honesty" at all times; and Ria Torres (Monica Raymund) is the newest member of the team, selected for her innate ability to read body language and catch certain clues that her colleagues may miss.

TRUE BEAUTY (ABC) Premiere: 1/5/09 at 10:00 PM Schedule: Mondays 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST What makes a person truly beautiful? Executive producers Tyra Banks ("The Tyra Banks Show," "America's Next Top Model") and Ashton Kutcher (executive producer of "Punk'd" and "Beauty and the Geek") re-define the concept of beauty in a wildly revealing new ABC series, "True Beauty," premiering, MONDAY, JANUARY 5, 2009 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Hosted and judged by Vanessa Minnillo (former host of "TRL" and "ET"), along with judges Cheryl Tiegs (America's first supermodel, currently designer and author) and Nol Marin ("America's Next Top Model" and fashion expert for E!, TV Guide, "The Tyra Banks Show"), the series will determine the "True Beauty" of six stunning females and four handsome males who will live together in a spectacular Los Angeles mansion as they undergo a series of challenges to determine who is truly the most beautiful. The gorgeous contestants assume they're being judged solely on their outer appearance. They're only half right; outer beauty is one component the judges are looking for, but contestants are also being evaluated -- unbeknownst to them -- for their INNER beauty as well when they're put through scenarios and situations that require them to make moral decisions. Each episode will showcase an outer beauty and an inner beauty challenge, during which contestants will be judged on everything from how well they perform in photo shoots to how well they respect their elders. The three judges will observe and critique the contestants' behavior and eliminate one person each week. Only after someone is eliminated will the truth about the show be revealed to him/her, as they watch a video montage of their behavior captured by a hidden camera during the shoot. At the end of eight episodes, one winner will be declared, a person who is truly beautiful inside and out. That person will receive a cash prize and a spot in PEOPLE magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People issue.

HOMELAND SECURITY USA (ABC) Premiere: 1/6/09 8:00 PM Schedule: Tuesdays from 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST Border Security USA or Homeland Security USA is a realistic, "front-line" look at the men and women of The Department of Homeland Security who protect our land, sea, and air borders, and all our ports-of-entry from everything illegal and dangerous. The series chronicles what happens when our film crews shadow the Transportation Security Administration, United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol, Immigration Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services all over the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. It's not only the story of the people of DHS but the endless characters from around the world whom they meet every day.

13 FEAR IS REAL (CW) Premiere: 1/07/09 at 8:00 PM Schedule: Wednesdays from 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST "13", a spine-tingling new eight-episode series combining the horror genre with a reality show format, scheduled to premiere this summer on The CW, begins casting on March 31 in Los Angeles. Casting directors are looking for men and women between the ages of 18-30 who are energetic, competitive and full of personality to be part of television's first scary competition reality show and win a grand prize of $66,666.

FEBRUARY

DOLLHOUSE (FOX) Premiere: 2/13/09 at 9:00 PM Schedule: Fridays from 9:00 PM-10:00 PM EST Joss Whedon, creator of groundbreaking cult favorites "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," returns to television and reunites with fellow "Buffy" alumna Eliza Dushku for a thrilling new drama, DOLLHOUSE. ECHO (Dushku) is an "Active," a member of a highly illegal and underground group who have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas. Confined to a secret facility known as the "Dollhouse," Echo and the other Actives including SIERRA (Dichen Lachman, "Neighbours") and VICTOR (Enver Gjokaj, "The Unit") carry out engagements assigned by ADELLE (Olivia Williams, "X-Men: The Last Stand," "Rushmore"), one of the Dollhouse leaders. The engagements cater to the wealthy, powerful and connected, and require the Actives to immerse themselves in all manner of scenarios romantic, criminal, uplifting, dangerous, comical and the occasional "pro bono" good deed. After each scenario, Echo, always under the watchful eye of her handler BOYD (Harry Lennix, "Commander in Chief," 24), returns to the mysterious Dollhouse where her thoughts, feelings and experiences are erased by TOPHER (Fran Kranz, "Welcome to the Captain"), the Dollhouse's genius programmer. Echo enters the next scenario with no memory of before. Or does she? As the series progresses, FBI Agent PAUL SMITH (Tahmoh Penikett, "Battlestar Galactica") pieces together clues that lead him closer to the Dollhouse, while Echo stops forgetting, her memories begin to return and she slowly pieces together her mysterious past. DOLLHOUSE revolves around Echo's blossoming self-awareness and her desire to discover her true identity. But with each new engagement, comes a new memory and increased danger inside and outside the Dollhouse.

MARCH

CASTLE (ABC) Premiere: 3/9/2009 10:00 PM Schedule: Monday from 10:00 PM-9:00 PM EST Wildly famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion, "Desperate Housewives"), who is bored with his own success, learns that a real-world copycat killer has started staging murder scenes depicted in his novels. Rick is soon questioned by NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, "The Spirit"), a very bright, aggressive detective who keeps her investigations under tight rein. Rick and Kate's styles instantly clash, yet sparks begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance as Castle steps in to help find the killer. And once that case is solved, he and Beckett build upon their new relationship as they look to solve strange homicides in New York as much fun as one can have with death & murder. Castle is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, "Dharma and Greg") and quick-witted teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story").

CUPID (ABC) Premiere: 3/24/2009 10:00 PM Schedule: Tuesdays from 10:00 PM-9:00 PM EST Like any big city, New York has its share of characters. But the newest one isn't like the rest. For starters, his goal in life is to help people fall in love, which isn't such a bad thing. But he says he must create 100 happily-ever-afters in order to return to his home—Mount Olympus. Because he's Cupid, the ancient Roman god of love. Duh. He claims being punished by the other Gods for the modern world's sorry state of love, and was sent to Earth without his famed bow and arrow, to rediscover what really makes love work. As fate would have it, Cupid, sometimes known as Trevor Hale, is under the care of famous psychologist and self-help author Dr. Claire Allen. Even though Claire disagrees with Trevor's methods, she can't argue with the sentiment, since she too is dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates. But these two experts in love couldn't be more different: he believes love blooms fast and carnal and passionate, while she thinks it grows slowly, moderately and sensibly. While he busies himself making matches, she endeavors to figure out who Trevor really is. Is he a man who's losing his mind after the loss of his one true love? Is he really crazy? Or (gulp) is he really Cupid? From writer-creator Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) comes a re-imagining of his 1998 cult favorite series of the same name. Bobby Cannavale stars in this romantic-comedy procedural that will match up a new loving couple each week, though romance may not always bloom quite where we expect it to. This warm, witty series is a charming reminder that even though true love may be madness… it's the only thing keeping us sane.

KINGS (NBC) Premiere: 3/19/2009 10:00 PM Schedule: Thursdays from 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST Kings" is the story of David Shepherd, an idealistic soldier who is thrust into the heart of power by one act of heroism. After single-handedly defeating the enemies of his people, David is rewarded by being brought into the court of King Silas, monarch of the modern nation of Gilboa. David is initially dazzled by the pageantry and glamour of life among the royals, only to learn that the palace is teeming with deception. The young hero soon becomes a target for the deadly schemes of those vying for control of the kingdom. But he finds support from a beautiful princess, the king's own daughter... and their forbidden romance will launch David on a daring path to adventure. As the line between friends and enemies blurs, David must survive the treacherous corridors of power and forge a new destiny that will forever change the world. "Kings" takes place in a modern-day kingdom named Gilboa, and its shining metropolitan capital of Shiloh. It is ruled by King Benjamin Silas, the nation’s much-loved monarch, who unified several warring territories to found Gilboa many years ago. They have since built a proud and prosperous nation. While not a perfect society, the kingdom is a beacon of hope and idealism. But the dark clouds of war continue to rumble in the north, where the forces of enemy nation Gath are massing to invade, and threaten to destroy all that King Silas has created... That is, until a young soldier named David slays a fearsome Goliath tank, rallying the nation... and turning the tide of history.

APRIL

THE UNUSUALS (ABC) Premiere: 4/08/09 at 8:00 PM Schedule: Wednesdays from 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST As a cop, it helps to have a twisted sense of humor—because every moment could be your last. Just ask Casey Shraeger. She started her day as an NYPD vice detective posing as a Lincoln Tunnel hooker before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. Casey quickly realizes that not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor but everyone also has their own dirty little secret… Sgt. Brown is lusting after Detective Beaumont. Detective Delahoy is nursing a brain tumor and trying to die a noble death in the line of duty. His partner Detective Banks just turned 52 and fears that, like his father, he won't make it to 53. Detective Cole is deeply religious but has a shady past. And although Casey's new partner, Detective Walsh, appears to be clean, while investigating the murder of his former partner, Casey uncovers evidence that suggests that even Walsh may have a secret or two. Casey has a secret of her own. She grew up wealthy and privileged in New York high society and became a cop because she saw first hand how money can buy justice. As she learns from the precinct's mysterious and seldom-seen Lt. Little, Casey was brought to the homicide division because she's one of the few honest cops in the district. And with her help, Lt. Little plans to start cleaning house. Equal parts NYPD Blue and The Office, The Unusuals is a unique comedic procedural whose realistic setting makes the frequent laughs that much more outrageous. Writer Noah Hawley (a producer on Bones) confidently takes the police procedural into fresh, uncharted waters. Stephen Hopkins (24, Californication) directs.

HARPER'S ISLAND (CBS) Premiere: 4/9/09 10:00 PM Schedule: Thursdays from 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST HARPER'S ISLAND is about a group of family and friends who travel to a secluded island for a destination wedding. They've come to laugh... to love... and, though they don't know it... to die. As the wedding festivities begin, friendships are tested and secrets exposed as a murderer claims victims, one by one, transforming the wedding week of fun and celebration into a terrifying struggle for survival. In every episode, someone is killed and every person is a suspect, from the wedding party to the island locals. By the end of the 13 episodes, all questions will be answered, the killer will be revealed and only a few will survive.

THE GOODE FAMILY (ABC) Premiere: Schedule: Wednesdays from 8:30 PM-9:00 PM EST A new animated series from Mike Judge, creator of "King of the Hill." "The Goode Family" is obsessed with doing the "right" thing, whether it's environmentally, politically or socially. Unfortunately their efforts often have unintended comic consequences. "The Goode Family" is voiced by Mike Judge as Gerald, Nancy Carell as Helen, Dave Herman as Ubuntu and Abby Elliot as Bliss. Executive producers for "The Goode Family" are Mike Judge, David Krinsky, John Altschuler, Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. The series is produced by MRC and 3 Arts Entertainment.

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