Tag: The CW

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)

Fall Premieres – Of Glampires and Ghosties

Tonight the fifth network presents a too-obviously-themed two-hour block of otherworldliness with the return of Supernatural and the unveiling of The Vampire Diaries. Finding myself at a crossroads – one being the road I’ve been traveling down, with a pre-disposition to avoid most things on The CW; the other being one that leads me towards a natural attraction to stories involving spooks, spectres and all things supernatural, particularly ones having the creative talent with a resume that includes working alongside Joss Whedon – this one-two punch seems tailor-made for me to enjoy. Unfortunately I’m at a loss in my commitment to either offering served up for my viewing pleasure, especially on Thursdays, a night that already has a number of contenders vying for coveted DVR space.

The Vampire Diaries, Thursdays on The CWThe Vampire Diaries will grace the small screen for the first time with the hopes to lure those who can’t get enough of glamourous, gorgeous creatures of the night…or rather the not-direct-sunlight. Taking a cue from the popularity in adapting young adult novels featuring beautiful, blood-sucking fiends, Vampire Diaries is based on a series of books first published in the early-’90s. The premise (small-town girl in a love triangle with two brothers) reads very similar to any number of teen dramas so it’s fitting that Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson is at the helm of this sexy sudser. Being a Creek geek back in the day (although my attention waned in the latter part of the series) I enjoy the idea of Dawson with fangs, but also having a high bar set from other well-played, vampire-centric TV I’ll need more than just a little sexual tension (which I’ll consider chaste in comparison to anything-goes-on-HBO True Blood) and teen angst to retain my viewership.

SupernaturalWith Supernatural, I’ve already got a big handicap to overcome: not having kept up with the previous four seasons worth of exploits from the (hot!) demon- and all-other-manner-of-evil-hunting Winchester brothers. Not wanting to completely discard a show that sees frequent episodes written by the amazing Ben Edlund (he behind one of the single best hours of television ever with Angel‘s fifth season puppet-filled masterpiece “Smile Time”), all seasons are sitting at a comfortable place on the queue, but after reading the synopsis for the latest season’s opener, “Sympathy for the Devil,” intrigue might get the better of me and they’ll quickly be moved to the top. While the first couple of years concentrated more on monster-of-the-week stories, a canny creative took the reins mid-way through and started to really develop a strong mythology, which any genre aficionado will attest is the backbone of these types of series.


  • 8/7c The Vampire Diaries, The CW (series premiere)
  • 9/8cSupernatural, The CW

Fall Premieres – “Glee”king Out on the “Dance”floor

Glee - on FOX Wednesdays 9/8cTonight’s premieres need little to no introduction from me – if you’re an avid reader of TVOYOT you’ll already know where my loyalties lie on Wednesday nights, so it’s no surprise that I’ll be watching FOX’s two-hour block of singing and dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and Glee.

sytycdposterFirst up with their inaugural fall cycle, SYTYCD returns for a sixth season with a premiere episode promising yet more thrills (and the always-entertaining spills) found during the multi-city audition process to find the Top 20 dancers.

Counting on carry-over from the massive lead-in audience of the popular dance competition, but also carrying considerable critical acclaim and massive amounts of word-of-mouth from the not one, not two but three airings of its pilot, Glee will be debuting its first new episode since that pilot initially previewed in May. The satirical high school musical series has received positive buzz from almost every major media news source and is sure to be an instant hit.

Not to begrudge those who enjoy the trainwreck that is Tyra, the 13th cycle of America’s Next Top Model will have its 2-hour premiere tonight on The CW. Trying a new gimmick this season, the cast of model wanna-bes are all under the typical 5’7″ catwalk height.


  • 8/7c – America’s Next Top Model, The CW
  • 8/7c So You Think You Can Dance, FOX
  • 9/8c – Glee, FOX (series premiere)

Fall Premieres – Start Your Engines

This week brings the beginning of Fall ’09 premieres and it looks like The CW has won the coin toss (second and last sports metaphor – primetime game telecasts, particularly of the series variety, are not by friend as they interfere too often with new episodes) and will officially kick off (seriously, no more) the season. Tonight’s premieres include their visions of ’90s primetime soap classics and on cable, FX offers up the return of some bad boy biker action.


Rebooted Melrose Place advertisement.
Rebooted Melrose Place advertisement.

With the wildly successful reboot of 90210 last year, it only seemed fitting that The CW would repurpose the original 90210 spin-off, Melrose Place. Set in the same drama-filled LA apartment complex as its predecessor (complete with courtyard pool so everyone has a good seat for the inevitable water-logged catfight), this Melrose remake promises to be more scintillating; we know this because one of the main characters starts out the series as a call-girl, unlike becoming one a few seasons in to keep up with a nasty drug habit a la original series bad girl Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) – Scandalous!

90s-era Melrose Place advertisement
90s-era Melrose Place advertisement

Sydney won’t be the only character returning for more slapfests and sexytime, others from the quintessential ’90s version will be on board either in a Jennie Garth’s Kelly “I work at my old high school, so that’s why I belong here now” Taylor way, or as a guest star like Shannen Doherty’s Brenda “I’m visiting my old friend/rival/nemesis/almost-sister-in-law for awhile” Walsh. In the former category is Thomas Calabro, whose lacivious doctor Michael Mancini will now be playing the role of father to one of the new debaucherous denizens. More seem to be of the special guest variety including Josie Bisset (Michael’s ex-wife Jane), Daphne Zuniga bringing back her “hardened” NYC photographer Jo Reynolds, and the biggest buzz is if the show will be able to lock in a guest return for Heather Locklear’s bed-hopping ad exec, and she who made Melrose such a hit, Amanda.

Being of the generation that made Melrose such a pop culture phenomenon, I’ve set the DVR to record the new pilot out of curiosity but have not yet committed to putting it on my “create series recording”  list. The main reservation being an un-enthused reaction to the first episodes of last year’s 90210 still fresh in my mind. Advanced news places more praise on the new MP, consistently citing it better than the 90210 pilot, and as I’m always willing to offer something new a fair chance The CW will be given the opportunity  to change its current losing streak it has with me.


Sons of Anarchy Season 2On the completely opposite end of the dial is FX’s actioner Sons of Anarchy. For those who may have missed the first season (of which I’m included – not through lack of interest, but out of space on the DVR and time to commit to another 1-hour series) the latest “there is no box” drama from the cabler takes a Hamlet-esque story – a young man who’s recently deceased father may have been taken out by underhanded means has various problems with a scheming “uncle,” devious mother and former lover/conscience back in his life – and mixes it with the dirty, criminal dealings of a gun-running, Northern California biker gang. Impeccably cast with intriguing characters, I question my foolish choice to not commit to this show’s freshman year as it fits so well in the best of FX’s top-notch dramas (Rescue Me, Damages, The Shield).


  • 8/7c 90210, The CW
  • 9/8cMelrose Place, The CW (series premiere)
  • 10/9cSons of Anarchy, FX

Vampires are the New Black

Personally I never lost faith in the phrase “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.” While the loss of seminal shows The Sopranos and Sex and the City in 2006 and 2004, respectively, seemed to create doubt that HBO could keep the “groundbreaking, critically-acclaimed, smash hit” original programming train rolling along, they’ve hit another one out of the park this past year with my, and many other fan(g)s, newest obsession True Blood.

Steering away from the heavy, dramatic themes of his first HBO series Six Feet Under, Alan Ball’s latest is treading neck-high in the blood-soaked waters of the vampire mythos. Pulling from Charlaine Harris’s sudsy, southern gothic series of books and riding the waves of that other supernatural sensation concerning creatures of the night (who walk around during the day — really?) TB is leading the way in making HBO’s Sunday night line-up appointment TV and Monday morning watercooler talk again. In its second season premiere, TB received ratings that had not been seen on HBO since The Sopranos series finale, and continues to keep viewers hungry for more with nail-biting, jaw-dropping cliffhangers every week.

With vampires all the rage it’s not surprising the network that gave us a girl with all the gossip and a rebirth of the most well-known zip code in the country would follow the trend with their own adaptation of a living dead novel series as this fall The CW gives us the toothy(less?) Vampire Diaries.

Not to naysay on themes/storylines I find myself inherently mesmerized by — thank you Joss Whedon for giving me snarky vamps and wry werewolves — but try as they may The CW has not yet turned me to the dark side with its oh my guilty pleasure Gossip Girl or the resurrection of Kelly & Brenda on the new 90210. On this track record and seeing theTwilight re-hash sneak peeks I find myself incredulously investigating what appears less like a delicious spin on blood-sucking fiends and more a cliched weekly appeasement to Twi-hard tweens looking to tide themselves over until said movie series is back at their local multi-plex.

Make every effort to catch up on True Blood if you haven’t already been bitten – season 1 now available on DVD and iTunes, all previously-aired season 2 episodes now playing on HBO On Demand and new episodes every Sunday at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central until September. Jury’s still out on any tune-in worthiness of Vampire Diaries.