Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Jumping back into the deep end

Hope everybody had a good Labor Day weekend, and an even better summer. I didn't exactly take the weekend off, what with the "Mad Men" review on Sunday and my final "Sports Night" review yesterday (along with my "Sons of Anarchy" and "Melrose Place" columns, which I wrote before my vacation started). But while I was away, I missed various bits of news, including AMC renewing "Mad Men," NBC announcing plans for a "Prime Suspect" remake, "SNL" hiring two actresses and firing two others, Charlie Gibson retiring and Diane Sawyer being named to succeed him, Megan Mullally replacing Jane Lynch on "Party Down," and a whole bunch of other stuff you can find links to on TV Tattle if you didn't know about them already.

I'd offer some analysis, but I gotta move forward. This is the start of my busiest time of year. Fall shows are starting to premiere (though mostly only on the CW this week) which I'll have to review for the paper, plus I have interviews to write up from press tour, plus we have the Emmys coming up, plus I'm still dealing with "Mad Men," etc., etc., etc. As always, I'm still trying to figure out what shows I'm going to cover on the blog, how often (and in how much depth) and generally how my schedule will work.

My actual fall preview column is going to run in Sunday's paper, though I imagine I'll get the usual thumbs-up to run it here on Friday. But in general, my goal is to put my head down and write, write, write - that is, when I'm not watching new screeners.

But before my fall preview runs, I'm curious: what new and/or returning shows are you most looking forward to seeing?


Alden said...

I'm pretty much a TV addict, so I'm looking forward to (in order of premiere):

Gossip Girl
The Beautiful Life (good reviews...)
Bored to Death
How I Met Your Mother
The Good Wife
Cougar Town
Modern Family
Flash Forward
Grey's Anatomy
The Middle
30 Rock
White Collar

... Wow, a lot more comedies there than for the past few years! 5-6 (whether you count Glee is your call) newbie comedies I wanna check out. That's an amazing sign for the future of formerly-zombified comedy genre.

And, as far as I can tell, no ugly-husband-hot-wife cliched ones! Except, of course, the awkward second-marriage story in 'Modern Family', which should actually be hilarious (as opposed to painful).

Also hopeful for a third season of In Treatment, as well as awaiting new seasons of United States of Tara in the spring and Nurse Jackie/Weeds next summer...

(Word verification: Crinquat. Cousin of the kumquat?)

Fernando said...

I've been consumed with catching up with "How I Met Your Mother" but doubt I'll actually get to watch it live since 4th season dvd doesn't come out until about a week after the season 5 premiere.

Besides that, really only 30 rock and the Office. Im also waiting for Lost, but thats so far away still, im trying keep my emotions in check (John Locke says what?)

justine said...

How I Met Your Mother - curious how Barney/Robin goes and excited to have Hannigan back full-time.

Big Bang Theory - Enjoy the anti-relationship of Sheldon and Penny

Lie To Me - Gave up midway through the first season, but Shawn Ryan taking over intrigues me.

The Good Wife - curiosity more than anything

Modern Family - seems to be the show to check out

Cougar Town - Is it wrong Courtney Cox was always my favorite actor on Friends?

Glee - I've tried to ignore the hype, so I may actually enjoy the show.

Bones - I think Hart Hanson may know something fans and critics don't. Curious to see what he does this season.

Fringe - Really picked up toward the end of last season. Curious to see if they can keep it up.

Community - John McHale!

30 Rock - Need I say more?

Flashforward - Although I am convinced it won't end up as good as I want it to.

Frankly, all of this is just to mark time until the final season of LOST.

Alex Mullane said...

I know you won't be blogging it, but I'm quite excited for Supernatural to return. It really did turn into quite a solid little show, and seems to be getting better all the time.

Fringe and Dollhouse also picked up, and it'll be interesting to see where the shows take themselves in their 2nd series (especially given their respective finales; parallel universe and the whole Epitaph thing).

House has some work to do after most of last season, so hopefully the rehab/psychiatric unit plot will prove interesting.

Quite excited to see how V turns out.

However the shows I REALLY want back won't be around for a while. Lost, Breaking Bad and Caprica.

vmarshmellow said...

I'm mostly looking forward to returning shows, but if any of the new shows I see look promising, I'll try to continue with them.


Gossip Girl
Ugly Betty
The Office
30 Rock
Parks and Recreation
Friday Night Lights (whenever it airs)
Dollhouse (sorta)

(I always feel like I'm forgetting something)


Ryan said...

Ouch, Megan Mullally?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we still have 6-7 more months for Chuck. Ugh.


Zac F. said...

Returning shows I'm watching:

Sunday: The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, Mad Men and Sunday Night Football.

Monday: How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, House and Heroes.

Thursday: Fringe and The Office.

Saturday: Saturday Night Football.

New shows I'll check out:
V, Community and Flash Forward. If I hear good things about other shows, I'll check them out.

Is Parenthood delayed until January because of Maura Tierney's personal situation?

Kathy said...

The Office!!!

HBO2003 said...

Top Shows on TV this fall (my opinion)

1- Sons of Anarchy
2- Mad Men
3- Sein...Curb Your Enthusiasm
4-Friday Night Lights ( When does Direct TV air it?)

New Shows - Community, Flash Foward,

Anonymous said...

Castle - can it improve?
House - can it be even more over-the-top?
Mentalist - uneven writing, but very enteraining
Survivor - after 9 years, 18 seasons does it still have the chops?
The Amazing Race - classy, fun, still good?

Matt said...

Having just finished up the Season 1 DVDs and "Epitaph One"... Dollhouse.

word verification: "thensa" - coincidence?

dez said...

Ouch, Megan Mullally?

She doesn't bother me so much, but I will miss Jane Lynch!

New shows I will probably check out:

Modern Family

Returning shows I will watch:

The Simpsons
30 Rock
The Office
The Amazing Race
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Burn Notice
Parks and Recreation
Ugly Betty

marenamoo said...


Chuck - please come back sooner
Burn Notice - Winter
Leverage - Winter
Lie to Me
Supernatural - yeah the apocalypse
The Mentalist


Day One
Flash Forward
Life Unexpected
White Collar
The Good Wife
The Deep End
Human Target

I watch all tv on my computer except for the very few that I need to DVR. Each show takes about 45 minutes to watch. Many shows take a week off or many weeks off. If I settle into about 15 shows that means each week is airing about 10 shows which is 450 minutes of Tv a week or a little over one hour per day. My God I need to add more shows!

Jin's English Tutor said...

Looking forward to Flash Forward, Community and Bored to Death.

Returning shows I will watch: House, Bones, Simpsons, Grey's and Survivor all to kill time between football games.

Right now, my only stop downs are Mad Men and Lost.

Michael G. said...

The Office
House (thanks to your excitement Alan)
How I Met Your Mother (have to catch up quickly with Season 4 DVD)
Bones (kind of...)

And I might check out Community, Flash Forward and White Collar.

And of course Chuck and 24, but I'll have to wait for those.

J said...

Am sort of looking forward to Melrose Place, but only because (a) I heart Laura Leighton muchly and (b) I've been thinking of taking up drinking, again.

There's not good place for this, because I don't want to get subjected to spoilers, so since Hamm & Slattery are up top:

Is AMC the worst, or what? I've finally caught up with Mad Men on DVD, and I find the only episode available on Hulu is the Season 3 premiere? AMC provides "summaries" on their site, but there's no way I will watch those. And should I catch up and miss an episode, the only times they rerun them are at 3:15 in the morning. It looks like a mid-season marathon is scheduled for September 20th...at 9am. I'm not buying a DVR, because this is the 21st Century and these things are supposed to be online.

It's like a giant enterprise built to encourage illegal downloading. So instead I'll just not watch AMC for another year and wait to rent the Season 3 DVDs.

Anonymous said...

What was wrong with Jennifer Coolidge? I thought she was great.

Alan Sepinwall said...

It's like a giant enterprise built to encourage illegal downloading.

Or to encourage you to get cable, or to pay the 2 bucks to download each episode on iTunes.

Cable networks in general have been much iffier about free online streaming than the broadcasters have. You can't find Top Chef on Hulu anymore, for instance, because cable operators have asked Bravo to stop making it available.

Ariadne said...

I'm most looking forward to Castle and NCIS.

Last season Castle was smart and funny and I'm hoping that will continue this season. My teenager loves the Castle/Beckett relationship.

NCIS is a show I can count on to entertain me without treating me like I'm stupid. I'm also curious how the cliff-hanger will end.

I'll also watch:
Grey's Anatomy for the Owen/Christina storyline. I wish Izzie had died instead of George.

Chuck, which I enjoyed last year although not fanatically.

CSI, Lie to Me and Bones I'll watch but won't tape if I'm not home.

Among the new shows, I liked Glee so I'll watch that. I'll try out Flash Forward, Stargate Universe and Parenthood when it comes on. I wasn't much impressed by NCIS:LA but I'll give it a chance

Still haven't decided yet if I'll watch House but I doubt it. If I do, it's to see if they've managed to fix show (hated the Foreman and Thirteen overkill, Cameron and Chase as soap opera, and the stupidity of House and Cuddy's juvenile relationship).

When you start with the bar set high, it's even more disappointing when it drops.

J said...

Or to encourage you to get cable, or to pay the 2 bucks to download each episode on iTunes.

Well I have cable, and was speaking to AMC's airing schedule for reruns. (Comcast's "On Demand" service is a battleground.) I refuse to get involved with iTunes b/c Apple is evil... but I just checked on Amazon and hey, thanks. So while I still think this stuff should be streaming on Hulu or at their site, I'll catch up this way. End rant.

Hannah Lee said...

New shows that have caught my interest: Community, FlashForward and The Good Wife (Josh Charles back on my TV – Yay!)

I’m also looking forward to the return of Castle, How I Met Your Mother, The Amazing Race and The Office.

I caught the Castle mini-marathon on ABC last night, and found the episodes repeat really well. Since the mysteries are the weakest part of the show IMO, already knowing how they turn out let me just relax and enjoy the ride (chemistry, banter, beautiful people, etc.) During Castle, I also caught some commercials for new ABC shows: Cougartown didn’t look as bad as it sounds, Modern Family looks awful, and when, exactly did Christian Slater get a new show? It doesn’t look any better than his last one.

As for later in the season, I’m looking forward to the returns of Lost and Chuck, as well as the premiere for Parenthood.

Is Parenthood delayed until January because of Maura Tierney's personal situation?
Zac F, that’s how NBC explained it, saying they were shutting down production for a while so she could focus on her health/treatment.

Rachel said...

Let's see...

The Office
Mad Men
Parks & Rec
Party Down
Amazing Race
Project Runway
Pretty much anything on Bravo

Flash Forward

domino87 said...

I'm more looking forward to the mid season shows rather than the Fall premieres.

Lost (January)
The Pacific (March)
Chuck (March)
Breaking Bad (March)
Treme (April)
Boardwalk Empire (Mid-Fall 2010?)

Only dramas I'm excited to watch now are Dollhouse, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, and Flash Forward.

But it will be damn good to have so many great comedies:

The Office, 30 Rock, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, Curb, Parks and Rec, Californication.

Plus hearing good things about Community, The Modern Family, and Bored to Death so I'll check those out too.

Paul Outlaw said...

Cougar Town - Is it wrong Courtney Cox was always my favorite actor on Friends?

No, she was the best of the bunch---well, it's really a toss-up between Cox and Kudrow.

New shows this fall I'm most curious about: FlashForward, Eastwick, Glee, Community, Cougar Town, Vampire Dairies (with reservations)

Returning shows I will be watching more or less in watercooler rhythm: Mad Men, Greek, Sons of Anarchy, Castle, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives

Returning shows I will be watching whenever I get to them: Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Private Practice

Returning shows I'm still playing catch up with: Dexter, 30 Rock, The Office, Californication, How I Met Your Mother

Etc.: Hung, True Blood

domino87 said...

Oh and how could I forget Its Always Sunny in Philly?

And insanely excited for the last David Tennant Doctor Who specials starting in November. And I'll be checking out The Prisoner and V.

Gail said...

I'm going to give Glee a chance, and I'm interested in your opinions regarding Bored to Death, Flashforward, and The Good Wife. The only return I'm looking forward to is Curb Your Enthusiasm; I watch Grey's Anatomy, but certainly not with anticipation.

Hatfield said...

Sons of Anarchy! Also NCIS, Dollhouse, Fringe and House (wow, lots of Fox). And after a weaker season, the previews for Dexter look really good.

As for new shows, Bored to Death looks interesting, though I don't really like Schwartzman. Community and Modern Family sound promising.

SoCal said...

How I
Big Bang
Lie to Me
Two and a Half Men - yes, really
30 Rock
60 Minutes
Family Guy
Gary Unmarried
Southland - really liked the first seaason
Always Sunny

Flash Forward
Bored to Death
Modern Family
Cougar Town
The Cleveland Show

gina said...

The returning shows I'm most looking forward to watching:

Sons of Anarchy

(and of course LOST, 24, Deadliest Catch and Caprica in the new year!)

New shows I really want to check out:

Modern Family
Flash Forward

Show I may need to play catch-up with:

Dollhouse. I am no fan of Eliza Dushku, but I'm a Joss Whedon fan and I've gotten to the point now where I feel like I'm missing out on something.

alynch said...

I'm most looking forward to the return of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I know Alan runs hot/cold on it, but I think it's quite consistent. I'll be shocked if laugh harder at anything this year than this "Kitten Mittens" clip.


Merola said...

Big Bang Theory
30 Rock

Kensington said...

I'm really looking forward to the return of Dr Who, both for David Tennant's farewell and Matt Smith's arrival.

The anticipation of a new Doctor is usually exciting, and this time it's compounded by curiosity over how the show might change in Steven Moffatt's hands. Some of the stylistic changes that have been revealed are already pretty tantalizing.

I'm also thrilled over BBC America's commitment to running the new episodes unedited and in a more timely fashion than we've thus far experienced.

Kensington said...

I'm also looking forward to the return of Dollhouse, wondering in particular whether the show will emerge as even more of an ensemble piece this year. I'm fond of Eliza Dushku, but the show is better when it's not all on her shoulders.

Leo said...

If we're only talking fall shows, not those that aren't coming back till January, I am most excited about Glee and How I Met Your Mother. I am planning to check out Melrose Place and I'm considering whether to Tivo "V".

Flashman said...

Sons of Anarchy
Friday Night Lights
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Breaking Bad
Burn Notice
Eastbound and Down

I'm not one to channel surf much and nothing I've heard about any of the new shows has piqued my interest much, so I'll hold off until word comes back on which ones are worth the time

JanieJones said...

I'm a bit of tv junkie but I've been cutting back. (I have several dvr's so it helps)
Returning and/or watching:

Mad Men
True Blood
Sons of Anarchy!!! (very excited for tonight's S2 premiere)
The Mentalist (uneven yes but entertaining)
L&O-SVU (I'm with the show until the end, glutton for punishment, personal opinion-the writing needs improvement in a big way, not the actors)
Nip/Tuck (same as SVU, I don't have a great interest anymore but since it's starting to wrap, why not?)
Monk (I think Tony and co. are very smart to be wrapping this series. I will miss it. I hope to see some closure regarding an issue or two in some of the main themes)
Grey's (a dvr choice that I may or may not watch, lost interest several seasons ago)
The Office
House (I'm looking forward to seeing Andre Braugher among other things!!!)
Bones if I'm home or it'll get dvr'd to get time to view it
Medium-love the show and the cast (glad CBS picked it up)
New Shows:
Bored to Death (definitely worth a view)
White Collar (The pilot was solid as told by reliable, objective source)

Three Rivers (pretty lousy reviews but I like Alex O'Loughlin, Alfre Woodard)
Flash Forward
Supernatural (2 seasons behind)
Modern Family
The Good Wife (Noth and Baranski make me want to check this out)
Community (heard good things)
Lawman (Tim Olyphant, fingers crossed for his new show)

Mid-Season and beyond:
Burn Notice S3 Pt.2
The Closer (December)
Leverage (Winter)
U of T S2 (Late winter/spring?)
The Tudors S4 (Spring)
Damages S3 (Winter)
Breaking Bad S3 (March)
Big Love S4 (Hopefully, January)
In Treatment (is that dead in the water?)
Rescue Me (Spring '10)

And than we have summer of 2010...This summer was a bit of surprise with BBC's Being Human, Nurse Jackie. It was a decent summer of television viewing on certain evenings.

I'll leave it at that ;)
Bless Dvr's

Anonymous said...

It's hard to care too much about more than Breaking Bad, Burn Notice and Mad Men right now. 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights are also definite.

I do usually watch Leverage, Closer, Castle, Southland and Saving Grace, and Sons of Anarchy. Alright, I admit I'm hoping for a new Celeb Rehab.

I have no opinions yet about new shows. I watch online so haven't seen any commercials. I'm waiting for Alan's instructions!

ScottyG said...

The Office and 30 Rock the most....but i'll toss in Dexter, Fringe, and Parks and Rec for good measure. Still not sure about House.

Of course still watching Mad Men and waiting for Lost and Chuck.

Oh and sports (NHL), sports (MLB playoffs), and more sports (NBA, soccer, and the olyimpics).

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Prime Suspect, but I'm really not sure about an American version. First off, it won't have Helen Mirren, and secondly, it won't be set in London, which I feel is very important to the mood of the show.

rhys said...

Not sure what J means about OnDemand being a battleground, but Mad Men is on Comcast's OnDemand.

- Fringe
- Sons of Anarachy
- Its Always Sunny (previews have been looking good, so hoping the season is better then the last.)
- Lost
- Breaking Bad

Curious about:
- Community
- Flash Forward
- White Collar
- Modern Family

Ann T. said...

Alan - I read the Prime Suspect announcement via Mo Ryan's Twitter feed. I'm very worried about NBC remaking this very awesome PBS crime drama. I can't think of anyone who could play Jane Tennison except for Helen Mirren.

LA said...

No where else to put this, but I LOVE the new "crossdressers" banner! Bravo!

Pamela Jaye said...

thanks for the link to tvtattler. i didn't go there, but my friend with whom i was reading aloud on the phone did, and the first thing she hit was Jon Gosselin, so I will be watching that tonight.

Looking forward to or trying out:

You said House was good - so I'll not give it up to watching 3 weeks after air, even though Donny will be Dancing with the Stars and Monday at 8 is still a trainwreck, even without Chuck

Grey's Anatomy is my favorite show. It won't change till Ellen's contract runs out, and we'll see about NewScrubs. I like the idea of MedSchool, especially if they put some teaching into it, as they started to on Grey's last year but then forgot cause the cast was so big. I will miss George and I will miss Mer when Ellen is on maternity leave.
I won't miss Izzie, but I will miss any effect she might have on Alex, who is just awesome and not nominited, boo hiss.

Glee! finally saw the pilot - twice - it was great fun (I love to sing with my TV (or anything else) and they were songs I mostly knew)

I'll take a crack at FlashForward but i might put it on the Reunion Syndrome Delay, till the network can decide to not cancel it.

Dollhouse, to me, is work. I have to be awake to watch it. REALLY awake. But I love Joss & Eliza so I gave it more room than Firefly, which I still haven't seen more than an ep and a half plus a movie of.

Community -cause after Chuck I want to see Chevy Chase.

Chuck, when we get it.

The Big Bang Theory - I am loving this more than How I Met Your Mother.

I also really like Brothers and Sisters. (and their weekly commercial for cell phones)

Dan recommended a batch that seemed interesting only for who wrote them or who would be in them. Maybe I'll pass. I did the Be A Network Executive Game and I managed to fit all my shows into the week with no overlap, but I got a 0 and lost my job. My friend Michelle had even more shows than I did... she got a 0 too.
I'd watch Trauma but in order to do so, I'd have to put it on a VCR... I don't think I am that motivated.

I'm hoping to get thru last season's Better Off Ted, Castle and Boston Legal at some point. I'm betting Castle comes first.

Pamela Jaye said...

here is the Build Your Own (Schedule) game.
Have fun.

Liz said...

I had so much fun watching this summer (Burn Notice and Leverage among others) that I'm almost lukewarm about the fall season starting.

For new shows, I might check out Fast Forward, though if it turns out to be another show revolving around a hugely complicated conspiracy I'll hate myself for it. I'll also check out V, because I saw the original AND because I think Elizabeth Mitchell is wonderful.

I have been a fan of the Stargate franchise for a long time, so I will probably peek at Universe, though I have been warned that it's nothing like the SG1 or Atlantis. If it turns out to be good, it will be a nice surprise. If not, oh well.

For returning shows, I'll be watching Chuck (yaay!), Castle (just discovered that show, what fun), The Office and 30 Rock. Lost, definitely, though I fear what they'll do this season. And I will be first in line to watch the winter seasons of Burn Notice and Leverage.

Jennifer Boudinot said...

Right now I feel like I have plenty of 30-min comedies I'm looking forward to (The Office, 30 Rock, HIMYM, It's Always Sunny [been waiting all summer!], and even Parks and Recreation and Better Off Ted). But right now all I've got on drama is Mad Men, Lost (a million years from now!), and Friday Night Lights (a million+ years?). I don't have DirectTV or premium cable.

In the past couple of years I've been looking for another good drama to watch other than the occasional L&O. I gave up on Heroes and Grey's, and The Shield went off the air. I'm not a "I have to watch it from the beginning" purist, however, so I was thinking of maybe picking up Sons of Anarchy. I would LOVE to hear whatever else you think may be worthy!

Also, I'm interested in Glee but now that FOX is pumping it so hard I've already become jaded and skeptical.

Maura said...


Law & Order (I'm there until they lock the doors one last time)
America's Next Top Model

Flash Forward
Community (Joel McHale!)

I'm currently watching Mad Men, Top Chef, Project Runway, Leverage, and Warehouse 13, so I'll be following those through their current seasons

Belinda said...

Thanks for taking a break (and still posting)!

I'm actually looking more forward to 2010 when Lost and Chuck (and maybe Party Down?) is back than fall 09. Can't wait!

But I got very into Big Bang Theory during the summer and am looking forward to watching that, as well as The Office/30 Rock and HIMYM comedies.

As for dramas, less enthused about the regular staples like House, but more excited by probably Dexter and Dollhouse (I don't love love the show, but I'm definitely intrigued by what they will do). Mad Men is on already, and I'm happy.

New shows: Glee, Flash Forward.

JT said...


End of list.

Anonymous said...

Interested in The Office, but also how Parks and Recreation's second season evolves.

Brian said...

The only new series I'm interested in are Bored To Death and Community. Other than that, I'm looking forward to a bunch of returning comedies this fall: Office, Parks and Rec (which I defended from the beginning and which I think will only get better), 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, HIMYM, and tentatively Curb (even though I thought last season's writing was way too contrived). And of course, the ongoing Mad Men.

Heather said...

Old show: Supernatural. More than anything. Even Lost goshdarnit.

New Show: FlashForward

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dylanfan said...

Mad Men
Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Jennifer J. said...

Just to keep it to new shows: Community and Flash Forward.

Craig Ranapia said...

"Remaking" Prime Suspect? NBC deserves credit for balls the size of the moon, but when you're stepping up to Helen Mirren's truly iconic performance as DCI Jane Tennyson, the results better be abso-fracking-loutely mind-blowing. (Then again, I was pleasantly surprised that 'Law & Order: UK' was a solidly entertaining reboot of the venerable franchise, so I'm not dusting off the voodoo doll yet. Yet.)