Turner has a winning formula: Use a lot of ampersands, play a ton of sports and, when in doubt, take creative teams, actors, plots and sometimes entire series (new episode or syndicated -- either will do!) from other networks and air that. It may feel cheap, but based on the number of completely original new shows that bombed from the 2012 development slate, it's not the worst idea in the world... that would be cancelling Southland. Anyway, my personal bitterness aside, some of the new series really do look great. Below are the ones the upfront audience actually got to see, in order of best to worst:
The worst possible thing that could happen at a network upfront event actually occurred this morning for TBS and TNT... and it turned out to be the best possible thing that could've happened. In front a packed house of advertisers, media buyers, network executives and journalists, the meticulously choreographed presentation ground to a screeching halt not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times due to technical difficulties that prevented the giant video screens from displaying picture. But what could've been a devastating embarrassment for the networks resulted in a series of live, unrehearsed performances that had more electricity than any of the sitcoms previewed by NBC, Fox and ABC earlier this week.
With Survivor and The Amazing Race taking the summer off, a trio of cable shows are out to fill the endurance challenge-based reality series void. TNT offers up the one-two punch of the Dwayne Johnson-fronted The Hero and 72 Hours (which air back-to-back on Thursdays at 8 PM and 9 PM respectively), while the obscure Reelz network counters with Race to the Scene (Thursdays at 9 PM). Which of these shows walks away as the sole survivor? We pit them head-to-head in five key areas:
The ratings are in and the future for American Idol is... cloudy.
TV Land adds another '90s superstar to its line-up.
Who knew Mario Lopez could be relevant for more than one reason in a single day?
Does reality TV need another hero? The Rock thinks so.
Keri Russell is fighting her way out of obscurity and we couldn't be happier.
If Rizzoli & Isles and Franklin & Bash are feeding your appetite for more basic cable crime solving pairs, TNT has another duo for you: Dr. Daniel Pierce and FBI Agent Kate Moretti. They're the characters at the center of the network's latest procedural, Perception, which premiered last night following the debut of The Closer's final batch of episodes. (You mean that show isn't over yet? Its departure has been dragged out almost as long as one of Cher's "Farewell" concert tours. Oh, and Spoilers Ahead if you missed last night's Perception premiere.)
It's not just scripted shows that are being shaken up at NBC.
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