Tag: NBC

Fall Premieres – The Main Course Day 1

Hopefully we’ve all gotten enough rest this weekend, TV lovers, and cleared schedules and a large amount of digital space because tonight begins a veritable onslaught of premieres. So pace yourselves, kiddies, this is a marathon not a sprint.


Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother, Mondays on CBSNot to be a snob…oh who am I kidding, let the judgment commence! CBS’s Monday line-up cannot tickle my funny bone even with the natural powerhouse of hilarity NPH. I’ve given both How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory a look on multiple occasions and while they obviously do it for some sect of TV viewers (the former in its fifth season, the latter its third) neither have won me over in the consistent laugh department. And I can’t even stomach flipping past Two and a Half Men in syndication. Perhaps it’s the live studio audience, multi-camera aspect that throws me (not since Will & Grace have I been an avid fan of such a series) or maybe it’s the seemingly average (aka safe) situation comedy that turns me off. Either way CBS’s two-hour block on Mondays has never made it onto the must watch list so I expect the newest series joining the party, Accidentally on Purpose, will follow suit.

Over to the short list of shows that continue to receive my attention, as long as they don’t disappoint (I’m talking most specifically to you Heroes). Dancing with the Stars has an intense three day premiere starting tonight so those sequins and sparkles have a lot of work to do. Heroes will premiere in just one night but with two hours introducing us to volume 5 “Redemption.” Coming off a lackluster finish last year, the only thing that kept me on board was the fantastic possibilities seen in the trailer, including a circus storyline and bringing on board Robert Knepper (aka the man who breathed life into Prison Break‘s memorable T-Bag) as the key villain.


  • 8/7cDancing with the Stars, ABC
  • 8/7cHeroes, NBC


  • 10/9cCastle, ABC


  • 8/7cHouse, FOX
  • 8/7cHow I Met Your Mother, CBS
  • 9/8c Big Bang Theory, CBS
  • 9:30/8:30cTwo and a Half Men, CBS


  • 8:30/7:30c – Accidentally on Purpose, CBS (series premiere)


  • 10/9cCSI: Miami, CBS

2009 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Winners

61st Primetime Emmy(R) AwardsOh, awards shows. You and I need to have a serious discussion because I can’t stand being the submissive in this kinky little relationship of ours anymore. Finding myself continually coming back to you each time with a deluded excitement that maybe this will be the year you surprise and thrill me, and after half an hour I cannot stay glued to my seat. Yet I stick with you to the bitter end, bad taste in my mouth with a sense of “meh” and “well, I could’ve just checked the IMDb live winner update feed.”

While this seems a backlash of a post, please read as a request for awards telecasts to step up the entertainment and for the various academies to change up the voting habits – not that I don’t love my 30 Rock or Mad Men (congrats to wins not only for best show in their respective categories, but writing too!) – because sitting through 3 hours of “announce list of nominees, open envelope, read winner, not-amusing-nor-poignant acceptance speech, rinse, repeat” gets a little taxing and I think more of us would welcome some upsets, blunders and outbursts once in awhile.

Tonight’s major category winners:

Drama Series: “Mad Men,” AMC

Comedy Series: “30 Rock,” NBC

Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Actress, Drama Series: Glenn Close, “Damages,” FX Networks

Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock,” NBC

Actress, Comedy Series: Toni Collette, “United States of Tara,” Showtime

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Michael Emerson, “Lost,” ABC.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Cherry Jones, “24,” Fox.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC.

Miniseries: “Little Dorrit” PBS.

Made-for-TV Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Brendan Gleeson, “Into the Storm,” HBO.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ken Howard, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo, “House of Saddam,” HBO.

Directing for a Comedy Series: “The Office: Stress Relief,” Jeff Blitz, NBC.

Directing for a Drama Series: “ER: And in the End,” Rod Holcomb, NBC.

Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “American Idol: Show 833 (The Final Three),” Bruce Gowers, Fox.

Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit: Part 1,” Dearbhla Walsh, PBS.

Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.

Writing for a Comedy Series: “30 Rock: Reunion,” Matt Hubbard, NBC.

Writing for a Drama Series: “Mad Men: Meditations in an Emergency,” Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, AMC.

Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit,” Andrew Davies, PBS.

Host, Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Jeff Probst, “Survivor,” CBS.

Original Music and Lyrics: “81st Annual Academy Awards: Song Title: Hugh Jackman Opening Number,” ABC.

Fall Premieres – Thursdays: Comedy Night Done Right

While tonight’s NBC comedy premieres don’t include crown jewel 30 Rock (that momentous day is October 15th), it does provide enough funny haha’s to cause a swell of joy with the return of The Office, a ho-hum “welcome back” to its spin-off Parks & Recreation and excited anticipation for newbie Community.

That’s What She Said

The Office, Thursdays on NBC 9/8cConsistently hitting the mark whether it’s with absurd, endearing or cringe-worthy situations The Office is continuing to deliver the guffaw goods even as it hits its sixth year. Coming into the new season the show opens three weeks following the events of last year’s finale with Michael Scott re-invigorated by the return to his post as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, after his brief stint as a small business owner, and consummate couple Pam & Jim dealing with the very unexpected news that they’re expecting.

Having a child is going to make a huge impact on big kid Jim and will be the most interesting storyline that will most likely develop this year, as this life change will propel him towards an attempt to move up the company ladder again. It will no doubt have an effect on Michael as well who will re-examine his own feelings of where his future lies within DM and life overall.

A Great Place to Master a B.S. Degree

If we must wait another month for 30 Rock at least there is a new, promising show that acts as placeholder until Liz Lemon and the TGS gang return. Upon viewing the upfront trailer months ago I fell for Community instantly and knew it would be a perfect addition to NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up.


Ably led by deliciously devilish Joel McHale (host of The Soup – Friday nights at 10/9c on E!, full episodes on iTunes, clips available at hulu.com), the snarky tone of the show is what pulled me in, plus centering it around community college is rife with potentional hilarity. Hopefully they don’t place too much emphasis on the melting pot aspect (pompous white guy – check; middle-aged, divorced lady – check; young, jock guy – check; socially-awkward nerd – check) and stick to the ace-in-the-hole delivery and presence of McHale to lead the comedic charge.

Meanwhile…dramas have a strong presence on Thursday nights as well and tonight FOX brings back solid offerings with Bones and Fringe (will dedicate more musings on the latest, greatest sci-fi/mystery from JJ Abrams and the Bad Robot team). And for those who still get thrills from the outwit, outlast, outplay game on CBS, Survivor begins a new run with contestants battling it out on the island of Samoa.


  • 9/8c – The Office, NBC
  • 9:30/8:30cCommunity, NBC (series premiere)
  • 9/8cFringe, FOX


  • 8:30/7:30c – Parks & Recreations, NBC
  • 8/7cBones, FOX


  • 8/7c – SNL: Weekend Update Thursday, NBC


  • 8/7cSurvivor: Samoa, CBS

Fall Premieres – Trivial Teens and Leno’s “Retirement”

Tonight brings offerings that pose little to no threat to my precious DVR space with the return of two more dry dramas from The CW and the beginning of a new form of “late” night on NBC.

The CWThe CW seems to have cornered the market on telling tales of teen trials and tribulations, and while it’s sensational enough for a lot of viewers I’ve yet to find much enjoyment from their line-up both past and present (the snappy snark of Veronica Mars being the only exception). First up is the people-still-watch-this seventh season of One Tree Hill. Limping into the year it will be without breakout star Chad Michael Murray, which makes me speculate this could be the swan song season of the series.

Gossip Girl ad campaign for its second season
Gossip Girl ad campaign for its second season

Still hot, with its trend-setting cast firmly at the center of the Young Hollywood set and getting constant media exposure, Gossip Girl begins its third season following the pampered prep school kids into their first year of college. Never a series to shy away from creating and embracing buzz (dig the ad campaign from last year) the big news going into this season is main moneyed douche Chuck Bass’s same-sex liplock by episode six. A truly less-than-scandalous story for anyone who finds the “shock” factor of a man-on-man kiss both parochial and passe – plus those who’ve read the GG books (or been conscious while watching any episode) knows the guy started out gay.

Passing The Tonight Show torchWith The Tonight Show torch now firmly in the able hands of Conan (CoCo!), Jay Leno takes up his new post weeknights at 10/9pm that seems eerily like his old one (though official reports state that fans of Tonight should expect “big” changes). While Leno will abandon the traditional late-night host’s desk and act as a kind of roving emcee, introducing the work of a team of comics who have gone out in the field to tape pieces, each show will still have a monologue at the top of each show, a guest – Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled for the premiere – and close with his famous “Jaywalking” or headline segments, which will lead directly into local news.

Leno’s show will no doubt be watched heavily during its initial inception, considering his is an experiment for a network that has traditionally seen this timeslot deliver acclaimed scripted hits over the years (ER, Law & Order, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law), defining it as the gold standard of sophisticated programming. However with the business rapidly changing from what was seen in the ’80s and ’90s, this new approach to primetime is going to be closely monitored by NBC and competitors alike to see if a viable model to future programming has been found.

Not On My DVR, But If You Have Space

  • 8/7c – One Tree Hill, The CW
  • 9/8c – Gossip Girl, The CW
  • 10/9c – The Jay Leno Show, NBC (series premiere)

Who’s the American Helen Mirren?

NBC’s track record with adapting international series for American audiences has been rather hit or miss (Highs: The Office. Lows: Coupling. New Lows: Kath & Kim.) so the recent news that the peacock is set to adapt the groundbreaking UK drama series Prime Suspect is a bit…suspect.

Prime SuspectThe original ran in seven parts from 1991 to 2006 and starred Helen Mirren as lady-of-a-certain-age chief homicide detective Jane Tennison, a role that made waves when the series debuted as it was the first to feature a woman as the head of a murder investigation unit. A hit with critics, it earned Mirren two Emmy awards for lead actress in a miniseries and made her a household name in the US when it aired as part of PBS’s Mystery series.

With such a stellar pedigree, NBC should take measured steps to ensure that their Prime Suspect will have its own tone that sets it apart from workhorse Law & Order procedurals (no L&O: Across the Pond, thank you). The crux of the show’s success will be in casting the lead. Considering such an acclaimed and formidable actress originated the role, someone award-winning caliber must come on board to give the US version some clout in standing up (and out) to the plethora of other crime-centered dramas scattered around the dial, especially ones with strong female characters (NBC’s own Emmy-winning Mariska Hargitay, for example). American producers will no doubt want to sex up the role, which means skewing the age range down, considering the hesitancy to cast women over 40 in high-profile leads. This actress age-ism is a shame because, like a fine wine, the best only get better with time, and this kind of role demands someone who’s been around the block.

Jean Smart as Martha Logan on Day 5 of "24"Topping my “For Your Consideration” list would be Jean Smart. While most well-known for comedy – first gaining recognition on Designing Women, but racking up 3 Emmy wins in the last decade for her guest role on Frasier and one for supporting actress playing Christina Applegate’s martini-swilling mother on Samantha Who? – she’s also proven a knack for the dramatics, and earned rave reviews, with her portrayal of the president’s unstable, whistle-blowing wife on the fifth season of 24.

Opening the forum for discussion: Who else is an ideal contender to take up the American “Queen” of police mantle?