With so many absurd reality shows at our fingertips, we expected The CW's musical chairs-based reality competition to be delightfully stupid. Instead, Oh Sit!, hosted by Jamie Kennedy and Jessi Cruickshank and developed by Phil Gurin (the brains behind Shark Tank and The Singing Bee), is more boring than anything else. Sure, it's great that the show clearly doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't blatantly promote sexism like the equally mindless The Choice, but at the end of the day, Sit! is more of a sub-par Wipeout rip-off.
You've got to hand it to The CW: they know how to really keep an upfront moving. From kicking it off with a performance by Flo Rida to just jumping right in to a preview of their most interesting new series, Arrow, it flew by faster than any other network presentation this week. Sure, they spent time discussing social media and whatnot, but it was all broken up by on-stage appearances by the very beautiful people who are on their shows. And hey, most of their upcoming shows look watchable, if not legitimately entertaining, and since they're recycling a ton of their talent (and in some cases, characters), we feel like we know these programs already.
When Ringer debuted earlier this week, it was clear that the show doesn't exactly fit The CW brand, mostly it's targeted at grown-up viewers and features some actual grown-up actors, with only one spoiled rotten teen in sight. It also lacked several other key elements that we've come to expect from The CW. Fortunately for the network, their other scripted series debuting this week, The Secret Circle, is pretty much the most CW-ish show we've ever seen. Here's why:
The CW usually has the most energetic upfront of them all each May, and while I was a bit concerned about this year's new location (Jazz at Lincoln Center), the presentation began with the band LMFAO singing "Party Rock Anthem" while members of America's Best Dance Crew alums Quest Crew (including Hok!) did their B-Boy thing on stage. Once they shuffled off, outgoing CW president Dawn Ostroff introduced the very attractive casts of all of the network's shows, forcing them to engage in awkward banter on stage - a tried-and-true CW upfront tradition (I certainly hope that her successor Mark Pedowitz continues it next time). But the Good Sport of the Week Award goes to sales exec Rob Tuck, who came out wearing both a gold lamé jacket and the cardboard robot head from LMFAO's performance. Finally, after some hype about CWingo (a new Facebook bingo game) and the obligatory joke about Ian Somerhalder's bite being worse than his bark, we finally saw clips from the new line-up.
It was hard to concentrate at The CW's 2010-11 upfront presentation because I was still riding high from the news that next year will be the final season of Smallville and and that One Tree Hill and Life Unexpected will move to Tuesdays, which means that I can ignore the network entirely on that evening. I was jolted out of my reverie by Katy Perry on stage, screaming about being hot and cold and daisy dukes and whatnot. Glad I perked up, though, because it was just in time to see her wig nearly slip off. I also got to check out her signature "dance" move: inching her skirt up while walking. You don't see technique like that on So You Think You Can Dance, that's for sure. As for the actual upfront, it was short and to the point, marred only by some awkward banter between stars of different shows airing on the same nights (Chace Crawford and AnneLynne McCord should never have to read live from a Teleprompter ever again). As for The CW's two new fall shows... well, at least they have pretty people in them.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour, The CW honcho Dawn Ostroff recently told reporters that they were considering remaking more classic shows. Well, given how terrible 90210 and the one episode of Melrose Place I've seen are, that seems like a horrible idea. Still, if they're going to go ahead with this, there are plenty of short-lived or underrated shows from the great (and greatly missed) WB network that could make The CW much better than it's been in its short history, and they can do it without ruining our somewhat fond memories of shows like Dawson's, Everwood or Gilmore Girls.
The final upfront of this nutty week was actually the fastest. Thanks to The CW for having an audience with a short attention span and realizing that long strings of numbers were meaningless. There was a DJ booth and they provided snacks (some nuts and an apple). Promising start.
"The CW and our studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television have made the strategic marketing decision not to screen "90210" for any media in advance of its premiere. We're not hiding anything - simply keeping a lid on 90210 until 9.02, riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night, and letting all our constituents see it at the same time."
Even if you looooved Beverly Hills 90210, do you really want to see a remake/spinoff/continuation? Even if it has Shannen and Tori in it? Especially if it has Shannen and Tori in it?
And though tons of viewers now loooove Gossip Girl, do we really need a new ditto show about spoiled rich kids in fab fashions getting all angst-y, only this time in sunny Palm Beach, Florida?
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