Now that we’ve all become bloated on the popcorn we inhaled during those comic-book blockbusters that didn’t quite cut it this summer, it’s time to break out the cardigans, hang up the swimsuits, get reacquainted with our couches and direct our attention to the new shows of the fall season that will be vying for our viewership. After all, the back-to-school season doesn’t have to be about textbook workloads, stressful syllabi and fretting over your headshot on that student ID card. It’s also about putting off that term paper to reunite with Damon, Stefan and Elena, staying in to see what songs New Directions will sing and revisiting Wisteria Lane to find out how the final season will begin on “Desperate Housewives.”
The new television season, like many before, is full of promise. Troubled cops, cute doctors, teenage witches (the spell-casting kind), sexy crimefighters, lovelorn singletons; but only a handful will be lucky enough to survive the next nine months. Who will break out? What will sink? The pop culture vultures are standing by.
That said, may I present to you – in no particular order – a sampling of the new television shows that have been beeping on my radar and coming soon to a living room near you:
“American Horror Story” (premieres Oct. 5; Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX) – the next “True Blood”
Just in time for Halloween, this Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuk (“Glee”) collaboration follows the Sherman family as they move into their new L.A. home where things just don’t go bump in the night – they creep, moan and seduce. If you haven’t checked out the YouTube campaign behind this psychosexual drama, get on it now.
“Apartment 23” (premieres midseason 2012 on ABC) – the next “How I Met Your Mother”
Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker star in this witty single-camera comedy about “a female odd couple.” And “Dawson’s Creek” fans, rejoice: James Van Der Beek also stars as … James Van Der Beek.
“Bedlam” (premieres Oct. 1 at 10 p.m.; Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America) – the next “Being Human”
A clairvoyant (UK hottie Theo James) moves into an apartment building where the residents harbor dark secrets, the walls ooze with slime and the landlady likes to mix business with pleasure. Think of it as “Haunted Melrose Place.”
“Charlie’s Angels” (premieres Sept. 22; Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC) – the next “Alias”
The ’70s show that heralded the era of Jiggle TV and inspired a feature-film adaptation back in 2000 is now coming back to the small screen. The action has now moved to Miami, and Bosley is actually kind of … sexy. Fun fact: The series will premiere the same day on which the original show debuted 35 years ago. Early aughts Angel Drew Barrymore executive produces.
“GCB (Good Christian Belles)” (premieres midseason 2012 on ABC) – the next “Desperate Housewives”
Darren Star (“Sex and the City”) and Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) have come up with a tasty mélange of bitchery, backstabbing and bouffants – with a Texas twang. Kristin Chenoweth and Leslie Bibb star as former high school classmates who reunite, go to church and gossip their way through several scandals in Dallas.
“Grimm” (premieres Oct. 21; Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC) – the next “Fringe”
A Portland homicide detective (David Giuntoli) solves gruesome cases related to nursery rhymes and bedtime stories and eventually learns that he is a descendant of hunters working to restore balance between humanity and mythological creatures.
“Hart of Dixie” (premieres Sept. 26; Mondays at 9 p.m. on the CW) – the next “Northern Exposure”
Rachel Bilson returns to television in what appears to be Sweet Home Alabama: The Series (C’mon, have you seen those billboards?). The former “O.C.” sweetie plays a city doctor (seriously) who finds herself surrounded by small-town southern folk who talk funny. Classic fish-out-of-water stuff from the creative forces responsible for “Gossip Girl” and “Chuck.”
“Hell on Wheels” (premieres Nov. 6; Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC) – the next “Deadwood”
This post-Civil War revenge drama is about a man (Anson Mount) on the hunt for the soldier who killed his wife. Producers are calling it an eastern – and not a western. I’m calling it yet another period drama disguised as Emmy bait.
“New Girl” (premieres Sept. 20; Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox) – the next “The Big Bang Theory”
The adorable Zooey Deschanel moves in with three dudes who help her get back on her awkward feet after getting dumped by her boyfriend. It’s like “Three’s Company ” but without the polyester … and any mistaken sexual identities … and the Regal Beagle.
“Once Upon a Time” (premieres Oct. 23; Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC) – the next “Lost”
A small town where the residents all have secret fairy-tale alter egos? Sold. Our protagonist, Emma Swann (Jennifer Morrison), happens to be the daughter of Snow White, and it’s up to a creepy little boy to help her navigate the twisty storylines that are told throughout two parallel universes. Just as long as there’s no Black Smoke Monster…
“Pan Am” (premieres Sept. 25; Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC) – the next “Mad Men”
More ’60s nostalgia! More retro costumes! More chauvinistic men sleeping with pretty young things in skirts! Christina Ricci and a bevy of babes fly the friendly skies in this buzzworthy drama that takes a peek into the goings-on of the flight attendants (when they were called stewardesses) and pilots of the iconic airline. Cockpit and mile-high club jokes are inevitable.
“Prime Suspect” (premieres Sept. 22; Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC) – the next “The Closer”
Let’s hear it for tough-as-nails women! Maria Bello steps into the role originated by Oscar winner Helen Mirren from the original British series in the late ’90s. For the 2011 version, Bello plays Jane, a fedora-wearing cop who isn’t afraid to wrestle with the big boys and occasionally get socked in the eye while trying to nab the bad guys.
“Revenge” (premieres Sept. 21; Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC) – the next Least Interesting Drama That Won’t Last a Full Season
Emily Van Camp is a woman who moves to the Hamptons to infiltrate the rich and powerful family that ruined her father. So far, this generically titled serial looks like one giant J.Crew catalog come to dysfunctional life.
“Ringer” (premieres Sept. 13; Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW) – the next “Twin Peaks” (Get it? Twin?)
Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to TV as a troubled young woman who assumes her presumed-dead twin’s identity and tangles herself up in a web of treachery, lies and betrayal. The CW is hoping to lure an audience mature enough to remember “Buffy” and dig the convoluted storylines.
“The Secret Circle” (premieres Sept. 15; Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the CW) – the next “The Vampire Diaries”
It’s good to be L.J. Smith. The author behind “Diaries” is also the creator of this young-adult trilogy from the early ’90s. Britt Robertson (remember her, from “Life Unexpected”?) plays new-girl-in-town Cassie who discovers that she possesses a power that can do more than just send her flying around on a broomstick.
“Smash” (premieres Feb. 6; Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC) – the next “Glee”
This highly anticipated musical drama is actually slated for a February premiere, features original music and stars Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Christian Borle, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and Jack Davenport as the creative forces behind the making of a Broadway showstopper. And when you have Steven Spielberg attached as a producer, along with the razzle-dazzlers who gave us Chicago and Hairspray, it’s safe to say a grand ol’ time is guaranteed.
“Suburgatory” (premieres Sept. 28; Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC) – the next “Modern Family”
A single-in-the-city father (“Six Feet Under”’s Jeremy Sisto) moves his teenage daughter to the suburbs in order to give her a more proper upbringing. Little do they know that the land of cul-de-sacs and carpools comes with new (and hilarious) challenges. The Mean Girls-meets-Stepford Wives vibe is totally welcome.
“Terra Nova” (premieres Sept. 26; Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox) – the next “Land of the Lost”
This Jurassic Parkish adventure focuses on the Shannon family as they, along with a handful of other humans, are selected to travel back in time to the dino era so that they can save humanity from a dystopian fate.
“Two Broke Girls” (premieres Sept. 19; Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on CBS) – the next “Laverne & Shirley”
What sounds like a potentially dirty viral video turns out to be a 21st century version of “Laverne & Shirley.” Here we have Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs), a pair of New York City gals with dead-end jobs who decide to go into the cupcake business together. Shenanigans eventually follow.
“Unforgettable” (premieres Sept. 20; Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS) – the next “The Mentalist”
Poppy Montgomery plays a NYC detective who has the sharpest memory on the planet and uses her talent to solve – you guessed it – murders. In other words, it’s that new crime procedural your mom and dad will be watching when you call home to ask for money.
“Whitney” (premieres Sept. 22; Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC) – the next “Mad About You”
You’ve seen her ham it up on “Chelsea Lately,” and now Whitney Cummings is getting her own starring vehicle in which she plays a slightly skewed version of herself. Here, she’s trying to steer her five-year marriage away from Dullsville (Her hubby is played by Chris D’Elia.).
“The X-Factor” (premieres Sept. 21; Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox) – the next “American Idol”
Simon Cowell and company would like to bring reality competition TV into a new era – and give “Idol” a run for its money. Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, L.A. Reid and Steve Jones join the brutally honest Brit as they give Americans from all walks of life a chance to shine on stage in front of millions to win millions.
Happy viewing, surfers.
For more pop cultural ramblings, visit thefirstecho.com and hotterinhollywood.com.
Film: The Channel Surfer
Surf This: 2011 Fall TV Preview: Break out the remotes! Man the DVRs! Prepare for a ratings battle!
By Hiko Mitsuzuka
Article posted on 9/6/2011
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